We have agreed on child custody, visitation, child support. The only thing left to agree on is spousal support. Division of assets should be fairly simple because of Ch 7, there are virtually no assets to divide as a result.We will be filing for Ch 7 in the next couple of weeks (jointly) with our bankruptcy attorney. The bifurcation would enable either of us to get remarried should we wish, while determining a fair spousal support amount. And yes, we're using a meditator (who happens to be an attorney) and a Bk attorney. I am going to be retaining a divorce attorney to help me with questions I have as they relate to the mediation & spousal support.
So many questions. Where are your attorneys. Bankruptcy attorney? Divorce lawyer? You are truly attempting some fairly complex if not mind bending legal exercises. Please meet with your local counsel to ensure that the complexities of the interaction between your bankruptcy proceeding and your divorce don't become a legal nightmare.
This is definitely not something you should do without an attorney! From a bankruptcy perspective, a determination of whether or not you qualify for BK would need to be done, and if you do qualify, then a review of all your assets would have to be done to see which ones may be protected. This may be dependent on the proposed property distribution, if any. For some individuals, filing for bankruptcy before filing for divorce is their better option, while for others it's best to file BK after their divorce. You need to speak with an attorney to discuss your options and I would suggest you speak with both a bankruptcy attorney, as well as a family law attorney. Depending on your specific situation, both attorneys may end up having to speak with each other in order to determine the best option for you. Thus before you do anything else, I suggest you click the Find a Lawyer tab above - many attorneys offer free consultations. Good luck to you!
Please note that my response is not legal advice and is for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not a substitute for having a consultation with an attorney. My response is based on limited facts and cannot possibly cover all potential issues in a given situation. It is important to have a consultation with an attorney in your area to discuss how the law applies to your specific facts.
Not simultaneously, no. You must be married when you file a joint BK. But afterwards you could bifurcated, but it's not clear you should.
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What are you trying to bifurcate? What exactly are you trying to accomplish? In the context of family law, most times, if the parties wish to bifurcate the case, they want to get the status resolved and get a judgment of divorce, so that they can re-marry and then leave the issues of support and property division for a later trial. Here, it sounds like you are trying to bifurcate the support from the property division. If that is the case, you can get an interim order for child support and have the other issues set for trial without a formal bifurcation.
Let's start from the top. 1) You do NOT have any orders in place for child custody, visitation and support. If that is a Yes, you do not, you need to get that done ASAP while you are still in agreement and 2) No, you cannot obtain a bifurcation of your marital status in California while at the same time filing your Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You MUST be married at the beginning and ending of your Chapter 7 bankruptcy, period. Once you are done with your bankruptcy, you can then look at your finances and figure out if spousal support is even relevant and/or ask the court to reserve jurisdiction over the issue of permanent spousal support for a future date and time and also file your Judgment for Dissolution. Thankfully you have attorneys involved in this matter and I would strongly encourage you to speak about these issues/concerns with them instead of asking outside attorneys to try and answer for you without the full set of facts in front of them.
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