Does Bankruptcy Clear Child Support Arrears?

does bankruptcy clear child support arrearsFinancial challenges can often lead people to file for bankruptcy, which provides them with some relief from the overwhelming debts and financial struggles.

One question many people have when they file for bankruptcy is whether it clears their child support arrears. The answer to this question is not straightforward. It depends on the type of bankruptcy you file for and the legal system in your state.

Does bankruptcy clear child support arrears? Here’s what you need to know.

What is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal means of erasing many types of debts, but child support is one of the exceptions.

When you file for bankruptcy, your child support obligations remain intact, and you cannot discharge them in any way. However, bankruptcy may offer some relief in terms of the overall debt amount and the repayment schedule.

When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is the most common type, your non-exempt assets are liquidated to pay off your debts. Bankruptcy doesn’t discharge child support debt, but it can help you free up some funds to pay off the arrears.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy restructures your debts. You enter into a payment plan for three to five years to catch up on them. During this period, you can continue to pay your child support, and your arrears may be included in the repayment plan.

However, you need to make sure you are current on your ongoing child support payments. If you fall behind during the repayment period, you can face legal consequences.

Most Child Support Arrears are Not Dischargeable

In most states, child support arrears are not dischargeable even after completing the bankruptcy process. If you are behind on child support payments, you may still owe the arrears even if your other debts were discharged through bankruptcy. This means that you may need to continue making payments to catch up on the arrears and that bankruptcy may not be a complete solution to your financial issues.

It’s also essential to note that different laws, both state and federal, regulate bankruptcy. The latter vary from one state to another. Before filing for bankruptcy, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney and a family law attorney to ensure you fully understand your rights and obligations.

Speak to a Bankruptcy Attorney

Bankruptcy does not clear child support arrears, and you need to continue paying them even if you file for bankruptcy. However, bankruptcy may offer some relief in terms of overall debt reduction and repayment options.

It’s essential to consult with an attorney to understand your legal options and obligations regarding child support and bankruptcy. Remember, the best way to protect your financial well-being and your relationship with your child is to stay current on your child support payments.

For more information or to schedule a consultation to discuss whether or not bankruptcy is right for you, contact R. Flay Cabiness, II, P.C. at (912) 417-5041 (Brunswick, GA); (912) 809-2141 (Hazlehurst, GA) or; (912) 324-3176 (Jesup, GA) to schedule a consultation.

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