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Attorneys for Bankruptcy in a Chester County Divorce

Dealing With Complex Property Division Issues During Bankruptcy and Divorce in Chester County

Making the hard choice of ending a marriage comes with an almost endless number of conversations about finances. You may think marriage is based on love, but the truth is that money plays a major role in how relationships are dissolved. In many cases, financial worries contribute to a divorce, and even follow you long after it is finalized. If you or your soon-to-be-ex are struggling with a potential bankruptcy, then you need to work with a skilled family law attorney who can guide you through the process.

At the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C., our lead attorney has more than 25 years of experience representing clients in Chester County. We can sit down with you in a free initial consultation, learn about your situation, and explain your options. If you do choose to retain us, we will comb through your finances with a forensic expert, carefully divide your property, and advocate for you to receive your fair share, all-the-while keeping in mind the impact of bankruptcy. To discuss your case with a knowledgeable Chester County family law attorney, call us at (610) 645-0100.

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Bankruptcy Can Delay Your Divorce

Bankruptcies go through the federal government, which means it will ultimately have authority in how your finances are distributed. However, divorce is processed by your state’s courts and will have to take a backseat to the bankruptcy proceedings. When you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the federal court will block access to your financial assets to keep creditors from coming after you – which includes state governments.

If you initiate a divorce and a bankruptcy at the same time, the bankruptcy proceedings will take priority and delay your divorce proceedings, because the Chester County family court will not be able to review and divide your property. This includes a three- to six-month block for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and an up to five-year block for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you are required to submit spousal support to your soon-to-be-ex spouse, then you will need to do it throughout the block and until your divorce is finalized, which will add more strain to your finances.

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How a Bankruptcy Affects a Chester County Divorce

You should consider when and how to file for bankruptcy before moving forward with a divorce. Several factors, such as if you and your soon-to-be-ex have joint credit and if you file together or separately, can influence how your bankruptcy will be handled and its resulting impact on your divorce.

First, if you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse share credit or debt, then you should file together. If one of you attempts to file for bankruptcy on his own, then the banks could come after your ex and drag her into the bankruptcy anyway. Doing it together can also help you resolve any marital debt prior to your marriage, which can simplify the property division process.

Second, the timeline of your divorce and bankruptcy must always be considered. Filing for bankruptcy during a divorce will extend the timeline and could lead to additional spousal support payments, even if you take the Chapter 7 route. Instead, it is best to resolve your bankruptcy first and develop a payment plan before beginning divorce proceedings. This will give you a better handle on your finances and ensure you are fully prepared for potential child support or alimony payments.

It is important to note that bankruptcy does not affect support payments. Even if you are unable to pay your creditors, Chester County courts will still expect you to pay spousal support, alimony, and child support. It is best to handle your bankruptcy first to avoid stacking too many payment plans at once.

One other thing to consider is your obligations to a trustee. The trustee is the party that will oversee your bankruptcy repayment plan and is the one you will make payments to before they are passed on to your creditors. If you have filed for bankruptcy, the trustee will need to review your divorce settlement to determine if it is financially viable. This will include reviewing your payment plans to ensure that both you and your soon-to-be-ex can meet your obligations. The trustee has final authority over your finances, so you will want to consider this before beginning bankruptcy or divorce proceedings.

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Why You Should Contact the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C.

For more than 25 years, Chester County family law attorney Sheryl R. Rentz has represented clients in complex family law matters. Whether it is carefully reviewing a high-asset divorce or advocating for fair child support payments before a judge, Sheryl has the expertise to advocate for your best interests. If you work with the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C., your case will be handled with professionalism and experience. Our team can sit down with you in a free consultation and advise you of the best route in your divorce and bankruptcy. To get started, call us at (610) 645-0100.

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