Bankruptcy & Divorce: A Disruption In The Force

When bankruptcy law and family law intersect, the result can be liberating or disruptive, depending on the timing of a bankruptcy filing and the goals of  the parties. An infinite number of combinations lead to infinite different outcomes. The variables start with whether bankruptcy occurs before or after status is altered; before or after the […]

Shadow Players May Have Support Claims In Bankruptcy

What we know so far about domestic support obligations in bankruptcy is that they are non dischargeable and the bankruptcy court has the last word as to what is and is not support. But we just scratched the surface in looking at support when we considered obligations from one spouse to another. Debts owed to […]

Married: Assorted Bankruptcy Exemption Issues

Our series on family law and  bankruptcy continues with an exploration of a mixed bag of exemption and property-of-the-estate questions colored by the fact the debtor has been married. Non debtors claim exemptions Section 522(b) opens with a provision that the debtor may exempt from the property of the estate property described in the section […]

One Discharge, Two Spouses, And Third Party Creditors

The classic bankruptcy family law conundrum is whether to file bankruptcy before or after a divorce. We think about about bankruptcy addressing the claims of third parties against the spouses. But consider the impact of a bankruptcy discharge granted to one spouse prior to the resolution of the divorce. What are the options and alternatives […]

Domestic Support Obligations: When The Rules We Know Change

As bankruptcy lawyers, we’d like to get the world trained to simply halt in their tracks when a bankruptcy is filed and the automatic stay is invoked. It’s not so simple when there are family law proceedings afoot. Automatic stay Section 362(a) enjoins continuation of an action against the debtor to recover a claim or […]

Non Support Debts In Bankruptcy: Our Options Have Changed

Read the case annotations for Section 523(a)(15)of the Bankruptcy Code casually, and you can go really wrong. It’s like the phone tree admonition:  listen carefully because our options have changed. Before 2005, the dischargeability of non support obligations to former spouse or child incurred by the debtor in the course of divorce might be dischargeable, […]

How Bankruptcy Courts Deal With Alimony and Support

The starting place for our exploration of bankruptcy and family law is support. Whether it’s called alimony, maintenance, or support, any amounts due at the commencement of a bankruptcy case are non dischargeable. Actually, since BAPCPA, it’s called a domestic support obligation.  It got a statutory definition, as well: (14A) The term “domestic support obligation” means […]