If you are divorced, and have a custody agreement with a child support order, a bankruptcy filing can bring up a lot of questions. The most important question is how does filing bankruptcy affect child support?
Does Bankruptcy Clear Out Child Support Arrearages?
If you are divorced and you are obligated to pay child support, bankruptcy does not wipe out what you owe or modify future child support obligations. If you are behind on your child support payments and considering filing bankruptcy, there are a few things you should consider. The automatic stay of bankruptcy that puts a stop to all collection activity does not stop child support from accruing. It also does not delay most family law proceedings, and bankruptcy trustees must fulfill child support reporting requirements.
Does Filing Bankruptcy Help If I’m Behind on Child Support?
However, that doesn’t mean that bankruptcy doesn’t help if you’re struggling to pay your child support. The relief bankruptcy can provide from other debts, can significantly reduce the financial pressure and leave funds available to cover the required child support payments. When filing bankruptcy with child support arrearages, the bankruptcy trustee will pay any past due child support first. Once the Chapter 7 bankruptcy is closed, the child support obligation remains in place along with any property division balances. If you filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, past due child support is paid off over three to five years. However, in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it may be possible to wipe out a property division balance.
If you need help filing bankruptcy, or if you have questions about how filing bankruptcy could affect your child support order, call Kenneth C. Rannick P.C., Tennessee, and Georgia bankruptcy attorney. We help good people through bad times.