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; . . .