Should I File Bankruptcy After My Divorce? – Marie

I was married for 11 years. My credit was always in good standing and I paid my bills on time.

My now ex-husband and I kept all of our banking and credit card accounts separate. Reason being is that his credit was really bad. Due to helping bail him out of financial disasters over the years and having to use my card when household emergencies happened, my debt kept climbing.

We divorced a year ago due to the financial and other reasons. In the divorce I kept all my debt. I’m currently around $16,000 in just credit card debt and owe $9,000 on my car. I’m paying minimum payments most of the time and adding a bit more when I can.

After the divorce I had to move in with my parents because of my credit card debt. My monthly payment to 4 cards is around $600 a month. I don’t want to live with my parents forever but I can’t seem to make a dent in my debt. (I’ve had a lot of medical bills over the last 2 years too.)

I’ve been contemplating bankruptcy but can I do this when I’m not even behind on payments? On top of the debt my name is still on the mortgage loan and deed to the house because the ex has not refinanced yet. He has until the end of April. I doubt with this credit score that he will be able to. He’s made several late payments on the mortgage since I moved out a year and a half ago.

My credit score went from the high 700’s to the low 600’s. I know I can rebuild my credit but it also takes time. My entire life (I’m 35) I’ve been very proud of my credit score and because of his actions it’s been ruined. Do I just do a bankruptcy and start all over?

I do pay my parents rent to live with them. I have a car payment, car insurance, cell phone bill and medical bill payments. After everything is paid I have around $400 left. All of my friends tell me I need to get my own place (living with the parents really stresses me out) but how can I unless I live in a cardboard box?

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Your advice is appreciated. Thanks!


Dear Marie,

My quick answer is that following a divorce, bankruptcy should be considered. A divorce is a legal process to break the bond between you and some else. Bankruptcy is essentially a financial divorce.

The big difference is that in a divorce you remain obligated for all the debts you may have been jointly obligated for from before the marriage dissolution.

Logic says that you will be able to recover your life quicker if you file bankruptcy now and focus on rebuilding your credit. No sense dragging your feet and then eventually filing two years from now when you could have used that time to restart your financial life.

There are all sorts of ways to look at this situation. You could cast blame, feel regret, feel anger, and all of that just leaves people paralyzed, not knowing what to do. Ultimately what we need to do is reach a point of acceptance and then take the necessary steps to move forward.

I’m going to give you quite a bit of homework that should help give you clarity.

Let’s start with the basics.

I’d suggest you first read How to Get Out of Debt. The Honest and Unvarnished Truth and The Truth About The Success Rates, Failure Rates and Completion Rates of Credit Counseling, Debt Settlement, and Bankruptcy. They will give you a great overview of what we need to deal with to get you moving in the right direction.

Then use the free How to Get Out of Debt Calculator to review your options.

After that, come back here and comment about what seems to make the most sense and let’s discuss that.

Does that sound like a reasonable approach?

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.
Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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3 thoughts on “Should I File Bankruptcy After My Divorce? – Marie”

  1. At 73, I’m considering divorcing the 75-year-old man I love, to help us both survive.  Married 30 years, we always kept separate banks and mostly separate money. All his mail went to his office, and I didn’t know he owed over $million in debt until 2 months ago. Of course I would find out he bought big-ticket items after the fact (the biggest ones I didn’t want and had argued against them, such as a yacht). He never saved a dime; I saved everything I could, but lately all my savings are going down the black hole of his debt, and a sudden health crisis ended his earning ability. At the rate we’re going — he refusing to consider downsizing — we’ll soon be on the street with nothing. He is very stubborn and most people would consider him “competent” but he is irrational about wanting to stay in a place we can’t afford.  He probably won’t live long due to his health problems. I am very healthy.  Is divorce the answer?  

  2. She say true, most of us has been facing these crucial moments in life. Now she’s 35 and being divorced lady she has to be work hard to pay her loans. I’m sure she’s a hard lady and she can but it will take sometime for complete recovery.


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