How will filing for bankruptcy effect my default divorce when final judgment has already been entered ?

Asked over 1 year ago - Los Angeles, CA

I defaulted on my spouse . The Default Judgment has already been filed and dated 2 / 20 / 13 . Our official divorce date when the 6 month waiting period is over is May 16 . Starting now I am responsible for paying off the debt on credit cards in my name and she is responsible for cards in her name . She is threatening to file bankruptcy unless i keep giving her money to pay her bills because she refuses to get a job . I know bankruptcy halts the divorce . Since the judgment has already been filed 2 / 20 / 13 , we are just not legally single lit 5 / 16 / 13 , can bankruptcy still halt the proceedings ? In hoping not since we have already received judgment . Thank you so much in advance , I cant get a straight answer anywhere .

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Michael J. Ireland

    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Your question involves family law and bankruptcy, but I will try to answer what I can. I am assuming the property distribution AND the status have both been addressed in the final judgment entered 2/20/13.

    Bankruptcy will NOT change the 2/20/13 judgment. It is already done.

    If you receive a discharge, it will eliminate any liability you have to repay credit card debts that YOU incurred.

    You have not asked about bankruptcy discharging any legal obligations in the divorce judgment (such as an obligation to pay her attorneys' fees or child support or spousal support), so I will not go down that confusing rabbit hole.

    I don't know why your ex doesn't just file bankruptcy -- it is not clear how her bankruptcy will hurt you. It sounds like it might be a good idea for her (and you should not keep paying her any money unless it is court required).

    Finally, since expiration of the 6 month waiting period AUTOMATICALLY returns you to "single" status, I do not believe the bankruptcy stops that clock. It already started and keeps running and, on the end of the 6 months, you are automatically single, no matter who is in bankruptcy. I am pretty sure of this, but I would defer to any of my learned brethren who have more experience with this exact issue than I do.

    Good luck.

    If you need further clarity, please email me at MICHAEL@MIRELAND.US Answers to questions are for general... more
  2. Tobie Brina Waxman

    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . It's not entirely clear what your concerns are. Judgment has already been entered, so there are no proceedings to be halted. You say you are giving her money. Is it spousal support? Bankruptcy will not prevent the family law court from issuing or modifying orders regarding spousal or child support. [11 USC 362(b)(2)(A)(ii)]

Related Topics


Divorce is the process of formally ending a marriage. Divorces may be jointly agreed upon, resolved by negotiation, or decided in court.

Default Judgment in Divorce: When the Defendant Never Responds

Default divorce judgments are one-sided judgments favoring the plaintiff. They may be granted if the defendant doesn't respond when served.

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