bankruptcy in typewriter

You may find yourself in a financial snag that leaves you struggling to pay your outstanding debt payments to your creditors. On top of this, you may be struggling to keep up with your monthly alimony payments to your former spouse. With all of this going on, you may be looking into a bankruptcy declaration, filing a post-judgment modification with the family court, or both. Continue reading to learn whether a bankruptcy filing can alleviate you from your alimony duties and how an experienced Morristown alimony lawyer at Graves Andrews, LLC can help you seek relief in one way or another.

Can I be relieved of my alimony duties when undergoing bankruptcy?

Before you take the serious plunge into filing for bankruptcy, you must understand that these proceedings may only work to eliminate certain debts. That is, only certain dischargeable debts, such as credit card debts, medical debts, and personal loan debts, may be eliminated from your immediate financial responsibility. Unfortunately, your alimony and child support debts may not be included on this list (i.e., they are categorized as nondischargeable debts). This is primarily because the New Jersey bankruptcy court cannot and will not overstep the New Jersey family court’s final judgment on your domestic support obligations.

Even still, undergoing bankruptcy proceedings may allow you to better afford your alimony order. This is because Chapter 7 bankruptcy may allow you to eliminate your dischargeable debts and thereby free up more disposable income for your monthly alimony payments. Or, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may allow you to create a repayment plan and thereby set a manageable schedule for paying your outstanding alimony debts.

How can I go about relieving myself from my alimony duties?

Understandably so, you may conclude that a bankruptcy declaration is too extreme of an action for your current financial situation. But if there is still the lingering issue of your alimony duties, you may return to the New Jersey family court and petition for a post-judgment modification. In the presence of the court, you must demonstrate that underwent a significant financial change post-divorce that requires your alimony duties to be edited or altogether eliminated. More specific arguments you may make are as follows:

  • You may argue that you have had to declare bankruptcy in the time following your initial alimony order.
  • You may argue that you have reached the age of retirement in the time following your initial alimony order.
  • You may argue that you have been diagnosed with a serious illness or disability in the time following your initial alimony order.
  • You may argue that you have experienced an involuntary, long-term decrease in your income in the time following your initial alimony order.

Even if you are still considering a bankruptcy petition or a post-judgment petition for your alimony order, you must first consult a skilled Morristown family law attorney from Graves Andrews, LLC. Contact our firm today.