San Jose Bankruptcy Attorney comments on a lawsuit filed by a West Virginia woman against the state over unpaid child support following her ex-husband’s bankruptcy.
A West Virginia woman is suing the state Department of Health and Human Resources because she alleges that it did not file her child support claim in a timely manner following her ex-husband’s bankruptcy filing. The suit asks for damages of more than $15,000 in lost and unpaid child support.
The woman, Carmel Johnson, and her ex-husband, Lon Robert Davis, divorced nearly 20 years ago. However, he was ordered to pay child support from August 19, 1997 to August 19, 2007. In 2006, Davis filed for bankruptcy protection in West Virginia. On his bankruptcy petition, Johnson and the Bureau for Child Support Enforcement were named as creditors. Under the current bankruptcy laws, domestic support obligations such as child support and alimony are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.
The Child Support Enforcement agency scheduled a hearing the bankruptcy petition, and the hearing was postponed until 6 months after the statute of limitations had expired. Johnson is suing for $15,143 in unpaid child support, plus interest and attorney fees.
It is extremely important to make sure that your divorce attorney is notified if your former spouse files for bankruptcy protection. While child support and spousal support cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy decree, they can, as this case demonstrates, get hung up in procedural errors that can tie up the money that is rightfully yours. Keep your attorney posted on any of these types of proceedings. The small cost of the attorney’s fees will be dwarfed by any lost support obligations.
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