Filing Bankruptcy Can Improve Your Family Life

Parenting and stress go hand-in-hand. Mix in being buried in debt, and the financial pressures can begin taking a toll on your family, your health, and your emotional well-being.

Going through tough financial times increases tension within the family and interferes with your relationship with your children and your spouse. Don’t let the situation make you feel cut off from your family.

Parenting is all about teaching your children. Share financial issues with your children much as you can, depending on their age. Opening up the lines of communication will not only keep you connected to them, but may also provide an opportunity to teach them about finances.

When you first realize you are in over your head and can’t make your payments, contact your creditors and try to negotiate repayment plans with you.  Unfortunately, this is easier said than done.

If you can’t restructure your debts, you should explore bankruptcy to relieve your financial stress.  Bankruptcy was designed to help individuals stabilize their finances and get out from under their financial burden by protecting their property, lowering their stress levels, and allowing them to sleep at night.

Keep in mind that filing bankruptcy is not the problem. The problem is not being able to pay your bills and not being able to provide for your family. This financial pressure causes the stress and anxiety to build. All this spills over into your family relationships.

To decide whether bankruptcy is right for you, contact an experienced bankruptcy lawyer who can help you navigate the complicated bankruptcy process and advise you about whether Chapter 7 (“straight bankruptcy”) or Chapter 13 (“reorganization bankruptcy”) is best for you.

Once you have gone through the bankruptcy process, rejoice in new beginnings. You went through bankruptcy to get to a fresh start. Now, begin by developing a sound financial plan that will protect your finances and your sanity. Establish a savings plan that will allow you to better absorb financial strain and plan for your family’s future. Once your present situation is under control, you can begin to look to the future and set aside money for your financial goals.

But What If I’m Getting a Divorce?

Sometimes divorce is inevitable.  I practiced family law for ten years, so I know that debt not only can cause divorce but can also cause divorce proceedings to be more difficult than they would otherwise be.

She says he spent too much.  He says she spent too much.  And neither can afford the credit card payments.  The divorce case can come to standstill over debt.

If that’s the case, both spouses should consider bankruptcy.  Getting rid of debt means one less thing to fight over, and that’s a good thing for your divorce case.

If you are married, you can file a joint bankruptcy case with your spouse.  Depending on your situation, you may even be able to use the same bankruptcy lawyer to do this.  Much hinges on whether there is any conflict of interest in having the same attorney represent you in your bankruptcy case—and that depends on the facts of your case.

By using bankruptcy to get your financial house in order, you can reduce your stress, enjoy time with your family, and free up your mind to start planning for your future.

Russell A. DeMott is a Charleston, South Carolina bankruptcy lawyer.

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