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What Happens to My Child Support Obligation in A Bankruptcy Case?

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2017 | Bankruptcy Basics

There are many reasons that millions around the US have filed for bankruptcy. Serious financial woes are generally precipitated by an unexpected life event. A major illness may have led to medical bills piling up, unemployment may have made it impossible to pay the bills, or family issues such as divorce may have led to very challenging circumstances both emotionally and financially.

Know What to Expect When You File for Bankruptcy

Once delinquencies are running rampant and bill collectors are hounding you through the phone and mailbox, it may be time to take control of your finances-and your future-by filing either for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 with the help of an experienced bankruptcy law firm like Levitt & Slafkes, P.C.. As you embark on the journey to a clean financial slate, it’s important to understand how the process will work and what to expect regarding the discharge and repayment of different debts.

The Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often known as the liquidation bankruptcy, with non-exempt possessions being sold off by the bankruptcy trustee to pay creditors, and debts being discharged within three to six months. The Chapter 13 bankruptcy tends to be more income-based and thought of as a complete reorganization of debts, allowing you to pay off creditors over a three- to five-year-period.

Child Support Collection is not Halted by the Automatic Stay

No matter which type of bankruptcy you file, the automatic stay will go into effect immediately, forcing most creditors to halt all collections activity right away. The automatic stay also puts a sudden stop to any efforts or proceedings regarding foreclosure, repossession, wage garnishment, utility disconnections and more. One thing the automatic stay does not cover, however, is collection for child support (or alimony) payments. Child support and other family support obligations will remain the same, along with responsibility for back payments.

Bankruptcy Will Not Discharge or Lessen Child Support

Going through the process of bankruptcy in the hopes that child support payments or back debt would be discharged or lessened would obviously be ill-advised from the beginning as this is considered a priority debt.

Along with current child support payments that you are expected to pay, other actions cannot be interfered with in bankruptcy either, such as:

· Modifications to child support by the court

· Attempts to collect back support

· Custody or visitation issues

· Paternity tests

· Protective orders for domestic violence

If you need to have your child support payments modified due to a change in income, it is best to consult with your family law attorney who can help you with filing the necessary court order.

Let us Answer Your Bankruptcy Questions

The experienced attorneys at Levitt & Slafkes, P.C. can answer all your questions regarding bankruptcy issues. Contact us today so one of our attorneys can evaluate your case and discuss the best options available to you. We are here to help!

Call us at 973-323-2953, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.