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My husband and I are separating pending divorce and are both in a chapter 13, do I need to file for divorce first

Cincinnati, OH |

Before I can file a chapter 7? or dismiss the 13, file a 7 and then file for divorce?... This is all so confusing?... I won't be able to afford the chapter 13 and live alone.

Attorney Answers 8


  1. There is no catch-all answer, and yes it can be confusing. The options you listed are not all the possible (or necessarily best) options. You need to start with hiring your own BR lawyer to review your case, and a lawyer for the divorce. They will answer your questions.


  2. This can be handled by your present attorney. He or she can file papers to convert the 13 to a 7 due to the change of circumstances (separate households). Your husband may require separate counsel in this due to the potential conflict between you and your husband.
    I think it is wiser to get the discharge first. That way, you have eliminated some or all of the debt, one less issue to worry about.

    I am not your attorney unless you and I have signed a retainer agreement. What I am saying is not legal advice. Do not act on this information without engaging my services, this is for consideration only.


  3. You should consult with experienced bankruptcy counsel as to your options. It is impossible for anyone to answer the question based upon the information provided. Are you doing a lien strip in your bankruptcy? The are things to consider when deciding whether to convert or dismiss your case.


  4. I strongly disagree with Attorney Brewer that a chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney can represent one debtor when both filed chapter 13 and the represents both and one of the debtors wants to obtain advice on whether or not to convert or what to do in a chapter 13. We have seen this subject discussed at many seminars and the easy answer is there are simply too many conflicts of interest for any attorney to try to represent either. What must be done is too much work and conflicts and then is reported to the Bar you will have huge problems again! So, I suggest you obtain a new attorneys advice right away. Now the NEW attorney may say to stay in a chapter 13 and keep the present payments. That is an option . But what they may say no one will know but them depending on facts that cannot possibly be answered on here because of assets and types of liabilities, not to mention issues of a divorce. Good luck.


  5. Richard's comments aside aside for the moment, the FIRST thing you need to do (both you and your husband) is schedule a meeting with your CURRENT attorney to discuss the situation. Once you have that meeting, you should be in a better position to know what to do next. Then, ss Richard points out, depending on the circumstances, you may need to get separate attorneys at that point for handling the bankruptcy. But you should be directing your current question to your current attorney. No one here is going to be able to help you decide which option is best. That can only be done in light fully knowing your financial circumstances.


  6. I agree that you need to talk to your current attorney. Please think about whether you and your spouse can work together in your case. Another factor is how long you will need to stay in your current case.

    I have had clients who could work together and finish up fine, and I have had clients tht could not agree on anything.

    Be sure that you know your goals. Your attorny can't help you reach your goals if you can spell them out.


  7. The divorce matter would be stayed ( or paused) while the bankruptcy case is being resolved. It would be preferential to work through the bankruptcy first and resolve those issues prior to filing for divorce. There are certain issues that may need to be addressed in the interim. I would recommend seeking a consultation with a local divorce attorney to review your specific issues and properly plan for your upcoming divorce..especially if the divorce is going to be a contested matter.


  8. You can really do it in any order you want. I have clients that have filed bankruptcy during a divorce and clients that file before filing for divorce. There really is not a right or wrong answer, it just depends on your circumstances.

    Once the bankruptcy is filed, the divorce will be put on hold until your divorce attorney obtains a relief from the stay put in place by the bankruptcy court. Its pretty routine, not very complicated.

    You need to contact a divorce attorney in your area that is familiar with this process. I would also advise having separate attorneys for each process. (1 divorce attorney, 1 bankruptcy attorney)

    This answer is not meant to be legal advice from its provider. It does not create a client/attorney relationship and any action taken based on this answer is at your own risk.

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