Divorce and Bankruptcy Lawyers in Salt Lake City
If you have decided to separate or divorce your spouse in Utah, and you are burdened with debts and obligations, you should be aware of your options. Not only must you decide whether to divorce your spouse (a difficult step in itself), but you must decide how to divide your debts and obligations. It may be that you and your spouse each agree to pay one-half of the debts and obligations (a common result), and it may be that you file a bankruptcy to discharge your debts.
Before making a decision, call us at Atticus Legal Group (801-784-0529) and let us give you a FREE consultation. Together, we can determine what your best option is when going forward in a divorce or bankruptcy.
In this article, we will briefly describe the benefits of filing for divorce before a divorce, after a divorce, and (if necessary) during a divorce.
If you decide you need a bankruptcy and a divorce, you should understand that it is generally better to file for bankruptcy before or after you undergo a divorce, but not during a divorce. A divorce is emotionally draining, and so is a bankruptcy. Undergoing both a bankruptcy and a divorce may create confusion in each action (for example, alimony in divorce is based off "need" and a bankruptcy can artificially lower monthly expenses or increase an ability to pay).
The advantages of filing for a bankruptcy with your spouse, before undergoing a divorce, is fairly clear. After your debts have been discharged, you can proceed with a divorce with a clean slate. Both you and your spouse can divide assets equitably, without also having to worry about the pain of the debts. The disadvantage, of course, is that it can become difficult to determine a fair alimony and asset division in the anticipated divorce.
The advantages of filing for a bankruptcy after a divorce can be a little harder to understand, but no less important. The spouse who takes on certain debts in a divorce can offset those debts in other subjects of the divorce. For example, if the debts are in your name only, and you can "take responsibility" for them in exchange for some other benefit (less alimony, more assets, etc.), you will want to discharge them after the divorce is filed.
If you must file for bankruptcy while undergoing a divorce, there are certainly advantages. Filing for bankruptcy creates an "automatic stay" to protect you (and possibly your spouse) from creditors who are collecting your income. Given a divorce is expensive, and muddy finances can only exacerbate the difficulties in a divorce, an automatic stay can open your income to paying for your needs rather than overwhelming debts.
While you should avoid going through a divorce and a bankruptcy simultaneously, you should understand that each action can and will affect the other. The assets you receive in a divorce may determine whether you wish to file a bankruptcy under chapter 7 (discharge all debts, removal of assets) or chapter 13 (payment plans for assets). The bankruptcy you undergo may determine whether you pay or receive alimony or whether you have assets to divide.
Schedule an appointment and see why Atticus Legal Group is the first choice of Law firm in Salt Lake City and surrounding cities throughout the state of Utah. Call Atticus Legal Group today at 801-784-0529.
Is bankruptcy right for you? Ask Atticus Legal Group.
If you are struggling with debt, and you find yourself unable to meet your monthly obligations because of your debt, filing for bankruptcy may be your only option to obtain a fresh start. Whether you file a chapter 7 bankruptcy (where you will discharge your debts, but may lose assets), or a chapter 13 bankruptcy (where you may receive a payment plan for debts), your final result should be debt relief.
Filing for bankruptcy will formally announce to creditors that you cannot meet your current debts and obligations and cannot foresee the possibility in the future. Because of your inability to pay these debts and obligations (often, because of unexpected medical expenses, loss of employment, and other recent changes in lifestyle), you are seeking relief.
Bankruptcy is not for everyone. If you have other available options to pay your debts (often, creditors will reduce the payoff amount), you should be aware of the alternatives and look into them before filing for bankruptcy. Success with alternative options can save your credit: rather than having a bankruptcy on your record, you will have a record of paying off your debt. At worst, you may find yourself filing for bankruptcy later on (while you are limited in the frequency of bankruptcies you file, you can certainly file for bankruptcy once, later than expected).
Your bankruptcy. Filing for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be a giant step in the right direction, providing you with a fresh start.
If your debts are primarily consumer debts (rather than business debt or government debt), you may want to file for bankruptcy under chapter 7. Should you be successful in filing your chapter 7 bankruptcy, your debts will be discharged (with the exception of some government debts, such as student loans); however, you may lose associated assets.
Under chapter 13, you will have an opportunity to save your assets. By filing under chapter 13, you may save your house from foreclosure. If you have secure debts, you may lower their payments by extending the payments over the life of the bankruptcy.
Regardless, before file for bankruptcy, you must decide if bankruptcy, and which type of bankruptcy, is a good fit for you. Atticus Legal Group should be your first call. With years of legal and litigation experience and litigation experience, you will have full confidence that we will take care for your situation.
Call Atticus Legal Group Today for your FREE consultation 801-784-0529