Alimony payments provide valuable financial support for you when your ex-spouse was the primary income earner or you were a stay-at-home parent. Once you receive your alimony order, you might wonder if anything can trigger modification.
If your ex-spouse is having trouble with finances, you might wonder what happens to your alimony order if they file for bankruptcy.
Can your ex-spouse discharge alimony in bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy allows debtors to discharge a variety of debts in the process, including secured and unsecured loans. Court-ordered payments, such as alimony and child support, are ineligible for discharge in bankruptcy. That means your ex-spouse still has a legal obligation to make those alimony payments.
Can your ex-spouse modify the alimony payments after bankruptcy?
Filing for bankruptcy is a declaration of financial challenges. A petition to modify asks the court to reconsider the alimony payment and adjust it based on the current financial position that led to the bankruptcy. In some cases, this will result in a temporary modification. However, the court typically requires that the petitioner make an effort to rectify the situation in a timely manner.
Should alimony payments continue during bankruptcy?
Since your ex-spouse cannot discharge alimony payments in bankruptcy, you should receive payments on the existing schedule even after they file.
Protect your rights to alimony and negotiate any payment modifications in court. Your alimony settlement helps you sustain your standard of living even after the divorce. Understanding how your ex-spouse’s bankruptcy might affect things helps you adequately prepare in case it happens.