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Can You File Bankruptcy On Child Support

Can The Bankruptcy Court Lower Child Support Payments

Do I Still Have To Pay Child Support If I File For Bankruptcy?

No, the bankruptcy court cannot lower child support payments. The bankruptcy court does not have the ability to determine child support payments. Only the family court can determine child support payments. Even though the bankruptcy court can grant a discharge of certain types of debts, they cant decide that a child support award is inappropriate or change it.

Child Support Is Not Dischargeable

You cannot discharge court-ordered child support payments in a bankruptcy filing. You also are not allowed to include back child support payments, also known as child support arrears, in your total debt in your bankruptcy filing.

Both state and federal courts recognize child support payments as a priority debt due to the importance of meeting the childs best interests. Legally, parents are required to provide financially for their child, and a bankruptcy cannot change that.

You also may want to be aware of the following:

  • Child support debt takes priority over other priority debts and unsecured obligations
  • If you owe back taxes and back child support, youll be required to pay your child support first
  • Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings require child support debt to be repaid to the other parent in full through a repayment plan before the other eligible debt is discharged on your behalf

You may want to consider hiring an experienced personal bankruptcy attorney to represent you to ensure all legal procedures affecting child support are appropriately followed.

Child Support Takes Precedence Over Other Types Of Bankruptcy Debt

Bankruptcy and child support are complex issues.

Its important to understand that priority debts are not only exempt from discharge. They are also subject to unique treatment in bankruptcy.

In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, for example, priority debts get paid before other debts if there are any proceeds to distribute.

This means that in cases of bankruptcy and child support, the courts can order child support payments to be made before other priority debts.

In the case of Chapter 13 bankruptcy and child support, arrangements must be made for you to pay all of your back child support payments in full through your repayment plan.

Its important to keep in mind that because a Chapter 13 repayment plan cannot exceed five years.

Excessive child support debts can result in high monthly payments.

You must also continue to make ongoing child support payments during the bankruptcy process.

In fact, before a Chapter 13 discharge can be issued, courts require you to certify that you are current on all alimony and child support obligations at the time of case completion.

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Let Our Experienced Bankruptcy Attorneys Help You

As with any legal decision, the decision to file for bankruptcy should be done with the legal guidance of an attorney that you trust.

Always seek professional legal advice as you explore information about how child support may affect your bankruptcy case.

The attorneys at Parker & DuFresne are here to guide you. Contact us today. We will even help educate you and put you on the right track to rebuilding your credit after the bankruptcy is final.

Child Support Is A Priority Debt

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As the importance of providing for minor children is recognized throughout state and federal court systems, in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies, child support debt is considered a priority debt that is not dischargeable in bankruptcy. As such, any child support debt will not be forgiven if you file for bankruptcy and you will be required to make up any overdue payments. Additionally, child support debt is paid first over other priority debts such as tax obligations, and before unsecured obligations. If you filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, any child support debt must be paid off in full through part of your repayment plan in order for you to receive a discharge from your debts.

Child support will be one of the first obligations paid during a bankruptcy proceeding.

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Child Support Is Treated As A Priority Debt In Bankruptcy

As stated above, child support debt is considered a priority debt. Priority debt in Bankruptcy will not be discharged and will survive any bankruptcy filing. It would help if you were careful when considering Bankruptcy. A divorce and family law attorney can help guide you through this process.

If you file for it, your child support arrears will not go away, and you may have to pay back all the money owed before filing and any other unpaid debts, including taxes and unsecured obligations like credit cards, etc.

If you filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, any child support arrears must be paid off in full through your Chapter 13 Plan. Therefore, a Plan that does not provide back child support debt or precious child support debt will not be approved.

How Bankruptcy Affects Child Support Delinquency

Failure to pay child support often means that your drivers license is taken away. Once our attorneys help you file bankruptcy, we can work with the child support enforcement lawyer to reinstate your license.

Bankruptcy can also help you if you have a warrant out for your arrest because of child support delinquency. Upon filing, we can work to have the warrant removed in some cases.

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Child Support Payments Must Be Current In Order For You To Be Discharged From Bankruptcy

You are required to certify that you are current on child support payments and other domestic payment requirements before you can obtain a discharge from Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Any child support payments that were missed throughout your bankruptcy must be paid off in order to receive a discharge.Accumulating child support debt can be overwhelming and stressful, but filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you catch up on those missed payments. The complex interplay between bankruptcy law and family law can differ based on your location and judge, so it is always a good idea to consult a bankruptcy attorney to determine how filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy can affect your child support responsibilities.If you are struggling with child support payments, and would like to discuss your options, contact DeLuca and Associates at for a free consultation.

