Domestic Relations Contempt Orders and the Bankruptcy Automatic Stay, Property of the Estate and Concurrent Jurisdiction
By Janet Flaccus · October 15, 2004 · 2004 Ark. L. Notes
In categories: Archive
This article is written for the lawyer who does domestic relations work and not much, if any, bankruptcy work. Those of you who do a lot of bankruptcy work do not need to read this, unless you want a discussion of the state-court’s contempt powers. I aim this article at the domestic relations practitioner and state-court judges who do domestic relations work.
Take for the illustration of these bankruptcy concepts the following facts. John and Jane have been married for 20 years and have divorced or are in the process of divorcing. Jane has stayed in the home to raise their three children, and therefore under state law is entitled to alimony, at least temporarily. Assume there has been a court order ordering John to pay temporary or permanent alimony and / or child support. Assume that John does not pay any or all of the amounts owing to Jane. Jane files a motion in state court to hold John in contempt for not paying these sums.
Sometime at the end or in the middle of this state-court process, John files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.