Spousal Support and Bankruptcy
The dissolution of a marriage or civil union can be a very emotionally draining time for any family and may also come with serious financial consequences for the individuals involved. In some cases, individuals may be required to pay support to their spouse, children, and other dependents following divorce. In addition, there may be court and lawyer’s fees that must be paid following the legal proceedings.
Persons who go through divorce may have to assess their financial situation following their separation from their former spouse. If a person is facing serious financial struggles, he or she may consider filing for bankruptcy to relieve the burden of debt from his or her life. Although there are many types of debts that may be discharged through bankruptcy, support payments to spouses and children are not dischargeable debts.
If an individual chooses to file for bankruptcy, certain types of unsecured debts like credit card debt, certain types of loans, and other financial obligations may be discharged. In addition, an “automatic stay” is placed on your accounts, which allows the individual to stop making payments on the debt and prevents creditors from attempting to collect on the balance owed. The court notifies the person’s creditors of the bankruptcy filing and requests that they stop collection calls and attempts to collect the debt directly with the person going through bankruptcy.
Debts that are owed for support, however, are important financial obligations that cannot be removed by bankruptcy. The court understands the importance of providing financial support for former spouses and children and does not allow the individual to escape such obligations. In addition, many types of legal debts that the person may have incurred during the divorce proceedings may still be valid debt, such as lawyer’s fees and court costs.
Although the person may still be responsible for support-related obligations, he or she may find bankruptcy to be helpful, because it can remove other types of debt. By freeing the individual of some of the debt burden, the person may find that he or she has more money to pay for support to former spouses and children. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, it may be helpful to consult an experienced bankruptcy attorney to discuss the specifics of your financial situation. If you would like to know more about bankruptcy and spousal support, visit the website of the Boston bankruptcy attorneys of Joshua Spirn & Associates.