How To Deal With Debt Problems In A Divorce Situation

Can bankruptcy discharge child support or alimony?

A divorced or separated couple can still file a joint bankruptcy or joint consumer proposal to eliminate combined debts. This is not uncommon as a method of dealing with joint debts owed by a couple who can no longer repay these debts due to their divorce and a change in their financial circumstances.

Whether a bankruptcy or consumer proposal makes sense for you, or your ex-spouse requires an assessment of each of your individual financial obligations.

Talk with a local Licensed Insolvency Trustee, either together or separately, to find the right solution when one, or both of you, cannot repay your pre-divorce debts.

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Child Support When Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, theres an automatic stay which stops anyone from pursuing claims against you. The Automatic Stay doesnt stop collection actions for unpaid child support. Nonetheless, along with a party looking for back child support from you is permitted to proceed regardless of the simple fact you filed a Chapter seven bankruptcy.

Any revenue you get once you file for bankruptcy isnt considered a part of your bankruptcy estate in a Chapter seven bankruptcy, and may be looked at in determining child support responsibilities and utilized to pay support arrearages. In a Chapter thirteen bankruptcy, nonetheless, any income earned is a part of the bankruptcy estate along with a party seeking to enforce a support obligation should request help from the stay to do it. If an individual that filed for Chapter thirteen bankruptcy is currently governed by a support order and additionally fails to produce support payments, the Bankruptcy Trustee will often raise the stay so the assistance could be recovered.

My ex spouse has declared bankruptcy, and now she claims she does not need to pay child support. Is that accurate?

Is Child Support Debt Erased By Bankruptcy

No, child support debt is not affected by filing for bankruptcy. A debtor cannot avoid a child support obligation by filing for bankruptcy. Instead, the entire amount of the debt continues to be valid until its fully satisfied. The paying parent must make arrangements to pay the full amount of the debt. A bankruptcy court has no authority to suspend child support payments.

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How An Ohio Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help

If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy but you have some bills that would be considered priority debts, you should contact a skilled bankruptcy attorney to go over your case. The bankruptcy attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates have handled numerous bankruptcy cases and can educate you on what the best plan may be to help you pay off your child support arrears and help you get a fresh start.

Call us today for a free consultation at or contact us online.

You Cannot Stop Making Ongoing Child Support Payments When You File For Bankruptcy

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Different bankruptcy chapters offer various benefits for child support debtors. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not designed to stop enforcement proceedings on child support payments. If you have an ongoing child support case in State Court, it will likely continue.

You must continue child support payments even if you file Bankruptcy. If child support payments are not made, the child support creditor can bring a motion to have your child support order enforced against you and could very well garnish wages or levy bank accounts to get its money back.

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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy And Child Support In Texas

Child support debt is one of those debts like credit card debt and medical debt that a lot of people have. Its not unusual for a noncustodial parent who is struggling financially to owe thousands in child support arrears in addition to all of their other debt. So, its understandable why so many debtors ask their bankruptcy attorneys, Can child support arrears be included in bankruptcy? In short, child support CANNOT be discharged in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which we explain below.

The Chapter 13 Hardship Discharge

After confirmation of a plan, circumstances may arise that prevent the debtor from completing the plan. In such situations, the debtor may ask the court to grant a “hardship discharge.” 11 U.S.C. § 1328. Generally, such a discharge is available only if: the debtor’s failure to complete plan payments is due to circumstances beyond the debtor’s control and through no fault of the debtor creditors have received at least as much as they would have received in a chapter 7 liquidation case and modification of the plan is not possible. Injury or illness that precludes employment sufficient to fund even a modified plan may serve as the basis for a hardship discharge. The hardship discharge is more limited than the discharge described above and does not apply to any debts that are nondischargeable in a chapter 7 case. 11 U.S.C. § 523.

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What Are The Options For Individual Bankruptcy

Most individuals will file for bankruptcy protections under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. Chapter 7 is generally utilized by people with limited incomes who do not have the ability to pay back all or a certain portion of their debts. The court will appoint a trustee to organize and prioritize the debts, take an inventory of the debtors property, and sell certain qualified property to pay at least some of the debt.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is referred to as a reorganization bankruptcy. Property is not sold when you file for Chapter 13 protection. If you successfully complete a court approved repayment plan, you may be able to keep some, if not all, of your property. With both types of bankruptcy, if you follow court orders and make payments when directed, at the end of the process all unsecured debts are discharged . But not all debts are dischargeable.

