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How filing of a bankruptcy can affect a divorce

Unfortunately, many Louisiana couples are suffering from financial distress at the time that they file for divorce. This can result in couples filing for bankruptcy – and not always filing bankruptcy in the manner that would make the most sense. The manner that a bankruptcy and divorce is timed can result in simplifying the financial circumstances for a couple, or it could result in one spouse or the other continually having to deal with the same creditors.

For example, it can be prudent for couples to file bankruptcy before the divorce has taken place. If debts can be discharged before a divorce proceeding takes place, deciding who will have to deal with the debt after the divorce can also be avoided.

These matters should be discussed with family law attorneys who understand the issues that can be raised if a bankruptcy may take place. The issues can be complex. A bankruptcy can affect decisions having to be made regarding dividing up of property and other assets, and it can in certain cases unintentionally leave one spouse responsible for debts as well.

It’s also useful to speak to a family law attorney over what can and cannot be discharged in bankruptcy when it comes to a divorce. For instance, while alimony or child support cannot be discharged joint debt owed to a creditor might be discharged.

The filing of a bankruptcy could result in slowing down the divorce process. Depending on the individual circumstances of a couple, this may or may not be acceptable.

Source: LSJ.com, “Divorce, bankruptcy sometimes go hand-in-hand,” Gene Turnwald, Sep. 27, 2013

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