There are complicated questions regarding filing Bankruptcy Chapter 7 or 13 and divorce proceedings and how they are interrelated or not.
The easiest part of this question is what you can include in youu bankruptcy AFTER your divorce. Neither Chapter 7 or 13 can discharge and child support or alimony obligations. these two financial items are not affected because the payor cannot discharge those obligations. Payor also cannot discharge any equitable distribution payments that can be viewed as support. That includes:
- Court ordered counsel fees payed to the adverse party; and
- Equitable distribution for an entity or business.
If you are considering filing bankruptcy and divorce, you are probably dealing with debt allocation as opposed to assets. As an example: if there is 40K in credit card debt each side would have to pay 20K of that debt. Once the divorce is final the 40K debt appears in the Marriage Settlement Agreement (MSA). The MSA says the wife will pay her share or 20K. If the husband files bankruptcy, the credit cards can go after the wife for his portion of the debt. This would be in violation of the MSA and probably drive some type of additional legal action on your former spouse’s behalf.
Bankruptcy and Divorce
If you file bankruptcy while you are going through a divorce, it effectively STOPS the divorce as there is an automatic STAY. this goes into place and nothing can be done in the case at all. This is something you should discuss with your attorney to see if there are any benefits of doing this.
Bankruptcy is usually a flat rate and costs around $3500. Divorce is substantially more.
Salvatore A. Simeone, Esq. is a Partner and Chair of the Family Law Department at Weiner Law Group in Parsippany, New Jersey. For the last 25 years Family Law has been Sal’s total focus. Mr. Simeone has handled numerous high conflict divorce and custody cases, residential parent relocation, domestic violence issues, and complex asset valuations.
Mr. Simeone volunteers his time to the Morris County Battered Women Legal Advocacy Program where he represents victims of domestic abuse. For more information on what Sal and Weiner Law Group can do for you, please contact us.