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Should You File Bankruptcy Before or After Divorce?

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2023 | Bankruptcy Attorney Tampa


When facing the challenging circumstances of both bankruptcy and divorce, it can be overwhelming to determine the right order in which to address these significant life events. Making informed decisions about your financial and marital situations is crucial to ensure a stable future. This article aims to shed light on the question: Should you file bankruptcy before or after divorce? As a leading bankruptcy attorney in Tampa, FL, we understand the complexities involved in such situations and aim to provide you with valuable insights to guide your decision-making process. If you need professional assistance, feel free to contact Frey Law P.A., a trusted bankruptcy attorney in Tampa, FL.

Understanding the Relationship Between Bankruptcy and Divorce

Before delving into the timing aspect, it’s essential to comprehend the relationship between bankruptcy and divorce. These two legal processes intersect in various ways, influencing each other’s outcomes. Bankruptcy focuses on managing and discharging debts, while divorce deals with the division of assets, including debts, between spouses. The timing of these proceedings can significantly impact the financial and legal implications for both parties involved.

Should You File Bankruptcy Before Divorce?

Streamlining Debt Resolution

Filing for bankruptcy before divorce can provide some advantages. By resolving financial matters through bankruptcy, couples can eliminate or reduce their debts, simplifying the subsequent divorce process. This approach can help avoid conflicts over who will be responsible for specific debts.

Shared Costs

Filing bankruptcy jointly as a married couple can lead to shared costs, reducing the overall expenses associated with the bankruptcy process. By collaborating on bankruptcy proceedings, couples can streamline the legal procedures and save money on attorney fees and court costs.

Asset Protection

Another crucial aspect to consider when contemplating bankruptcy before divorce is asset protection. Filing for bankruptcy can trigger an automatic stay, halting any ongoing legal actions, including divorce proceedings. This stay can provide temporary relief, protecting assets from creditors and allowing couples to develop a comprehensive financial plan before finalizing their divorce.

Should You File Bankruptcy After Divorce?

Individual Liability

In some cases, filing bankruptcy after divorce might be more appropriate. If the majority of the debt falls on one spouse, it could be more advantageous for that individual to file for bankruptcy separately. This approach can protect the other spouse from being burdened with debt they aren’t responsible for.

Post-Divorce Financial Stability

Waiting until after the divorce to file for bankruptcy allows each spouse to have a clear understanding of their individual financial situation. By doing so, they can address their debts individually and focus on rebuilding their financial stability after the divorce is finalized.

Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

The type of bankruptcy being considered can also influence the decision on timing. Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as liquidation bankruptcy, discharges most unsecured debts but might require individuals to give up certain assets. Chapter 13 bankruptcy, on the other hand, involves a repayment plan that allows individuals to retain their assets. Understanding the implications of each type of bankruptcy can help determine the best timing based on your specific financial circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q 1: Should I consult a bankruptcy attorney before or after filing for divorce?

It is highly recommended to consult a bankruptcy attorney before making any decisions about filing for divorce or bankruptcy. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can assess your unique situation, provide guidance on the timing, and help you navigate the legal complexities involved in both processes.

Q 2: Will filing for bankruptcy before divorce affect the division of assets?

Filing for bankruptcy before divorce can impact the division of assets. The automatic stay triggered by bankruptcy can temporarily halt the divorce proceedings, giving couples an opportunity to protect their assets and develop a more favorable financial strategy.

Q 3: Can I file for bankruptcy jointly with my spouse during divorce?

Yes, filing for bankruptcy jointly with your spouse during divorce is possible. Collaborating on bankruptcy proceedings can lead to shared costs, simplifying the overall process and potentially reducing attorney fees and court costs.

Q 4: Is it possible to file for bankruptcy after divorce?

Yes, it is possible to file for bankruptcy after divorce. However, the timing should be carefully considered based on individual liability, post-divorce financial stability, and the type of bankruptcy being pursued (Chapter 7 or Chapter 13).

Q 5: How can a bankruptcy attorney help me in this situation?

A bankruptcy attorney can provide invaluable assistance throughout the bankruptcy and divorce processes. They can assess your financial situation, explain the legal implications, guide you in choosing the right timing, protect your rights, and ensure the best possible outcome for your case.

Q 6: Where can I find a reputable bankruptcy attorney in Tampa, FL?

If you are in need of a trusted bankruptcy attorney in Tampa, FL, look no further than Frey Law P.A. With their expertise and dedication to client success, We can provide you with the guidance and support necessary to navigate through the complexities of bankruptcy and divorce.


In conclusion, when deciding whether to file for bankruptcy before or after divorce, it’s crucial to seek professional guidance from a bankruptcy attorney. For expert assistance in Tampa, FL, turn to Frey Law P.A., a leading bankruptcy attorney. Take control of your financial future by visiting and scheduling a consultation with a skilled bankruptcy Lawyer in Tampa. Don’t wait—act now to protect your interests and secure a brighter financial future with Frey Law P.A.