Can I file for bankruptcy while in the process of getting a divorce? 18 Answers as of June 17, 2011

Would there be any issues with filing for bankruptcy while I'm in the middle of a divorce? Can my divorce attorney handle my bankruptcy as well, or would I need another bankruptcy attorney?

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Lakelaw - Loop Bankruptcy
Lakelaw - Loop Bankruptcy | David Leibowitz
Yes, but you won't be able to resolve divorce issues in your bankruptcy. And property issues can get mixed up in both the bankruptcy and divorce. Get an attorney who understands divorce ramifications of bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 6/17/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
I do not know what skill set you divorce attorney has. The tricky part would be selecting the exemptions based on what you will get out of the divorce. Talk to the family law lawyer before you do anything.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/17/2011
Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
Yes you can... Is your divorce attorney well-versed in bankruptcy? If not, you should probably seek a bankruptcy attorney and preferably one familiar with the interplay between bankruptcy and family law.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/16/2011
Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
Your divorce lawyer could file the bankruptcy for you if s/he practices bankruptcy. Otherwise, you should retain someone who knows the subject well. Among the questions to consider is what your attorney fees will be, whether your ex will be required to pay them or whether you'll be ordered to pay your ex's fees. Whether either of you take on joint debt and hold the other harmless for them, whether there'll be child support and/or alimony. Without knowing the answers to these questions I can't tell you whether it's wise to file during divorce.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 6/16/2011
Law Office of Asaph Abrams
Law Office of Asaph Abrams | Asaph Abrams
Marital status and changing marital status are material. You need a bankruptcy attorney. Otherwise, you're seeing a pediatrician to treat Alzheimer's. In California there are special considerations regarding exemption claims if filing separately from a spouse, and there must be careful consideration of pending property settlements and distribution of debt. A qualified bankruptcy attorney can spot the issues pertinent to your fact pattern.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/16/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    There are implications in filing for bankruptcy while in the middle of a divorce. For instance, you may not be able to claim all your property exempt if your spouse does not agree to sign a bankruptcy spousal waiver. Be sure to contact an attorney who specializes in bankruptcy law. There may be a conflict of interest for the divorce attorney to also represent the parties in a bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Rosenberg & Press
    Rosenberg & Press | Max L. Rosenberg
    If you are filing a bankruptcy, you need a bankruptcy attorney. Bankruptcy is an infinitely complex area of law that should be handled only with the assistance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney. You can file while in the process of a divorce. However, it can affect certain elements of the divorce and vice versa. If both married parties wish to file together you will need to file before the finalization of the divorce so that you may file on the same petition. If only one spouse is filing, it will not matter and in fact would be advisable to wait until the divorce is finalized.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Jackson White, PC
    Jackson White, PC | Spencer Hale
    I would recommend that you get a separate bankruptcy attorney. I heard a chapter 13 trustee put it best, "would you hire a foot doctor to operate on your heart?" You should hire someone familiar with the bankruptcy laws with a proven track record. There are a lot of issues and pitfalls when you mix bankruptcy and divorce. As you have already started the divorce, you may want to wait until the divorce is finalized, but you should seek the counsel of a bankruptcy attorney now to determine all of your rights.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC | Christine Wilton
    Your family may or may not also practice bankruptcy. You may want to wait until after the divorce is final because when you're still married, you must disclose your spouse's information and if the soon to be ex-spouse does not want to file bankruptcy, it could get ugly.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    If you are in the middle of a divorce, you can file for bankruptcy but you want to coordinate this with your attorneys. Sometimes, it is best to file the bankruptcy and then file for divorce. At other times, it is best to do it the other way and file the divorce first.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Burnham & Associates
    Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
    You can file for Bankruptcy during a divorce, and the same attorney can assist you. You should know that property division during your divorce may be held up until the Bankruptcy is resolved.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed | Robert Weed
    If qualified, your divorce attorney can do both. Whether it's smarter to file BK before during or after depends on all the facts of your situation.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    You can file for bankruptcy while getting a divorce, but whether it is the best course of action can only be determined by having a comprehensive consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Personally, I would stay away from any lawyer who practices both family law and bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a very specialized area and you don't want to mess around with someone who only deals with it part-time.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    It's usually best to wrap up your divorce before starting the bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Benson Law Firm
    Benson Law Firm | David Benson
    You may proceed with a bankruptcy case while a divorce is pending. However, all property division issues will be stayed during the pendency of bankruptcy proceedings. As to representation, bankruptcy is a specialized area and securing competent counsel is advised.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    There are MANY issues where a bankruptcy affects a divorce and vice versa. This is a determination that is fact-specific. In some cases you should wait and in some cases you want the bankruptcy to go first. You need to run this by your lawyer. If your lawyer, like me, does both type cases he may be able to do both. However if he is not expert in one, use two separate lawyers.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    If there are debts to be divided between the two of you then bankruptcy may affect the divorce. I would make sure the divorce attorney has a significant experience in bankruptcy as bankruptcy is a somewhat specialized.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Yes, you can file for bankruptcy while going through a divorce. As to whether or not your divorce attorney can handle this issue for you, you'd need to ask him or her. Most attorneys limit their area of practice. If you are in my area and are looking for an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
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