Child Support and Bankruptcy
If you are paying child support and considering filing bankruptcy, you may be wondering how bankruptcy will affect your ability to make payments. Alternatively, if you are receiving child support from someone who is about to file bankruptcy, you may be wondering if he or she will still have to make payments. Here are some frequently asked questions about child support and bankruptcy.
After filing for bankruptcy, does the “automatic stay” rule that prevents creditors from seeking payment from debtors apply to back child support?
No. Filing for bankruptcy does not protect you from having to pay back child support.
Can I negotiate down my child support if I file Chapter 13?
No. In Chapter 13, child support is a “priority claim,” meaning it must be paid in full over the life of a Chapter 13 debt repayment plan. Child support payments even have a higher priority than taxes.
Can filing for bankruptcy allow me to modify the terms of my child support?
No. Bankruptcy cannot change what you must pay for child support. If you can no longer afford to pay, your best bet is to contact a lawyer to discuss possible payment modifications.
For some people, filing for bankruptcy actually helps them make their child support payments more easily, by eliminating their other forms of debt. Freeing up more money by eliminating low-priority debt allows them to make their payments on time and possibly even pay off some back debt.
Harold Shepley & Associates is a full service debt relief law firm and can answer any questions you may have about debt and bankruptcy. Contact us today for a free consultation.