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Many people who go through a divorce end up filing for bankruptcy, but which of these procedures should you actually do first? There are several factors to consider when you’re facing both divorce and a potential bankruptcy that can help you determine the most cost effective and straightforward order of proceedings. Consulting with a bankruptcy attorney before making a final decision can be helpful. This information will also help you make an informed choice about how to manage these life changes.


You can file for bankruptcy jointly, even if you are planning to divorce.

Although there is no obligation for married people to file bankruptcy together, many people do so, even if they are going through a divorce. Filing jointly allows shared marital debt to be addressed, so that it doesn’t have to play a role in the divorce proceedings. It is also more affordable to file jointly than filing individual bankruptcies, which makes it additionally appealing to many couples.


Some couples need to file individually for income reasons.

Despite some benefits of joint bankruptcy filings, some people find that they can benefit from filing individually after a divorce. The reason for this is that it can be easier to qualify for bankruptcy, particularly Chapter 7 bankruptcy, if the court considers individual income rather than joint income. In this case, it is necessary to wait until your households are separate after divorce. In other instances, some people file for bankruptcy individually before a divorce if they need relief faster than their spouse. This scenario can work if household income levels do not prevent the individual from getting the bankruptcy assistance they need.


Making decisions about divorce and bankruptcy filing can be complex. At Cutler & Associates, Ltd., we can help. Our experienced bankruptcy attorneys in Aurora and Schaumburg can help you make the right decision for your individual case. Schedule a case consultation by calling (847) 213-9436.