How To File Chapter 13 Bankruptcy To Clear Child Support

CAN BANKRUPTCY DEFEAT CHILD SUPPORT. Is bankruptcy A Good Strategy Against the Agency.

Filing a bankruptcy case can help you get back on your feet financially by discharging certain debts so you no longer have to pay them. However, some debts, like child support, cannot be erased in bankruptcy, but bankruptcy can help you become current on your obligations and thereby, clear up any past due support.

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How The Automatic Stay Affects Your Child Support Obligations

The automatic stay, which is in the bankruptcy law, stops all collection efforts against a debtor. The automatic stay generally takes effect immediately upon the filing of your bankruptcy case.

The automatic stay, which is in the bankruptcy law, stops all collection efforts against a debtor. The automatic stay generally takes effect immediately upon the filing of your bankruptcy case.

However, this does not stop you from paying your support obligations such as child support, alimony, and other family support obligations. For example, if there was an ongoing garnishment or wage order due to back child support, then filing for Bankruptcy will not affect it since theyre outside the scope of the automatic stay.

The automatic stay can stop garnishments on your wages and bank accounts allowing your child support obligations.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Does Not Get Rid Of Your Obligation To Pay Ongoing Child Support And Back Child Support

By Baran Bulkat, Attorney

If you have any outstanding child support debt, filing for Chapter 7bankruptcy will not wipe out your obligation to pay it. In addition,Chapter 7 will not stop a legal proceeding to establish or collect childsupport. Read on to learn more about what happens to child support debtin Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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Managing Your Child Support Obligation Through Bankruptcy

While you are not permitted to discharge your child support obligations through bankruptcy, you are allowed to pay any outstanding debt through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan.

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a debtor proposes a plan to pay certain creditors based on their income and the type of debt. Child support arrears are treated as a priority debt in bankruptcy, meaning that it must be paid.

There are some significant advantages to paying child support arrears through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. First, you have five years to catch up. If you are dealing with family court, it could order you to pay all the arrears in one lump sum or over a substantially shorter period. It is important to note here that your bankruptcy plan will only address the amount you are behind. You will still be required to pay your ongoing child support payments.

Depending on your other debt and income, you might be able to discharge a large portion of your unsecured debt. Eliminating other financial obligations could free up the required funds to pay your monthly child support.

Furthermore, bankruptcy provides additional protections. If you are paying your monthly trustee payment and staying current with your ongoing child support, you do not have to worry about other legal consequences.

You Cannot Discharge Child Support Debt In Chapter 7 Or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

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By Cara O’Neill, Attorney

If you’re paying child support, bankruptcy won’t wipe out what you owe now or modify your future payments. Even so, bankruptcy can help. Here are a few things you’ll want to know:

  • The automatic stay won’t stop child support from accruing or delay most family law proceedings.
  • The bankruptcy trustee appointed to the case has child support reporting requirements.
  • When money is available to pay creditors, the trustee pays child support arrearages first.
  • In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you’ll remain responsible for child support and property division balances after the case closes.
  • In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you’ll pay off child support arrearages over three to five years, but you might be able to wipe out a property division balance.

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Regular Child Support Payments Must Be Paid As They Are Due

Only pre-bankruptcy child support debts can be cured through your Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan. As a result, ongoing child support payments must continue to be paid as they become due. If you cease making child support payments during your bankruptcy, the court is likely to revoke the automatic stay and permit the creditor to collect debt from property and earnings outside of the bankruptcy estate.

Support Must Remain Current While Bankruptcy Remains Open

The Bankruptcy Code requires filers to remain current on support obligations while their bankruptcy case remains open.

This does not mean that all back support must be paid up on the date the bankruptcy petition is filed. Current means that, from the date the bankruptcy petition is filed until it is discharged, you cannot get behind on any support obligations. If you are already in arrears on the date you file your bankruptcy petition, you may not get further behind, and you must make all regular child support or spousal support payments due until you receive your bankruptcy discharge. If you are already current on support obligations on the date you file, you may not have any arrearages occur until you receive your bankruptcy discharge.

If you do not remain current on support obligations, you will not receive a discharge of your dischargeable debts and, therefore, you will not benefit from bankruptcy.

What if a Person Cant Pay?

If a person cannot make support payments, the Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984 states the district or state attorneys must help a parent collect child support. In addition, Federal laws allow tax refunds to be intercepted to enforce child support orders, and there is the possibility of wage attachments or seizure of property.

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