Courtney, Clark & Mejias, P.C.Courtney, Clark
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Managing a divorce and a bankruptcy

It is not uncommon for divorcing Illinois residents to consider filing for bankruptcy. Financial challenges are commonly present in marriages that end in divorce. At the same time, a divorce can take a bite out of your income and add to your monthly living costs which together may result in a bleaker financial picture at least in the short term. But, if you are considering filing for bankruptcy, should you do it before or after your divorce?

My Horizon suggests that the answer to this question may well depend in part on the relationship you have with your soon-to-be former spouse. If you and your partner have a highly adversarial relationship, waiting to file a separate bankruptcy after your divorce may be wise. If, however, you can work together relatively well you may be able to pursue a joint bankruptcy before your divorce.

Another factor that should play into your decision is what type of bankruptcy you will file. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy lasts a minimum of three years and being that financially tied to the other person for that long may not be what you want to do. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy, on the other hand, may often be completed in as little as a few months. The difference in individual versus joint exemptions should also be evaluated.

If you would like to learn more about how to balance your financial and debt relief needs while going through a divorce, please feel free to visit the divorce and financial issues page of our Illinois family law website.

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Courtney, Clark & Mejias, P.C.
104 South Charles Street
Belleville, IL 62220

Toll Free: 866-921-8767
Phone: 618-207-3458
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