Every parent has the legal obligation to financially take care of their child or children. As a result, if you have a child support obligation, this obligation will be taken seriously, and courts will hold parents responsible for honoring their child support obligations. If you are currently facing a difficult financial situation and are considering filing for Bankruptcy in Georgia, it is important to know how Bankruptcy will affect child support.
Child Support and Bankruptcy
Below are 5 important facts to know about child support and bankruptcy.
- Child support payments are not discharged in bankruptcy: While a Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows for many debts to be discharged, this does not apply to child support. A parent cannot be excused from their obligation to pay owed child support. Any child support backpay debts (called “arrears”) will not be discharged. This also applies to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
- Collection of child support will not be stayed by filing for bankruptcy: One of the most attractive features of filing for bankruptcy is the automatic stay. This “stay” means that upon filing for bankruptcy creditors can no long make attempts to collect debts during the bankruptcy action. However, the automatic stay does not apply to child support obligations or debts—the stay will not stop a claim to establish or collect child support from property not part of your estate, which includes any wages earned after the filing date.
- If you have a child support obligation, you must continue to pay during the bankruptcy: Filing for bankruptcy does not pause your obligation to pay child support. If you owe child support, you will need to keep paying during your bankruptcy proceeding.
- Child Support debt repayment is prioritized in a bankruptcy: In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, assets are sold by the trustee to get funds to repay non-dischargeable debts. Repaying child support is at the top of the list when it comes to distributing proceeds to creditors.
- A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can give you more time to repay your child support: In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a payment plan is created to give the filer time to repay their debts. If you choose to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will have to continue making your child support payments and must pay any missed payments. However, you will have the duration of your plan to repay the debt which is typically 3-5 years.
Get Lawrenceville Bankruptcy Advice
It is clear that a parent’s responsibility to pay child support does not simply disappear by filing for bankruptcy. However, if you are struggling with an overwhelming financial situation, bankruptcy can still be a good financial choice in that it can help you manage other debts and get back on your feet so paying your child support does not feel impossible.
A Lawrenceville Bankruptcy Lawyer can help give you a fresh financial start so you can recover from a difficult financial situation and improve your future, including being able to provide financially for your children. For help with the bankruptcy process or get your questions about child support and bankruptcy answered, contact the Ballard Law Group today for a consultation by calling (404) 800-9939.