HomeChild SupportWill Filing for Bankruptcy Get Rid of Child Support?
Posted in Child Support on 3rd October 2011

Will Filing for Bankruptcy Get Rid of Child Support?

You can’t file bankruptcy solely to get rid of back child support, you should give up on that idea. Although it’s true that you can’t get rid of child support, a good bankruptcy attorney should still be able to give some possible options. If they don’t, move on. You can’t erase back child support. As a bankruptcy attorney,I often hear this from people who are overwhelmed by their debt:

“I don’t want to file bankruptcy, because it won’t get rid of my back child support and that is really what’s messing up my finances.”

Child support isn’t like regular debt. It won’t just disappear and you aren’t dealing with the average creditor. If you are really far behind on the payments, you are probably dealing with a government agency working to collect the debt, and it is likely that they have started garnishing your wages, or plan to soon. A garnishment for back child support doesn’t follow normal amounts either;they could conceivably garnish up to 65% of your paycheck.

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BUT there is still help. With a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can eliminate the involuntary garnishments on your paycheck. This is referred to as an “automatic stay”.What this does is prevent your creditors from coming after you while you make your Chapter 13 plan paymetns. You can stop even a government agency from collecting that 65% and limit what they can get. This puts you in control of your debt, not them.

So how does this work? You still owe the money, right? Right. When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection it means that you are reorganzing your debt;your attorney will work with you to develop payment plan outlining the repayment of your debt over a 3 to 5 year period.

Filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to get caught up on those child support payments, without having to worry about some creditor taking the majority of your paycheck every month. And since the Chapter 13 will eliminate most of yoru debt payments altogether and reduce the ones that are left, you’ll now be able to afford the repayment of that back child support, on your terms. So if an attorney tells you that you can’t get rid of your child support without mentioning the relief bankruptcy still affords, get help somewhere else. Your bankruptcy attorney should go over every option available to you in order to make sure they are doing the right thing for your specific case.

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