In November 2013 I presented Divorce and Bankruptcy for an elite group of Cleveland bankruptcy attorneys on the topic of relief for the debtor who cannot afford to comply with divorce orders. This will be a series of ten articles developed from my seminar presentation materials:
- When to file (3 articles)
- Divorce and the Bankruptcy Schedules including Means Test
- Divorce and The Automatic Stay
- Divorce Exceptions to the Automatic Stay
- Domestic Support Obligations
- Division of Property
- Discharge Divorce Obligations in Bankruptcy
This is the same divorce and bankruptcy information I gave the lawyers at the seminar. I think they assigned me the topic because I was the rookie lawyer on the seminar panel, and the more seasoned presenters didn’t want the topic. My first inclination was, “How am I going to speak for over an hour on this topic?” Before the law change in 2005 there were two rules:
- You can’t discharge support, and
- you can discharge everything else.
It is now much more complicated than most who claim to be bankruptcy lawyers think. Now, there are many ins and outs on the road leading to the intersection of divorce and bankruptcy law. It is information you need to have, your divorce lawyer needs, and your bankruptcy attorney better have.
It is no mystery that many clients in my office are planning divorce, in the midst of divorce, struggling with support orders, or facing fines and maybe jail for contempt of court. Bankruptcy can be a tool to lessen the blow of each of these life-changing divorce events.
Let’s begin with a discussion of when the best time is to file bankruptcy in conjunction with divorce proceedings.
PS: I no longer practice family law. I can help you and your spouse with a bankruptcy before, during or after your divorce.