Should I File For Bankruptcy Before or After I Get a Divorce?

A married couple living in Joliet or Will County, Illinois who is considering filing bankruptcy and divorce will have many factors to consider determining which they should file first. These factors include how much property needs to be divided, how much debt the couple has and what type of bankruptcy the couple plans on filing. Bankruptcy courts also treat income differently based on whether a person is married, separated or single.

If a married couple living in Will County, Illinois qualifies for a chapter 7 bankruptcy, the most prudent course of action would be to file bankruptcy before filing for divorce. By filing jointly the couple will save money on bankruptcy filing fees, the attorney fees will be shared, and all debts will be addressed under one bankruptcy case saving time and money.

Another factor a married couple in Illinois will want to consider is that Illinois allows married couples “double exemptions” when filing, meaning each spouse may claim the full exemption amount for any property individually owned by that spouse. If the couple owns a lot of property this Illinois “double exemption” policy may be the best course of action.

If the married couple living in Will County does not qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy, then a chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a better option. A chapter 13 lasts longer, which will delay the divorce for up to 3-5 years, in contrast a chapter 7 bankruptcy may only delay the divorce for 90 days.

If you are a married person in Joliet or Will County Illinois considering filing for divorce and bankruptcy and want some advice on which to file first, contact Hamilton and Antonsen at 815.729.9220 to set up a free consultation.

Written By: Michael Pollock

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