HomeChild SupportI’ve Got Child Support Debt! Can Bankruptcy Help?
Posted in Child Support on 4th July 2011

I’ve Got Child Support Debt! Can Bankruptcy Help?

Child support payments can become quite a burden when it is put into an already tight budget. And these days, you’d be lucky to find a budget that isn’t tight. You may have to pick and choose which debts to pay and, while it seems that you could push off your child support payments, there is little tolerance from government agencies for not paying it.

If you start to miss payments, an agency can (and will) garnish your wages—but not at the regular rates put forth by the Missouri wage garnishment laws. If you are head of household, up to one half of your paycheck can be garnished. If you are not head of household, up to 65% of your paycheck can be garnished. That garnishment makes it near impossible to pay any of your other bills.

Child support debt is not a typical debt—it is considered family support and taken very seriously. In fact, if your child support is the result of a court order, not paying it may be considered a violation of that order. That could possibly result in your arrest for contempt.

Since child support is considered family support like alimony or maintenance payments, it isn’t able to be discharged in a Chapter 7. Fortunately, a bankruptcy lawyer can still help you with your child support debt. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can put a stop to your wage garnishment and help you catch up on your child support payments. While the debt can’t be discharged, back child support payments can be put into a Chapter 13 repayment plan.

Can you imagine how much easier it would be to maintain your budget without the weight of child support debt and a wage garnishment? You can finally be back in control of your payments, your budget, and your paycheck. Remember, doing nothing changes nothing. You can change the situation that you are in—but only if you are willing to take action against it.

Child support debt, especially if paired with a garnishment, can render you unable to pay any other bills, sinking you farther and farther into debt. The best move to make next is to start looking at your options. Sure, you can get a free consultation from most attorneys, but the best ones will be able to provide you with great information before you even sit down with them face to face. Read up on bankruptcy FAQ, blogs, and even free publications to help you decide if bankruptcy is the best way out of debt.

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