Debts, Divorce and Disarray in Bankruptcy


The article addresses a point of intersection between federal bankruptcy law and state family law. Specifically, I deal with the various issues that arise when a former spouse to whom pre-existing marital debts were allocated at the time of divorce subsequently declares bankruptcy. A review of the legal literature reveals very little attention paid to the rights of the third-party marital creditor, the obligated spouse, and the other former spouse as to allocated debts, when the obligated spouse declares bankruptcy. While there is a significant body of work dealing generally with the treatment of divorce-related debts in bankruptcy, none of it focuses on this specific type of obligation. Many unique issues arise out of the special and complex relationships among the parties in the scenario I have highlighted. My article is intended to serve as a roadmap for understanding this complex legal topic.


Bankruptcy Law | Family Law

Date of this Version

March 2004