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How Does Bankruptcy Affect Colorado Support Orders?

Friday, 04 December 2009

After going through an expensive divorce, it is not uncommon for one spouse to claim personal bankruptcy.  If you are on the receiving end of support or spousal maintenance, you may be wondering how this will affect the agreements set forth on your divorce agreement.

In Colorado, the law will protect you from losing your rights to support without the need to file a claim in bankruptcy court.  However, your ex-spouse may try to reduce existing support obligations.  If you have concerns about how your ex-spouse’s bankruptcy filing will impact your lifestyle, it is best to consult with a Colorado Springs divorce attorney.

 

Under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, unpaid child support and alimony takes priority over any other creditor, including back taxes.  That said, it is still very important that you file a “proof of claim” with your local bankruptcy court in order to receive payment.  Also, the new law requires the trustee in the bankruptcy filing to send written notice to you, and your child support enforcement agency, at the time of filing.

In addition to child support, this law also protects non-support obligations, such as debts that were assigned to your ex-spouse at the time of divorce.  In other words, these debts become non-dischargeable and will remain the responsibility of your ex.  However, you should plan on filing a complaint with the court to prevent any property settlement debt from being wiped out.  Otherwise, you will not be able to collect it later. 

Each state uses different criteria to decide what is considered a support obligation and what a property settlement debt is.  A Colorado Springs divorce lawyer will be familiar with how this works in Colorado, and determine the best way to handle your situation.

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