Which should come first: Divorce or bankruptcy?

Facing major changes in life can be overwhelming. Some Pennsylvania residents may come to find that they are facing financial issues that seem insurmountable at the same time they are ending their marriage. As a result, they may wonder whether to file for bankruptcy or file for divorce.

Deciding which process to file first can depend on certain circumstances. For example, if a person is hoping to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it may make sense to go through the divorce process first. Because an individual must meet certain income requirements to qualify for Chapter 7, divorce could better ensure that the individual’s income meets this requirement. If the divorce does not take place first, the combined income of both spouses could disqualify an individual for Chapter 7.

On the other hand, it could make sense to file for bankruptcy before divorce. If a couple has significant marital debt that they would like to have discharged, filing as a couple first may allow them to avoid having that debt divided during divorce proceedings. However, that does mean that the parties will need to work together to complete the bankruptcy process before getting divorced.

When financial concerns are plaguing a person, it can be difficult to know which steps to take first. As a result, it is important to have the right information to come to these significant decisions. If Pennsylvania residents are worried about how divorce may affect their chances of a successful bankruptcy case, they may wish to discuss this issue with an experienced attorney.