Once you’ve chosen to file for bankruptcy, you may struggle with how to break the news to your family, including your children. There is no single guide for how to talk to your kids about bankruptcy. It may be wise to use the experience, including getting back on your feet financially, as a teachable moment.
In This Article
Discussing Bankruptcy Doesn’t Have to be Painful
Talking with your kids about bankruptcy can be a constructive exercise. While there will undoubtedly be some discomfort for you, the conversation doesn’t have to be painful.
Some tips when talking with your children about bankruptcy include:
Explaining That Bankruptcy Isn’t Uncommon
It’s natural for your children to feel some sort of stigma, or even judgment, because of their parent’s financial status. To help alleviate any such concerns, you might explain that bankruptcy isn’t uncommon in the United States.
According to U.S. Courts, there were 612,561 bankruptcy filings in America in 2020. While that number declined in 2021, hundreds of thousands of Americans still filed for bankruptcy.
While bankruptcy isn’t something you’re proud of, it’s important that your children know your family is not alone.
Being Upfront About the Reasons for Your Bankruptcy
As parents, we often want to shield our children from the less pleasant aspects of life. While you don’t have to divulge every detail of your bankruptcy to your children, a certain degree of honesty may be in order.
Especially if your children are old enough to comprehend the finer points of your financial situation, trying to “cover up” may only make your situation worse. Many parents going through bankruptcy feel they owe it to their kids to be honest, even if it means withholding certain facts they feel their children don’t need to know.
Explaining Any Mistakes That Led to Your Bankruptcy
Remember that this time is a learning experience for everyone involved. In most cases, kids are affected by bankruptcy—in one way or another. By explaining any mistakes that led you to file for bankruptcy, you may:
- Help your children understand the gravity of certain financial decisions
- Help your children understand that your bankruptcy is the result of understandable mistakes, not malice on your part
- Help your children avoid the same mistakes in their own life—which is, for many parents, their primary mission
Parents aim for their children to build off of their knowledge and experiences. By being upfront about any missteps you may have made—or even circumstances beyond your control—you position your kids to avoid such circumstances in the future.
Explaining What Bankruptcy Means for Your Family
In many cases, bankruptcy will mean some changes in your family’s lifestyle. This would be the time to sit down with loved ones and explain how certain things may change financially. But it’s also important to add this is a time of hope for the future by getting out from under debt and constant creditors.
Financial hardship does not have to break a family’s bonds. In many cases, you can emerge stronger following the bankruptcy process. Speaking with your kids about the effects and what to expect may be the least jarring approach.
For a legal consultation, call 828.286.3866
You Must Decide How to Best Handle the “Bankruptcy Talk”
Our firm has served more than 10,000 clients, and we’ve learned that no two families are exactly alike. Each client facing bankruptcy has a unique story. When bankruptcy involves a family, the client must ultimately decide the best way to broach the subject with their kids.
Hiring an attorney can help you navigate the bankruptcy process. A lawyer from our firm can lead your case while you focus on your family and other obligations.
Hire an Attorney to Lead Your Bankruptcy Proceedings
An attorney who handles bankruptcy cases can be a great asset to you. With our firm, your attorney will:
- Provide any advice you seek about discussing bankruptcy with your kids
- Advise you on which Chapter of bankruptcy best fits your needs
- Initiate the filing process
- Handle any challenges that emerge during bankruptcy proceedings
- Seek to leave you in the most advantageous position post-bankruptcy
- Treat you and your family with respect and compassion throughout the process
We will assign a lawyer who has experience handling bankruptcy proceedings. We understand how taxing this process can be, but also know that better days lie ahead for you and your loved ones.
We will work hard to complete your bankruptcy, protect your rights, and allow you to move forward.
Call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC Today to Discuss How We Can Help
While many people put off filing for bankruptcy, there may be no reason to wait any longer. At the very least, speaking with our team can clarify your options. If bankruptcy is in your best interests, our team will complete the process as quickly as possible.
Call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC today for a free consultation. Whether you are a business or individual, we can help.
Call or text 828.286.3866 or complete a Case Evaluation form