Will Bankruptcy Affect Child Support?
The strain on your finances may have become too great. You may have lost a job, suffered a medical emergency, or taken on another obligation which has cost you money. You may be at the point at which you can no longer pay your bills. It may be time for you to declare bankruptcy. Doing so will give you a fresh start; it will give you a path to rebuild your finances and your life.
Choosing the Right Type of Bankruptcy
There are two types of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Hiring a Mobile AL bankruptcy attorney will help you decide the type of bankruptcy that is most suitable for your circumstances. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is for individuals who meet a certain income threshold. Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will wipe out your unsecured debts, which includes credit card and medical bills. Some of your assets will be seized to pay back creditors.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is essentially a repayment plan. Filing Chapter 13 will put a halt to harassment by creditors and put you on a three-to-five-year plan to repay them all. Under Chapter 13, you will be able to keep non-exempt property.
Looking After Your Child After Bankruptcy
If you have a child and pay child support, it may be difficult to keep up with your payments if you are on the verge of bankruptcy. Indeed, the need to pay child support may be one of the reasons why you have been forced to file for bankruptcy. The first, and perhaps most important, thing you should know is that while bankruptcy will give you relief from many debts and obligations, child support is not one of them. Filing bankruptcy will not reverse any child support obligations mandated by a court order or divorce settlement.
When you file for bankruptcy Mobile AL, all of your creditors are prevented from making further claims against you. However, the other parent of your child, if they have primary custody, is allowed to seek past due child support. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, any income that you receive after filing for bankruptcy is not considered part of your estate; it can be used to make up for missed payments. In Chapter 13, the income you receive after the bankruptcy is considered part of the estate and the other parent of your child must request relief in order to get at it. Judges tend to support such requests. And if you are Chapter 13 and had a stay imposed against all your creditors, the courts will usually lift the stay so that child support payments can be recovered.
The courts consider child support a priority debt. It is not an obligation that you can have discharged under either bankruptcy statute. Even if you are struggling to pay living expenses and to make payments in accordance with your Chapter 13 reorganization plan, you will still be required to meet your child support obligations. You will also be required to make up any overdue payments.
Child support will take precedence over all other debts—even outstanding tax obligations. That is why you should not declare bankruptcy in the belief that it will save you from paying child support. It will not. However, if your child support obligation is one among many bills you are struggling to pay, then declaring bankruptcy may be the best option.
A bankruptcy attorney Mobile AL can help you decide the best way to deal with your debt. If you want to do the right thing by your child but simply lack the money to do so, your bankruptcy attorney Baldwin County can work with the court-appointed trustees to come up with a plan that will help you meet this obligation.
Most financial problems have a solution. It is only a matter of thinking things through. Mobile AL bankruptcy attorneys help their clients with this. You should contact a bankruptcy attorney Mobile Alabama at the Loris Law Firm to further explore your options.