Legal Blog

Can You Receive Child Support and Alimony if an Ex Files for Bankruptcy?

Question: I’m divorced and my ex just filed for bankruptcy, but he/she is behind in child support and alimony.  Am I out of luck? Answer: No, you are not out of luck. Alimony and child support are non-dischargeable under any chapter of the Bankruptcy Code.  Section 523(a)(5) of the Bankruptcy Code provides that “domestic support obligations” are not dischargeable.  Alimony and child support are “domestic support obligations” under sections 101(14A) and 523(a)(5) of the Code, and therefore are not dischargeable under any chapter of the Bankruptcy Code.” Inman v. Hearn (In re Inman), 2012 Bankr. LEXIS 2771, 11 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. June 18, 2012).  Further, under 11 U.S.C. § 362(b)(2)(B), the automatic bankruptcy stay does not prohibit collection of domestic support obligations from property that is not property of the estate. This means that a bankruptcy filing will not extinguish alimony or child support arrearages, like it may with other types of debts.  A spouse may pursue collections or enforcement of these payments against the debtor while the bankruptcy case is pending, unlike other types of debts, which are stayed.

If you have any questions about bankruptcy and its effect on child support or alimony please contact Alex Allman at: Divorce in Maryland aallman@offitkurman.com | 410.209.6438 Alex Allman  focuses his practice in the areas of family law and civil litigation. Mr. Allman has been involved in handling all aspects of domestic or family law cases, including divorce, property distribution, child custody, child support and alimony, as well as a broad range of complex commercial and civil litigation. You can also connect with Offit Kurman via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn.