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When You Should File a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy If You Are Getting Divorced in NJ

Many people getting divorced are in serious financial difficulty and considering a chapter 7 bankruptcy to get a fresh start. Sometimes that difficulty is the very reason for the divorce! But the question that is often raised is, which comes first? Do I get divorced and then file, or do I file and then get divorced?

Why You Should File Before the Divorce is Final

Well, as in many things in life, timing can be everything. However, when it comes to bankruptcy and divorce, I seldom see a big advantage to waiting until after the divorce to file, so that leaves before or during. Here’s why.

  • You Are More Likely to Save the Marital Home.
  • Filing Bankruptcy is Cheaper and Simpler.
  • The Divorce Itself is Not Unduly Delayed.
  • It Is More Likely That A Single Filer Spouse Will Get a Fresh Start.

Why You Should File After the Divorce is Final

As with anything, there are exceptions. I stated above that I seldom see a big advantage to waiting until after the divorce is entered to file. However, I do see two instances in which waiting could be good, and they are usually in a situation where only one spouse is filing.

  • Means Testing Issues Can Be More Favorable
  • Equitable Distribution Could Come Back to Haunt You.

Need Help Making the Choice?

If you live here in southern New Jersey and are getting divorced and considering bankruptcy, please give my office a call at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to schedule an appointment to discuss your options. Each case is different, and you want to be sure that you get the fresh start you need.

Just looking for more information on how bankruptcy may be able to help with your divorce?  Then download my free book, Top Questions Divorcing Couples Ask About NJ Bankruptcy. You should also check out my podcast, Bankruptcy Strategies in Divorce, with episodes every month!

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Steven J. Richardson
Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.