In re Gedeon
In In re Gedeon, 31 B.R. 942 (Bankr. D. Colo. 1983), the bankruptcy court first determined that the attorney's fee award of $ 75,000 was non-dischargeable under section 523(a)(5), as alimony, maintenance, or support for a former spouse or child of the debtor.
The court stated:
It is in the best interests of the children to have custody matters fully and fairly litigated. Insuring this is done is part of the debtor's duty to support his children. The mother has been awarded attorney fees to put her on an equal footing to pursue the matter of custody and support. By full representation the trial judge can better determine what is for the best interests to insure the welfare of the children. 31 B.R. at 945.
Employing the same reasoning, the court determined that the debt for $ 10,000 in expenses also was non-dischargeable.
"This would also appear to be an award to put the spouse on an equal footing in the litigation of the dissolution of marriage matters and further was for the benefit and support of the minor children." Id.
The court went on to decide that the automatic stay did not bar the mother from collecting the counsel fees and costs against the father's bankruptcy estate assets.