Living in Florida does not make you immune to the effects negative financial situations have on a marriage. Bankruptcy may be the answer to your financial woes even if you decide to divorce. However, which one you decide to do first depends on your unique circumstances.
Divorce Magazine recommends not filing both at the same time. Bankruptcy can hold up your divorce proceedings as the family court judge awaits for the decision from the bankruptcy judge. The automatic stay placed on your assets by the bankruptcy proceedings makes separating your assets impossible until the hold lifts.
If you file for bankruptcy prior to filing for divorce, the fastest way to proceed is by filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 is still possible but comes with additional challenges for those wishing to swiftly part ways as married spouses. You can restructure the 3-5 repayment plan in Chapter 13 if you have already gone through bankruptcy court and wish to file for divorce.
Each marriage situation is different and can dictate which court case to file first. A difficult marriage may make divorce the primary choice. Then you can file bankruptcy after the divorce finalizes. If you are amicable, filing for bankruptcy may make the divorce go smoothly and allow you to take advantage of double exemptions.
Remember that bankruptcy does not discharge or eliminate all assets including any alimony or child support you may owe. Keep in mind you likely need two attorneys, one for each case. This information is intended only to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.