Should I Consult An Attorney If I Am Filing For Bankruptcy And Am Worried About Child Support
Bankruptcy typically will not discharge or modify your obligation to pay child support and the state may pursue enforcement efforts against you to collect the child support. Consider consulting with a local child support attorney regarding your legal obligations and options for modifying the child support order.
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You Cannot Discharge Child Support Debt In Chapter 7 Or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
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.
Obtaining Relief Through Child Support Modifications
If you are finding it difficult to pay child support or spousal maintenance and filing for bankruptcy is not a viable option, you may instead be able to obtain relief through a modification to your support order. Typically, this requires that you have undergone a substantial change in circumstances since the most recent version of the order was issued. For example, you may have lost your job or developed an injury or health condition that has increased your medical expenses or reduced your earning capacity. To pursue a modification, you will need to file a petition with the county court and prepare to present your reasoning for requesting a change.
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Does Filing For Bankruptcy Affect Child Support
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Besides, how does Chapter 13 affect child support?
Chapter 13 Discharge Does Not Wipe Out Child Support DebtBecause of public policy concerns, Congress has decided that child support debt is too important to be discharged in bankruptcy. In fact, you must pay off any outstanding child support arrears in full through your Chapter 13 repayment plan.
Also, does debt affect child support? No. Child support is based on income minus very limited deductions such as taxes. If he is under water with debt, he may want to consider bankruptcy. He can bankrupt out of many obligations, but not child support.
Regarding this, can you file back child support on bankruptcy?
Child support is a priority debt that cannot be discharged through bankruptcy. This means that even if you complete your bankruptcy case and receive a discharge, you are still responsible for all of your child support payments. To learn more about nondischargeable debts, see Debts That Survive Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
Does child support count as income for Chapter 7?
In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you get to keep income received after the filing, provided that it was not owed to you before you filed. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but child support is not one of them. This means that child support received after you file bankruptcy is yours to keep.
Child Support And Alimony Payments After A Bankruptcy
If you or your ex files for bankruptcy in Ohio, what happens to child support and alimony payments? What if these payments are already in arrears? Is bankruptcy a way to escape making these payments?
The short answer is no because the Bankruptcy Code prevents any support, such as alimony, or child support, from being discharged through filing for bankruptcy. While many other debts are dischargeable through bankruptcy, the obligation to pay support has a super priority under the Bankruptcy Code. Still, filing bankruptcy can provide advantages that may make it easier to come up with the money necessary to meet support obligations.
When you file for bankruptcy, you are protected from creditors and can get a fresh start that puts you in a position to better meet remaining debts. The experienced and compassionate Ohio bankruptcy attorneys at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer can help you recognize which debts may be discharged and determine what is the best way to deal with non-dischargeable debts, including child support and alimony. We offer a free consultation to discuss what debt-relief solutions will work best for you.
Types of Bankruptcy
The most common types of personal bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
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For Those Obligated To Pay Child Support
If you pay child support and youâve filed for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, youâll be obligated to continue paying child support payments.
Ordinarily once you have filed bankruptcy, then you are protected by the automatic stay. The automatic stay stops creditors and collection agencies from continuing any debt collection efforts. However, enforcement and/or collection of child support payments are not subject to bankruptcyâs automatic stay.
Those that file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy must timely make all child support payments that come due after the bankruptcy case is filed. The Court will not confirm your Chapter 13 plan if you are not current on your post-filing child support payments. You will not receive a bankruptcy discharge upon completion of your Chapter 13 plan payments if you did not also make all of your post-filing child support payments that came due during the bankruptcy case.
Child Support & Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
If you have any non-exempt assets that are liquidated in Chapter 7 and you have some money to pay off some debts, the child support will be at the top of the list since its a priority debt. In fact, child support is so important that its paid before other priority debts.
We hope this article helped answer your questions. If you need help with a child support matter or if you need to ask the court for a downward modification, we invite you to contact The Law Office of Gregory C. Goline, PLLC today.
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What Do I Need To Know If Im Filing For Bankruptcy And I Owe Child Support
If youre filing for bankruptcy and you owe child support, you should know that the bankruptcy proceeding doesnt impact your child support obligation. You still owe child support each month, in full, just as though you had not filed for bankruptcy. Past-due amounts are still due. A bankruptcy proceeding doesnt stop or stall family court hearings to establish or enforce a child support obligation. If you plan to file for bankruptcy, you should discuss your options with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Las Vegas to ensure that the bankruptcy benefits you in a way thats worthwhile.
