Can debts owed as per a divorce decree be discharged in bankruptcy?

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Can debts owed as per a divorce decree be discharged in bankruptcy?

The divorce decree indicated that when his father died the land that we lived on was to be divided between us. Former husband says that since he filed bankruptcy he no longer has to divide the farm since his father has passed and the property is now his. The only debt he included in the bankruptcy action was the $1400 past due child support and maintanance.

Asked on August 19, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You should speak with an attorney, because you may have some rights here to assert:

1) Child support and alimony are not dischargeable in bankruptcy under the federal bankruptcy laws. If your former husband owes you alimony and/or child support, he should still owe them to you. You need to check with this an attorney who can evaluate your specific case, but if you go to a government website whose address I'll give you below, you'll see that alimony and child support are generally excluded from discharge.

2) Bankruptcy affect DEBTS. It does not affect non-debt obligations, such as many contractual obligations, court orders, or orders arising out of divorce decrees. While again, you should have an attorney review your specific situation, there is reason to think that an order to divide property arising out of a divorce decree might not be affected by a bankruptcy filing.


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