Hello, and sorry about the delay. There seems to have been a bug, I am just seeing your response now.
Unfortunately, I probably cannot simplify it for you, as there are pros and cons for filing both before and after a divorce is finalized. Generally, the advantage to filing before the divorce is complete is that the ch. 13 plan will already be in place and the debts will be reduced faster, plus the court will be able to take the required payments in to consideration when determining the split of assets and possible marital support.
The disadvantage is that a debt that is currently required to be paid may be allocated to the other spouse by the court. This could impact the debt load and the chapter 13 plan. Having an ongoing chapter 13 bankruptcy can complicate and possible slow down the process of completing the divorce in the first place, as the court will have to sift through debts and assets, and the chapter 13 petition
will likely have to be amended as the divorce will effect family size and income (if there is a spousal support or child support order).
The general rule that I have found most common among bankruptcy attorneys is that a chapter 7
can be filed prior to filing for divorce, as this can clear a lot of debt prior to the divorce and actually simplify the issue. As a chapter 13, however, is an ongoing process, generally filing after the divorce should make things less complicated for the bankruptcy itself.
Ultimately, this is really a question that needs to be answered by a bankruptcy attorney in person and in confidence after reviewing the details of each debt and taking in to consideration the possible status of each debt post-divorce. If you do not already have an attorney, the Florida State Bar Association has a referral service at: