At first glance, deciding which comes first, the chicken or the egg, seems a trivial and amusing matter. However, if one considers the philosophical implications
of the question, it can be said that one may be trying to determine and solve the theory of evolution and timing of the creation of man. Similarly, for those experiencing the many times painful effects of marital distress and marital separation, the problem of dealing with the accompanying debts and imminent bankruptcy is overwhelming. For the Miami bankruptcy attorney who meets a person in marital chaos, one who has not paid debts and is not able to continue on a familial relationship for any reason, the question is always posed as an either or situation.
SHOULD I FILE BANKRUPTCY FIRST OR FILE DIVORCE FIRST?
The answer partly depends on the particular circumstances of the separating parties and the willingness of both parties to “resolve” the situation, either together or separately for their own benefit, for their mutual benefit, or for the benefit of all others involved, including the children. The answer also partly depends on the factual financial picture of the person involved. There are specific federal bankruptcy guidelines that apply to married parties as to income, dependents, debts and assets. Both the divorce and bankruptcy attorney has an ethical duty to represent his client to the best of their ability according to the oath taken at the time of admission to the attorney bar. To that end, every attorney must do what is best for his client.
It may not be best to file bankruptcy alone, it may be best to file together under the circumstances. Which one comes first may depend on whether the person is the husband or the wife. It may depend on whether there are alimony, distribution of assets, business assets or other issues. There are always the questions of mutual debts, inheritances, what to do with the house and who is going to claim the children on the IRS returns. All these decisions impact the filing of each case whether it is done first or after.
What is most important in making a determination for a bankruptcy and a divorce attorney is to have as many facts as possible. The more complete and accurate the information is provided to your attorney, the more accurate the assessment of your situation is going to be. At these critical times, engaging an experienced attorney with your important facts, will allow for a more comprehensive understanding of your particular situation at that first meeting. If you are in the process of thinking about divorce and have debt issues that merit bankruptcy consideration, call our office for a free consultation at (305)820-0334. You don’t have to go through this process alone.