Does Bankruptcy Cover Child Support In Texas
Child support is considered a non-discharged priority debt, meaning that when filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy child support debt cannot be forgiven. However, it does receive special benefits under Chapter 13 bankruptcy allowing you to catch up on your debt in a more efficient manner.
Debt can be a real stressor. In many cases, people get into debt for reasons out of their control, such as a job loss, a workplace accident, a disability, a car crash, an illness like cancer, or they find themselves having to be 24-hour caregivers for a loved one who falls ill or is in an accident. When debt becomes too much to bear, it makes sense why people would want to file Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy.
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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Does Not Stay Actions To Collect Child Support
Whenyou file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the automatic stay stops mostcreditors from coming after you to collect their debts. However, childsupport debt is an exception to this rule. The automatic stay does notprevent or delay a lawsuit to establish child support or collect it fromproperty that is not part of your bankruptcy estate.
InChapter 7 bankruptcy, property acquired after your filing date is notconsidered property of the bankruptcy estate. This includes any wagesearned after filing your case. Since your post-bankruptcy earnings arenot property of the estate, child support creditors are free to go afterthem during your bankruptcy.
Child Support In Chapter 7 Cases
When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, an automatic stay is put in place to protect you from credit collectors. This stay does not apply to debt like child support, however.Even after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy:
- Child support debt and payments are not discharged.
- You can receive legal child support orders and be subject to collection proceedings.
- Throughout the bankruptcy proceedings, you will still be required to make child support payments.
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Bankruptcy And Noncustodial Parents
If youre a noncustodial parent who owes child support, bankruptcy does not waive your child support responsibilities. Learn if and how your case will change.
I filed for bankruptcy. Now what?
If you have filed for bankruptcy, it is important that you notify the Child Support Division immediately. The relationship between child support and bankruptcy is complex. Contacting our office can help you determine the next step regarding your child support case.
Do I still have to pay for child support?
Yes, you are required to continue paying child support despite being in bankruptcy. Your current payment obligations remain in effect. Any arrears or unpaid child support cannot be cleared because of bankruptcy.
Your bankruptcy may be affected if you stop paying your child support. The Office of the Attorney General is required to comply with federal bankruptcy laws and can use several methods to enforce child support responsibilities.
- Learn more in our Child Support Enforcement section.
Can I modify my child support?
You may be eligible to have your support lowered by the court.
To request a modification, you will need to show that you cannot meet your current obligation due to unemployment, reduced income, or a different change in circumstance.
Does Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Stop The Collection Of Unpaid Child Support
In some cases, child support payments can be halted through bankruptcy, however, it is important to note that they cannot be permanently removed. Child support payments cannot be discharged as a result of bankruptcy. The only way for child support payments to end is if the family court determines that they can terminate. The court may determine that child support payments are no longer necessary for a variety of factors, including if the child has reached the age of emancipation.
Therefore, with that being said, Chapter 13 bankruptcy permits an individual to rearrange their payments by using a three to five year plan. This suggests that at the time that you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, there will be an automatic stay, which blocks creditors from all collection activities, during the remainder of that three to five year period.
If you have fallen behind on child support payments as a result of financial setback, it is in your best interest to reach out to an experienced bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible to discuss the specifics of your case and your options. Contact our firm today. We are equipped with the experience and knowledge required to examine all of your options and walk you through the process every step of the way.
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Filing For Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Does Not Eliminate Child Support Obligations
Congress responded to public policy concerns with a decision that bankruptcy cannot discharge child support debt. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, child support is considered a priority debt that cannot be erased. As a result, when you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, any missed child support payments must be fully paid off through your repayment plan. However, you can still benefit by filing for chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Q: I’m Looking Into Filing For Bankruptcy And I Read That Debts In The Nature Of Support For Children Can’t Be Discharged What Does This Mean
A: When filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy or Chapter 7 bankruptcy, debts “in the nature of support” cannot be discharged. Debts “in the nature of support” for a child are basically any debts you incurred that relate to your child’s welfare and upbringing, other than unpaid child support payments owed. For example, if you have medical bills for care that your child received, you will not be able to wipe those out in bankruptcy.
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You Must Make Ongoing Child Support Payments As They Come Due
Chapter 13 bankruptcy only allows you to cure your pre-bankruptcy child support arrears through your plan. This means that you must continue making your regular child support payments that come due during your case. If you stop paying child support during your Chapter 13, the court will normally lift the stay and allow the creditor to go after your earnings even if they are property of the bankruptcy estate.
