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Should you file bankruptcy or divorce first?

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You and your spouse have decided to get a divorce — and it isn’t a cordial one. Your spouse abruptly abandons you, the marital home and the majority of the debts and doesn’t seem to care much about what’s happening to your credit.

What do you do now?

First, don’t rush out to file bankruptcy just yet. While it’s unpleasant to deal with a bunch of mounting debts and the increasingly anxious contacts from creditors, you need to worry about your own financial future just now — not your creditors.

If your spouse is willing to delay the divorce, it may be to your advantage to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy prior to your divorce. That will clear away a number of debts (if not all of them) and make the division of marital assets much easier once you do get around to divorce. Since a Chapter 7 bankruptcy typically is over in a matter of months, this could appeal to your spouse even if you aren’t on great terms.

If your spouse isn’t willing to delay the divorce or you think you don’t qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and will have to file Chapter 13 (which can take three to five years to resolve), you don’t want to throw the divorce in disarray by filing bankruptcy. The automatic stay that goes into place once you file for bankruptcy could make it impossible for the marital assets to be divided — and that could make your divorce a very long and troubled process.

Divorce often results in complicated financial situations. It can be hard to know what to do without some experienced guidance. Talk to an attorney about your situation and learn as much as you can about the property division process before you make any decisions. Remember — just because your spouse is acting rashly, you don’t have to follow suit!

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Ms. Marvel has assisted me regarding child support issues for the last 3 years. She is very knowledgeable in child support issues in Texas and also across state lines such as California. She came highly recommended to me by a fellow attorney, the highest compliment she can receive in my opinion. She is professional, responsive and gets the job done. Her staff is very helpful, returns calls and Karen and her staff are responsive to issues that arise. I highly recommend Karen Marvel to anyone seeking a family law attorney in Texas.
Karen Marvel is an excellent family lawyer, who presented at a legal conference I attended. I learned valuable information and tools from her that I now use to help my own clients. After the conference, I’ve called on her a few times when I needed her expertise in child support matters, and she was always willing to help. She is extremely well-respected in our legal community, and I highly recommend her services.
I recently hired Megan to represent me in my divorce. She was very easy to work with, responsive, and efficient. I was extremely impressed with her timeliness and was overall very pleased with her work. I would recommend her if looking for a divorce attorney…
I was very pleased with Megan’s performance in court. She has been a blessing in our lives and single handedly changed our lives for the better . It was a very difficult case on my end and was brilliant with negotiations with OAG. I will always be grateful to Megan and wish the best of luck in future cases…
When I needed a lawyer I asked my coworkers for their recommendations. Three of my coworkers recommended Brandon Wong and they were very satisfied with his services. I contacted Brandon and he handled my divorce in a timely and efficient manner…
I have felt so important to Brandon since the day we first met. I had a million questions and worries, Brandon made me feel informed of all possibilities and confident in him.
Meeting you and having your professional and emotional help during the process of my divorce has definitely been invaluable. In the professional aspect, you are not only a brilliant attorney but you are reasonable, just, and fair. During the process of my divorce I found myself completely…
Brandon represented me in a child custody matter. He is professional, educated, informative and provided his services in an economical manner. He worked to obtain a settlement outside of the courtroom. When the case required a visit to court, his experience guided me through smoothly and ultimately delivered the decision in my favor…
Please don’t hesitate to hire Brandon Wong. He genuinely cares about his clients. He protects his clients, he returns calls and e-mails, which is critical when you are in a situation where you need an attorney…
I would recommend Mr. Wong for his professional services. He was very attentive to my case, returning phone calls and emails before the end of every business day…
Brandon handled my divorce in a first class manner. He was always available to talk when I had questions or needed advice. He was a relentless lawyer and ensured that the settlement was fair and just…
I highly recommend Mr. Wong if you are looking for an honest and hardworking attorney who is more interested in properly representing his clients than making a quick dollar…
We received excellent legal help from Brandon Wong. Our family had a custody issue that had us spinning our wheels for a year due to the complexity. Brandon handled our case quickly and with heart. We felt genuinely cared for during the entire process and will continue to recommend him to anyone who needs legal help…
Brandon handled my divorce and made it easier than I could have imagined. He took care of everything, totally minimized the stress on me, and was extremely professional while remaining very approachable and compassionate…
Hired Mr. Wong to represent me on a child-support arrears enforcement case. Dad was ordered to pay child-support in 1991, and up until my daughter turned 18 years of age…

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