here's what i know:
first of all, debtors don't care about your settlement. the only thing your settlement can do is serve as grounds for suing him for the money the debtors are collecting from you.
if you divorce both owing half per your settlement, and he then declares bankruptcy on his half, you will be responsible for 100% of his debt. you will then have to declare bankruptcy anyway to clear your debt.
if in the same situation, you declare bankruptcy post-divorce, your XH would then become liable for your half.
i decided to be nice to my XH by declaring joint bankruptcy for both of us before D. that way we had no debts or liabilities or much in assets to argue over.
now...all of this depends on how much money you make, jointly and/or on your own. if together you make too much money, or if you make too much on your own, you can't declare. (you can still make and own a lot - get a good bankruptcy attorney. one told me i was a no-go, the next guy got me through without a hitch. i make darn good money and still did it).
if your XH makes too much for you to declare joint bankruptcy, but you don't make that much on your own, you can wait until after D and declare an individual bankruptcy. that way, he'll be saddled with everything. i almost want you to do it out of spite.
right now your credit is likely shot. bankruptcy can actually improve it...and you definitely recover, credit wise, from a bankruptcy quicker than from mountains of continuous debt you try to pay off.
i'm no substitute for a lawyer, but having put myself through this ringer in a big way, i know a lot about bankruptcy but at least i can share .
good luck. pm me anytime.
ETA: search your state bankruptcy laws...i had to pass something called the "means test" in VA.
[This message edited by stretch13 at 11:46 AM, April 23rd (Tuesday)]
life must be rich and full of loving--it's no good otherwise, no good at all, for anyone - j. kerouac