If there’s one thing I’ve learned from more than 30 years of working as a Memphis bankruptcy attorney, it’s that financial matters affect the whole family.

I myself am a father. So I know firsthand that as parents, we want nothing more than to give our children the life of their dreams. We’d do almost anything to ensure their future happiness and well-being. In fact, it’s this very noble intention — of being the provider we think our kids need — that creates debt to begin with. I’ve seen so many good, hard-working people resort to credit cards when they fall behind, so that they can keep up appearances for their sons or daughters.

Many folks don’t try to fix the problem through bankruptcy because they’re clinging so tightly to these notions of what a parent should be. They feel significant shame about their debt, and about the hypothetical idea of bankruptcy. Too often, the pride and shame blind them from seeing that bankruptcy just might save their family.

So to anyone who’s ever asked me, “Will bankruptcy affect my kids?” the answer is, yes. And here is how.

Bankruptcy can show your children how to take control of a situation.

Many parents are frightened by the thought of their children seeing their mistakes. In actuality, there’s no better way to be an example. Our kids learn from seeing how we deal with challenges and navigate adversity. Debt looks differently depending on how you react to it. If you are hiding from it, its impact on your life looks a lot darker. But if you are confronting the situation head-on and taking control of it, then you’re turning the challenge into an empowering learning opportunity. Sharing your situation with your children allows them to realize that they — like you — have agency in dealing with setbacks. And they will see that you are all a part of the solution, together.

Bankruptcy can show your children the meaning of resilience more broadly.

Look, debt or no debt — bankruptcy or no bankruptcy — challenges are a part of life, no matter how much we wish they weren’t. When families navigate bankruptcy together, as a powerful united front, children are able to extract broader lessons that they can carry with them throughout their entire lives. My clients often worry about how to tell their kids about bankruptcy. I advise them to put it in the simplest terms possible: We have a problem, yes. But we also have a plan. And we’re working together toward a solution. Bankruptcy demands a level of resilience that once you’ve been forced to show, you’ll never forget.

Bankruptcy can deliver what you’ve always wanted to give your kids, too.

Life looks a lot different after bankruptcy. My wife and I have kept in touch with many of our clients, and I’ve watched folks get out of debt and build the financial future of their dreams. It takes resolve and grit. But the house and the education you’ve always dreamt of giving your kids? Bankruptcy gives you a clean slate and the chance to make it all real. Trust me on this one.

Getting Help in Hard Times From a Memphis Bankruptcy Attorney

If you have questions or want to know more about filing for bankruptcy, I’m happy to help. Our attorneys are known for our compassion — and results — and we’re here for you. Call 901-327-2100 or contact me online to start the conversation.