Subsection (15) of Section 523(a) was added to the Bankruptcy Code in the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1994 to expand the Section 523(a)(5) exception to discharge for marital debts. Section 523(a)(15) provides that an individual is not discharged from any debt:
(15) to a spouse, former spouse, or child of the debtor and not of the kind described in paragraph (5) [related to domestic support obligations like child support or alimony] that is incurred by the debtor in the course of a divorce or separation or in connection with a separation agreement, divorce decree, or other order of a court of record, or a determination made in accordance with State or territorial law by a governmental unit.
Basically, subsection (15) makes nondischargeable all divorce-related debts other than alimony, maintenance, and child support, which are already nondischargeable pursuant to 523(a)(5).
If your spouse files for bankruptcy and is seeking to discharge an obligation created by a divorce decree or other separation agreement, it may be necessary for you to file an adversary proceeding to have that debt designated as non-dischargeable under Section 523(a)(15). Otherwise, that debt might be discharged. Don’t assume that it will simply carry through the bankruptcy.
Need assistance in managing the bankruptcy process? Freeman Law attorneys offer unique cross-disciplinary expertise in taxation, litigation, and forensic accounting and asset tracing, positioning the Firm to handle complex bankruptcy litigation on behalf of debtors, creditors, and trustees, as well as bankruptcy taxation matters. Our Firm offers value-driven services and provides practical solutions to navigate complex bankruptcy laws. Contact Freeman Law to schedule a consultation or call (214) 984-3000 to discuss your tax or bankruptcy concerns.