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Does Bankruptcy Clear Child Support Arrears?

does bankruptcy clear child support arrearsBankruptcy is a legal process that provides relief to individuals who cannot pay their debts. One common question among individuals considering bankruptcy is “Does bankruptcy clear child support arrears?”

This is an important question because child support arrears can have serious consequences such as wage garnishment, seizure of tax refunds, suspension of driver’s licenses, and even imprisonment. In this blog post, we’ll answer the important question of whether bankruptcy can clear child support arrears and what you need to know about the process.

Does Bankruptcy Clear Child Support Arrears?

The short answer is no.

Child support arrears are considered priority debts and cannot be discharged through bankruptcy. This means that even if you file for bankruptcy, you will still owe your child support arrears. However, bankruptcy can provide relief in other ways that may help you pay off your child support arrears. Let’s dive into this further.

If you are behind on your child support payments, you may choose to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which is a repayment plan.

Under Chapter 13, you can propose a plan to repay your debts over a period of three to five years. During this period, you can repay your child support arrears in full. By repaying your arrears through Chapter 13, you can avoid wage garnishment, seizure of tax refunds, and other collection actions. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can give you the breathing room you need to get your finances in order and repay your debts.

Another way bankruptcy can help with child support arrears is by discharging other debts that may be contributing to your financial hardship.

For example, if you have significant medical debt or credit card debt, eliminating these debts through bankruptcy could free up more money to put toward your child support payments. Eliminating debts through bankruptcy can also improve your credit score, making it easier to qualify for loans or credit to pay off child support arrears.

It is important to note that if you owe child support arrears, you should continue to make payments during bankruptcy. Failure to do so may result in additional penalties or even the dismissal of your bankruptcy case. Additionally, if your child support arrears result from ongoing child support obligations, you must continue to make your regular child support payments during and after bankruptcy.

Speak to an Attorney

Bankruptcy cannot clear child support arrears, but it can provide relief in other ways that may help you pay off your debts while avoiding collection actions. If you are behind on your child support payments, it is important to seek legal advice from an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to determine the best course of action. They can help you craft a plan that will enable you to repay your child support arrears while also providing relief from other debts that may be contributing to your financial hardship.

Remember, bankruptcy is a serious decision, so make sure you understand all your options before making any decisions.

For more information, contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813-254-5696 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney.

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