Child Support and Bankruptcy
On Behalf of O’Brien Law Firm, LLC
Posted on: November 14, 2022
Parents are legally bound to provide for their children. It is their responsibility allocated to them by the court, and the court makes sure that child support is being paid by both parents to financially support their children. However, sometimes, the parents are unable to pay child support because of bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy can be due to many reasons, e.g., loss of a job, a lower-paying job, exhausted funds, or other reasons. Under such circumstances, it becomes difficult for the parent to pay child support.
Steps to be Taken After Bankruptcy
In case of increased debts and reduced income, you can file for bankruptcy in court. However, this does not relieve you from paying child support. Child support is a priority debt, and you have to pay your overdue payments. Being bankrupt does not mean that you stop paying child support.
After filing for bankruptcy, you have to notify the Child Support Division to come up with possible solutions to your problem. Usually, child support is paid first and is prioritized as compared to other debts, such as tax obligations.
Child support is not dischargeable, but you can modify the amount of financial support by coming to a mutual agreement with the other parent. This usually results in lowering the amount. However, this process does not strike off any overdue payments in case you have missed any.
The relationship between child support and bankruptcy is complex because, despite valid reasons, you cannot simply back off. If you stop paying child support, the court will get an attorney to use different methods to enforce child support responsibilities.
The best method in such a scenario is to reduce your unsecured debts and coordinate with the other parent to stay out of any enforcement laws. Make sure to seek help from a professional. They will help you find some debt repayment plans that pay off a portion of your debt so you can spend more on child support.
Lastly, any income you earn after filing for bankruptcy is not part of the bankruptcy estate. That income can be used to pay off child support arrearages under child support obligations.