Bankruptcy Does Not Relieve a Spouse of Paying Alimony or a Parent of Paying Child Support

The threat has been repeated countless times.

“You won’t get one dime of alimony. I’ll file for bankruptcy first.” Husband.

Wife panics.

But neither alimony obligations nor child support obligations can be changed by a bankruptcy court from what family court ordered.

However, a bankruptcy attorney recommends filing a nondischargeability complaint in the bankruptcy case to ensure notice and protection of the receiving spouse’s interests.

And if there are arrearages in support, the spouse who is owed back-support is actually at the top of the heap of creditors. Back support obligations come off the top of the “bankruptcy estate” (what the bankrupt spouse has left).

Read more in this advice column: Bankruptcy doesn’t absolve spousal support payments.