How Will Bankruptcy Affect My Child Support Obligations?
Child Support

How Will Bankruptcy Affect My Child Support Obligations?

By law, child support obligations generally cannot be avoided in a bankruptcy. They pass pretty much intact.
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Updated: 2021-11-23
What Debt Can Be Wiped Out In Bankruptcy?
 
What Debts Will I Still Have To Pay After My Bankruptcy?

Child support and other kinds of "Domestic Support Obligations" (DSOs) are not dischargeable and pass through bankruptcy unaffected.

This is because bankruptcy laws (and collection laws generally) do not allow elimination of Domestic Support Obligations (DSOs). 

In fact they are "priority debts" and must be listed on Schedule E/F (Form 106 E/F)

If a significant portion of your debt is back-due child support, bankruptcy can't eliminate that debt, but may be able to eliminate other debts that may allow you to get current on your Domestic Support Obligations,

Support obligations, versus property divisions

Sometimes divorce settlement agreements provide for creative ways to provide support obligations. If a provision of a divorce decree is found to be in the nature of a DSO, the court will not allow the obligation to be discharged.

Support Obligation  are often an exemption fo State and Federal property exemption laws.

Moreover, property exemption laws in all states specifically do not protect your property from enforcement of child support collection efforts. 

In the 2005 bankruptcy law, provisions were added that now also prevent the discharge of debts to a child or ex spouse arising out of a divorce or settlement agreement. (11 U.S.C. § 523 (15).

See Chapter 2, "When the Stay Doesn't Apply" and Ch.9 "Debts That Survive Chapter 7 Bankruptcy" of How to File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, (Nolo, 2021, 22nd ed)

 

 


Legal Consumer - Law. Jurisdictional relevance: The content of this article pertains to all US states and counties.

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    Bankruptcy can eliminate some kinds of debts, like credit card debt and medical debt, but not others, like child support and (in most cases) student loans. And liens associated with "purchase money secured debts", where you have pledged collateral for a loan, also are not affected by a bankruptcy, so you can still lose the collateral to the lien-holder.

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    Some kinds of debts pass unscathed through bankruptcy, including child support, debts incurred through fraud or other bad acts, most student loan debt, more.

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    Co-signers will still owe the full amount of the debt, even if you you get your personal liability discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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