How Do I Get Out of My Chapter 13 Bankruptcy With My Deadbeat Husband I’m Now Separated From? – Donna

“Dear Lewis,

In March of this year my husband and I filed a chap 13. He was making the payment out of his earnings. Since then we have seperated and are living apart. He lost his job and is homeless and only working part-time. The attorney has come after me to make these payments. my husband is not giving me a dime of support and I have two children, a mortgage and all the bills to pay.

This is causing me extreme difficulty to pay this chap. 13. Is there a way I can get it discharged? I am not sure what to do, but know that I cannot possibly continue to keep up the payments. I am wanting to proceed with a divorce and try to make my husband take on some of the responsibility, but I can’t even afford an attorney at this point. I really need some good advice on what steps I can take.

How can I get a chapter 13 dismissed for hardship?


Dear Donna,

This is a common problem in chapter 13 between married co-debtors.

A hardship discharge varies in each jurisdiction. The easier course is to convert a case to chapter 7. With your husband unemployed, you probably qualify for chapter 7.

But I have no idea why you filed chapter 13 to start. Were you behind on a home and want to keep it? Did you make too much money to qualify for chapter 7? Did you have unexempt assets you were trying to protect?

Simply converting to chapter 7 might not solve the problem, or could make it worse.

The other issue is the separation from your husband. If chapter 7 is right for both of you, then convert. If you are looking for help from your attorney, then you need to convert together.

In Florida, I cannot represent separated or divorced spouses separately if I represented them together in the beginning. Unless your husband is on board with converting to chapter 7 together, it might be unethical for your current attorney to represent only you to convert to chapter 7.

See also  I'm currently in year 4 of Chapter 13 bankruptcy but getting divorced. - Stephanie

I suspect the reason the attorney is saying to make the payments is that he or she still has some of the attorney fee left to be paid through the chapter 13 plan.

Please post your responses for me in the comments section below.

My name is Lewis Roberts and I’m an attorney licensed in Florida and Georgia. My practice focus is consumer bankruptcy, real estate issues/closings, and mortgages. I also have Florida real estate broker and mortgage broker licenses. I am a proud member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA), National Association of Consumer Attorneys (NACA), and a graduate of Max Gardner’s Bankruptcy Boot Camp. I enjoy helping people with decisions that impact their financial well-being.

Legal Disclaimer: This is for educational purposes only. It is not to be relied upon as legal advice. It also does not create an attorney-client relationship. No such relationship is formed with attorney without a written agreement.

If you have a bankruptcy question you’d like to ask just use the online form.

Leave a Comment