Non-Support Divorce Debt and Bankruptcy


Under the Bankruptcy Code, divorce-related debts are given one of two classifications.  One classification is "domestic support," which includes child and spousal support.  Other divorce-related debts, such as hold harmless obligations or equalizing payments, are non-support debts.

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (hereinafter “BAPCPA”) enacted on April 20, 2005, and generally applicable to all cases filed on or after October 17, 2005, made various revisions to Title 11 of the United States Code (hereinafter “Bankruptcy Code”) with regard to divorce-related debts.  For example, debts such as child and spousal  support were given the new classification of “domestic support obligation” and were given added protection.

A debtor who receives a Chapter 13 discharge will receive a discharge of non-support debts.  Under limited circumstances, the non-filing spouse can object to discharge but must file an adversary proceeding in the bankruptcy court within sixty days of the first meeting of creditors to do so.

Under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 ("BAPCPA), non-support debts are now treated much differently in Chapter 7.  A debtor who receives a Chapter 7 discharge  cannot discharge any debts incurred in connection with a divorce or separation.