If you are ordered to pay alimony and/or child support after your Pasadena divorce, please keep in mind that the law does not allow these types of debts to be discharged with a bankruptcy filing. Bankruptcy protects you from medical bills, credit card debt, past due utility bills, personal loans, and collection agency accounts, but child support and alimony awards can’t be included in your list of dischargeable debts under any circumstances.
People who are ordered to pay alimony and/or child support can file a request to have the payments reduced if they are no longer able to pay due to a substantial change in financial circumstances, such as an involuntary job loss or a medical condition that limits their ability to work. However, payments continue to accumulate until the request is approved and interest continues to accumulate on the past due portion of the debt.
The effect of interest on unpaid child support and/or alimony awards can create a substantial burden if you’re struggling to make ends meet, so it’s in your best interest to resolve the matter as soon as possible. Actor Burt Reynolds, best known as Bo 'Bandit' Darville in Smokey and the Bandit, found this out the hard way. Reynolds was recently taken to court by ex-wife Loni Anderson for a divorce debt that is over twenty years old.
The couple dated for five years before marrying in 1988. They adopted a son, Quinton Anderson Reynolds, that same year. Their divorce was finalized in 1993, amid allegations of infidelity, physical brutality and drug abuse.
When the divorce was finalized, Reynolds agreed to pay Anderson $234,794.13. Although Reynolds paid part of the debt, but still owed $97K when he started experiencing financial difficulties. He filed for bankruptcy in the late 1990s and his Florida estate was foreclosed in 2011.
Reynolds continued to ignore the divorce debt until Anderson hired a lawyer to help her collect. Since divorce-related debts can’t be erased by bankruptcy, a judge ordered Reynolds to pay the debt in full. However, with interest, the sum has now climbed to $154,520.98.
How Can We Help?
Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com if you are in need of assistance with an issue relating to your child support and/or alimony payments. Our Pasadena divorce law firm has extensive experience advocating for clients within the state’s family court system.