Yelverton v. Senyi De Nagy-Unyom (In re Yelverton)

Nos. 09-00414, 12-10011, 2012 Bankr. LEXIS 4394 (Bankr. D.D.C. Sep. 24, 2012)

 

RULE:

A debtor's marital support and alimony obligations under an agreement need not have been merged or incorporated into the divorce judgment in order for the obligations to be a nondischargeable 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(5) domestic support obligations. It suffices that they were either established by the prenuptial agreement in its character of serving as a separation agreement or were subject to establishment by a court order (or established by a court order).

FACTS:

The debtor contended that because the prenuptial agreement was not ratified, merged into, or incorporated into the decree of divorce, the obligations arising under the agreement were contractual obligations and not domestic support or marital obligations excepted from discharge under 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(5) or (a)(15)

ISSUE:

Should Summary judgment be granted in favor of the wife on the issue of whether marital support and alimony payments were nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(5) or (a)(15)?

ANSWER:

Yes.

CONCLUSION:

The court held that it sufficed that they were either established by the prenuptial agreement in its character of serving as a separation agreement or were subject to establishment by a court order (or established by a court order). Even if they were not domestic support obligations under § 523(a)(5), the obligations would still be nondischargeable under § 523(a)(15). With respect to a document in which the debtor promised to pay his wife the first $100,000 he received from the proceeds of his interest in a pig operation, the wife did not show that this obligation was for purposes of alimony, maintenance, or support. However, if a state court were to rule in a D.C. Code § 16-190 proceeding that the wife was entitled to a monetary claim for that $100,000 obligation as part of the equitable distribution of property, such a claim would be nondischargeable.

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