Jodoin v. Samayoa (In re Jodoin)

209 B.R. 132 (B.A.P. 9th Cir. 1997)

 

RULE:

The test for excepting the nondischargeability of the marital debt is if discharging such debt would result in a benefit to the debtor that outweighs the detrimental consequences to a spouse, former spouse, or child of the debtor. 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(15)(B).

FACTS:

Plaintiff-Appellee Christine Samayoa, formerly Jodoin ("Plaintiff"), filed a complaint (the "Complaint") against Defendant-Appellant Douglas Jodoin, M.D. ("Defendant") under Bankruptcy Code (the "Code") § 523(a)(15) seeking to have a state court marital dissolution judgment for $44,082 (the "Judgment") declared non-dischargeable. After a trial on the merits of the Complaint, the bankruptcy court held that the Judgment was non-dischargeable under Code §§ 523(a)(5) and (a)(15)

ISSUE:

Was the judgment dischargeable?

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

The dissolution judgment unambiguously represented past support, so the court did not err in holding that the judgment was nondischargeable under § 523(a)(5). Additionally, no error was found in requiring appellant to bear the burden of excepting the judgment from the nondischargeability provisions or in applying the ability to pay and detriment tests at the time of trial. The court found that appellant failed to meet this burden and that appellant had waived any argument as to the propriety of attaching legal significance to the judgment. The court affirmed the judgment of the bankruptcy court.

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