(203) 713-8877
Email Us
Mon - Fri 9:00am - 5:00pm - Other hours by appointment

If you are in the process of getting divorced, it would be wise to consult a consumer attorney to analyze your financial circumstances, ensuring all of your obligations will be accounted for in the Divorce Decree/Separation Agreement, and to determine if you can handle paying them once you go back to a single income after the divorce.  If not, Bankruptcy may be the solution for a complete fresh start.

Here are some important questions you should contemplate during the divorce process to protect yourself:

1. Who will take the marital home and pay its related expenses?

If you are getting a divorce and taking over possession of the marital home, along with taking over the related expenses, especially the mortgage(s) on the home, be sure that your Divorce Decree states the terms of this transfer accurately.

Also, making a budget before the divorce is final will help you determine if you will be able to afford to stay in the home. If it is determined that you can, in fact, afford to live in the home after the divorce but cannot afford to pay your unsecured debts, then make sure the proper documents are recorded on the Land Records after the transfer. This will give you a paper trail you may need to provide in your Bankruptcy case later on when you discharge your unsecured debt.

2. Will you be responsible for credit cards in your ex-spouse’s name?

If so, make sure the Divorce Decree/Separation Agreement spells out all debt you will be taking responsibility for once the divorce is final, along with the last four digits of any account numbers. Once the divorce is final, be sure to contact each company in writing and have the accounts switched into your name, if possible. Wait at least six weeks and then review your credit report(s) to ensure accurate reporting.

3. Will you be ordered to pay alimony or child support?

Keep in mind that these particular types of “debts” are allowable deductible expenses in your Bankruptcy case; this means that they are taken into consideration when qualifying for Bankruptcy. Also, it is important to note that court-ordered alimony and child support are “priority debts” and cannot be discharged in most cases. It is vitally important to have all obligations in this category fully defined and explained in your Divorce Decree/Separation Agreement, as you will likely be fulfilling these obligations whether you file for Bankruptcy or not.

Filing for bankruptcy after a divorce is not the end of the world. In fact, it may be the best thing that ever happens to you, and will help you to move on and start fresh after your divorce.

For more information, please contact Attorney Theresa Rose DeGray at Consumer Legal Services, LLC at 203-713-8877.

Attorney Theresa Rose DeGray in the newspaper stacks at the Yale Library (New Haven, CT).