It depends. If you have already received the settlement proceeds or items, you’re fine. If you are still waiting on it to finalize, you’d better wait on the bankruptcy.
When we file bankruptcy, I can protect most of your property under various exemptions. For example, I can protect $3,000 of equity in your car. Unfortunately, I generally cannot property property settlements proceeds still coming to you. So if your ex-husband still owes you another $5,000 from your old joint savings account, and he is sending it to you in 2 weeks, then we’d better not file until after you receive and spend it. Otherwise, the bk trustee will step into your shoes and intercept that money for himself.
If you’ve received it and spent it, you’re good.
If you are waiting on the settlement proceeds, do NOT file bankruptcy yet.
And don’t think that you can hide this from the bk trustee. The moment trustee realizes that you are divorced, he will ask you if you still have any property settlement coming to you. He’ll also want a copy of the divorce decree. It’s not worth potential perjury charges and a loss of your bk discharge to keep the settlement secret.