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Columbus, OH 614-360-2942
Huntington, WV 304-519-4354
New Albany, OH

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How vehicle accident fault could impact insurance claims

Every state has a law that applies when auto accidents occur, and especially when cases go to court. While most motor vehicle accidents in Ohio with obvious fault evidence are settled beforehand, this is not true in all cases. Insurance companies and claimants often...

Common things couples might overlook during their divorce

A divorcing couple often faces emotional and financial turmoil during the process. Dividing a single household into two futures, even if it is the best decision for both spouses, can cause significant stress and worry. Unfortunately, many couples become overwhelmed...

How to prepare financially for a divorce

Ohio is an equitable property division state, which means that you might be entitled to a majority share of a marital estate in a final divorce settlement. However, even if you are expecting to receive valuable assets as part of such a settlement, you'll still need to...

What to know about the Chapter 7 bankruptcy means test

Chapter 7 bankruptcy gives consumers in Columbus, Ohio, a legal way to remove burdening debt they can no longer handle. Only unsecured debts, such as medical and credit card debt, can get erased in bankruptcy. The secured debts, those that are backed by collateral,...

Contesting a Will During Probate in Ohio

When Ohio residents put together their wills and estates, they do everything in their power to make sure that they've covered all of their bases. They usually work with attorneys to make sure that their beneficiaries are clearly indicated, and they work on an asset...

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Bankruptcy and divorce: the interplay

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Divorce and bankruptcy are inextricably linked for many couples.

Studies have repeatedly shown that arguments about finances are consistently a major contributing factor to divorce actions. Likewise, when a couple is dealing with seemingly insurmountable debt to the point where arguments regularly ensue, it is often wise to consider filing for bankruptcy. If you are considering both ending your marriage and filing for bankruptcy, you likely have many questions. Chief among these may be: “which should I file first?” The answer, like so many other things in the legal arena, isn’t exactly cut and dry. It actually is highly dependent upon your unique circumstances, your state’s divorce laws, available bankruptcy exemptions and other factors.

How divorce and bankruptcy intertwine

For many couples, divorce and bankruptcy go hand in hand. Either a divorce leads to bankruptcy, or the need for bankruptcy (and the ensuing stress, disagreements, tension, anxiety, etc.) – particularly if a couple tried to avoid the inevitable and struggled against the tide of debt in vain for months or years – leads to divorce.

In some ways, it’s a “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” kind of situation. Some make it through divorce – particularly if the divorce was highly contested and required protracted litigation – only to realize that the financial upheaval of establishing two households, making child support or alimony payments, paying off marital debts, trying to make the mortgage payment on the marital home without the financial assistance of a spouse, tax consequences and other related expenses have driven them to need bankruptcy protection to stop creditor harassment and escape unmanageable debt.

Others realize prior to filing for divorce that bankruptcy is going to be their best option, without even taking into account additional financial stressors that will resort from the divorce itself. This may be the result of unemployment, overwhelming medical debt due to an unexpected illness, trying to prevent foreclosure, dealing with the impact of a failed business (something all-too-common in recent years as our country has struggled to recover from the devastating recession that affected the global economy) or other causes.

Which first – divorce or bankruptcy?

If divorce hasn’t been the impetus for a bankruptcy filing, then there could be questions about the pros and cons of which complicated legal issue should be tackled first. Unfortunately, there is no “cookie cutter” answer. For some, it is advantageous for a couple to go through a joint bankruptcy filing prior to divorce in order to maximize the number and type of bankruptcy exemptions available and to get the best possible debt discharge for a wide range of marital debts. For others, going through divorce prior to filing for individual bankruptcy relief is the best possible solution.

Only you – and your experienced attorney – can decide which option is right for you. When you are contemplating both divorce and bankruptcy, having a lawyer at your side with in-depth knowledge of both family law and the bankruptcy process can be invaluable, and can give you confidence that you are taking the right steps to protect yourself. To learn more about the intersection of bankruptcy and divorce, contact Amy M. Levine and Associates. From offices in Columbus and Huntington, the firm helps clients throughout Ohio and West Virginia; contact them today.

Keywords: Bankruptcy, divorce, debt, creditor harassment

Amy M. Levine
View Profile

Our Latest Blog Posts

How vehicle accident fault could impact insurance claims

Every state has a law that applies when auto accidents occur, and especially when cases go to court. While most motor vehicle accidents in Ohio with obvious fault evidence are settled beforehand, this is not true in all cases. Insurance companies and claimants often...

Common things couples might overlook during their divorce

A divorcing couple often faces emotional and financial turmoil during the process. Dividing a single household into two futures, even if it is the best decision for both spouses, can cause significant stress and worry. Unfortunately, many couples become overwhelmed...

How to prepare financially for a divorce

Ohio is an equitable property division state, which means that you might be entitled to a majority share of a marital estate in a final divorce settlement. However, even if you are expecting to receive valuable assets as part of such a settlement, you'll still need to...

What to know about the Chapter 7 bankruptcy means test

Chapter 7 bankruptcy gives consumers in Columbus, Ohio, a legal way to remove burdening debt they can no longer handle. Only unsecured debts, such as medical and credit card debt, can get erased in bankruptcy. The secured debts, those that are backed by collateral,...

Contesting a Will During Probate in Ohio

When Ohio residents put together their wills and estates, they do everything in their power to make sure that they've covered all of their bases. They usually work with attorneys to make sure that their beneficiaries are clearly indicated, and they work on an asset...

Visit Our Blog

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