Search Site

Can Filing for Bankruptcy Stop Child Support?

distressed-man-bankruptcy As many divorced and separated parents know, child support can represent a significant expense on a monthly basis. The impact of child support payments becomes magnified if you are facing considerable financial strain, whether it’s due to medical bills, losing your job or experiencing any number of other unexpected challenges.

Bankruptcy can’t stop child support payments in Georgia

One benefit of bankruptcy is that it creates an automatic stay which stops a creditor from collecting any debts until the case has been finalized. However, child support is deemed a non-dischargeable debt so it can not be eliminated in a bankruptcy proceeding.

You must make ongoing child support payments when due

Therefore, you will need to continue to make child support payments despite being in bankruptcy. Any unpaid child support will not be cleared as a result of the bankruptcy. All parents must, by law, support their children financially. That responsibility is not changed by filing for bankruptcy.

If you are falling behind on your child support payments, it’s important to let the recipient know right away. You may be able to seek a modification to your original child support order to adjust the amount of money you must pay each month.  This can be easier said than done, but is often worth trying. A modification can only be made through the court changing the support order, however.

The following are summaries on how the two most common types of personal bankruptcy affect child support payments.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy and child support

While the automatic stay that comes with Chapter 7 bankruptcy will stop most of your other creditors from coming after you, it does not apply to child support. You may still be subject to collections from assets or property that’s not part of your bankruptcy estate.

Any property you acquired after you filed for bankruptcy, including the wages you earned after filing, is not part of your bankruptcy estate. Therefore, those wages can be garnished for child support purposes, even if you have an ongoing Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy and child support

Chapter 13 bankruptcy also does not discharge your child support obligations. However, you may use it to get caught up on the payments you currently owe. You will need to stay on top of your regular ongoing payments to make this happen.

This can actually be beneficial to you in your Chapter 13 case, as paying child support can reduce the amount of money you need to pay back to any unsecured creditors. As long as you continue to make timely payments on your Chapter 13 plan and stay up to date with your current child support payments, you will not need to worry about separate actions made for the purposes of collecting money outside of bankruptcy.

To learn more about the debts you can and cannot discharge when you file for bankruptcy in Georgia, work with an attorney at Jeff Field & Associates. Call the firm at 404-381-1278 or contact us online to set up a free initial consultation.

Related Posts:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Attorneys
Client Reviews
  • google

    Chris and Laura have been amazing! The process seamless! All of my questions and needs were addressed! I highly recommend this office for your BK needs!

    Read more

    Crystal Jackson

  • google

    This is the best Bankruptcy Lawyers ever They treat you with respect and do not judge you for the mistakes you made.Mr.Sleeper and MS.Brown are the best they answered every question I had and if I couldn't reach them they always responded to my voice...

    Read more


  • google

    Jeff Fields and Laura Everett were wonderful! It was hard but they were so helpful and with me every step of the way. They answered every question and were very accessible. I hope noone has to experience this road, but if you do, try Jeff Field & Ass...

    Read more

    Becky Sharpe

  • google

    I had my concerns about filing initially, but Jeff walked me through the process and with his calm demeanor, made this process not at all as daunting as I initially thought it would become. The process flowed effortlessly and Cassie (a BIG shout out ...

    Read more

    Charita Willis

  • google

    Due to medical expenses and serious physical problems I had to file bankruptcy. I was nervous and really depressed about the whole situation. I called Jeff Field & Associates and felt at peace after talking to a lawyer. I decided to go with them and ...

    Read more

    Sherri Ellis

See all reviews
Contact us

Please fill out the form below and one of our attorneys will contact you.

Quick Contact Form