It is common for a bad financial situation to spiral into marital discord. One spouse may incur a significant amount of debt, fail to work for an extended period of time, or does not consult the other spouse when making purchases on joint accounts.
Divorce and Bankruptcy
If you and your spouse have a significant amount of joint debt it may be best to entertain bankruptcy as an option prior to filing for divorce. Bankruptcy is a much cheaper alternative to racking up a large bill with a family lawyer to argue about who is going to take over which debts when both people may be able to get rid of all the debt.
Furthermore, your spouse cannot assume your debt in a settlement agreement. For example, if you have a joint judgment against you from Company A for $50,000 and your divorce decree says your spouse should assume all debt from Company A. Company A can still pursue you for the debt despite what your divorce decree says. You would then have to sue your spouse to recover what you paid Company A. Therefore, if both spouses owed money to Company A, that could have been discharged in a bankruptcy, that would obviate the need and expenses to file suit against the other spouse for collection of debt after the divorce is finalized.