Planning To File Bankruptcy and Divorce At The Same Time?

Financial strain combined with the decision to divorce can wreak havoc on your emotions and cause serious stress. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy and divorce, it is important to do some planning and speak to an attorney before you begin either process. There are many different factors to take into consideration, including your amounts of debt and property and which type of bankruptcy you’re interested in filing. A bankruptcy lawyer can assess your situation and advise you of the most cost-effective and practical options. 

Filing Jointly Before Divorce

Even though you and your spouse plan on getting divorced, filing bankruptcy together can be much more expedient and efficient thSubmitan attempting to do it after you’ve filed for divorce. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will discharge the qualifying debt of both parties, which enables you to avoid dealing with issues surrounding debt and property division during your divorce. Filing bankruptcy jointly also costs less than it would if you filed individually. If you hire a bankruptcy attorney to handle it, you will most likely pay less in legal fees as well.

It is important to seek the counsel of an experienced lawyer who is well-versed in the bankruptcy laws of your jurisdiction. Certain states allow married couples to double exemption amounts if they file jointly, but it is critical to have someone who knows the law determine whether a joint filing will protect all property you own with your spouse.  Make sure to tell your bankruptcy attorney that you plan on filing for divorce so they can avoid any potential conflicts of interest.

Filing Separately

In some cases, it is best to wait until your divorce is final to file bankruptcy. If your income is significantly less after divorce, it may be a good idea to hold off so you qualify for bankruptcy. However, if one spouse needs bankruptcy protection right away, they may need to file individually before or during the divorce. Using a law firm with a team that includes both bankruptcy and divorce attorneys can be extremely helpful, as they often collaborate and advise each other in these types of cases.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is designed to discharge all qualifying unsecured debt such as medical bills and credit card debt. It can be completed in a matter of months, so it is usually the best choice for divorcing couples who want to file for bankruptcy together.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

If you file for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you are required to pay back all or some of your debts through a set repayment plan over three to five years. Chapter 13 will not be closed until the repayment plan is complete, so if you want to make a clean break with your spouse as soon as you can, filing a joint Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is not an ideal solution.

Some Debts Cannot be Discharged in Bankruptcy

There are certain types of debt that are ineligible for bankruptcy, including:

  • Child support
  • Alimony
  • Attorney fees for child custody or support cases
  • Student loans
  • Court fines
  • Student loans
  • Monies owed to government agencies

It can get even more complex if you are planning on filing a business bankruptcy. In this case, having a business attorney who is familiar with the bankruptcy process can help to insure your interests and rights are protected.

Are you thinking of filing for bankruptcy or divorce? Our seasoned attorneys at Carosella & Associates can help. Contact us to schedule a consultation.

Have You Been Accused of a Crime? Know Your Rights.

In the United States, anyone who is charged with a crime has certain rights that are provided by the Constitution, including the right to legal representation. If you are facing criminal charges, it is critical to seek the counsel of a defense attorney who can help you understand your rights under the law. An experienced lawyer can guide you through the process and act as your advocate.

Constitutional Rights of Criminal Defendants

There are certain processes and procedures that must be followed when a person is arrested and charged with a crime. Defendants’ rights are outlined in the United States Constitution. If law enforcement, prosecutors, or other officers of the court fail to adhere to these procedures, criminal charges may be dropped or convictions may be overturned in some cases. There are several constitutional amendments that address criminal defendants’ rights.

The Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable search and seizure. Law enforcement must have probable cause to search you, your home, your car, or to seize any property you own. However, if a crime is suspected and there is enough probable cause, a judge can issue a search warrant that allows police to look for evidence. It is important to note that if the evidence is obtained illegally, it may not be used against a criminal defendant in court.

The Fifth Amendment

The Fifth Amendment protects criminal defendants against self-incrimination. When police arrest someone, they must read that person their Miranda rights, which advise them of their right to remain silent, their right to an attorney, and other rights. In addition, a criminal defendant cannot be compelled to testify in court as a “witness against himself.”

The double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment prohibits the court from putting a defendant on trial more than once for the same crime. However, defendants can be tried in both state and federal court for the same offense. Defendants can also be sued in civil court in addition to facing criminal charges.

The Sixth Amendment

The Sixth Amendment gives criminal defendants the right to legal representation. If they cannot afford a lawyer, a public defender will be appointed to handle their case. Defendants have the right to a speedy trial, which means that there are limits on how long a defendant must wait from filing of the charges to trial.

When someone is accused of a crime, they have the right to be tried by a jury of their peers in a public forum. Typically, a unanimous verdict is required for a conviction. Criminal defendants also have the right to confront an accuser and witnesses, who are subject to cross-examination that is usually conducted by the defendant’s lawyer during court proceedings.

The Eighth Amendment

The Eighth Amendment affords criminal defendants the right to reasonable bail, which means that the bail amount must be commensurate with the offense. This Amendment also protects the defendant against cruel and unusual punishment if they are convicted.

Why You Need an Attorney If You Are Charged with a Crime

A criminal conviction can take away your freedom, ruin your reputation, and have a serious impact on your ability to find work and housing, not to mention the toll that it can take on loved ones. Attempting to defend yourself against criminal charges is typically a losing battle. A skilled criminal lawyer will protect your rights and work to negotiate a reasonable plea bargain or build a solid defense to present to the court.

Are you or a loved one facing criminal charges? Carosella & Associates can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.