Can I Still Collect Alimony if My Former Spouse Goes Bankrupt?

A close-up of an individual counting a stack of US 100 dollar bills for alimony payments.

If you are the financially-dependent spouse in your relationship, alimony is a post-divorce financial obligation that may allow you to receive regular payments to maintain the standard of living you established in your marriage. Although this is not a permanent financial agreement, you may be wondering how you will be affected if your former spouse files for bankruptcy during this time. Find out if your former spouse will be required to continue payments if they go bankrupt and how a proficient Nassau County alimony lawyer at Barrows Levy PLLC can help you protect your alimony agreement.

Will my former spouse continue making alimony payments if they file for bankruptcy?

Your former spouse filing for bankruptcy does not necessarily mean that you will stop receiving alimony. This is because there are two types of debts considered when they file for bankruptcy. First, dischargeable debt, like credit card debt, will most likely be wiped out. Second, non-dischargeable debt will most likely remain and be required to pay off. Domestic support obligations, such as alimony, fall under non-dischargeable debt.

With that being said, alimony debts will not be dischargeable when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. And when filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, alimony will be considered a priority debt, which will be included in the monthly payment plan, and paid throughout and after the bankruptcy proceedings.

Can my former spouse modify their alimony payments during their bankruptcy?

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

For example, if your former spouse’s financial hardship is related to the loss of a job due to no fault of their own or otherwise earning less money than at the time the agreement was reached, they may request a post-judgment modification to their alimony payments to better reflect their current financial status. The same goes in the event that they develop a serious medication condition that comes with serious medical bills. On the other hand, modifying this agreement is not doable if their unemployment is due to them quitting or being fired for negligence or criminal misbehavior.

It is important to note that the change in your financial situation will be considered in the post-judgment modification request. That is, if you remarry, come into an inheritance, or otherwise become financially independent, this may support your former spouse’s request to reduce or eliminate their alimony payments altogether.

If you have any further questions regarding the state of your alimony payments, do not hesitate in reaching out to one of the talented divorce attorneys in Nassau County today.


If you need a Nassau County lawyer who has significant experience handling family and estate planning matters, contact Barrows Levy PLLC to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today. 

Contact Us Today!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.