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Bankruptcy and Divorce: Frequently Asked Questions

Thinking of going through divorce? You will have to split not only your marital assets, but your marital debt as well. Both divorce and bankruptcy are complicated areas of law — and together they can be even more confusing. Attorney Regina Alberty is here to help.

Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about divorce and bankruptcy in New York. For more specific inquiries, we encourage you to schedule a consultation at our offices. The Law Office of Regina Alberty offers free initial consultations for bankruptcy clients, as well as consultations for divorce clients for a nominal fee of $50. Call our Forest Hills office at 718-261-7200 or toll free at 866-574-1065 to schedule your consultation today.

Should I file for bankruptcy before or after my divorce?

You may file for bankruptcy either before or after your divorce. There are two main benefits to filing before divorce:

  • Filing for a joint bankruptcy is cheaper than each spouse filing for bankruptcy separately.
  • By discharging debts before the divorce, you can save the time and money of dividing these debts during the divorce.

Can I get my divorce expenses discharged in a bankruptcy?

Many times, divorce is the cause of bankruptcy. You may be making significantly less income after your divorce, and you still may be left with house and car payments. While you can discharge these usual debts, you cannot discharge debts relating to child or spousal support.

What kinds of debts get split during a divorce?

Any debt that is in your name, and your name only, will remain in your name after your divorce. Same goes for your spouse. Debts that are owned by both spouses (such as a home or vehicle that has both spouses' names on it) are divided during divorce very similarly to how assets are divided.

I'm not responsible for our marital debt, should I still consider bankruptcy?

If your name is on the debt, even if your spouse did the spending, you may want to consider filing for joint bankruptcy before the divorce. Even if your spouse takes ownership of that debt during the divorce, your name may still be tied to the debt, and failure to pay may still negatively impact you. Filing for joint bankruptcy before the divorce also saves you the time and money of dividing these assets during the divorce process.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

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