Debt Owed Pursuant to Divorce Settlement Agreement was Dischargeable in Chapter 13 since it was Not “In the Nature of Support”

Debt Owed Pursuant to Divorce Settlement Agreement was Dischargeable in Chapter 13 since it was Not “In the Nature of Support”

Plaintiff filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case. She then filed an adversary proceeding seeking a determination that  a debt owed to Defendant under a divorce settlement agreement was dischargeable pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §§ 523(a)(15) and 1328(a). Plaintiff served Defendant with the complaint, but the defendant did not respond. Plaintiff moved for a default to be entered.

The Court began its analysis by noting that there are three elements to a claim under section 523(a)(15): (1) the debt in question must be to a spouse, former spouse or child of the debtor; (2) the debt is not a “support obligation” that would fall within the scope of section 523(a)(5); and (3) the debt was incurred in a separation agreement, divorce decree or other court order. 4 Collier on Bankruptcy ¶ 523.23 (Alan N. Resnick & Henry J. Sommer, eds., 16th ed.). The effect of section 523(a)(15) is “to make all divorce-related obligations subject to a presumption of nondischargeability.”

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