Date of Decision:
April 13, 2012
Whether alimony, a property settlement payment, and a motorcycle awarded the debtor in a pre-petition divorce became property of the estate though an appeal of the divorce was pending on the petition date?
The alimony, property settlement award, and motorcycle awarded the debtor in the pre-petition divorce order were property of the bankruptcy estate. The broad scope of 11 U.S.C. § 541(a) encompassed the debtor's interest in these assets on the petition date based on the divorce court's dispositive, pre-petition order. None of the exclusions under § 541(b), (c)(2), or (d) applied to these assets, and the debtor did not identify any provision of § 541(b) or nonbankruptcy law incorporated by § 541(c)(2) that would exclude from the bankruptcy estate the debtor's entitlement to a stream of alimony payments. The pending appeal also did not remove the assets from the estate since contingent future interests are not excluded. Finally, the 180-day provision of § 541(a)(5)(B) did not apply because the debtor's interests in the assets all arose pre-petition.
Full Bankruptcy Court Decision: