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Does Bankruptcy Affect Child Support Payments?

When you file for bankruptcy, your child support obligations will receive special treatment. You cannot evade your child support commitments by filing for bankruptcy. However, through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan, you can catch up on all your missed payments. Recently, Congress made the decision to exempt certain debts from getting wiped out in bankruptcy. These debts are referred to as priority debts. Child support is one of these priority debts.

You Still Have To Pay Child Support

You are still held responsible for every bit of your child support payments even after you receive a discharge from the completion of your bankruptcy case. In the instance that you were behind in your payments when you filed for bankruptcy, you will still be required to pay all due amounts. Chapter 13 helps you to reorganize the debts and come up with a plan to catch up on all missed payments.

Priority debts are non-dis chargeable and also receive special attention during your bankruptcy incidents. According to Chapter 7, priority debts are paid prior to settling any other debts. The debts are given special treatments if there are funds to dispense to creditors.

Congress Ruling On Chapter 13

The Congress through Chapter 13 ruled that every child support payments that fell behind before your filing for bankruptcy must be paid in full. Chapter 13 according to law cannot exceed a period of five years. Therefore, the excessive child support arrears that exceed the period of five years can result in a high monthly repayment plan. Additionally, you are obliged to continue with your child support payments after you have filed for bankruptcy.

There are certain requirements that you must fulfill before the court can offer you a Chapter 13 discharge. You must present credible evidence to the court that you are up-to-date on each and every one of your child support and alimony requirements by the time your case is closed. When you show your current proceedings and they are satisfactory, you may then be discharged.

How To Handle Creditors

Whenever your file for bankruptcy is accepted, you obtain an automatic stay. This automatic stay prevents a majority of your creditors from collecting their debts, read our previous blog about this issue here. Permission must be acquired first from the court of law before a creditor can continue to collect their debts from you. After you have filed for bankruptcy, you are temporarily protected from debt collectors until you regain your ability to repay the debts. Nonetheless, the automatic stay will not shield you to matters relating to your child support payments.

Child support will not prohibit the legal proceedings seeking to establish an order for child support. It does not prevent collection of child support payments from any of your property that is not a part of your bankruptcy estate. Hence, the wages you earn after filing for bankruptcy are not protected by the automatic stay. Through these wages and other earnings, you are expected to continue servicing your child support payments.

It is considered illegal for you to withhold payments of your child support after filing for bankruptcy yet you are earning. Your Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing will not prevent legal proceedings to collect child support from you. It is evident that you are obliged to pay your child support without consideration of your financial status. Even after filing for bankruptcy, you are expected to take advantage of chapter 13 discharge to top up on the payments that you have fell behind on.

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