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Former 'Gossip Girl' star files Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection

Massachusetts residents might remember that former "Gossip Girl" actress Kelly Rutherford was recently in the news over a contentious custody battle she was having with her ex-husband, who is also an actor. Now, with her legal battle having drained her finances, she has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.

In her bankruptcy filing, Rutherford said that she only made $1,279.33 a month, even though before she her hit TV series ended, she had been making tens of thousands of dollars each month.

According to the filings, most of her debts stem from a protracted child custody fight with her ex-husband. She reportedly spent $1.5 million in attorney fees trying to get and keep custody of her daughter. While she was hoping that the family law judge will order her husband to foot part of this bill, she also reported owing the IRS more than $350,000 in back taxes for 2012. She claims that, altogether, she owes over $2 million and has less than $25,000 in assets. She says she has had to rely on her family to help her out financially.

While not everybody will have to spend over a million dollars on attorney fees for a divorce, the end of a marriage can leave a person struggling with debt, just like in Kelly Rutherford's case. Financial problems tend to precede and even cause a divorce. Moreover, when a couple divorces, they may have to carry on with their lives with only half of the income, property and support to which they had grown accustomed.

While one must be careful when filing for bankruptcy after a divorce, a Chapter 7 may still be a good way to get a fresh financial start after any expensive legal battle. A Massachusetts resident who needs help in this respect should research their rights to evaluate his or he options.

Source: TMZ, "Kelly Rutherford files for bankruptcy; divorce did her in," June 23, 2013.