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Can Filing For Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Discharge Child Support Obligations?

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer

When you find yourself in a massive amount of debt, sometimes the only option you might have left is filing for bankruptcy. When this is the case, a bankruptcy attorney can go over the different bankruptcy options you have that work best for your income level and the amount of debt you are in. However, not all debt can be wiped clean, and if you are behind on your child support payments it is important to note that filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy will not take away your child support obligations. That said, an attorney can go over the different options that you have and discuss how filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you get caught up on your payments and establish a more manageable level of debt.

 Why won’t Chapter 13 wipe out my child support debt?

When you file for bankruptcy, there are many debts that it may wipe out. This can be a great relief when you owe money to credit cards. However, Congress determined that child support is an incredibly important kind of debt and that it should be treated as a “priority debt.” Because of this, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy will not eliminate your debt. However, when you do file, you will establish a plan that helps you pay off your child support debt in full.

 How can it help with my child support debt?

When you work with your attorney to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can begin organizing the different debts that you have, see exactly what you owe, and even come up with new repayment plans to pay off these debts. Further, when you file, a court will impose an automatic stay so that creditors cannot come after you to take your assets during the bankruptcy process. Again, the automatic stay will not remove any child support debt that you have. However, it can be incredibly helpful because this allows you to take a step back and assess your debt and determine what kind of repayment plan you can make so that you can begin removing your child support debt. It is important to note that a creditor can file a motion with the court to have the automatic stay lifted for them, but this should still give you time to come up with a repayment plan.

Do I have to keep paying my current child support through the bankruptcy process?

Yes. In fact, many courts may lift your automatic stay if you do not continue making current child support payments. This means that other creditors can go after your earnings and assets when you could have used those to help with your child support debt.

If you would like more information on how filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you with your child support debt, please reach out to a chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer in Memphis, TN.

Thanks to Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC for their insight into bankruptcy law and child support payments.

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