Can I file bankruptcy to avoid paying child support?
When child support payments or debt become a financial burden, one may think filing for bankruptcy can help achieve a blank slate in regards to these and other debts. Unfortunately, that is not the case. When it comes to eliminating debt through bankruptcy, child support debt is one of the few exemptions to what is considered dischargeable debt through filing for bankruptcy. No bankruptcy filing will ever eliminate any past due, or future child support payments.
This same exemption goes for other court ordered payments such as alimony or spousal support, governmental penalties or fines, and certain tax debt. Child support, as well as these other debts will all remain the responsibility of the debtor even after the bankruptcy is complete. To read more about other types of debt that are not dischargeable through filing for bankruptcy, check out our blog “Does a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Get Rid of All My Debt?”
While eliminating child support debt through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not possible, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may offer a different option to those struggling with massive child support debt. Filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is all about reorganizing your debts into smaller payments spread out across 3 to 5 years. There are no restrictions on including child support debt when filing for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This option may give the debtor a more realistic opportunity to catch up on their overdue payments, while still paying them off in full.
If you have questions about overdue child support debt contact your local child support agency to help set expectations on how these payments will be met. If overdue child support is only one piece of your financial situation, bankruptcy may still be a worthwhile option for you. Contact our office to discuss your particular situation in detail, and our team will help explore all available options. To set up a meeting, contact our office at (702) 998-1188, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by scheduling a consultation online.