Bankruptcy Section 523(a)(5)

Section 523(a)(5) is the starting point for any understanding of the way divorce and bankruptcy fit together. It says that a person who files bankruptcy generally cannot discharge his or her obligations to pay support to a child, to a spouse, or to a former spouse in divorce.

Here’s the text of 11 U.S.C. §523(a)(5):

(a) A discharge under section 727, 1141, 1228(a), 1228(b), or 1328(b) of this title [11 USCS § 727, 1141, 1228(a), 1228(b), or 1328(b)] does not discharge an individual debtor from any debt– . . .

(5) for a domestic support obligation; . . .

Click here for an explanation of how this works.
When there’s a claim for domestic support (child support or alimony), the Trustee is required to file a Notice of Domestic Support Obligations with the holder of the claim (typically the ex-spouse or the other parent) and with the applicable child support enforcement agency.

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