How long after filing for bankruptcy can a person file for divorce?

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How long after filing for bankruptcy can a person file for divorce?

A friend of mine was told that he should file for bankruptcy before filing for divorce. He was also told that he couldn’t file for divorce for 5 years after the bankruptcy. I have also read that divorce cannot be filed for 180 days. I feel that I need to encourage him to seek advice from another lawyer but would like to have an idea of what is correct.

Asked on October 27, 2010 under Family Law, Arkansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, bankruptcy and divorce have nothing at all to do with one another. It  is possible that filing for divorce shortly after bankruptcy will be taken into account into determing any support and distribution of assets, but it should not affect the dissolution of the marriage itself--bankruptcy's ONLY effect is on debts of the bankrupt filer; it has nothing to do with any other aspect of life. Your friend should certainly discuss the matter with an attorney prior to filing either--from a practical, strategic, etc. point of view, there almost certainly is a better order and timing for doing this. And he'd want to avoid an implication that he's trying to cheat his soon-to-be-ex-spouse, since that can influence custody, support, and asset distribution. But there's certanly no years long hard-and-fast period during which he can't file; it's a matter of getting legal advice how best to plan and coordindate two major life changes.


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