Can Bankruptcy Discharge Alimony Obligations?

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You may have all the right intentions to pay your former spouse the alimony to which they are entitled. However, your monthly payments may be weighing heavily on you as you struggle with the gravity of your overall debt. With this, you may wonder if declaring bankruptcy is the best solution to this issue. Read on to discover whether a bankruptcy filing can work to discharge your alimony obligations and how a seasoned Rockland County bankruptcy attorney at The Law Office of Allen A. Kolber, Esq. can help lift certain financial burdens off your shoulders.

Is it possible for bankruptcy to discharge my alimony obligations?

By the United States bankruptcy code, debts are recognized as either dischargeable or nondischargeable. Firstly, dischargeable debts are those that may be eliminated from your immediate legal obligation upon your bankruptcy filing. Secondly, nondischargeable debts are those that cannot be extinguished with your bankruptcy petition.

Unfortunately for you, your alimony obligations are categorized as a nondischargeable debt. This is because this is viewed as a domestic support obligation that has been mandated to be paid by the New York family court. In other words, a bankruptcy judge cannot go against the family court’s orders. Of note, the same may apply to your child support obligations.

What’s more, your alimony obligations may even be considered to be a priority debt in your Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This means that the New York bankruptcy court may require you to first pay off any outstanding alimony payments with any available funds. Only then will your bankruptcy proceedings commence.

Can bankruptcy allow me to modify my alimony obligations?

The silver lining to all this is that you may still eliminate other dischargeable debts upon your bankruptcy filing, such as your medical bills, your credit card debts, your utility bills, etc. This may subsequently free up some of your income so that you may meet your monthly alimony obligations.

However, if you are still struggling to make alimony payments during your bankruptcy proceedings, then you may qualify for a modification. Importantly, your petition for a post-judgment modification of your divorce decree is an issue that must be taken up with the New York family court rather than the bankruptcy court.

With this petition, you may have to prove that you undergoing an unexpected financial matter that your alimony obligations must better reflect. For this, documents related to your bankruptcy filing may just serve as your proof. It is worth mentioning that you must continue to match your current alimony obligation until a modification is approved.

You cannot stay silent if you are being overburdened by your alimony obligations during bankruptcy. Rather, you must retain the services of a competent Rockland County bankruptcy attorney. Contact The Law Office of Allen A. Kolber, Esq. today.