Many residents of the Tallahassee area and other parts of Florida are required to pay spousal support, which is sometimes referred to as alimony, as part of a divorce decree.
While people probably recognize that these payments are a fact of life, sometimes it can get quite hard to pay them in some cases. For instance, a person can lose his or her job or experience some other drop in income, such as when one enters in to a hard-earned and, oftentimes, necessary retirement.
Bankruptcy can provide limited debt relief in these situations. While it is true that bankruptcy does not discharge debt from back spousal support, it can discharge other debts that a Floridian might be paying on so that he or she can devote more attention to catching up on spousal support. By way of example, if the person has to pay both support and credit card debts, he or she can use a Chapter 7 bankruptcy to discharge the credit card debt and thus have less financial pressure on him or her so he or she can pay alimony.
Moreover, in some cases, a person who owes spousal support may have an argument that, in fact these payments should be treated as dischargeable payments that are more akin to a property settlement agreement. This is not always an easy argument to make to a bankruptcy court, but it may be an option in the right case.
Furthermore, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be helpful to someone who owes spousal support since it can enable that person to make a manageable payment plan on both his or her support and other obligations and other debts. Again, proposing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan that the court will prove can be an involved process, but a skilled debt relief attorney can assist in this respect as well.