Problems may result from the conflict of interests between domestic relations courts and bankruptcy courts when a couple files for bankruptcy during a divorce. The conflict arises because of the differing policies between the courts. Bankruptcy courts have a policy of providing a fresh start and distributing the debtors' assets equally among all of their creditors. Family courts have a policy of equitably dividing the property between the spouses.
A Chapter 12 hardship discharge may only be granted if the unsecured creditors have received at least as much as they would have received through a Chapter 7 liquidation and if modification of the plan is not feasible.
Discharging a debt in bankruptcy means that the debt is eliminated or wiped out. However, not all types of debts can be discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding.
Debtors may be able to discharge some or all of their older income tax obligations in bankruptcy. Dischargeability of these taxes turns on the question whether or not they are "priority" claims. Tax obligations that are non-priority are dischargeable.
A husband and wife can file a joint case under Chapter 7, 11, 12 or 13. Both names are on the same petition and schedules, and only one filing fee is due. Only spouses are allowed to file a joint petition. Former spouses, partners or other relatives do not qualify for a joint petition. Whether a husband and a wife should file a bankruptcy together depends on whether both are liable on the debts involved. Filing bankruptcy generally only protects the person who filed the bankruptcy. Married couples who are jointly liable on most debts should file a joint bankruptcy.