Pittsburgh, PA asked in Bankruptcy and Divorce for Pennsylvania

Q: Should I do my chapter 7 bankruptcy before or after divorce?

I'm separated from my wife and we're planning to get divorced.

I also have $70k in credit card debt and am planning to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy soon.

All of the debt is in my name not hers.

Would it be more advantageous to go through the bankruptcy before or after divorce? Are than any specific things I might need to know about that situation?


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2 Lawyer Answers
Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Louisville, KY

A: Consult a bankruptcy attorney and let him review the financial info, it matters which you file first but only a complete review of your finances can tell you which yo file first.

Russell E. Farbiarz agrees with this answer

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Boyertown, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: Financial obligations imposed during a divorce that are for "support" (alimony may be support alimony, and of course, child support) are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. However, "alimony in lieu of " property division, or in the nature of property division, IS a dischargeable obligation In bankruptcy. Be sure to inform your divorce lawyer that you anticipate that you will be filing for bankruptcy relief. And that's the answer to your question. I'd recommend that you complete your divorce case first so that your future domestic relations obligations are known and in an amount certain.

Support alimony is based on length of the marriage, but mostly upon the earning potential of each of the parties. Child support is based on current income of each party, and the custody split of the children, and is adjustable in the future. You and your bankruptcy lawyer would need to know the amount of any domestic relations obligations to enable you to choose the best bankruptcy chapter under which to file.

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