It's clear that when filing for bankruptcy, on your paperwork, you
absolutely have to stipulate what debt is joint and what debt is solely
yours. More often than not, in a marriage, all the debt is joint! That
presents a slight issue at times when dealing with divorce, obviously.
Here's the thing about bankruptcy and divorce. It
opens things up for, how do you say, "communication"?
The fact is if you do share debt with your former spouse, the law requires
that your provide your attorney with your spouse's address in order
to receive a notification of your bankruptcy. That's right –
your ex-spouse will end up knowing your liquidating assets for whatever
reason. Luckily, the notification won't be a letter stating that the
ex-spouse owes money, though; it's nothing more than a letter stating
the obvious: you're filing for bankruptcy, period. However, note that
the letter will also show what debt has been declared as a joint responsibility.
This means that your ex-spouse, unless he or she also files for bankruptcy,
will inevitably be responsible for a certain portion of that joint debt.
The letter is designed to prepare him or her for what may come ahead.
This is ultimately why it's important to advise that both ex-spouses,
or soon-to-be ex-spouses, file for bankruptcy
at the same time. This ensures all joint debt is resolved immediately, without anything
You certainly wouldn't want any extra angry phone calls from the ex
after he or she receives a notification that you're liquidating the
assets for the Porsche. That would add insult to injury in an already
tense divorce situation. Make it easy. Keep the communication lines open, always.