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Are attorney’s fees in a divorce case dischargeable in bankruptcy?

Sometimes in a divorce one spouse is eager to end the marriage and as an incentive he or she offers to pay the other spouse’s attorney’s fees. After the divorce, he or she declares bankruptcy and reneges on the agreement.

An obligation to pay an attorney’s fees is dischargeable in bankruptcy in a divorce situation, unless this obligation is in the nature of support. That is, if the obligation to pay an attorney’s fees is financial support for the former spouse.

Sometimes a court orders an attorney’s fee paid by one of the parties to the other, but even if ordered by the court in a divorce, an obligation to pay attorney’s fees is dischargeable in bankruptcy unless this obligation is in the nature of support, which means the obligation to pay the attorney’s fees is a form of financial support.