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Can I Still Receive Alimony if My Former Spouse is Bankrupt?

If you have questions regarding whether or not your former spouse is responsible for making alimony payments to you even though he or she filed for bankruptcy, continue reading and reach out to our skilled alimony and spousal support attorneys in Morris County, NJ.

Does the alimony obligation disappear if my former spouse is bankrupt?

Generally, alimony responsibilities do not eradicate in bankruptcy. Keep in mind that filing for bankruptcy to avoid an obligation to pay spousal support is not a good idea because domestic support obligations cannot usually be “discharged” (canceled or forgiven) in a bankruptcy proceeding. The general rule is that debt for a “domestic support obligation” is not dischargeable.

According to the United States Bankruptcy Code (Title 11 of the United States Code), Section 523 that [a] discharge under Section 727, 1141, 1228(a), 1228(b), or 1328(b) of this title does not discharge an individual debtor from “domestic support obligations.”

“Domestic support obligation” represents a debt (including interest) that is owed to or recoverable by a spouse, former spouse, or child of the debtor, by the child’s parent, legal guardian, or accountable relative, or by a governmental unit, such as alimony, maintenance, or support (including assistance provided by a governmental unit) under a separation agreement, divorce decree, or property settlement agreement, an order of a court of record, or a determination made by a governmental department.

If you have further questions or concerns regarding alimony obligations after a former spouse goes bankrupt, reach out to our firm today. We are here to help you.

Are there any exceptions to this rule?

There are two scenarios where alimony can be discharged because of alimony. First, if a divorce law stipulates that an obligation to a spouse is alimony, but the obligation is not actually alimony, then the obligation can be discharged in bankruptcy.

Second, in some cases, a former spouse may be able to discharge an alimony obligation if the obligation has been allocated to a third party.

To learn more about the exceptions to this rule, reach out to our skilled New Jersey firm today. Our legal team will be able to assess the specifics of your case and determine the best course of action for you and your family. Give us a call today to learn more.


At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, LLC, our seasoned divorce and family law attorneys ensure that through the process of resolving your family matter, you feel empowered, not overwhelmed. Providing unwavering support, undivided attention, and unflinching advocacy, our team invests in your cause, working tirelessly to pave your path toward a brighter tomorrow. If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.