How Exactly Does Filing Bankruptcy Play Out for Child Support and Custody?
La Jolla, CA — Filing bankruptcy is a position nobody plans or wants to find themselves in. This is especially true for parents —whose children are dependent on them. Doubly so, if you are divorced and co-parenting a child, feeling as though every action is observed by the courts and the other parent. So, what exactly happens to child support when the parent paying child support files for section 7 or section 13 bankruptcy?
Along with taxes, child support is a debt that is not excusable under any circumstances but disability. Therefore, if the parent ordered to pay support files for bankruptcy, they are still required to continue paying this debt, even if all others are expunged.
If you are already behind on payments and are filing for section 7 bankruptcy, child support enforcement agencies may still go after you, and there is no protection against being sued for outstanding support. With section 13, you are protected from being sued, but only as long as you get back on track with a payment plan.
However, if the amount of child support is financially not feasible, there are absolutely ways to modify child support through family court. It is advisable to retain an attorney to help you have the best chance at changing your child support order. There is a good deal of paperwork involved, and the burden of proof as to the change of your situation since your last order was assigned–rests on the parent applying for modification.
Will Bankruptcy Jeopardize My Child Custody Arrangements?
Many parents worry that filing for bankruptcy will negatively impact their ability to legally continue practicing their parental time. In fact, the other parents may threaten to modify the parenting agreement if they find out about this kind of ‘financial failure.’
However, family courts do no automatically disqualify bankrupt parents from seeing their kids and have the youngsters live with those parents. If the very basic needs of the child for food, clothing, and shelter are satisfied–most judges deem the benefits of being around both parents to be much higher than the benefit of simply being in the most financially successful household.
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