Filing for bankruptcy can be difficult, and it has a wide range of financial implications. For example, many people don't consider how their bankruptcy filing might impact their child support payments. In this blog, Duke Law Firm, P.C. will explore what happens when you file for bankruptcy and how it could affect your child support obligations.
Child Support Obligations are Different from Other Debts
When weighing the decision to file for bankruptcy, it's essential to understand that child support obligations are not treated like other debts. While filing for bankruptcy can help alleviate certain types of debt—like credit card and medical bills—it does not provide any relief from child support payments. That means that even if you file for bankruptcy, you will still be required to pay any outstanding child support payments or face serious legal consequences.
The Bankruptcy Court May Require You to Make Arrangements
If you're already behind on your child support payments when you file for bankruptcy, the court may require you to create an arrangement with your partner or ex-partner to catch up on your payments. This arrangement could include agreeing on a payment plan or working out some sort of compromise between the two parties.
If you cannot agree, the court may determine one party must take full responsibility for paying off any remaining balance owed in back payments. It's important to note that if the court orders you to pay back all missed payments, they become non-dischargeable debts—meaning they must be paid even after the bankruptcy case is closed.
You Can Request Modifications After Your Bankruptcy is Finalized
Even though filing for bankruptcy does not relieve you of your obligation to pay child support, it allows you to request modifications once your case is finalized. These modifications can include reducing the amount of money owed each month or making other adjustments based on changes in your financial situation since filing for bankruptcy. To make these modifications legally binding, however, they must be approved by both parties involved in the original agreement and by a judge overseeing the case.
Attorneys Experienced in Multiple Legal Areas
Bankruptcy can have far-reaching consequences when it comes to managing your finances—and that includes paying off any existing child support agreements. While filing for bankruptcy won't relieve you of this obligation entirely, it could provide an opportunity to negotiate more manageable arrangements with your partner or ex-partner once the case is finalized. Ultimately, understanding how and when to ask for modifications can help ensure that everyone involved receives fair treatment throughout this potentially complicated process.