Ask any marriage counselor what a leading cause of marital strife and eventual divorce is and you will hear financial problems (along with infidelity, stresses of raising children and in-law issues).
Divorce or the possibility of divorce is incredibly difficult. What happens if your financial house is also crumbling?
The answer is: it depends.
Many couples who are contemplating divorce and bankruptcy come to us to ask us what to do first: file for divorce or file for bankruptcy.
The answer, again: it depends.
Here are the factors that must be considered before proceeding:
- The earning potential of each spouse
- The current earnings of each spouse
- The debts that each person brought into the marriage
- The debts that they have incurred since the marriage
- The estimated living costs of each spouse after the marriage
- Whether or not the spouses are in agreement about filing a joint bankruptcy
- If there is a time constraint for obtaining either a divorce or a bankruptcy judgment, as they can both delay the process of the other.
It is important to consult both family law attorneys and bankruptcy law attorneys if you find yourself in this delicate situation, as timing and taking the appropriate legal action in the correct order matter a great deal. In this situation, spending your money, limited though it may be, would be well-served on sound legal advice.