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Bankruptcy Ch 13 following a divorce ruling!

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state?What is the name of your state?What is the name of your state? VA

This seems so grossly unfair I just have to ask. This lady I know in my church was awarded in a divorce decree the marital house, a significant lump sum payment, and spousal support. The ex-husband was ordered to file papers to remove his name from the house. He didn't. He was ordered to pay the lump sum by a certain date. He refused. Her attorney filed and they scheduled a Show Cause hearing to hold him in Contempt of Court. Well after this was all to be paid, but days before the Show Cause hearing, this jerk files Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Here's where it gets sickening. Because he is still listed as "owning" the property, he can list it as an asset. Bankruptcy will let him get away with not paying her the lump sum she was awarded. So the likely result is that she will be forced to sell the house, the proceeds will go to pay HIS bills, she'll be homeless, AND he still won't have to pay her the lump sum! So he gets to run up bills and go on vacations with his new girlfriend while getting out of his obligations, and this nice lady gets nothing - her house is taken away and she doesn't get what the court ordered him to pay her.

Some deal! I cannot for the life of my understand how a court could on the one hand let him get away with ignoring a legal order, and on the other hand take away her meager assets to pay his debts? Surely this is not fair. But is it legal? Does this sort of thing happen often? Is there any legal recourse? What about fraud? I understand bankruptcy courts don't like fraud.


Senior Member
Unfortunately, it happens quite often and unless you can absolutely PROVE fraud , hiding assets, etc. with documentation, he probably WILL get away with it.

However, this lady is not completely without recourse. If this lump sum settlement was defined as spousal support in the divorce, he will not get it discharged.

The court doesn't let him get away with ignoring the court order - people do. When he failed to quit-claim the house within a reasonable timeframe, she should have had her lawyer after him for contempt then. Now this lady needs to find herself a GOOD bankruptcy lawyer - one who knows the ropes and can fight FOR her using the same law that the Ex is using against her.

Ch 13 means he must PAY his creditors - he doesn't' get off scott free. She can get a copy of his BK filing and she should. If he's up to fraud, she needs to pursue it thru the BK court.

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