What happens to money awarded in divorce settlement when you file bankruptcy?

Asked over 1 year ago - Joliet, IL

I am in the middle of a nasty divorce, she is fighting for everything and is giving up nothing. I had a 401k that was rolled into an IRA with about $100k (that was started before my marriage). She has a 401k and 403b with less than $25k. We've been married for 20 years. She filed for bankruptcy during our marriage about 10 years ago just before we bought our 2nd house. Since filing for divorce she has accumulated $7k of debt. She has a habit of not paying her bills or the bills in my name. If she is awarded any money from the divorce, what happens to it if she files for bankruptcy? Also, am I responsible for the bills and services that are in my name, even though I didn't use them?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Judy A. Goldstein

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your situation is far too complicated to answer in this simple Q&A forum. If you do not have an attorney, you should have one. If you do, ask these good questions of your attorney. There are many great lawyers in Will County.

  2. Peggy Margaret Raddatz


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . What business is it of yours what happens to monies she is warded after the divorce? To speculate about what she will do is a waste of your time. If a bill or service is in your name you are ultimately responsible to the creditor despit what the divorce papers say because third parties are not party to your divorce. Get a lawyer to work with and answer your questions or you will regret it a lot. A 401k that was from before the marriage is no marital unless it was combined or rolled over into a marital 401k or IRA. People commonly do this when they leave jobs.

  3. Jeffrey Morris Jacobson

    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . Any bills in your name will be your responsibility unless the divorce judgment states she is fully responsible. Even then, you may be responsible if she files for bankruptcy. As to the money she receives, the bankruptcy court will use it to pay bills. You are not entitled to the money back or a credit for the debts that you owe. You should seek an attorney that can handle bankruptcy and divorce to help you with your problem. Also, I find that if the attorneys can work together, the bankruptcy can be used to both parties advantage. Call at **DIVORCES on your cell phone, or 331-222-9529. Thanks.

Related Topics


Divorce is the process of formally ending a marriage. Divorces may be jointly agreed upon, resolved by negotiation, or decided in court.

The Key Time to File for Bankruptcy while Divorcing

The key to filing for bankruptcy during divorce is timing. How personal property is divided depends on when you file for both.

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