Domestic disputes are complicated enough without adding bankruptcy on top of them. While not always the case, often the filing is done to obtain a perceived advantage in the conflict. But that advantage does not always materialize if you respond appropriately.
Bankruptcy provides honest but unfortunate debtors with a fresh start. That fresh start is limited within the Bankruptcy Code. One of the exceptions to erasing debt is an obligation of one spouse to make payments to the other spouse that are “in the nature of” alimony, maintenance or support. Therefore, while a requirement for one spouse to pay the mortgage or car payment of the other spouse may sound like it is related to property, it may be considered support in the bankruptcy court. These payments are more related to affording basic necessities than providing an asset. If this is the case, it is not erased in bankruptcy but rather fully enforced by both the state court and bankruptcy court. In fact, the bankruptcy court in most cases, cannot stop the state court from determining or enforcing a support order or child custody order as well as a number of other domestic issues.
Bankruptcy law resembles a foreign language to many attorneys. If your family law attorney needs assistance in dealing with bankruptcy within a domestic dispute, have him or her contact us. We give second chances on Second Street.