Child support becomes a lawful judgment on the day that it’s due. It’s a legal debt that one parent owes to another. You might be a parent struggling to keep up with child support payments. You might also be a parent waiting for payments that are overdue.
Filing for bankruptcy is a lawful way for a debtor to discharge some debts. Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be used to wipe some debts clean and give the debtor a fresh start. Can child support be discharged in bankruptcy? Is child support debt affected by bankruptcy? Here’s what you need to know about child support and bankruptcy:
Is Child Support Debt Erased by Bankruptcy?
No, child support debt is not affected by filing for bankruptcy. A debtor cannot avoid a child support obligation by filing for bankruptcy. Instead, the entire amount of the debt continues to be valid until it’s fully satisfied. The paying parent must make arrangements to pay the full amount of the debt. A bankruptcy court has no authority to suspend child support payments.
Does Bankruptcy Change Child Support Payments?
Filing for bankruptcy doesn’t change the amount of child support that’s due each month. A parent can’t get lower child support payments because they file for bankruptcy. Child support is based on a parent’s income. The court can also impute income to a parent who chooses to be underemployed.
If you’re unable to make your child support payments, you can ask the court to lower them. However, you must show a basis in the law for reducing your payments, like a reduction in income, even though you’re doing everything you can to find maximum employment. If you have a genuine inability to pay based on a decrease in income, you can ask the family court to lower your child support payments.
Can the Bankruptcy Court Lower Child Support Payments?
No, the bankruptcy court cannot lower child support payments. The bankruptcy court does not have the ability to determine child support payments. Only the family court can determine child support payments. Even though the bankruptcy court can grant a discharge of certain types of debts, they can’t decide that a child support award is inappropriate or change it.
Can a Bankruptcy Filing Stop Child Support?
When a party files for bankruptcy, it automatically stays certain types of court proceedings. For many pending civil cases, a bankruptcy filing brings the court proceedings to a halt. That’s not how it works for child support cases. A bankruptcy filing doesn’t stop or even slow down a child support case. The child support case proceeds and the child support amount is still due each month.
A parent who is owed child support can take measures to collect the child support even while a bankruptcy is pending. In fact, you can work with your child support attorney in Las Vegas to pursue all of the options to collect the child support that you deserve. You may be able to garnish the pay of the parent that owes child support.
In addition, the bankruptcy court may be helpful in assisting you in collecting the child support that’s overdue. The bankruptcy court may be able to seize assets from the debtor parent and distribute those to pay child support. The child support debt may be a priority to the bankruptcy court. The bankruptcy court may help you if you’re a parent that is waiting for overdue child support payments. Your experienced Nevada child support attorney can help you ensure that the bankruptcy court is aware of the child support debts to include them in the asset distribution process.
Are Child Support Debts Dischargeable in Bankruptcy?
There are many types of debts that aren’t dischargeable in bankruptcy. Child support debts are just one kind of debt that’s not dischargeable. Certain types of student loans are not dischargeable, either. If you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy, it’s important to understand exactly what the bankruptcy can do for you and what the end result is likely to be. Bankruptcy is a welcome relief for filers who have a large number of unsecured debts like credit card debt. If your debt is child support or most types of student loans, bankruptcy may not help you significantly. It’s important to work with your bankruptcy attorney in Las Vegas to clearly understand the law and how it applies to you before you decide on a course of action.
Can the Bankruptcy Court Deny Bankruptcy Because of Outstanding Child Support Debt?
No, the bankruptcy court cannot deny a bankruptcy because of outstanding child support debt. The bankruptcy proceeds, but the child support debt lives on past the bankruptcy filing. The bankruptcy court can deny a bankruptcy in cases of fraud or hidden assets. However, child support debt has no impact on a bankruptcy proceeding, and a bankruptcy proceeding has no impact on child support debt.
What Do I Need to Know if I’m Filing for Bankruptcy and I Owe Child Support?
If you’re filing for bankruptcy and you owe child support, you should know that the bankruptcy proceeding doesn’t impact your child support obligation. You still owe child support each month, in full, just as though you had not filed for bankruptcy. Past-due amounts are still due. A bankruptcy proceeding doesn’t stop or stall family court hearings to establish or enforce a child support obligation. If you plan to file for bankruptcy, you should discuss your options with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Las Vegas to ensure that the bankruptcy benefits you in a way that’s worthwhile.
Contact Our Child Support and Bankruptcy Attorneys in Las Vegas
Do you have questions about bankruptcy and child support? We’re here to help. At Half Price Lawyers, we specialize in both child support and bankruptcy. Whether you’re considering filing for bankruptcy or you’re worried about collecting child support that you deserve, our bankruptcy and child support specialists can help. Contact us today for a friendly discussion of your case.