Filing For Bankruptcy? Know The Effect On Child Support Payments

Law Blog

If you are over your head in debt, filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 laws is a wonderful way to wipe out debts and start over. If you happen to owe child support and are hoping to have those debts wiped out as well, understand that it won't be possible. Child support payments are actually one of the few debts that can't be discharged during bankruptcy proceedings. For those that owe child support and planning to file for bankruptcy, here is what you need to know.

Bankruptcy's Effect on your Child Support Payments

What makes child support payment unique under bankruptcy laws is that they cannot be discharged, no matter what type of bankruptcy you file under. The court actually views child support as a priority debt. This means that the debt still needs to be paid back as part of any payment plan you have set up as a result of your bankruptcy filing. In addition, child support payments are considered the most important priority debt, and often take precedence over all other priority debts. To simply put it, there is no way to get out of making those payments.

Bankruptcy's Effect on The Automatic Stay

Part of the bankruptcy proceedings is that you'll receive what is called an automatic stay, which is when your creditors are notified about your pending bankruptcy. During this time, you do not have to pay back those debts, and the creditors are not allowed to bug you about paying those debts either.

As you may have assumed, these rules don't apply to your child support payments. You actually must continue making support payments, even during the automatic stay. It is one debt that is excluded from these rules.

Bankruptcy's Effect on Wage Garnishment

Part of a bankruptcy proceeding involves finding the debts that you still owe and coming up with a payment plan for them. If your spouse insists, they can have your back child support payments made as a part of any wage garnishment. Not only will you be making the normal child support payments, but having back child support taken out of your wages.

One thing you can do is try to work with your spouse to not request that back payments are a part of wage garnishment. Your best bet is to try to work with them to make those back payments when you are able to.

For more info on the effects of child support on bankruptcy, you can speak with a lawyer about it. Visit a site like for more information as well. 


30 November 2016

family law - impacting your life

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