You and your spouse have decided to get divorced. However, you have a lot of debt, and you’re afraid about how you’re going to handle it post-divorce. That’s why you’re thinking of filing for bankruptcy now.
Learn about filing for bankruptcy during the divorce process and how to time it properly.
Filing for Bankruptcy During Divorce
Before you finalize your divorce, it’s a good idea to file for bankruptcy with your spouse, as long as you are not in an abusive or contentious situation.
First of all, you and your spouse can collectively pay the filing fees and pay for your bankruptcy lawyer together. You can get unsecured debts like credit card debts and auto loan debt discharged so that you won’t be responsible for it. If you wait to file for bankruptcy after you get divorced, you may have to pay back some of your spouse’s debts. This is because all assets and debts are divided among both spouses in an Ohio divorce.
The bottom line is that filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy should be done before you get divorced. However, if you are in a bad situation and you cannot wait to finalize your divorce, then you could speak with a divorce and bankruptcy lawyer to help you figure out the best solution moving forward.
Filing for Bankruptcy After Divorce
If you plan to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you should do that after you get divorced. Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves restructuring your debts and then making a bimonthly or monthly payment. The hope is that you will be able to pay off your debts within three to five years with this plan.
It’s best to do this after your divorce because it involves you and your spouse making payments. Let’s say your spouse isn’t responsible with making payments – then you’ll be on the hook. You don’t want to end up in that situation.
Managing Your Finances Post-Divorce
Whether you’re filing for bankruptcy before or after your divorce, you should make sure you don’t get yourself into a similar predicament once you’re single again. It’s important to learn about personal finances and manage them properly.
For instance, budgeting is key, especially when you’re living on one income. Use an app like Mint or YNAB to track your expenses and come up with a budget.
If you aren’t working or you need to get a better job, consider going back to school for further training. You could look into night classes to take after work or go to school online or at your local community college. Though it’s an investment, it could pay off greatly in the long run.
Also, consider the assets you’ll receive in the divorce. For instance, if you are set to receive your home, you may want to sell it if you can’t afford the mortgage or utility bills. Downsizing at this time may be a good idea so that you can save for your future.
Finally, with your bankruptcy, you’ll need to take Credit Counseling and Debtor Education Courses. Take these courses seriously and learn from them so you don’t end up having to file for bankruptcy again in the future.
Get in Touch With Richard P. Arthur
Richard P. Arthur, Attorney at Law, can help you file for bankruptcy during your divorce. You can call 937-254-3738 for a consultation. He has more than three decades of experience helping clients in Dayton and Trotwood, as well as Montgomery, Greene, Miami, Clark, and Warren counties.