Whitewater, WI asked in Bankruptcy, Divorce and Business Law for Wisconsin

Q: After 35 years of marriage my parents are going through a divorce that's very complicated due to owning many businesses.

These businesses are supported financially by the others during the off season. They have a substantial amount of debt that is personal and the businesses. My father wants to file bankruptcy right away before trying to sell assets and my mother does not agree with him. He wants to keep one business but be done with the others. He also wants to keep their house that the business runs out of. My father does not seem to understand the ramifications of filing bankruptcy or divorce. If they can't come to an agreement soon, they are headed for divorce trial. They have already gone to financial mediation and nothing was settled. Can my father file personal bankruptcy without my mother joining him and how does that effect the divorce and the businesses? There are so many unknowns and I want to see this work out as best as possible for both sides as I'm very close to both of them.

1 Lawyer Answer
Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Louisville, KY

A: This is such a complex question with so many variables that it is impossible to properly answer here. It depends on whose name and how assets and liabilities are held as to what the proper action. Each can file separately if necessary, but generally speaking both parties are best served by filing a joint bankruptcy before the divorce. You need to get you parents to a competent bankruptcy attorney who can completely analyze their financial situation and advise them what to do and how and when to do it.

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