Can filing bankruptcy get you out of jail for failing to pay alimony?

A recent case before the United States Appellate Panel of the First Circuit (In re DeSouza, 493 BR 669 – Bankr. Appellate Panel, 1st Circuit 2013) addressed whether a family court judge could legally order a debtor to be in contempt for failing to pay alimony during a pending chapter 13 bankruptcy. The debtor filed a petition under chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code in January 2011. In June 2011, the debtor’s spouse filed a complaint for divorce. After a hearing on September 30, 2011, the probate court entered an order granting alimony to the debtor’s spouse in the amount 

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Does Bankruptcy Erase Domestic Support Obligations?

What’s a Domestic Support Obligation? A debt that is in the nature of alimony, maintenance or support of a spouse, former spouse or child of the debtor (now defined by the term “domestic support obligation” — often shortened to “DSO”) is not dischargeable in either a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy case. See 11 U.S.C. §§ 523(a)(5); 1328(a)(2). A debt owed to a spouse, former spouse or child of the debtor, that is not a DSO, but that is incurred “in the course of a divorce or separation or in connection with a separation agreement, divorce decree or other 

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