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Bankruptcy and Colorado Divorce

Piles of moneyIt is not uncommon for bankruptcy to be filed in conjunction with divorce. Divorce can have substantial economic impacts. Usually people file bankruptcy to obtain a discharge of debt. However, some debt is not dischargeable. For example, domestic support obligations and student loan debt are generally not dischargeable. Child support and spousal maintenance obligations fall under domestic support. Other obligations may fall under domestic support as well.

Bankruptcy can give a person a fresh financial start. However a bankruptcy can remain on a credit report for at least 7 years and impact the ability to obtain credit. The intersection between bankruptcy and divorce can be complicated. To start a case, the debtors file a bankruptcy petition, a statement of financial affairs, and list of debts and assets. Debtors have to complete credit counseling and participate in a meeting of creditors. The bankruptcy trustee and the debtors attend and creditors may attend. Though for the most part creditors do not attend unless they have a substantial financial interest.

Impact on Divorce

If either spouse files bankruptcy while the dissolution is pending, property settlement will likely be stayed unless a spouse obtains a relief from the stay. The bankruptcy proceeding should not impact the establishment of support obligations and does not impact the establishment of allocation of parental responsibilities. In general, most domestic relations courts defer to the bankruptcy court and will hold most or all of the financial aspects of the dissolution in abeyance pending resolution of the bankruptcy. It is usually preferable to file bankruptcy jointly and receive a discharge prior to filing for dissolution to avoid the complications of pursuing both simultaneously.

If one spouse won’t agree to file jointly prior to divorce, it is usually best for the other spouse to wait to file bankruptcy until after the dissolution is final to avoid a scenario where a court allocates some of the non-filing spouse’s debt to the filing spouse knowing that the filing spouse’s debt may be discharged.

Protecting Marital Property Interests

With regards to real property not held jointly and purchased during the marriage, it is advisable to record with the county clerk a Notice of Lis Pendens immediately upon the filing the dissolution petition. The filing puts all third parties on notice of both spouse’s interests in the property. If the Lis Pendens is recorded at the time a bankruptcy is filed, the trustee will recognize the non-titled spouse’s ownership and equity interest.

Turning Change Into Opportunity in Colorado Springs

You will want an experienced attorney on your side for your one bite at the court apple. An experienced attorney can guide you through Colorado Springs divorce and family law matters by negotiating, mediating and litigating. This allows you to focus on moving forward to a better future rather than on spending your time trying to figure out the overly complex court system. Colorado Springs Divorce and family law matters are difficult to navigate alone.

The court system is more complex than it should be. Change can be stressful, however it can lead to a better future. Janko Family Law Solutions helps ensure that your best interests are protected and that you are aware of your legal rights and obligations. Contact us at 719-344-5523 or complete our online form to set up a free thirty-minute informational consultation.

Client Reviews
Excellent service! Sabra and her team work diligently while looking for all the little details that impact the case. Im so grateful to have found this firm. Great communication from start to finish. Also they were very patient with my lack of understanding the court process. Highly recommend! Chris Faucett
As an active duty service member I can definitely say that at Janko Family Law Solutions I was served with the utmost professionalism, in a timely and efficient manner. Very glad I discovered these experienced professionals to assist me in my legal circumstances, and I will certainly be recommending them to people in the future. Rebecca Cody
Sabra and her office are wonderful to work with! ... very knowledgeable, supportive, and compassionate during the entire process. The experience and legal expertise are evident. Tim Halladay
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