From the Editor’s Desk – Priority Claims

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

Attorney fees awarded by state court in child custody litigation were domestic support obligation. After a six-day trial on child custody, the prebankruptcy state court awarded almost $100,000 attorney fees to be paid by the Chapter 13 debtor, and those fees were in the nature of support; therefore, they were nondischargeable and must be paid as priority claim. Fifth Circuit authority, In re Dvorak, 986 F.2d 940 (5th Cir. 1993), holds “that court-ordered attorneys’ fees incurred during a custody suit between debtor and . . .

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