13 Dec You Mean My Ex-Wife Will Find Out About My Bankruptcy?
Divorced debtors should take extra care to insure that all information on their bankruptcy schedules is completely accurate.
When a client’s been divorced, that raises red flags for me. Are there “hold harmless” type debts that might not be dischargeable in Chapter 7? Should we consider a Chapter 13? How much alimony is the debtor required to pay? How much child support? Are these obligations current?
Another issue that always comes to mind is the debtor’s need to make sure that his bankruptcy schedules are accurate. Perfection is always the goal when filing a bankruptcy case, but it’s really important when there’s a former spouse out there.
If there’s an alimony or child support obligation, the former spouse will get notice of the bankruptcy even if the support obligations are current. And if there are debts which the debtor has been ordered to pay for which the former spouse is jointly liable, the former spouse must also get notice as a co-debtor.
I always tell my clients to plan on the former spouse getting a copy of their bankruptcy schedules and reading every words on those schedules. This isn’t because I think my clients are liars; it’s because even an innocent, inadvertent omission will look very bad if the former spouse reports the omission to the trustee.
I have a case on my desk at this moment in which the former wife of a debtor–not my client, thankfully–has indicated that various sources of income were not disclosed. She may or may not be right. If she is, though, that could spell big trouble for that debtor.
Even more so than with “normal” cases, I would suggest that those of you who are divorced should make absolutely certain that all your income, expenses, assets, and liabilities–along with all other information in your bankruptcy scehdules–are completely accurate. Go slow, and be thorough. Don’t leave anything out.
To borrow a line from a country song from several years ago, all your ex’s might live in Texas, but they can still cause you BIG problems in Tennessee–or in any other state!
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