Bloomingdale Bankruptcy in Divorce Attorneys
Skilled Lawyers for Bankruptcy During Divorce in DuPage County
Many marriages dissolve because of financial issues. When couples reach the point of having more debt than they can manage, it can put enormous stress on everyone involved. In many cases, it makes sense for divorcing couples to also file bankruptcy so they can clean up their finances and have a fresh start. Bankruptcy in divorce involves competing legal issues and can become quite complex. If you are facing this situation, it is essential to be represented by an attorney with an in-depth understanding of both divorce and bankruptcy laws.
At Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices, we have been providing skilled representation to clients throughout Illinois for over 40 years. Our attorneys have extensive experience with family law and divorce matters. We have been recognized by our peers not only for our skill and experience, but for our unwavering commitment to serving the needs of our clients.
Our lawyers are honest, compassionate, responsive, and down to earth. We keep extended evening and weekend hours for your convenience, and we stay in contact regularly to keep you updated on the progress of your case. If you are considering bankruptcy during your divorce, our legal team works collaboratively to provide the most practical and effective solution to ensure you will emerge from your divorce in the best possible financial position.
When to File Bankruptcy in a Divorce
Couples are often unsure whether it is better to file for bankruptcy before or after a divorce. If you have a cooperative spouse and are planning to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy (full debt liquidation), it usually makes sense to file before the divorce proceeding. There are several reasons to consider filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy pre-divorce, including:
- Lower Costs: The court filing fee is the same for both individual and joint bankruptcies. Filing before the divorce can help you and your spouse save on legal fees.
- Fast Processing: A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can usually be discharged within a few months. Many couples choose to do this first and work out the other details of the divorce while the bankruptcy is in process.
- Double Asset Exemption: Illinois allows married couples to take a double exemption in bankruptcy for assets such as equity in a home, personal property, retirement accounts and pensions, etc. Filing bankruptcy before the divorce can ensure you keep most (if not all) of your marital assets.
- Simplified Debt Division: Deciding which debts belong to which spouse can be a costly and time-consuming process. By discharging these debts through bankruptcy, this process becomes much simpler.
One issue that may necessitate filing bankruptcy after the divorce is income. If the combined income of you and your spouse is too high to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may have no choice but to wait until after the divorce, when you can each file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy individually.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is an entirely different situation. This type of bankruptcy is essentially a debt consolidation in which you, your creditors, and the court agree on a plan to repay your debts (often at significantly reduced interest rates) over a period of 3 to 5 years. If you and your spouse file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy prior to divorce, you may be required to continue making payments together throughout the remainder of the repayment plan, or you may need to restructure your plan to divide the outstanding debt between the two of you. If you are considering filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it often makes more sense to file individually after the divorce is completed.
Divorce and bankruptcy can become more complicated when a spouse files on their own during the middle of a divorce proceeding. This creates an automatic stay (injunction) against the creditors, and a bankruptcy estate is established that is outside the jurisdiction of the divorce court. When this situation arises, it is important to be represented by legal counsel with in-depth knowledge of how these issues intertwine to ensure your interests are protected. For a free consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate bankruptcy in divorce attorneys, contact our office today at 630-932-9100.