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Divorce and bankruptcy in Massachusetts

If someone is considering filing for both divorce and bankruptcy, it can be very important to determine the order of the filings. While bankruptcy can in some cases eliminate a large portion of a person's debt, it can also require the filer to give up assets to pay back creditors. Additionally, filing for bankruptcy may tie up marital assets, which can have an effect on proerty division.

One situation where an individual might want to file for bankruptcy before filing for divorce is when a couple agrees to file for bankruptcy to eliminate debt before going through the divorce. However, if both do not agree, it may be good to wait until the divorce is complete. Otherwise, someone may end up with their spouse's debt due as a result of asset division.

Another situation where someone may want to wait to file for bankruptcy is if their spouse has a much larger income than their own. If someone's household income is too great, it may prevent them from being eligible for a joint Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, which could keep them from being able to discharge their debts.

There is no one size fits all way to go through a divorce since each couple's experience and issues will be different. Mediation can help a couple who is ending their marriage determine the best way to handle issues like asset division, child care and spousal and child support. This process may also help people determine when or if to file for bankruptcy if large debts are an issue. An attorney can provide advice on these and other matters to a spouse who is facing the end of a marriage.

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