How Does Filing for Bankruptcy Affect Child Support?
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Filing for bankruptcy can have significant implications, particularly regarding child support. Many individuals facing financial difficulties may wonder how declaring bankruptcy impacts their obligations to support their children. Whether you are considering bankruptcy or have questions about its consequences on child support, read on to better understand this crucial issue.
The Relationship Between Filing for Bankruptcy and Child Support
For individuals contemplating filing for bankruptcy, the question of whether it can provide an escape from child support arrears often arises. The answer is no. Successfully filing for bankruptcy does not absolve you of your child support obligations, including arrears. Child support, along with family support, alimony, spousal maintenance, and spousal support, is categorized as a non-dischargeable debt in bankruptcy proceedings. This means that child support can never be wiped away through bankruptcy.
However, it is essential to recognize that bankruptcy can still play a significant role, especially when dealing with past-due support payments. In many cases, the Bankruptcy Court can serve as a platform to address disputes related to the amount owed prior to filing for bankruptcy. A bankruptcy judge can step in to resolve any accounting issues that may exist between you and the recipient of child support. It is worth noting that while the Bankruptcy Court can handle disputes related to past-due child support, it does not have the authority to modify or address ongoing support orders issued by the Family Law Court.
While bankruptcy will not erase your child support arrears, it can streamline your financial situation in other ways. By eliminating many of your other outstanding debts, bankruptcy can help you focus your financial resources on meeting your child support obligations more effectively. Essentially, it clears the clutter of various creditors, leaving you with a more manageable path to fulfill your responsibilities toward your child’s well-being. So, while it may not be a way to escape child support arrears, bankruptcy can provide a valuable opportunity to regain financial stability and prioritize your obligations.
Do You Keep Paying Child Support During a Bankruptcy?
Filing for bankruptcy can bring about many financial changes, but when it comes to child support obligations, there is a straightforward rule: bankruptcy does not discharge your child support debts, nor does it temporarily exempt you from your duty to financially support your child. So, the short answer is yes, you must continue making your child support payments even if you are going through bankruptcy.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your child support payments remain an ongoing obligation. You are required to keep making these payments in full and on time. Failure to do so can have serious consequences, including the growth of your arrearages – the amount of past-due child support you owe.
If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your past-due child support payments will be factored into your Chapter 13 payment plan. This means you must continue making current child support payments on top of the payments outlined in your bankruptcy plan. Ignoring your ongoing child support obligations during bankruptcy can lead to an even larger balance in arrears.
However, if your child has reached adulthood, and your only remaining obligation is to pay off past-due child support, you should ideally have resolved these obligations by the time your bankruptcy case is discharged.
The Need for a Bankruptcy Attorney
Facing bankruptcy alongside child support matters can be especially challenging, and here are four simple reasons why hiring a bankruptcy attorney is crucial in this situation:
- Protection from creditor actions: An attorney can shield you from aggressive creditor actions related to child support. They will manage communication with creditors, preventing harassment and ensuring that your child support obligations are considered fairly.
- Customized strategy: Your financial situation, including child support obligations, is unique. A bankruptcy attorney can create a tailored strategy that addresses your specific needs and ensures child support remains a priority.
- Handling the legal procedures: Bankruptcy, coupled with child support, adds layers of paperwork and deadlines. An attorney ensures all documentation is accurate and submitted on time and manages the complexities of child support obligations during bankruptcy proceedings.
Let Us Help You Today
At Eric Ollason Attorney at Law, we are here to provide you with expert guidance and support as you handle bankruptcy and child support matters. Our team of experienced bankruptcy attorneys in Tucson is dedicated to safeguarding your rights and tailoring strategies that fit your unique situation. Do not face these challenges alone; let us be your partners in securing a brighter financial future. Reach out to us today, and let us embark on this journey together towards financial stability and peace of mind.