Does Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Affect Child Support?

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Does Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Affect Child Support?

Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy will not get rid of your child support debt. However, it will help you organize your finances.

Child Support Does Not Get Discharged

Pursuant to public policy concerns, any current and overdue child support payments will not get discharged during a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Child support debt is considered a priority debt, and will be repaid in full.

Chapter 13 Does Help to Repaid Back Child Support

Under Chapter 13 bankruptcies, the court will help you organizes your finances and set up repayment plans. Further, since back child support is considered a priority, the court will help you figure out how to repay that first. In essence, the court will help you free up your finances from claims by other creditors to allow you to be current with your child support payments.

Automatic Stay Affecting Child Support Payments

Despite child support being an exception to the automatic stay in bankruptcy proceedings, your child support obligations may be reduced. Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcies, Chapter 13 bankruptcies make your current income part of the bankruptcy estate. Thus, you will have less money and and less of a financial obligation to pay child support. Essentially, your income is reduced and you will have less money that will be factored into child support payments.

Must Pay All Domestic Support before Receiving a Discharge

Under Chapter 13 bankruptcies, you can be discharged from your debt obligations. In order for that to happen, you must not owe any back child support or spousal support during your case. 

Consulting an Attorney

If you are seeking to modify your child support obligations, please consult a family law attorney. He may help you come up with a new child support payment plan or even help you obtain a waiver.

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Last Modified: 02-18-2015 02:34 PM PST

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