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Does One Still Have to Pay Child Support After Filing for Bankruptcy?

One common question people have regarding child support is what happens if their former partner files for bankruptcy. You can rest easy — even if that person files for bankruptcy, child support and alimony do not qualify as dischargeable debts. However, depending on whether your former partner files for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, there could be some potential complications.

Paying back child support in Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Child support is considered a “priority debt” for people filing for bankruptcy. All domestic support obligations are given the highest level of priority for bankruptcy debts, which means you will receive your payments even before any of your former partner’s creditors.

However, if you are to get your payments, you and/or the state child support agency in charge of your case must file proof of your claim with the bankruptcy court, with clear documentation showing the amount of child support owed to you. You will not receive anything if there are no assets to distribute, but the responsibility for paying back child support is still there.

Paying back child support in Chapter 13 bankruptcy

If your former partner files for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection, he or she is responsible for paying off all priority obligations through a repayment plan. Therefore, your child support only accounts for a portion of monthly expenses laid out in the repayment plan. All outstanding child support debts must be paid off before he or she is eligible to receive a discharge under Chapter 13.

For more information on how bankruptcy could impact child support, consult a knowledgeable Long Island divorce and family law attorney with Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.

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