Bankruptcy may be used to discharge a variety of debts. Usually, a child support obligation does not go away just because an individual files for it. In fact, filing for bankruptcy may not even offer individuals a stay on making current or future payments. It also does not provide individuals an ability to wipe away any past due payments that are owed to the child's other parent.
However, the need to file for bankruptcy may indicate that there has been a change in a parent's financial status. This may make it possible to have a current order modified. It is important to note that this still does not take away that parent's obligation to pay past due support under the terms of the other order.
Those who are thinking about filing for bankruptcy should know that they may not be able to discharge other debts related to the care of their children. For instance, paying for a child to receive medical care may be a debt that cannot be discharged through either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Therefore, it may be more beneficial to work out other payment arrangements as individuals may be limited in their options to handle debts related to the care of their children.
If a child's parents get divorced, it is common for one parent to be ordered to pay child support to the other. The amount of support owed is generally determined by a parent's income as well as other factors contained in state guidelines. An attorney may be able to explain a parent's rights and obligations before and after an order has been issued. Legal counsel may also be useful if a parent fails to make payments as ordered by a judge.