gavel over money

At Graves Andrews, LLC, we understand that certain, significant life events may have made your financial standing less impressive than when you initially underwent a divorce. In a worst-case scenario, you may now find yourself in a situation where you need to declare bankruptcy to stay afloat. However, the New Jersey family court may not be so understanding. That is, the court may not let you off the hook for fulfilling your alimony obligation. Follow along to find out whether you must continue paying alimony if you go bankrupt and how a proficient Morristown alimony lawyer at Graves Andrews, LLC can help you overcome this dire financial situation.

Do I need to continue paying alimony if I go bankrupt?

You must understand that, upon filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your debts may be divided into what are considered dischargeable debts and non-dischargeable debts. As the name suggests, dischargeable debts may be eliminated from the total debts you are obligated to pay. Examples may include your credit card debts, your medical bills, your past-due utility bills, and even certain personal loans.

Contrastingly, non-dischargeable debts cannot be wiped clean from your debt obligations. Such debts consist of certain taxes, government fines, debts for personal injury, and namely, your alimony order. It is worth mentioning that the same rule applies to your child support order. If you continually fail to meet these domestic support obligations, then your wages may begin getting garnished, among other consequences.

In what ways can I modify or terminate my alimony order?

The irony of this situation is that your costly divorce proceedings may have driven you to bankruptcy in the first place. And your hefty alimony order may just make your financial situation worse. But you may rest assured knowing that you may formally petition for a modification or the overall termination of your alimony order. For this to have the potential to be successful, you may have to argue one of the following points to the New Jersey family court:

  • You may have to argue that your former spouse has since remarried and no longer qualifies to be the receiver of your alimony payments.
  • You may have to argue that your former spouse has grown more financially independent since your original alimony order was established.
  • You may have to argue that you recently incurred an illness or disability that has unexpectedly increased your personal cost of living.
  • You may have to argue that you involuntarily experienced a job loss or underwent a lowered salary that negatively altered your financial status.

So when it comes to your petition for alimony modification or termination, there is no question that a talented Morristown family law attorney is the best fit for you. Please contact Graves Andrews, LLC at your earliest possible convenience.