Recently, the rapper and actor, DMX, made the news when he filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. His greatest source of debt was the over $1 million he owed in child support. One of the questions this raises is the role of bankruptcy in dealing with child support debt. If you’re faced with bankruptcy, and owe back payments in child support, will bankruptcy be able to help discharge your child support debt?
It’s important to be clear from the start that child support is not a dischargeable debt. Because child support is tied to the welfare of your children, who need the money for their basic needs and overall well-being, filing for bankruptcy isn’t going to allow you to free yourself of your unmet child support obligations. However, if managed properly with the assistance of an expert bankruptcy attorney, the bankruptcy process may still make it easier for you to find a way to pay back what you owe in child support.
Child Support in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your child support debts aren’t dischargeable, and you’ll still be subject to collection from child support creditors; the automatic stay against creditors that applies to other kinds of debts doesn’t apply to child support. You’re also still obligated to make ongoing child support payments throughout the bankruptcy process. One way Chapter 7 bankruptcy could help is by discharging other debts; that way, you may have more money to channel towards child support.
Child Support in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Child support will be an important part of your repayment plan, and as long as you’re following the terms of the plan and paying off your child support debts in a timely way, you’ll likely get some breathing room from creditors. In addition to paying off your debts, you’ll also have to make current payments on child support.
Child Support in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Individuals who don’t meet the criteria for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, as their debt exceeds a certain threshold, could file for this kind of bankruptcy, which would allow them to reorganize their debts and follow a repayment plan drawn up in court. Child support issues under this bankruptcy plan are similar to Chapter 13.
If you’re in extremely severe financial straits, and don’t think you could manage to pay any child support all, an important action you need to take is to apply for a child support modification with the family courts.B Otherwise, you need to stay on top of your current child support payments while also paying back what you already owe. Don’t hesitate to contact us and receive advice and assistance for your situation; we’ll work to make bankruptcy as beneficial for you as possible, which includes improving your ability to manage your non-dischargeable child support debts.