What happens to my child support payments if I file bankruptcy?
On behalf of Jamie L. Gingold, PC, GingoldBankruptcyLaw.com (Formerly practicing with Gingold & Gingold LLC) posted in Wage Garnishment on Wednesday, May 20, 2015.
Getting divorced has financial implications on everyone involved, particularly for parents. One or two incomes may have supported a single household when a couple is married, but that same amount of money may not support two separate households as easily. Further, one parent can be ordered to make child support payments which can prove to be completely overwhelming.
For people who are in a position involving unmanageable debt, bankruptcy is certainly an option that may be worth pursuing to ease the financial strain. However, it can be crucial to understand that there are certain expenses related to family issues that cannot be discharged through bankruptcy, including child support.
Parents who must pay child support are required to do so or face some serious consequences. In many cases, a parent can be held in contempt of court, lose his or her driver’s license and ultimately have their wages garnished to cover unpaid child support. Some parents are even sentenced to jail.
Avoiding these penalties can be crucial, and seeking debt relief can be a good way to do this. However, filing for Chapter 7 or 11 bankruptcy will typically not wipe out child support debts. Parents are required to cover their financial obligations that support the care and well-being of their children.
This does not mean parents are simply out of luck when it comes to debt involving or contributing to unpaid child support. Generally speaking, parents have a couple options:
- File for bankruptcy to discharge other debts which could make it easier to get back on track with child support payments
- Pursue a modification in child support payments if financial circumstances have changed considerably
Either of these solutions can be effective, but it can be crucial to first discuss your options with an attorney before making a drastic decision. With some legal support and guidance, parents can work to avoid the serious penalties of unpaid child support and hopefully find a solution that allows them to meet their obligations without destroying their financial futures.
Source: FindLaw.com, “Child Support and Bankruptcy,” accessed on May 18, 2015