Everyone understands this: bankruptcy includes
all debt. What happens, though, when you file for divorce? Is your former
spouse's debt your debt as well? This is especially a great question
to ask if your former spouse doesn't file for bankruptcy as well.
What happens when you've basically shared the debt?
Let's say, for instance, you file for bankruptcy. There's a specific
creditor both you and your former spouse have shared, and by filing for
bankruptcy on your financial end of things, you've liquidated your
side of the debt under Chapter 7. That's fine. However,
unless your former spouse files for bankruptcy as well, that former spouse will
still be responsible for his or her side of the debt! This is especially
difficult in divorce when the joint debt isn't, in fact,
The obvious solution is to discuss it with your ex. Perhaps he or she would
like to know that you'd be filing for bankruptcy soon, which would
then throw all of that joint debt on his or her head. It's important
to note that there are two options before even considering bankruptcy
during a divorce:
You either ensure that the joint debt is reconfigured to be
only in one name (most likely the name of the person filing for the bankruptcy),
or the other former spouse also files for bankruptcy. Either way, it settles
the issue successfully. The last thing you want to do is muddy the waters
even more than it already is with a bankruptcy and divorce.