Can a Bankruptcy Filing Be Dismissed If It Was Made During a Divorce?

By Teo Spengler

Sometimes divorcing spouses find themselves in divorce court and bankruptcy court at the same time. Both spouses may file for bankruptcy, but sometimes one spouse uses a bankruptcy filing to stall the divorce case. A bankruptcy case filed by a divorcing spouse can be dismissed by the court on its own initiative or at the request of either spouse.

Sometimes divorcing spouses find themselves in divorce court and bankruptcy court at the same time. Both spouses may file for bankruptcy, but sometimes one spouse uses a bankruptcy filing to stall the divorce case. A bankruptcy case filed by a divorcing spouse can be dismissed by the court on its own initiative or at the request of either spouse.

Filing for Bankruptcy

People can legitimately file a bankruptcy petition to eliminate debt or to reorganize their finances. A divorcing couple with credit card and medical bills may choose to declare bankruptcy so that the debt will not get divided up in the divorce. This simplifies the property division issues.

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Court Dismissal

The bankruptcy court can dismiss your petition whether or not you are in divorce court. Your case might be dismissed for procedural reasons like failure to fill in the required documents appropriately; it can also be dismissed if the court determines that you filed for improper purposes.

Spouse's Request

If you file for bankruptcy, the filing essentially throws the brakes on your divorce case because of the application of the automatic stay, insulating you from lawsuits. However, it may not be to your advantage to use this as a stalling tactic. if your spouse asks that the bankruptcy court lift the stay and allow the divorce to proceed, the court is likely to do so.

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Can Bankruptcy Be Used to Stop Divorce Proceedings?

References

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Is It Fraud if You Are in Bankruptcy and You Just Got Approved for a Credit Card?

If your debts are out of control and you can't meet your monthly payments, bankruptcy becomes a viable option. A bankruptcy court will stay any collections or lawsuits by your creditors; a court-appointed trustee will manage your financial affairs until the court discharges the debts. Credit card debt is a prime culprit in bankruptcies, but simply being approved for a new card does not rise to the level of fraud.

Define Bankruptcy Terminated

If you file for bankruptcy protection from creditors, a federal court gains jurisdiction over your assets, debts and financial affairs. The court has the authority to eliminate dischargeable debts, liquidate your assets or set up a repayment schedule (as in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing). However, the court also has the authority to dismiss or terminate the case, either on your motion or on its own initiative.

How to Amend a Bankruptcy Petition Once Married

If you are already in bankruptcy court seeking protection from your creditors and are recently married, you may want to add your spouse to your case so you can both wipe out your debts. Unfortunately, unless you make your request to add your spouse shortly after your initial petition, the court will not likely allow your spouse to be joined to your case. Despite this procedural difficulty, there are other ways to achieve the same result: by either refiling to add your spouse to your case or consolidating your spouse's own case with yours.

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