Bankruptcy Law Questions? Ask a Bankruptcy Lawyer.
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Bankruptcy attorney here to assist you.
According to the terms of the judgment, were you ordered to pay your ex-spouse's attorney fees directly to the attorney, or were you ordered to pay those fees to your ex-spouse?
I was ordered to pay those fees to my ex-spouse, and now she has a judgment against me for them.
Thank you for your response.
Last question - were the attorney fees deemed to be a property settlement obligation or part of a domestic support obliation?
If the attorney fees are deemed to be a part of a domestic support obligation, then your plan would have to show payment in full for the attorney fees.
If the attorney fees are deemed to be part of a property settlement, then it would not be necessary to show payment in full over the course of your plan, and the balance owed at the end of your plan would be discharged.
A judge deemed an inheritance of $50,000 was a marital asset. I received 1/2. She received 1/2. My $25,000 was applied to cover some of her attorney's fee's and some other minor car expenses, and now I am left owing the rest;
Given the information you provided, the judgment is part of a property settlement. That means it is not necessary to show the obligation can be paid in full over the course of your Chapter 13.
It would only be necessary to show that the child arrears can be paid in full.
How is it part of a property settlement?
The $50,000 inheritance is property.
Splitting it was a property settlement.
Yes. It was given to me by family. The court decided that half of it was mine and half of it was hers.
The money was all gone by the time the judgment of divorce rolled around, and the judge applied my half to what I owed her for attorney's fees. There's still 40,000 left.
The part of the judgment that related to the division of property (property settlement) can be discargable in a Bankruptcy, and the part that is related to child support would not be dischargable.
So, I could put her attorney's fees award in a Chapter 7?
No - because you were ordered to pay them directly to her.
And then she wouldn't get anything?
Alright, so, then I cannot put them in a 7. BUT, I do not have to provide a plan to pay them over the life of the 13, right?
That is correct.
Ok. But, what if I was just ordered to pay her attorneys fees?
Do you mean if you were ordered to pay the attorney fees directly to her attorney?
Were some of those fees incurred for the child support obligation?
I am uncertain. They are my ex-spouse's attorney fees. I am not sure how or where they were incurred.
The entire amount of those fees can be discharged in a Chapter 13 - regardless of what the fees were for.
But, they were all incurred as part of our divorce proceedings. She was awarded an amount, and my half of the inheritance check was applied to the amount she was awarded to offset some of it.
I can get rid of them all?
So, I don't have to pay them?
You will probably have to pay some of them. They would be in the same group as your other unsecured creditors - such as credit cards.
But the balance of the fees would be discharged at the end of your Chapter 13, along with the balance owed to your unsecured creditors.
I bought this book from NOLO to learn more about Chapter 13 PRIOR to hiring an attorney. Given what I've read, it appears that since this could not be discharged in a 7, it would have to be paid in full in a 13. Why the difference? I guess that's where I'm a little lost.
The difference is judgments payable to your ex-spouse are not dischargable in a Chapter 7, but are dischargable in a Chapter 13. This is pursuant to Bankruptcy Stat. 523(a)(15).
I made a mistake above.
Even if they are for attorney's fees?
The part of the attorney fees incurred for domestic support (eg. child support) is not dischargable in a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13.
Only the part of the attorney fees incurred for property settlement is dischargable in a Chapter 13.
Neither one is dischargable in a Chapter 7.
So, the fact that they said that I owed her money for attorney fees makes it a property settlement.
I will wait for your reply.
What was the total amount of attorney fees owed - before your $25,000 was subtracted from those fees?
Also, was there a dispute over child support or custody or alimony?
Was there a dispute over the division of assets or a dispute over the determination of what assets were marital property - such as your inheritance?
Please answer all 3 questions.
1. The amount of attorney fees owed was $60,000.
2. There was a dispute over child support and custody. Years later, we are still dealing with the custody issue. The issues over child support were not due to non-payment, but various awards for my ex-spouse (child care, unreimbursed medical expenses) that were given to her by the judgment of divorce.
3. The court decided on the division of the inheritance and stated it was marital property. This was all decided within the judgment of divorce.
My apologies for not replying for 2 days. I did not know you had replied. There was not an indication in the console nor did I receive an email. I await your response. Thank you.
I am now out of the chat and for some reason it is gone. It only exists here. I replied to your 3 questions.
Attorney fees can be classified into 2 categories: 1) domestic support issues, and 2) division of property issues.The first category is not dischargable in a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.The second category is dischargeable in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, but not in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
From the information you provided, it is apparent that both issues were involved in your ex-wife's attorney fees. However, as it is not apparent how much of the attorney fees were devoted to each category, I cannot tell you how much of those attorney fees would be discharged in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. However, you should be able to get such a breakdown from the attorney.
I think I understand this a little better now.
So, you're stating that Division of Property issues are dischargeable in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy? Meaning, the portion of her attorney fees that are directly related to division of property can be discharged. Correct? So, if out of the $60,000, it was $30,000 and $30,000 - I could discharge $30,000 in a Chapter 13?
I'd have to get this info before the bankruptcy lawyer is contacted or after? Meaning, do I need to have this now or do I need it later.
And this applies to NY?