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About The Family Lawyer's Guide to Bankruptcy
Now completely revised and updated, this new edition of The Family Lawyer's Guide to Bankruptcy provides a valuable and concise resource for understanding the sweeping changes to the Bankruptcy Code as it affects divorce and divorcing parties. As part of its significant overhaul of the country's bankruptcy law, in 2005 Congress dramatically changed the ability for a debtor to escape a divorce-related obligation. Under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA), a bankruptcy filing is substantially more difficult and eliminates some of the benefits that used to be available.
However, the root causes for the filing of bankruptcy remain: about a quarter of all bankruptcy cases are caused by divorce, often due to the costs of maintaining two households on a single salary, uncovered medical expenses, failing businesses, and job loss. Therefore, there are still situations in a divorce case where a bankruptcy case may be beneficial to both spouses.
The Family Lawyer's Guide to Bankruptcy offers practical guidance on the new legislation and how it affects divorcing spouses. The guide begins with an overview of bankruptcy law as it pertains to the particular needs of a practicing family lawyer. The first part focuses on the discharge exception provisions applicable in the divorce arena, with an emphasis on the two most common exceptions:
§ 523(a)(5), which provides for the automatic exception of "support" debts from bankruptcy cases
§ 523(a)(15), which provides an automatic exception to discharge for non-support, divorce-related debts from Chapter 7, 11, and 12 cases
The book's second part presents a general overview of the bankruptcy system and highlights the ramifications of bankruptcy in a divorce situation. Among the aspects defined and explained in this section include the types of bankruptcy cases; case commencement; automatic stay; property of the estate; lien avoidance; priority of alimony, maintenance, and support debts; avoidability of transfers between married spouses; executory contracts; dismissal; closing the case; and revocation of discharge. Detailed notes provide in-depth explanations of issues covered in both parts of the text.
Appendices, which are also contained on an accompanying CD-ROM, provide essential information for the family lawyer. These include:
Guidelines for pre-bankruptcy planning for the divorce practitioner to assist in developing settlement agreements and divorce decrees
Discussion of prior law (pre-BAPCPA) under § 523 (a)(15)'s balancing test