Goldman Law Offices

Free consultations for all personal injury and criminal matters

Family court can't overstep its bounds regarding bankruptcy

It is important for Pennsylvanians to be careful with the way that they use language in their property division agreements in order to avoid problems if their estranged spouses subsequently file for bankruptcy protection. While child support and spousal support are both considered to be non-dischargeable in bankruptcy, other ordered or agreed-upon payments may be discharged by the bankruptcy court regardless of any family court order or agreement.

In a case that was decided by a bankruptcy court in Georgia, the court ruled that family courts may not order that certain property division payments are non-dischargeable in bankruptcy. In the case, the husband filed for bankruptcy two weeks after his divorce was final. The judge had ordered him to pay his wife $53,000 as a part of the property division and had also written that it could not be discharged in bankruptcy.

The man's ex-wife sued to prevent the $53,000 payment from being discharged. The bankruptcy court ruled for the husband, however, which meant that the payment would be discharged in his case.

If a property division payment is meant to be spousal support, it is important that it is termed correctly in an agreement or court order. If it is not designated as spousal or child support, it may be discharged if the spouse who is ordered to pay decides to file for bankruptcy protection. Spousal and child support payments are not able to be discharged in bankruptcy cases. Family law attorneys may help to make certain that the language that is used in proposed property settlements will protect their clients' interests. This may help them to avoid potential pitfalls that could otherwise happen if their estranged spouses later decide to file for bankruptcy so that the clients do not lose out on payments that were meant to provide support for them.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Rated By Super Lawyer William L. Goldman Jr.|
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Avvo
  • Distinguished AV | LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell | Peer Review Rated Seal For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability
  • Client Distinction Award - William L. Goldman, Esq.
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Listed in Best Lawyers | Seal of The World's Premier Guide
  • Best Lawyers | BEST LAW FIRMS | US NEWS 2020
Email Us For A Response

Tell Us About Your Case

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Goldman Law Offices

90 E. State Street
Doylestown, PA 18901

Phone: 215-348-2605
Fax: 215-348-5247
Doylestown Law Office Map

Leave us a review of your experience with our firm Review Us