5 Facts About Filing Bankruptcy During Your Divorce

As you look to terminate your marriage it will bring up a multitude of issues, and many of them will be financial.  If after careful consideration you determine that a bankruptcy is a necessary step, there are some things you need to know:

  1. Filing for bankruptcy during your divorce case places an automatic stay on your divorce proceedings.  This means that your divorce case (with a few exceptions) will not proceed until your bankruptcy is discharged.

  2. Bankruptcies usually take about 3-6 months to be discharged.  This means that for those 3-6 months your divorce case will be, for the most part, placed on hold.

  3. If you file for bankruptcy, any Court-ordered child support or spousal support (maintenance) must still be paid.  These obligations do not get discharged along with the rest of your debts.

  4. If you fail to make timely Court-ordered child support or maintenance payments, even while your divorce case is stayed, the Court can still hold you in contempt and even send you to jail.

  5. Any and all debts that are not found to be “Domestic Support Obligations” can be discharged in bankruptcy.  It is important that your divorce documentation specify that certain obligations are domestic support obligations.

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