GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOTV) - We live in tough financial times and, unfortunately, financial difficulties can lead to divorce. In these situations, couples often file for divorce and then file for bankruptcy. The timing of when the bankruptcy is filed - either before, during, or after the divorce can have a big impact on the divorce case.
Each case needs to be evaluated separately, but filing for bankruptcy during a divorce case can be put it "on hold" while the bankruptcy court determines if creditors will be paid and how the marital assets will be used for any repayments.
According to Steven Williams, Family Law Attorney at DAWN, both parties in a marriage are responsible for debt incurred during their marriage. A divorce judgment divides debt between spouses, but their creditors are not required to abide by the divorce judgment. Therefore, if your husband files for bankruptcy after the divorce is final, and he has agreed to pay the marital credit card debt, creditors may come after you for payment. The terms of the divorce judgment cannot be eliminated in a bankruptcy filing so you would have to file a motion to have him pay his agreed debt under the divorce judgment. If he cannot, you may be stuck paying those debts. However, if you file for bankruptcy before you are divorced you can protect yourself from possibly being held responsible for debts your ex does not pay so in most cases it is advisable to file before the end of the marriage.
To get an opinion on your circumstances, see a bankruptcy attorney.
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