Financial stress is just one reason why many married couples are not able to make their marriages work.  When married couples can no longer keep up with their debt, they may decide that bankruptcy is the best way to eliminate their debt.  While bankruptcy has enabled millions of married couples to eliminate their debt, the bankruptcy process can be tricky in situations where married couples wish to divorce before the completion of their bankruptcy.  A typical Chapter 13 bankruptcy will take approximately four to six years to complete.  This time period may not seem too long in the grand scheme of things, but this time period may seem like an eternity for married couples that wish to divorce as soon as possible.

Getting a Divorce During Your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Proceeding

Many married couples have already determined that they no longer wish to stay married by the time they file for bankruptcy, wishing to complete the bankruptcy process before terminating the marriage.  If married couples are able to continue living their lives as peacefully as possible, and do so for the entire bankruptcy process, the end result will be a discharge of shared debt.  For others, the necessity for divorce may be too great to wait until a bankruptcy proceeding is over.  Whatever the reason may be for the quick divorce, it is important that married couples understand how their Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding may be affected by the divorce.

What Are My Options if I Get a Divorce During My Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Divorced couples with a pending Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding may choose to continue making monthly payments without the need to disrupt or sever the bankruptcy proceeding.  If an agreement cannot be reached that allows the bankruptcy proceeding to go forward as intended, divorced spouses may choose to sever or bifurcate their joint bankruptcy proceeding, leaving the spouses with their own individual bankruptcy proceedings.  Sometimes this process can go smoothly and other times it can be quite stressful. 

If divorced couples decide to sever their joint bankruptcy proceeding, they may be able to convert their own individual bankruptcy proceeding from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7.  This particular option may be a good idea depending on each spouse’s financial condition at the time the bankruptcy is severed.  For example, if a spouse earns less income after a divorce, he or she may qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and discharge debt in a matter of months as opposed to years.  However, it is crucial that individuals considering this option are aware that their house and other property may be taken and sold in order to satisfy debt in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding.  For those without such property, Chapter 7 may be the perfect solution.  With the assistance of a legal professional, you will have a better understanding of what options will work best for you.   

Contact Kansas City Bankruptcy Attorney Douglas Breyfogle Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

If you are considering bankruptcy as a means of eliminating your debt, and you also are planning to get a divorce, you will need to speak with a legal professional who can explain how your bankruptcy may be impacted by a divorce.  It is always best to seek the advice of an attorney before pursuing any legal matter.  While many people are able to successfully handle a bankruptcy on their own, working alongside an attorney will help to ensure you don’t make those small mistakes that could negatively impact your bankruptcy.  Kansas City Bankruptcy Attorney Douglas Breyfogle has more than twenty years of experience helping clients eliminate their debt in the most efficient way possible.  He has a thorough understanding of how different factors in your life can play a role in your bankruptcy.  If you would like to discuss your financial situation with Mr. Breyfogle, contact our office today by calling (913) 742-8700 to schedule your free consultation.