Question:

I Think My Ex-spouse Might Declare Bankruptcy After Divorce. Is There Any Way to Protect My Support and Alimony Payments?

Ways to Protect My Support and Alimony Payments

While alimony and support obligations are not legally dischargeable, cash payments on debts securing property in a settlement agreement may be cancelled. There is no foolproof way to protect yourself but there are a couple of things you could do that may help you.

  • Should your ex-spouse own property (real estate or other personal property) after the divorce, file a security lien, if possible, on the property in question. If the bankruptcy court allows a debt to be discharged, you may be able to exercise your lien and seize the property you have secured.
  • Request an indemnity agreement be included in your final divorce decree. While not as strong as a valid lien, should your ex-spouse convince a bankruptcy court to discharge a marital debt and you are then the target of the creditor's collection activity, you could petition the bankruptcy court judge to enforce your indemnity agreement. This may force your ex-spouse to reimburse you for any monies you are forced to give to the creditor.
Your alimony and/or support payments should remain protected regardless of bankruptcy court decisions on other matters.

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