How to File a Bankruptcy After a Divorce

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When a divorce takes place, both parties’ finances are split. Sometimes, the marriage itself leads to heavy financial burdens and issues. For these reasons, it isn’t uncommon for one or both individuals to file for bankruptcy in the aftermath. 

If you’ve found yourself in this nightmarish situation, then don’t lose hope. There are steps you can take to ensure you file bankruptcy correctly in light of your divorce and help get your new financial situation back on track. 

Chapter 7

Ideally, you will be filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The form will ask for information about a spouse, which you cannot legally fill out if your divorce is final. You will also write “NO” in the “Are you married” section of the document in this case. So, get the correct paperwork and begin filling in the simple sections. 


Before filling out anything else, you need to gather every document about your income, assets, tax returns, and any other finances. You need the prior two years of taxes as well as six months’ worth of income. Having these documents is vital to filing as you need to ensure the accuracy of every number you write down.

You should also have a copy of your credit report handy. You can find this information for free through websites like or This will also include any creditors and collections agencies. 

If your divorce is recent, make sure to have your divorce decree on hand. This document, obtained through your trustee, will state any financial obligations your former spouse has in relation to your debts such as property, attorney fees, and outstanding bills. 

If you’re having difficulty accessing court records or trustee documents due to a language barrier, find a bilingual lawyer like this Spanish speaking divorce attorney in Riverside to assist you. It is your right to hold a copy of the divorce decree for financial purposes just like this. 

Credit Counseling

You will need to take two debtor education courses when filing for bankruptcy. There are approved credit counseling agencies for this step, which will provide you with a certificate to be filed with your bankruptcy paperwork. 

Completing the Forms

There are over 20 documents associated with filing, so take your time and fill them all out correctly. Make sure to keep any financial documents handy as you’ll need exact numbers on these forms. That includes everything from assets to your bank accounts and two years of taxes. Six months of income is also required. Make sure to consider the following as well:

Community property states require a Schedule H, even without co-signed debts

Schedule I is for any child support or alimony payments

Schedule A/B is for unpaid alimony/child support and property settlements as assets

Schedule E/F is for unpaid alimony/child support and property settlements as liabilities

Schedule J-2 is for unfinalized divorces where both parties live in separate households

Form 107 requires all legal proceedings within the last year, including your divorce

Completing all of these forms can quickly become confusing, which is why it’s in your best interest to seek legal counsel. This Anaheim bankruptcy lawyer has helped countless individuals ensure their paperwork is filed correctly and that they do not include any debts they do not have to pay for after a divorce. 

From there, all you have to do is pay the filing fee and mail in your documents to the trustee. It costs roughly $355 to file, regardless of marital status, but you can request a fee waiver if you are 150% below the federal poverty line. All that’s left to do afterward is attend your hearing to finalizing your bankruptcy. 

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