Getting a divorce costs money; more if you and your spouse are having trouble reaching an agreement about division of property, child custody or other issues.
When your financial situation also dictates the need to file for bankruptcy at the same time as your divorce, the order in which you file for them can either wind up saving you money or costing you much more in the long run.
This article will explore potential costs you might face for your divorce and bankruptcy, and offer tips on how you might save money as you move toward a fresh start, both personally and financially.If you are interested in learning more about divorce and bankruptcy in Wisconsin, read the following articles by The Fitzgerald Law Firm to learn more:
- Bankruptcy and Divorce: Which is Best to File First in Wisconsin?
- Annulment Versus Divorce in Wisconsin: 4 Common Questions Answered
- How to Choose the Right Type of Bankruptcy in Wisconsin
Reducing the Cost of Bankruptcy and Divorce
It may seem counter-intuitive, but it does cost money to file for bankruptcy. If you and your spouse can work together by filing a joint bankruptcy in Wisconsin (if that’s the right choice for you), it’s possible to save money in the following ways:
- You may only be charged for one set of attorney fees
- By filing jointly, you may save on court costs by only paying one bankruptcy fee (the bankruptcy filing fee is the same whether you file individually or jointly)
- If you work with a bankruptcy attorney to help ensure you are making the right decisions and maximizing your end result, it would cost you less than hiring two different attorneys
- Bankruptcy can greatly simplify your property and debt issues when it comes time to work out the details of your divorce later, saving time and money
Before pursuing a joint bankruptcy filing, however, it’s important to inform your bankruptcy attorney you also plan to get a divorce, as there could be a potential conflict of interest in representing both of you.
If you are considering both divorce and bankruptcy, but have not yet contacted an informed and skilled attorney to help advise you of your options, you should do so before you pursue next steps.
Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy First Can Simplify Your Divorce
If you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse both want to file for debt liquidation or Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Wisconsin, doing so jointly before you file for divorce can potentially make your divorce far less complicated, requiring less time from your divorce attorney and thereby costing you less.
Chapter 7 is a relatively fast-paced form of bankruptcy, usually only taking a few months to resolve (versus Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, which can take 3-5 years to resolve).
If you pursue and qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy prior to your divorce, think of the time (and attorney fees) you would save having worked through issues like property division and allocation of debts ahead of time through your bankruptcy filing.
The challenge can be in qualifying for this type of debt forgiveness. If you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Wisconsin, this is a great option if you and your spouse are anxious to begin your divorce sooner than later.
If you feel a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the right choice for you, you might consider filing individually after your divorce. Confused yet? As you might have noticed, all of this can get complicated very quickly, so it’s best to discuss this matter with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer in Wisconsin.
Don’t Underestimate the Value of Cooperation
It’s not easy for couples who are in a state of financial and personal crisis to sit down together and sort out the details of their personal and financial lives. Yet, being able to find some common ground to explore the most cost-effective path to achieve your shared goals is an incredibly important and valuable undertaking.
While it may not be easy, you will likely both find it to be worthwhile in the end.
It can also be helpful and less expensive to use the same Wisconsin bankruptcy attorney. Once again, remember to inform your attorney that you also plan to file for divorce.
Consulting an attorney who is knowledgeable with both Wisconsin bankruptcy law and divorce would be a great first step in exploring the best course and order of action.
FREE 15-Minute Consultation
Since bankrupcy and divorce can be complicated enough on their own, balancing these two simutaneously really deserves the attention of an experienced attorney.
The Fitzgerald Law Firm specializes in both bankruptcy and divorce and is dedicated to helping clients as they take steps to improve their financial future. This law firm based in Beloit is pleased to offer a FREE 15-minute consultation at no obligation to discuss your situation and explore your legal options. Don’t delay. Click below to reach out today.