How does filing divorce affect bankruptcy?

There are certain debts connected to your divorce and otherwise that will not be discharged in bankruptcy, including alimony and child support, some obligations from property settlement, student loans, debts arising from fraud or theft, student loans, and criminal restitution.

If the pending divorce calls for child or spousal support, these claims will be considered priority unsecured debt, and will need to be paid in full through the bankruptcy (and are not secured through any collateral, such as credit cards.)

For a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, there are more specific consequences. When pursuing a payment plan resulting from a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will be paying payments to a trustee for 3-5 years, during which time the trustee has control over your estate. If you want to hire a non-bankruptcy attorney, you will need permission from your trustee.

If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are joint debtors in the Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your plan will need to be modified to account for the loss of income and separate households resulting from your divorce. One spouse can sever themselves from the bankruptcy case or the case can be split in two and re-evaluated thereto.

Furthermore, depending on the nature of your divorce and the new expenses spawning from it, your Chapter 13 plan could change or even be rendered unfeasible. If the latter occurs, you may have the option of changing to a Chapter 7.