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A.J., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 4300
Experience:  Experienced consumer bankruptcy attorney.
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I know this is not a simple question but as a general rule

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I know this is not a simple question but as a general rule for someone who has to file a Chap 13 rather than a 7, is looking at roughly 170 in combined marital debt, and is now also getting a contested divorce, would you suggest the bankruptcy precede or follow the divorce. The creditors include priority credits like IRS and student loans (accounts for 140). Have fun with this one! Maybe you can simplify this for me.

SavyLawyer :

Post divorce will the debtor's income be significantly less than the family income currently is?


Post divorce income should be same for me, she has started earning a small income. I think the plan will be that each one takes their own student loans, she takes credit card debt in her name, i take mine, but I get all the tax debt and she ants alimony


I'm sorry, it appears that the chat function is not working. You can respond to me below. Will the post divorce income be reduced significantly relative to the current family income?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
No sir - income will not be reduced for Respondent Husband and may increase for Petitioner (Wife) but from zero and by virtue of any success selling supplemental life insurance products to people who can't pay their cable bill. However IRS tax debt will kick in via monthly payments as well as student loan payments. Husband has no savings, 100% of child care expenses and no retirement plan in place at age 54. So expenses are going to go up - and she wants now child support to help pay for her apartment and alimony. Hope that helps
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi - I don't see your response to my reply below but just received an email to rate the answer? Thanks
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:

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