In the current economy, many people have been faced with the reality of bankruptcy. Often, people spent more than they had and are left holding the bill. The bankruptcy process exists to give individuals a fresh start, but what happens when your ex has an ongoing obligation to you?

Minnesota Bankruptcy Court

The bankruptcy court recognizes that some people might try to get rid of their obligations to former spouses, either in the form of spousal maintenance or child support, by filing for bankruptcy. The support owed may have accrued so that there are significant arrears, or the ex may feel that they would rather the future obligation disappear. The court does not allow this to happen.

Domestic Support Obligation

Any obligation stemming from a “domestic support obligation”, including child support and alimony or spousal maintenance, is not dischargeable in bankruptcy. Moreover, while all other debts of a person who files for bankruptcy are put on hold during the proceedings, a support obligation is not. That means that you will still continue to get your monthly payments even as your ex goes through the entire bankruptcy process.

It is easy to understand the court’s basis for this special treatment. Often, the last place a person wants to spend their money is giving it to their ex. This is true for child support as well, since the obligor has to send a portion of their paycheck each month to the custodial parent. If the bankruptcy court did not allow special treatment for domestic support obligations, then there would be a large increase in filings for this very reason.

If your ex is threatening bankruptcy, or is in the process and has stopped paying you your support, then you have the right to bring him or her back to court to enforce your support order. It is always beneficial to speak with an attorneyabout your rights and see what steps you should take to protect yourself.