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You may panic if you receive a bankruptcy notice from your ex in the mail. So what happens if they try to discharge an amount owed for child support or alimony?

In short, generally, nothing will change. During the bankruptcy process, a trustee is assigned to the case to examine all financial aspects of debts, assets, obligations, etc. During the examination, he will review any domestic support obligations, such as alimony, or child support.

The trustee takes these amounts into consideration as he also reviews other expenses and the party’s income. In most cases, these obligations cannot be discharged in the Utah bankruptcy process.

If your ex thinks they have an easy way out of their obligations by filing bankruptcy, they are probably wrong. Some debts are simply considered too important to discharge during bankruptcy. So although your ex may be able to go through with the bankruptcy, their alimony or child support obligation will most likely be determined as “non-dischargeable”.

In some instances, the trustee doesn’t support the bankruptcy, or the debtor doesn’t uphold their obligation and the entire bankruptcy is dismissed. If you receive bankruptcy paperwork from your ex, it’s important to discuss it with an attorney to make sure your bases are covered. They can assist you to know if there is anything you are required or do.

Be aware that if your ex has had a financial setback, such as a change of employment, resulting in a reduced income, they may attempt to modify your decree to lower the amounts they have to pay for their domestic support obligations.

If you or someone you know receives bankruptcy paperwork or a Petition to Modify, contact us to set up an appointment to discuss with one of our experienced attorneys. For more information on how modification works, click here.


Ken is the founder of Burton Attorneys at Law and finds the challenge of practicing law extremely rewarding. Although Ken has a broad assortment of experience ranging from bankruptcy to civil litigation to criminal law, Ken’s practice is tailored almost exclusively to the area of family law.

He chose to practice in the family law arena because of the positive and direct impact for good he saw in the lives of his clients.

Having twice been named one of Utah’s Legal Elite by Utah Business Magazine, Ken has a solid reputation as an effective advocate for his clients. He is actively involved in local and state bar associations, serves on various boards of directors and with volunteer organizations, and as a mentor for newly admitted attorneys.

Disclaimer: Using this site or communicating with Burton Family Attorneys through this site does not form an attorney/client relationship. This site is legal advertising only. Do not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your attorney or other professional legal services providers. If you have any specific questions about any legal matter, you should consult your attorney or professional legal services providers.