Can I file bankruptcy on custody battle attorney fees? 19 Answers as of January 10, 2014

I have 13 grand debt due to a nasty custody battle. My lawyer told me the judge would most likely get him to pay my fees. Since he wasted our time twice in court and he's a sex offender and couldn't have our child anyway, I won sole custody but got stuck with my lawyer fees. He told me he would get stuck paying them. I never paid on it the whole year we went through this battle. Now they want it all now. Can I file bankruptcy on my custody battle lawyer fees?

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David R. Fondren, Attorney at Law
David R. Fondren, Attorney at Law | David R. Fondren
Yes you can. Whether a bankruptcy is the right choice I cannot say. You need to sit with a bankruptcy attorney and get a thorough review of all your facts and review options before deciding.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 1/10/2014
R. Steven Chambers PLLC | R. Steven Chambers PLLC
I love your attitude! You hired a lawyer, didn't pay him at all, got exactly the result you wanted and now that it's over you're taking the position that you could have done it all without him because your ex is a sex offender and never would have gotten custody in the first place. And so you want to stiff your attorney for all his hard work on your behalf. Grow up.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 1/8/2014
Rhymer Law Firm
Rhymer Law Firm | William Rhymer
If you are otherwise eligible to file a bankruptcy case, as long as the fees were for your lawyer, you can usually discharge them in the case.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 1/7/2014
Eranthe Law Firm
Eranthe Law Firm | Cate Eranthe
It sounds like they are dischargeable. You may need to file a chapter 13 if it was part of a divorce case and you will have a problem if they are considered as support. It would be best if you see a knowledgeable local bankruptcy attorney and have your specific facts evaluated.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/31/2013
Elkington Law
Elkington Law | Sally Elkington
Attorney fees are dischargeable in a bankruptcy filing along with all other dischargeable debts. Assuming you can file for bankruptcy, your attorney fees can be included.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/31/2013
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Yes, that is the risk in practicing family law cases.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/31/2013
    Law Office of Shawn N. Wright | Shawn N. Wright
    You normally are able to discharge (wipe out) your own lawyer fees that are owed. As a general rule, you can discharge all debts, except for a short list of things, such as student loans, most income tax debts, court restitution, etc. Attorney fees like this however is not on that list, so yes, you would be able to file bankruptcy on the debt you describe.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 12/31/2013
    Law Offices of Linda Rose Fessler | Linda Fessler
    Yes, you can file on those fees.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/31/2013
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    You can usually discharge your own legal fees in a bankruptcy. But the next time your ex brings a suit to harass you, you will probably not be able to find a family attorney to touch your case with a 10 foot pole.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 12/31/2013
    Portland Bankruptcy Law Group
    Portland Bankruptcy Law Group | Christopher J. Kane
    Yes, you can discharge attorney fees incurred in child custody litigation in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 12/31/2013
    Hoang & Tran PLLC | Adam Tran
    Yes you can, but the lawyer has the opportunity to file an adverse claim against you in bankruptcy court for matters such as fraud - not for the inability to pay.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 12/31/2013
    Kirby G. Moss PC | Kirby G. Moss
    If you otherwise qualify to file bankruptcy, you can file on these fees. Fees ordered by a court that were incurred to establish child support would likely not be dischargeable.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 12/31/2013
    Moffa & Bonacquisti, P.A.
    Moffa & Bonacquisti, P.A. | John A. Moffa
    You don't get to pick and choose what debts are listed. You must list everyone who is owed money, including parents, friends, auto companies and mortgage companies. What debts are discharged in your bankruptcy case are questions for your lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 12/31/2013
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    From your description, it sounds like your attorney fees would be dischargeable in a bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 12/31/2013
    OlsenDaines, PC
    OlsenDaines, PC | Kristoffer Sperry
    Generally, any attorney fees incurred for custody can be wiped out in a typical bankruptcy. The only time it is an issue is if the attorney fees were awarded as part of the divorce decree.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 12/31/2013
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    Yes, attorneys fees are dischargeable in bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/31/2013
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    Absent an agreement to secure them, attorneys' fees are dischargable in BK as unsecured debt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/31/2013
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