If you’re struggling to pay back substantial debt and owe back child support, you may be considering filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. But before you assume bankruptcy will absolve you of your child support obligation, there are a few things you should know about the types of debt that bankruptcy is designed to wipe out.
Read on to learn whether bankruptcy can help reduce or eliminate the back child support payments you owe.
Does Bankruptcy Get Rid of Child Support Debt?
Although bankruptcy can wipe out several types of debt, child support is not one of them. No matter how much back child support you owe, you will still be obligated to pay it even after your bankruptcy case is discharged.
Why doesn’t bankruptcy wipe out child support debt? Because according to bankruptcy law, child support is non-dischargeable debt. Filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will only allow you to eliminate or reduce the amount of dischargeable debt you owe.
For more information on the types of debt that bankruptcy can eliminate or reduce, see Categories of Debt That Bankruptcy Discharges.
Back Child Support and Bankruptcy’s Automatic Stay
When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay goes into effect, which is designed to prevent most or all of your creditors from pursuing any further collection action against you while your case is pending. But back child support is exempt from this rule.
According to bankruptcy law, child support is considered a priority debt, which means that if you file for bankruptcy, the outstanding child support you owe must be paid back first.
Furthermore, because the automatic stay does not apply to back child support, you can still be sued for payment at any time throughout your bankruptcy case.
Ongoing Child Support Is Still Due Throughout Bankruptcy
Filing for bankruptcy won’t prevent your ongoing child support payments from coming due. Even after you file, you’ll still be obligated to continue making payments to your child’s other parent.
If you’re unable to keep up with these payments, filing for bankruptcy may be in your best interest. Bankruptcy will wipe out or reduce your other dischargeable debts and free up more of your income that you can put toward your outstanding child support.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Twin Cities Bankruptcy Attorney
If you have a considerable amount of debt, including back child support, filing for bankruptcy may still be in your best interest, depending on your situation. At the Law Office of Ron Lundquist, we can help you determine whether bankruptcy is the right debt relief option for your needs and support you throughout the filing process.
To schedule a free consultation, please call our office at 651-454-0007 or request a consultation online, and we’ll be in touch promptly.