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Can I file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy before the dissolution of marriage?

Miami, FL |

Hi, I am in the middle of a divorce, and unemployed. Cannot longer pay my credit cards.
Can I file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy before the end of my marriage or just stop paying the cards. Please advise. I have a townhouse but it is my wife who lives there.

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Attorney answers 5


Absolutely you may. You have to provide your soon-to-be-ex notice, and you will more likely than not delay the finalization of your divorce pending the conclusion of the bankruptcy, but that is not likely to be a significant amount of time. In fact, for a variety of reasons, it might well be more advantageous for you to file your bankruptcy now, before a property division and assignment of liabilities (i.e. finalization of your divorce). Obviously certain other factors would come into play as well, such as the value of your assets, etc., but on its face, yes, you may file your bankruptcy at any time. You should, however, consult with a bankrutpcy attorney in your area, as bankruptcy and family law do not always fit together seamlessly.


You should consult an attorney regarding the details of your case. You can file now. But there are issues involving budget(how much will be child support or alimony and to whom) and whether there is a property settlement or order that might be dischargeable in a chapter 13 but not a chapter 7.(alimony and child support will not be dischargeable.) Because of these factors, it might be better to wait.

The questions and answers posted on AVVO are for general information and should not be treated as legal advice or establishing an attorney-client relationship.

Matthew Erik Johnson

Matthew Erik Johnson


And remember not to lie about your assets to lower your child support, alimony, or property division. A friend attorney of mine watched his client go to jail for 5 years because he lied about how many houses he owned to keep the wife from getting them.


I usually recommend filing a joint bankruptcy so that all your are dealing with in the divorce is division of assets rather than arguing about who pays what charge card. If you file alone, you could still be ordered by the divorce court to pay debt your spouse was jointly liable on, even if you were discharged.


You really need to consult a bankruptcy attorney about this. There are requirements, like listing the spouses income in the schedules. Perhaps you should file with the spouse.

R. Jason de Groot, Esq., 386-337-8239


Sometimes a good bankruptcy can really simplify a divorce. You should talk to your wife about possibly filing a joint bankruptcy before your divorce is included. One of the things a judge in the divorce case has to consider is who pays for what debt. If all of those issues are resolved before the divorce is concluded, that's one less thing the judge has to rule on. I frequently represent people who are in the process of getting a divorce. Often, it takes coordination with their divorce attorneys.

I recently presented a continuing legal education seminar on this topic. Below, you'll find the link to the audio and printed materials. I hope you will find them helpful.

Eric L. Bolves, Esq.
2110 E. Robinson St., Orlando, FL 32803

If you are in my practice area, call me for a free phone consultation. 407-894-1002. Answering a question on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. I'm not officially your lawyer until we have had a one on one conversation and you have signed a retainer agreement. I practice bankruptcy in Orlando only. I practice Social Security Disability law throughout the State of Florida. Offices 2110 E. Robinson St. Orlando, FL 32803.

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