woman receiving alimony

Will I Still Get Alimony If My Ex Files for Bankruptcy?

Alimony can provide critical financial support. A divorce can have a more significant impact on a person’s finances than may be first considered. Starting a life on your own, carrying the full weight of monthly expenses can be difficult and expensive. Alimony helps with this. In fact, alimony’s purpose is to help parties to a divorce preserve the economic status that was enjoyed during the marriage. Arkansas has three types of alimony to help accomplish this in different ways. Temporary alimony is awarded before the final divorce decree is issued. Short-term alimony is established for a defined period of time and usually in order for one spouse to be able to pursue job training. Permanent alimony is awarded for an extended period of time.

With many spouses coming to rely on alimony payments to make life after divorce more manageable, it can be stressful to think that those payments may come to a sudden halt. As stated before, divorce can be difficult on a person’s finances. It is not uncommon for people to eventually seek bankruptcy at some point after divorce. How would bankruptcy impact your alimony award? Would You still get alimony if your former spouse files for bankruptcy? Here, we will discuss this situation.

Will I Still Get Alimony If My Ex Files for Bankruptcy?

First and foremost, if your spouse owes back alimony, know that it is considered to be non-dischargeable debt. Domestic support obligations such as spousal support and child support will not be discharged as a bankruptcy. Any alimony arrears that have accumulated due to non-payment will be a priority debt to be paid off in a way contingent on the type of bankruptcy filed. If Chapter 13 is filed, the alimony debt will be included in the structured payment plan developed for your former spouse. 

Filing for bankruptcy will not, in and of itself, impact an alimony award. Your former spouse will continue to be obligated pursuant to the previously established court order to make good on alimony payment obligations. You should be aware, however, that your spouse may try to seek a modification of the alimony support obligation.

While bankruptcy in and of itself may not trigger or merit a modification of an alimony award, things that can contribute to or lead to bankruptcy may be substantial grounds for modification of an alimony award. In Arkansas, an alimony award can be modified by the court if there have been any changes in circumstances. For instance, if a job loss occurred, this may be grounds for modifying alimony, it also may very well have been a contributing factor in the need to pursue bankruptcy. The bankruptcy court does not, however, handle modification of alimony awards. The request to modify must be made to the appropriate court for review.

Family Law Attorney

Do you have questions about alimony and other important issues related to divorce? The Law Office of Bryce Cook is here to provide you with trusted legal guidance and support. Contact the Law Offices of Bryce Cook today.