Attorney Handles Issues of Personal Bankruptcy and Divorce in Queens
Protecting you when family and financial issues intersect
Financial hardship often is at the root of marital strife. At Mark E. Cohen, Esq., I understand how to protect you when legal issues involving family and finance are both on the table.
Filing for bankruptcy and divorce at the same time might seem to make sense, especially if you want to eliminate the credit card debt that accumulated during the marriage. But bankruptcy law and divorce are separate and often at odds with each other.
How bankruptcy can affect a divorce in Queens
Filing for bankruptcy during your divorce can drag out both processes. A family law judge can establish child support, custody and visitation, but rulings about your property will remain in limbo while the bankruptcy trustee is administering your debts. Likewise, a bankruptcy trustee may hold off on finalizing your bankruptcy until your debts are divided in the divorce.
If the debts you must pay as part of your divorce agreement are overwhelming you, bankruptcy might be an option for you. In the short term, this might keep creditors at bay. While creditors cannot seek payment from you if you file for bankruptcy after your divorce, they may try to force payment from your ex-spouse for your joint debts. Your ex-spouse may then take you back to court and ask the judge to require you to pay your share of the debt.
Bankruptcy will not wipe out most divorce debts
In a post-divorce bankruptcy, the money you must pay your spouse in exchange for property cannot be wiped out by Chapter 7. This is your debt. However, in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you likely can include this divorce debt in your payment plan. In essence, your spouse becomes one of the creditors whom the bankruptcy trustee distributes your money to every month. Often, at the conclusion of your Chapter 13 plan, any remaining debt to your spouse is eliminated. It is a good idea to understand the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 before proceeding.
Many debts can be eliminated or paid off through consumer bankruptcy — but alimony and child support are not among them. You must pay those. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee will not finalize your case at the end of your payment plan if you still owe past-due child support or spousal support.
A personal bankruptcy lawyer who can help
At my Queens bankruptcy law firm, I understand the complicated laws related to divorce and bankruptcy and how they apply to the unique facts of your case. Bankruptcy and divorce are overwhelming on their own. Combining the two adds considerable stress that you just do not need. You do not have to feel alone. I have helped many divorced and divorcing clients get through their family and financial crises. I really can help — and it costs you nothing to sit down with me to discuss your options.
To ease the stress of overwhelming debt, call a bankruptcy lawyer in Queens
All too often, good people find themselves in financial trouble that quickly spirals out of control. For more than 30 years, I have helped people like you understand the available options, make informed decisions and navigate through the complex process of filing for bankruptcy. As a Chapter 7 lawyer, I can help simplify the process.
Located on Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills, I offer a wide range of services to individuals and families suffering from the weight of debt. Call Mark E. Cohen, Esq. at 718-487-9979 or contact me online to schedule a free consultation.