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Cases of Interest: Bankruptcy
National Legal Research Group, Inc.

FLORIDA: Adkins v. Adkins, 675 So. 2d 199 (Fla. DCA 1996).
The husband's interest in the wife's profit-sharing plan pursuant to the parties' dissolution judgment was not a debt owed by the wife and therefore was not discharged in her bankruptcy proceeding after the dissolution.
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FLORIDA: Herman v. Herman, 661 So. 2d 1260 (Fla. DCA 1995).
When the husband filed for bankruptcy after the trial court's financial awards, the wife's share of the husband's retirement payments was not subject to the bankruptcy stay, because that share was partly in the nature of support and maintenance.
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NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS: In re Vernon, 192 B.R. 165 (Bankr. N.D. Ill. 1996).
Legal services rendered to a client in a divorce proceeding do not constitute "luxury services" so as to be presumptively protected from discharge under the Bankruptcy Code.
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ILLINOIS: In re Marriage of Kent, ___ Ill. App. 3d ___, 640 N.E.2d 973 (1994).
The trial court had jurisdiction to award the wife attorney's fees incurred when she intervened in the husband's bankruptcy proceeding to preserve her rights under the property settlement.
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INDIANA: Cowart v. White, 711 N.E.2d 523 (Ind. 1999).
When a spouse obtains a bankruptcy discharge after dissolution, the trial court may enforce the duties to sell and to divide the property imposed by the dissolution decree through contempt without violating the bankruptcy injunction.
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INDIANA: White v. White, 666 N.E.2d 459 (Ind. Ct. App. 1996).
The husband could not be held in contempt for failing to hold the wife harmless for certain debts as required by the parties' dissolution decree, since the hold-harmless obligation had been discharged in his bankruptcy proceeding after the decree; however, the wife could not be ordered to deed real estate to him as required by the decree, because her obligation to transfer the realty was conditioned on his payment of the now-discharged debts.
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IOWA: In re Marriage of Trickey, 589 N.W.2d 753 (Iowa Ct. App. 1998).
Modification of alimony following a bankruptcy discharge of property settlement obligations does not violate federal law if the modification merely takes into account the fact that one spouse will no longer receive the property settlement payments upon which the original support award was premised and the discharge results in changed financial circumstances.
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KANSAS: In re Marriage of Ray, ___ Kan. App. 2d ___, 905 P.2d 692 (1995).
Although the wife's debt to a particular creditor was discharged in bankruptcy, she could be held in contempt for failing to honor her agreement to hold the husband harmless for that debt unless he had filed a claim regarding the hold-harmless provision in the bankruptcy proceeding.
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NEW JERSEY: Frankel v. Frankel, 274 N.J. Super. 585, 644 A.2d 1132 (App. Div. 1994).
Where spouses have resolved all issues by agreement, but a bankruptcy stay prevents entry of a final judgment, the trial court may bifurcate the trial and enter a partial judgment of divorce.
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NEW YORK: Sinha v. Sinha, No. 89173, 2001NY.0005490 (N.Y. App. Div. July 12, 2001).
The wife claimed that the husband's claim for equitable distribution of marital property was barred by her discharge in bankruptcy, while the husband asserted that his claim remained viable against certain property that had been declared exempt property in the bankruptcy proceeding. In this case, after the commencement of the divorce action but before the divorce was final, the wife filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code and listed the husband as a creditor.
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NEW YORK: Clark v. Clark, ___ A.D.2d ___, 631 N.Y.S.2d 467 (1995).
The husband's petition in bankruptcy had no effect upon the wife's interest in his pension fund, because that interest had already been equitably distributed to her.
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OHIO: Vaughan v. Vaughan, 131 Ohio App. 3d 364, 722 N.E.2d 578 (1999).
The wife's award of one-half interest in the husband's pension and one-half interest in the husband's deferred compensation was not "debt" for purposes of determining its dischargeability in bankruptcy.
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SOUTH CAROLINA: Burns v. Burns, ___ S.C. ___, 448 S.E.2d 571 (Ct. App. 1994).
The trial court did not have jurisdiction to award the wife attorney's fees incurred when she intervened in the husband's bankruptcy proceeding to protect her property rights under the divorce decree.
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VIRGINIA: Bogart v. Bogart, 21 Va. App. 280, 464 S.E.2d 157 (1995).
The bankruptcy court had the authority to allow the state court to decide the validity of the parties' property settlement, even though the bankruptcy court itself had declined to approve the agreement.
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WYOMING: Richardson v. Richardson, 868 P.2d 259 (Wyo. 1994).
The discharge in a bankruptcy proceeding of a number of debts allocated to the husband in the divorce decree constituted a "change in circumstances" justifying modification.
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