Bankruptcy Attorney Memphis
One of the most significant stresses a marriage can weather is money trouble. When debts pile up, income remains stagnant and spending needs increase, it can be difficult to process the strains that this stressor places on a marriage. This is one of the reasons why, according to Business Insider, student debt is a factor in one out of every eight American divorces. And this is not the only kind of debt influencing the evolution of marriage in the U.S. It has been widely reported that medical debt factors into a significant percentage of divorces and at least half of all personal bankruptcy cases.
Student loans, like medical debt and overwhelming credit card debt, can be oppressive. Depending on the terms of the loans in question, there can simply be no way to make ends meet during a specific period in time. When couples are compelled to work so hard to meet their loan obligations that they rarely see each other or have no income with which to enjoy their lives, the strain can become inevitable.
And unfortunately, a significant amount of debt can make the divorce process uniquely complicated. Sometimes, student debt is considered personal, rather than marital. This means that the debt follows the individual who incurred it before the marriage began. But if a couple was clearly supporting each other while one or both went to school and then attempted to pay back their loans, the debt could be treated as marital and therefore subject to equitable responsibility post-divorce. The same complex treatment may be applied to many different kinds of debt, including mortgage debt, medical debt and credit card debt.
When constructing a property division agreement, spouses may ultimately need to sell off certain assets in order to meet debt-related obligations. Oftentimes, spouses who feel that they are swimming in debt choose to file for bankruptcy either before or after they opt to divorce. It is worth noting that there are specific challenges related to the timing of bankruptcy and divorce, so it is generally a good idea to speak with an attorney before committing to filing for one or the other first. Depending on the unique nature of your family’s circumstances, it may significantly benefit you to file for bankruptcy first or for divorce first.
Finally, please note that no two marriages are exactly the same and no two divorces are exactly the same either. As a result, it is important to take any advice you receive from individuals who have weathered the process of divorce and/or the process of bankruptcy with a grain of salt. The same tips and techniques that apply to one couple’s situation may or may not apply to yours. An attorney will be best positioned to advise you after learning the details of your situation.
Legal Counsel Is Available
If you have questions about bankruptcy and/or divorce, please consider reaching out to an attorney experienced in that area of law. Consulting with a lawyer will not obligate you to take legal action of any kind and consultations are generally confidential, so you have no reason to be nervous about voicing your questions. Speaking with a bankruptcy attorney Memphis trusts will allow you to make informed decisions about your particular circumstances so that you can choose the healthiest path forward for you and your family.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Darrell Castle and Associates, PLLC for their insight into bankruptcy, divorce, and student debt.