The first thing you have to know is that no type of bankruptcy can eliminate your child support debt. Plus, it’s one of the exceptions to the Bankruptcy Code’s automatic stay that says your wages can’t be garnished while your bankruptcy case is pending. Any garnishment due to a child support order will continue even after filing bankruptcy.
What About Overdue Child Support?
Missed child support obligations are considered an unsecured debt, but they’re considered a priority debt and get special treatment. Under bankruptcy law, child support arrears get paid before other unsecured creditors, like credit card companies and medical bills. It doesn’t matter how much total debt you have. The debt relief you receive in the form of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge will not include child support debt. You will continue to be subject to any court order the family law court has entered against you.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Affects Child Support In A Different Way
If you file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, domestic support obligations like child support and alimony have to be paid off in full as part of the Chapter 13 plan. The bankruptcy court won’t confirm your repayment plan if it doesn’t pay off this type of debt. If you’re thinking of filing Chapter 13 to stop a foreclosure and protect real estate, it’s important to keep this in mind. If you’ve missed child support payments and mortgage payments, speak to a bankruptcy attorney about your options.