What do I do if my ex filed bankruptcy? 11 Answers as of May 10, 2011

Our divorce decree states I will owe the federal up to 35,000, my ex husband owes the entire state taxes. When I sold my house, I was to get all the proceeds; instead I got a 14,000 state tax lien and a 19,500 federal lien that was paid out of the equity. My ex husband is filing bankruptcy and states that the rest of the federal will go in his bankruptcy. I am doing a refund for this year. I filed for an extension, was going to wait until after his bankruptcy. His bankruptcy attorney said that as long as I am filing single and doesn't have my ex's name on it, the IRS won't take my money, I will still get a refund. I don't want to make a mistake; I really need this money for my 2 small kids. Most the IRS debt is from 2007. Can someone please give me correct information?

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Dearbonn Law Offices
Dearbonn Law Offices | Ajibola Oluyemisi Oladapo
First of all, you cannot discharge IRS debts. Secondly, you are now single and no longer married to him, so you will still get your refund.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 5/10/2011
Steven J. Fromm
Steven J. Fromm | Steven J. Fromm & Associates, P.C.
Why do you not have an attorney representing you, especially when your husband has one. You need to be on a level playing field here. Trying to solve your problems through a general site like this one is of no value to you. Get an attorney immediately; you cannot afford to not have one with the type of legal issues and problems you discuss.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 5/9/2011
David Hoines Law
David Hoines Law | David Hoines
The bankruptcy attorney is correct.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 5/6/2011
Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed
Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed | Robert Weed
If you filed jointly on the taxes that are owed, it doesn't help you that you file single this year. The IRS can still apply your refund to that joint debt. (You have some small hope they won't figure it out, but not much to count on.) If there still a lot of tax left after all that, maybe you should talk to a bankruptcy lawyer. If 2007 was filed correctly on time, it would be dischargeable in a bankruptcy by you.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 5/6/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
If he was supposed to pay the state tax, you may have a non-dischargeable claim against him. It depends on how the dissolution of marriage judgment was drawn up. If you both owe the IRS jointly, they will take your refund. Without seeing the tax transcript for the years in question I can't give you a better answer. You should see your own lawyer. There is conflict of interest with his.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/6/2011
    Jackson White, PC
    Jackson White, PC | Spencer Hale
    Well, there are quite a few issues here. Most of the answer has to do with whether your ex is filing a chapter 7 or 13. Your best bet is to meet with an attorney to go over all of your options, but here are a few general principals: First, regardless of what the divorce decree says, the IRS and the State may collect from you or your husband because you are both liable on the debt.

    The divorce decree just gives you the ability to sue your ex husband if he doesn't pay his share of the debts or if you end up having to pay his share of the debts. Your ex's obligation to you will survive a chapter 7 discharge, but can be extinguished in a chapter 13. Second, taxes typically are not discharged in bankruptcy, so your ex will still have to pay the state taxes even if they are not paid in the bankruptcy. If your ex files a chapter 13 then the state and federal taxes will probably be paid in full through the bankruptcy. I would disagree with your ex's attorney on the tax refund matter. Because you owe the taxes together with your ex, the IRS or the state may intercept your refund regardless of whether you file your taxes as a single individual or with him.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 5/6/2011
    Law Office of Larry Webb
    Law Office of Larry Webb | Larry Webb
    Generally taxes are non-dischargeable and your husband's bankruptcy will have no consequence regarding the tax liability. Your divorce settlement is a state court document and the IRS will still look to you if you had joint liability for the taxes. Get your own attorney, you need to consult with a tax attorney, not your husband's bankruptcy attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/6/2011
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
    You are not getting a refund.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 5/6/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    Your ex-husband's bankruptcy will not effect your rights under your divorce decree. Domestic support obligations in your divorce order are not dischargeable in his bankruptcy because of Section 523 (a) (5) of the bankruptcy code. Also, Section 507 (a) (1) (A)of the bankruptcy code makes domestic support obligations the first priority of claims if there are assets in his bankruptcy. However, if you owe either federal or state income taxes his bankruptcy will have no effect upon that even if some of the taxes are old enough that his obligation is discharged. In that event the divorce order still applies as to what he is obligated to pay for. If you owe income taxes you will not be entitled to a refund; the converse is also true.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/6/2011
    Law Office of Harry L Styron
    Law Office of Harry L Styron | Harry L Styron
    First, debt for taxes is not dischargeable, so if he files Chapter 7 he will still owe the money to the State and feds (assuming they were taxes you accrued during marriage). But with respect to the state tax lien that he was to pay and you got stuck with, you can go back to family court and get the property division adjusted to reflect what you paid, and that also is non-dischargeable. The only issue left is taking it out of his pay or whatever assets he acquires in the future.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/6/2011
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