Before is Always Better in Divorce and Bankruptcy in Indiana

June 30, 2013 5:20 pm Published by

“Before is always better” is the message inventory specialist Greg Helton brings to his clients when he explains how having an inventory can make difficult life transitions a little bit easier. Funny, that’s a message I’ve been stressing to Zuckerberg bankruptcy law clients for 26 ½ years.

Now, Helton’s referring to keeping a detailed listing of all your business and personal possessions.  Such a list can be of enormous help in a divorce, or when a parent has to move to assisted living, attorney Kathy Davis explains.

When it comes to filing personal bankruptcy in Indiana (or small business bankruptcy in Indiana, for that matter), an inventory of assets and income becomes an absolute necessity. And, even when my work as a debt consolidation lawyer involves bankruptcy prevention, everything begins with taking stock of the situation and with making lists.  In other words, we need an inventory.

It’s interesting to me that two examples Greg Helton gave had to do with a messy divorce situation and with super-storm Sandy on the east coast.  In both cases, it was extremely difficult after the fact to create a thorough list of assets for either the divorce court or for the insurance company.

All of us lawyers for bankruptcy in Indiana can relate to both situations.  First of all, divorce is one of the three leadings causes of personal bankruptcy in Indiana, along with medical costs and job loss. In the Kendall Inventory story, a wife filed for dicorce and had a protective order issued against her husband.  Since the husband was forbidden to enter the house, many of his valuable tools and guns that he’d inherited from his father were either sold off or discarded by the wife.  That led to a long, drawn-out, expensive series of legal battles.

When divorce is happening at the same time as the filing of an individual Indiana bankruptcy, that makes it even more important to have detailed lists of assets to file with the bankruptcy paperwork.

The second story also “rang a bell”, because natural disasters in Indiana, such as tornadoes and floods, can actually lead to bankruptcy.  Without a detailed inventory, one of my Columbus bankruptcy lawyer colleagues pointed out, insurance settlements can be delayed for years, compounding the financial hardship and making a difficult situation much worse.

Just as Greg Helton’s message is “Before is always better”, the message I want to share with readers and clients is the same.  At the very first signs of financial trouble, it’s time to begin taking inventory and seeking professional legal advice.  As Helton reminds us, "Being prepared means you’ll be on your way to recovering and rebuilding, while others are still struggling to complete their lists!”


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This post was written by Mark Zuckerberg

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