With your debt been mounting, you may have decided that the filing of a bankruptcy may be what the doctor ordered to end all of those noodging creditors and their harassing phone calls. The main focus of bankruptcy relief is a discharge from your debts. Obtaining a discharge means that your personal liability for certain debt ends and from then on, creditors cannot attempt any further collection efforts. While many debts are discharged during bankruptcy, child support obligations do not. It receives special treatment in bankruptcy cases. Claims for child support, paid or unpaid, can be pursued regardless of one former spouse or another spouse being in bankruptcy. Let’s look at how child support is treated differently than other debts during a bankruptcy.
Why is Child Support dealt with differently?
Congress has decided that certain types of debt are too important get wiped out in bankruptcy. They are called priority debts. Child support is a priority debt that cannot be discharged through bankruptcy. This means that even if you complete your bankruptcy case and receive a discharge, you are still responsible for all accrued and unpaid of child support payments.
Differences in Type of Bankruptcy
In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy child support is not prevented or delayed due to an automatic stay. This means that if you owe any outstanding child support debt, it will not get wiped out by your bankruptcy discharge. As a result, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will not eliminate your obligation to pay child support and make up any missed payments.
In a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, debts can be paid over up to sixty (60) months. Any pre-bankruptcy child support arrears must be included and paid off in your Chapter 13 plan which can be repaid over the course of five years. Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you get caught up on your back child support while discharging more of your other unsecured debt.
Debts for family support and child support have very high priority over other kinds of debts. They are non-dischargeable and can be pursued in Probate Court without Bankruptcy Court approval. Most debtors would probably rather help their children than pay credit card bills so this classification can help support children rather than creditors.
To see how your family obligations will be dealt with in you bankruptcy, consult with a bankruptcy attorney such as Levine Law to help you sort out financial and child support issues in your case.
Before you receive a discharge you must prove that you are current on child support and have paid back past due amounts. Consult a bankruptcy attorney such as Levine Law to help you sort out financial and child support issues in your case.