Divorce is stressful enough let alone dealing with joint debts or one of you deciding to file for bankruptcy. If your ex wants to go the bankruptcy route, it may affect you whether the divorce is finalized or not. Read on to get an idea of what happens in this case.
To fully understand your rights and get advice based on your specific situation, you should also get in touch with some of the best bankruptcy attorneys in Oceanside.
How does my ex-spouse filing for bankruptcy affect me?
Even though your divorce decree will state how joint property is divided and how debts will be paid, you may still be obligated to pay certain joint, marital debts and face other challenges if your ex files for bankruptcy.
Depending on the type of bankruptcy, debt, and whether your divorce decree includes a hold harmless clause, the consequences of your ex’s bankruptcy differ.
In case your ex-spouse decides to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, their creditors could reach out to you and seek payment. With Chapter 7, any property owned by your ex will be collected and liquidated to pay off their debts.
If your ex chooses Chapter 13, you’ll have a bit more protection as the debts won’t be discharged or dealt with right away. In this Chapter, the debtor agrees to a repayment plan typically lasting three to five years. During this period, their creditors cannot contact you or any other cosigner.
Hold harmless provisions
Some divorce decrees have hold harmless provisions obligating only one of the spouses to be responsible for certain debts. As the property and debts are divided, you should be able to put the matter of debts to rest. However, the creditors don’t really care who pays them back. So, if your name is to be found, they might try to get their money back through you.
Also, some bankruptcy courts don’t always take the hold harmless clause into consideration. In case your ex’s creditors go after you, you can seek reimbursement through the family court.
Debts you won’t have to pay
You won’t be asked to pay any debts that your ex has acquired solely in their name. For example, any credit card debt or loan in their name should be discharged when they file for bankruptcy, and the creditors won’t come after you.
What about alimony and child support?
If your ex-spouse owes you child support or alimony and they file for bankruptcy, these types of debts cannot be discharged. They will have to keep up with these payments throughout the bankruptcy process for it to be successful.
How to protect yourself
What you can do to keep yourself safe in case your ex plans to file for bankruptcy is:
- Refinance or sell joint property
- Pay off joint credit card accounts
- Notify the creditors you’re not responsible for any future debt of your ex-spouse
- Reach out to a reliable bankruptcy lawyer to get more info and advice
Which bankruptcy attorneys from Oceanside can help you if you or your ex want to file for bankruptcy?
Whether you or your ex-spouse plan to file for bankruptcy to regain your financial freedom, it can be quite complicated for both sides. This is where Chang & Diamond come in. We’re knowledgeable and experienced bankruptcy lawyers devoted to helping you get the most benefits and the least stress from bankruptcy.
We can answer all your questions and guide you through the entire process. If you are worried about how the current inflation affects your financial prospects, you’d like to buy a car, or you’re thinking about getting a personal loan during Chapter 13, our expert team is at your disposal in Oceanside and across the San Diego area.
Schedule your free initial consultation today!