Will I Still Have to Pay Alimony if I File for Bankruptcy?

hands passing money

If ordered with the post-divorce financial obligation of alimony, you may have to make regular payments to your former spouse so as to maintain the standard of living they established during the marriage. Since this is not a permanent financial agreement, you may be wondering how this will be affected if you file for bankruptcy during this time. Find out if you will be required to continue alimony payments if you declare bankruptcy and how an experienced Suffern New York bankruptcy attorney at the Law Offices of Allen A. Kolber, Esq. can help you modify your agreement.

Will I need to continue making alimony payments if I file for bankruptcy?

It should not be assumed that filing for bankruptcy automatically means stopping your alimony payments. When filing for bankruptcy, there are two types of debt considered. The first is dischargeable debt, like credit card debt, which will most likely be wiped out in the process. The second is non-dischargeable debt, which will most likely remain and be required to pay off. With that being said, domestic support obligations, like alimony, fall under non-dischargeable debt.

Specifically, if you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your alimony debts will not be dischargeable. And if you are filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your alimony will be considered a priority debt and included in your monthly payment plan. This will, thus, need to be paid throughout and after your bankruptcy proceedings. For any additional inquiries, contact a skilled Rockland County Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney or a Rockland County Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney.

How can I modify my alimony payments during my bankruptcy?

Even though you will have to continue your alimony payments during your bankruptcy, you may still have the opportunity to petition for a modification of your support obligation.

For example, if your filing for bankruptcy is related to unexpectedly losing a job, earning less money than at the time the agreement was reached, or developing a serious medical condition that translates into serious medical bills, then you may request a post-judgment modification to your alimony payments that better reflects your current financial status.

It is important to note that you cannot modify your agreement if your unemployment is due to your quitting or being fired for negligence or criminal misbehavior.

On the flip side, you can argue that your former spouse’s financial situation has improved since the time of the settlement agreement, whether it be due to remarrying, coming into an inheritance, or otherwise becoming financially independent, and thus a reduction or elimination of your alimony payments is in order.

If you have any further questions regarding your alimony debt, do not hesitate in reaching out to our firm today.

Contact our experienced New York firm

If you require the services of an experienced Business Law or Bankruptcy attorney, contact the Law Offices of Allen A. Kolber, Esq. today to schedule a consultation and discuss your options.