As a divorced person paying spousal support, it can feel as though you simply cannot get ahead. If your spouse received a significant award, the constant drain on your income may make it nearly impossible to save money and pay off debt, let alone avoid incurring more debt. It is very common for those who carry a spousal support obligation to seek out bankruptcy to fix their financial woes. In some cases, this is appropriate, but not always. It is also possible that you may have ways to reduce your support obligations without resorting to bankruptcy.
If a court sees compelling evidence that your financial or personal circumstances have changed significantly since receiving a support order, the court is generally willing to reconsider the order or may dismiss the obligation altogether. Similarly, if your ex-spouse's circumstances change significantly, he or she may no longer be entitled to the support, or at least to the full original award.
A court may reduce or dismiss spirit obligations if your income decreases, or if you experience an illness or injury that creates a significant debt or reduces your ability to work. Likewise, if your ex-spouse chooses to cohabitate with a new partner or chooses to remarry, a court may agree to reduce or eliminate your support obligation.
Resolving your support obligation issues may feel like it can't happen quickly enough, but pursuing this opportunity is probably better for your long-term financial health than filing for bankruptcy. Be mindful to carefully consider all of the legal options you have to ensure that your rights and priorities may remain protected as you move forward during this difficult time of financial strain.