The 2005 bankruptcy law made non-support obligations from a divorce dischargeable in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy only if the discharge would not harm the spouse who is owed the obligation. However, Chapter 13 bankruptcy makes some debts from property settlements in divorce proceedings dischargeable under the law. Remember, only some property settlements, not support settlements are dischargeable under Chapter 13 bankruptcy law. But the court must first determine if the debt is a support obligation or a property settlement.
The bankruptcy court will ask the following questions:
- In the event of remarriage or a child reaching 18, does the obligation terminate or reduce?
- Will the obligation be paid in installments or a lump sum?
- Are there minor children?
- What is the education and heal of all parties involved (including children)?
- At the time of the divorce was there a need for support?
Generally speaking anything labeled alimony or support will not be discharged in Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy.