If you have recently been through a divorce, you know how much your life has change. Perhaps one of the changes that you were hoping for, relief from debt, hasn't happened to your satisfaction. Divorce and financial stress are closely related so this situation is very common.
If you are looking to start your life over and are considering bankruptcy after your divorce, there are many things you have to consider. It's not always an easy process and it may or may not be right for your situation. It's always best to have an attorney who is skilled in bankruptcy and family law to help you through the process.
What bankruptcy does and doesn't do
If your debt is overwhelming, there are many things you can do short of bankruptcy. The first is to talk to those whom you owe money and see if arrangements can be made. Bankruptcy is an important tool for negotiating those debts down, but it usually doesn't eliminate them.
What matters most is a repayment plan that will get you back on track. These usually stretch out over three to five years. It doesn't matter whether you have filed for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, the two kinds of bankruptcy. The end result is often the same.
What you cannot get out of in bankruptcy are child support and alimony payments. There may be a case for reducing those if you have recently lost your job, but that is a separate matter. Any changes to your divorce agreement have to go through family court. The procedure is roughly the same as it was when your divorce was first settled.
In all cases, bankruptcy should not proceed without contacting your ex if you have recently divorced. Any debts taken on during the marriage have the potential to be assigned to the other partner. Kansas is an equitable distribution state, meaning that all assets and debts were assigned at the time of your divorce based on the situation at that time. Bankruptcy does change that, and creditors will pursue your ex if they can.
How to proceed
There is never any single solution for debt problems. Every situation is unique. It's important to have an experienced debt relief attorney on your side who knows how to make the most of the options you have, based on your own individual situation. A recent divorce is just one of many potential complications which need to be worked through careful to arrive at the best solution for you.