Can you discharge divorce decree obligations in bankruptcy?

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Can you discharge divorce decree obligations in bankruptcy?

My ex-wife owes me $30k ($15 for my lawyer fees plus credit card debt that she ran up in my name) as stated in our final divorce decree. Additionally, we are both responsible for paying on a promissory note of $10k at a rate of $100/month for the short sell of our house. Now she is filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and I’m trying to prepare myself. I am filing a proof of claim but I have a few questions. Is it likely that any of these debts will be discharged or will they be restructured? How will this affect me? Can I ask more personal questions at the creditors meeting?

Asked on June 4, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing is a reorganization of one's debt not a complete liquidation. I would file your proof of claim against your former wife after you consult with a banktuptcy attorney about the situation.

Under federal law, most likely obligations incurred with respect to a marital dissolution are not able to be discharged in a bankruptcy due to public policy considerations. You can ask personal questions at the creditors' meeting as to the debtor.

From what you have written, the debt owed you most likely will not be discharged.


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