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Consider filing for bankruptcy before filing for divorce

Your marriage is crumbling and your finances are in shambles. You and your spouse are considering divorce, while at the same time weighing options for bankruptcy. You are truly in a difficult situation, and it is reasonable that you could face difficulty maintaining an objective point of view. However, before you go filing divorce papers, you should consider consulting with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

It's no secret that money conflicts are a huge component of many divorces. In fact, about a quarter of divorces in the United States are based on money-related conflicts. But, if you and your spouse could find a way to start fresh with your finances, it is possible that you may find room to improve your marriage as well.

Filing for joint bankruptcy -- rather than filing individual bankruptcy -- incurs the same fees, so it is cheaper to file for bankruptcy as a couple rather than to divorce first. Even if your marriage is beyond saving, completing your bankruptcy before filing for divorce may save you a great deal of time and money in the long run.

On a more hopeful note, could it be possible that completing a bankruptcy with your spouse will give you the tools to address the underlying issues surrounding money in your relationship? Once your bankruptcy is complete, you may find that your marriage has room to breathe and find a new path toward working together. With proper legal guidance, you can walk through a bankruptcy and create a fresh start for a new chapter of life, whether it is with your spouse or on your own.

Source: Findlaw, "Bankruptcy and Divorce: Which Should You File First?," accessed Sep. 15, 2017

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