Many things can bring you to the point of considering bankruptcy, and in many cases, bankruptcy is truly the most effective, beneficial option you have available. However, bankruptcy is not something to take lightly, and is generally not the first course of action you should consider when you hit hard financial times. As you weigh your options, it is wise to look at other ways you can reduce your expenses before filing for bankruptcy. Even if you eventually do file, the fewer heavy obligations you have, the more effective the process can be.
This is especially true if you carry a spousal support order. Spousal support can absolutely wreck your finances as a paying spouse, and in many cases, is completely unsustainable if you experience a rough patch in your income or see greatly increased expenses that did not factor into the original support order.
You may have grounds to petition for a reduction or dismissal of your support obligation if you suffer from an illness that impacts your income or if you see your income shrink for some other reason. Illness often creates difficulty on two fronts, both increasing financial obligations and preventing you from earning your full wages or advancing in a career that you otherwise may move up in quickly. If a court sees that your illness affects your ability to pay support, it may modify the order.
Likewise, if your income changes because of a loss of employment or reduction in pay at your job, then you may also have grounds to request a reduction or dismissal of your obligation.
Before you commit to bankruptcy, be sure to look closely at all the other options you have to reduce burdens on your finances. You may have more options than you realize. In the event that you do choose to use bankruptcy, carefully assess the requirements of the process and the benefits the process offers, so that you can keep your rights protected as you move into a new season of life.