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Can Attorney Fees For A Divorce Be Included In Bankruptcy?

  • By: Christopher Benson
  • Published: December 5, 2014

Divorce is one of the top causes of bankruptcy, since assets and debt can be divided any way a judge sees fit in some states. It’s also painful going from a two-income household to a one-income household. You may also have new expenses in the form of spousal or child support now, attorney’s fees, and the bills get to be just too much.

Child support and alimony are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. That means that although the judge takes them into consideration along with all your other debts and assets when looking at your case, you cannot have alimony or child support discharged.

property settlement portions of a divorce are dischargeable.

The good news, however, is that some aspects of your divorce can be discharged in bankruptcy. Property settlement portions of a divorce are dischargeable.

Although the bankruptcy code states that court costs and fees are not dischargeable, the law refers to current fees and costs, such as those related to your bankruptcy.

If you got divorced prior to bankruptcy and still owe YOUR divorce attorney, those fees are dischargable in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

One exception to this rule would be if the attorney’s fees were ordered to be paid in the original child support decision for either you or your ex-spouse. In that case, the attorney’s fees fall in the support category and is therefore ineligible for discharge. Fines and fees imposed by the court not eligible for discharge in bankruptcy, either.

Over the past 27 years, the Law Offices of Christopher A. Benson has helped over 2,300 of Washington clients take control of their financial situation. We can stop your garnishment and change your monthly payments for all your combined unsecured debt, and if you have had more than $600 garnished within the last 90 days, we can get all of the money back in most cases. But you have to act quickly–call (253) 815-6940 for your free consultation, or email us today. Evening and weekend appointments available.

Christopher Benson

About the Author Chris served on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity
Seattle/S. King County for 10 years and served as Vice President
of the organization during part of that time. Read More