My question involves bankruptcy in the state of: Utah
Several years ago, my wife and I were divorced. During the proceedings my wife was awarded judgments totalling $120,000 in alimony arrearage and judgments totalling $45,000 in child support arrearage (based on erroneous salary information). Toward the end of the divorce, my wife took one of the child support arrearage judgments (in the amount of $21,000) and assigned it to her attorney to defray some of her attorney fees. This was done unbeknownst to me, or my attorney.
A year after the divorce, when a case I filed with the Utah Court of Appeals was pending, my wife and I came to a global settlement. She waived the alimony arrearage and waived all child support arrearage. I provided here with a promissory note in the amount of $45,000 (yes, my wife assigned to me the judgments listed above, including the $21,000 judgment that she had previously assigned to her attorney -- unlawful, deceitful, and unethical). Nevertheless, I have been paying on this monthly ever since.
In December of 2012, I began working on a Chapter 7 bankrtupcy. I found out that the Attorney had filed a lawsuit against me, and had received a default judgment (never notified of the pre-trial conference, or the hearing). So, I added the $21,000 judgment to my Chapter 7 bankruptcy. He filed an Adversary Proceeding indicating that the $21,000 was child support and should not be discharged.
Do I have a leg to stand on in the BK court, or should I just allow it to be deemed non-dischargeable and seek to have the judgment set aside in the District Court?
I had heard that if the assignment by the non-paying spouse was voluntary, that it could be discharged. Also, I heard that if it fails to provide benefit to the non-paying spouse (the promissory note would necessarily be modified by subtracting the $21,000, which certainly doesn't benefit my ex-wife), that it could be discharged.
Any thoughts. Your comments would be greatly appreciated.