When Kentucky residents file for bankruptcy, certain types of debts cannot be discharged. If the person files for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, he or she may have a longer time to repay the delinquent amount of non-dischargeable debts, but they still must be paid in full. One of these types of non-dischargeable debts is a domestic support obligation, which includes both child and spousal support.

In one recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, the court held that a family court's order for a man to pay his ex-wife's attorney fees was a domestic support obligation that could not be discharged in bankruptcy. The family court ordered the man to pay the fees because he had over-litigated his divorce case in an effort to try to control the situation.

The man appealed his bankruptcy case, arguing that the order was made to punish him, so it was not a domestic support obligation. He also argued that because the fees were payable to the attorney and not to his ex-wife, they were not support. The appeals court affirmed the lower court's decision, finding that the fees were a form of domestic support. Since the man failed to argue about the payee not being his wife in the lower court, the appeals court refused to consider that argument.

Even if a person's debt is non-dischargeable, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may still provide some financial relief. People are allowed to stretch out their payments over a period lasting from between three and five years. This may give debtors more time to catch up with the delinquencies that they owe while also making their current support payments. A bankruptcy attorney might advise a client about which type of bankruptcy could be more appropriate based on his or her particular debts.