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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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I had a contempt order of paying my ex- spouse a back tax amount

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I had a contempt order of paying my ex- spouse a back tax amount of $12,000. I had made payments toward this order totaling $3800 up until I filed bankrupty and at the time of bankrupty, the amount was lowered from $12,000 to $9500. However, my ex-spouse is stating that the $3800 that I had paid at that time is a wash and did not go toward the amount and that I owe her another $9500 on top of the $3800 that I had been paying bi-weekly. What can I do in this case? and does the $3800 in deed go toward the tax obligation or is it just a loss on my part?

Thank you for your question. From my understanding of what you have relayed, the contempt order was judicially altered by the bankruptcy court to requirement payment for back taxes in the amount of $12,000 to $9,500. This presumes that the taxes were paid by your ex-wife and you are required to reimburse her by the pre-existing order.

Regardless, if you have already paid $3,800 on that debt, and the debt was further reduced by $2,500 by the bankruptcy court, your wife is incorrect. The amount you have paid does in deed go toward the tax obligation.

However, you should have had this clarified in the bankruptcy order. The bankruptcy court should have seen that the debt was not $12,000 at the time of bankruptcy, but in fact was $8,200, due to the fact that you had already paid down the debt by $3,800.00. Thus, it appears you may have classified the debt incorrectly during the bankruptcy.

Because you have in fact made the payment, you should be able to work around this issue. It may require that you request that the Bankruptcy court modify its order. However, I suggest that you simply insist to your ex-wife that the payment has been made. If she takes you to court on the remaining debt, then you should assert evidence of the $3,800 payment and explain it to the court that way.

Please let me know if you need clarification, would like to discuss this further, or if you still have questions that I have not fully answered.

TexLaw and 7 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for the quick response. How difficult would it be to have this document modified with the correct numbers. I have indeed finished paying the total of $9500 to her and she insist that I still owe her the $9500 on top of the $3800 that I paid prior to bankruptcy. So at this point, she is asking for $3800 more. Do I have a good chance of showing my documentation and presenting this in court without representation?

When you say document are you referring to the bankruptcy order?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes, I am referring to the bankruptcy order being changed to show the correct amount to include the $3800 that I had already paid toward the tax obligation.
That will be difficult and would require a lawyer to do it and will also require payment of court filing fees, etc.

I think the better option for you is to tell your ex-wife that she is incorrect and force her to prove that you haven't paid everything you owed in court. Then if she sues or forces you to go back to court over the amount due, you show that the bankruptcy court reduced it to $9,500 and that you've paid $9,500 in total. Then you state that you did not present the prior payment to the bankruptcy court but this does not change the fact that you have in fact paid the amount. The court should rule in your favor.