Courts Consider Child Support Priority Debts
When addressing issues of bankruptcy and family law, you must understand how the bankruptcy court handles priority debts. A priority debt is a debt that the court considers more important than others. You pay it before any other type of debt.
Not only is child support a priority over debts like credit cards or bank loans, but its also a debt over other priority debts. The court satisfies child support debts before other priority debts, such as tax obligations.
In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, back child support payments are added to your bankruptcy payment plan. Current payments must be paid out of your income during the three to five year Chapter 13 plan.
In Chapter 7, back payments are paid from any assets liquidated by the trustee. Your obligation to make payments continues, including any back payments owed, going forward once your bankruptcy case is complete.
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Child Support Obligations Are Not Eliminated In Bankruptcy
If your child receives child support and his or her other parent files for bankruptcy, it does not change your situation. If the paying parent has shirked his or her obligations due to financial struggles, filing for bankruptcy could even make things easier on everyone.
The most important thing to understand about child support and how its affected by bankruptcy is that child support is a priority debt. As beneficial as bankruptcy is when it comes to helping with debt, it does not discharge bankruptcy. Anyone responsible for child support must continue to pay it. Anyone receiving child support will continue to receive the benefit regardless of bankruptcy.
Who Should File Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Many people think of bankruptcy court as the final stop on a path to financial ruin, the only option left when repaying debts seems impossible. But theres hope even in bankruptcy, and Chapter 13 of the federal bankruptcy code offers the closest thing to a soft landing.
Sometimes called the Wage Earners Bankruptcy, Chapter 13 allows those with enough income to repay all or part of their debts as an alternative to liquidation. Its bankruptcy for those whose biggest problem is dealing with creditors demands for immediate payment, not lack of income.
One of its most attractive features is the chance to keep your home after Chapter 13 bankruptcy as long as you can pay the mortgage and any amount required by your Chapter 13 repayment plan..
Under Chapter 13, people have three to five years to resolve their debts while applying all their disposable income to debt reduction. The option allows applicants to eliminate unsecured debts while catching up on missed mortgage payments. Short-circuiting home foreclosure is one of the options most attractive features. Though keeping your home can be a major relief, youre required to spend years living under the supervision of a court-appointed trustee who will collect and distribute your payments.
Does Bankruptcy Affect California Child Support
Your ex resents paying child support. Hes tried different things: placing his assets under another name, moving out of state, and not calling the kids. Now, hes threatening to file bankruptcy. He may be in for a surprise.
When a person files for bankruptcy, most bills and debts are subject to an automatic stay. This means that any creditors must immediately stop all collection actions for the term of the bankruptcy. An automatic stay applies to foreclosures, wage garnishments, bank levies, and collection calls. It does not apply to child support collection efforts.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Code protects the rights of children to receive parental support. Child support is never dischargeable in bankruptcy.
If your ex is filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, his assets will be sold to pay his debts. Most of the remaining debts will be discharged, but child support in arrears or past-due child support cannot be discharged. If your ex is filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy, he will have to create a repayment plan for child support in arrears, as well as make all court-ordered support payments.
What do you need to do to make sure you get your California child support payments during the bankruptcy? Nothing. In this case, the law is clearly on your side.
Child And Spousal Support: How Does Bankruptcy Affect My Payments
Filing for bankruptcy or filing a consumer proposal will not get rid of any obligations to pay support of any kind. This means that once you are finished with your bankruptcy, you are still responsible for paying any money owed for child support or alimony, and interest continues to accrue during the entire period of your bankruptcy. It is a good idea to continue your payments throughout the bankruptcy process.
If you do not maintain your payments during the bankruptcy process, the Family Responsibility Office can take legal action, including garnisheeing your wages. The Bankruptcy Act cannot protect you from legal action from the Family Responsibility Office.
When you meet with your Trustee to consider bankruptcy or consider filing a consumer proposal, one of the first things that are reviewed is the household budget. Having an obligation to pay child support or alimony is considered to be a non-discretionary expense. When calculating your required payment, or when designing a consumer proposal, this expense is taken into consideration as a reduction to your net income. This will ensure that the monthly payment offered in a consumer proposal, for example, will fit your budget even with the child support obligation.
No matter whether you are paying or receiving support, it is important that you disclose the situation to your Trustee so that they can provide you with the best advice for your situation.
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