In Re Anthony L. Golio

Court: United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York (2008)

Citation: 393 B.R. 56, 60 Collier Bankr.Cas.2d 191

Background: Our client, Patricia Gilman, was married to Anthony Golio, the bankruptcy debtor, until their divorce was finalized in 1988. The terms of the divorce decree stipulated that the Mr. Golio could reside in the marital residence until Sept. 1, 1988. After that, he would have to pay Ms. Gilman $150 for each day he occupied the residence, and she had the option to evict him. Moreover, Mr. Golio was responsible for child support and medical and dental expenses for the children.

Details of the case: Over time, Mr. Golio not only stayed in the marital home longer than he was allowed (a total of 14 years), he also failed to pay the property taxes and accumulated penalties as well as medical expenses even when ordered to do so by the courts. He also did not transfer his interest in the property to Ms. Gilman as required by the divorce decree, which forced her to move out for fear of foreclosure. He subsequently moved back into the marital home and even rented it out from time to time, all without Ms. Gilman's consent.

Ms. Gilman filed an action to compel the defendant to pay past-due child support and medical expenses, the designated cost for staying in the house and attorney's fees, recovering a sum totaling $861,924.94. The Supreme Court awarded that amount plus $183,458.55 in legal fees and interest related to bringing the action.

Mr. Golio then filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and Ms. Gilman sought to have this debt excluded from discharge.

Decision: After affirming the Supreme Court's monetary judgments in favor of Ms. Gilman, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court stated that none of the debts owed to Ms. Gilman could be discharged because they were "domestic support obligations" as defined in the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005.

The Bankruptcy Court also found that the payment of Ms. Gilman's attorneys' fees by Mr. Golio to be proper because "to except attorneys' fees and costs from discharge in light of defendant's willful failure to comply with the state court judgments and orders is consistent with the legislative purpose" of the BAPCPA provisions.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court found that Mr. Golio owed Ms. Gilman $1,045,383.49 in total, which could not be discharged in bankruptcy, and ordered a hearing to determine if Ms. Gilman should be awarded additional attorneys' fees as a result of having to contest the bankruptcy discharge.

At Weinstein, Kaplan & Cohen, P.C., our attorneys' skill in family law, divorce, collections and litigation was a powerful tool in this appeal. If you have a family law dispute that needs experienced representation and well-crafted legal advocacy, contact us today. Our lawyers can be reached by phone at (800) 722-1342 or by e-mail using our intake form.

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