Bankruptcy and Divorce Lawyer

San Diego Bankruptcy and Divorce Lawyer

Bankruptcy Before, During or After Divorce

San Diego County Attorney

Are you considering divorce and worried about how to manage debt from the marriage? Are you and your spouse tired of fighting over financial problems and looking at bankruptcy as a way to stop marital conflict?

Bankruptcy is a legal way for Americans to obtain debt relief, just as divorce is a legal way for spouses to separate and go their own ways. Sometimes, bankruptcy and divorce go together. If this is the case in your life, consult a bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible. You need practical information and sound advice to help you make a plan that best protects your financial interests.

At Law Offices of Daniel G. Shay in San Diego, we focus almost exclusively on bankruptcy law. We offer our clients practical advice regarding debt relief options and help them make smart choices during difficult times. If you have questions about how to handle a bankruptcy and divorce, contact us to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer.

Call 619-222-SHAY(7429) for a Free Consultation About Bankruptcy Before, During or After Divorce

Generally, in a divorce, each spouse takes control of his or her individual debt. Individual debt means debt accrued before the marriage and debt accrued during the marriage that can be shown to be completely separate from marital finances. All community debt — that is, debt that is not separate property — is marital property and will be divided equally between the spouses under California’s community property laws.

These rules of property division effect the timing and structure of any planned bankruptcy filings. For example:

  • Generally, bankruptcy cannot be used to eliminate debt that was assigned to a spouse during divorce proceedings. That is, if a spouse agreed to pay $50,000 of debt in exchange for something else, that $50,000 may not be dischargeable in bankruptcy.
  • If spouses divorce soon after one spouse files for bankruptcy, creditors could conceivably assign those debts to the non-filing spouse and begin collection actions against the non-filing spouse.

In addition to those issues relating to property division during a divorce, other questions are relevant when spouses are considering both bankruptcy and divorce:

  • Should the spouses file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy jointly, even if they are considering divorce? Would it save on attorneys’ fees and filing fees to do so?
  • Under what circumstances should a married couple contemplate a Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
  • Are the spouses negotiating a home loan modification? If so, they should wait to file bankruptcy until after the loan modification is complete because loan modifications are not usually possible while bankruptcy is pending.

These examples show the importance of making a plan in advance, if it appears that both bankruptcy and divorce are in your future. When done right, bankruptcy and divorce can result in a fresh start both financially and personally. If your bankruptcy is handled by someone who does not understand the interactions between bankruptcy and divorce, you could end up with more financial and personal stress in your life — rather than less.

Learn more about how Law Offices of Daniel G. Shay can help. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal needs and your financial concerns.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.