Nobody looks forward to filing for bankruptcy, but it is one of the most common options that people opt for when they are in debt. Things may become even more complicated when you have child support or alimony duties too. This goes for both the cases; cases where you owe child support or alimony as well as cases where you get child support or alimony.
Both these claims (child support and alimony) are not dischargeable even if you file for bankruptcy. So while you may file for bankruptcy and get away with not paying anything for the moment, you cannot be released from these support or alimony responsibilities.
During a bankruptcy proceeding, both child support and alimony obligations are flagged as priority debts; which means you cannot be discharged from them. As general rule priority debts are given quite a treatment in bankruptcy. The child support payments in which you were lagging behind before you even filed your case, you are required to pay them back in full through whatever repayment plan you come up with.
Those who receive child support are often apprehensive of the fact that once they file for bankruptcy, they may not be able to protect the money they get from the support. Luckily, if you are a person who is finding himself in a similar situation, you can relax because the ongoing payments that you do receive as child support will be protected even if you have filed for bankruptcy.
And not just this but you can have the leftover money which you received as child support, marked as an ‘exempt asset’ which would prevent anybody who wishes to use that money for paying back the creditors from doing so.
Alimony money is your ex husband/wife’s money which they give to you so that you can manage some of the finances even after the divorce or separation. Since this too is considered as a ‘domestic support obligation’, you cannot be discharged from paying it and just like with child support, if you have missed paying any alimony money in the past to your ex spouse, you would be required to make up for that as well. If you are at the receiving end of the alimony money, but have to file for bankruptcy due to some financial setback, you also have to option of protecting that money.
Filing for bankruptcy is a big and serious decision. If you are about to file for a bankruptcy case and have child support or alimony duties too, please make sure that you look into the matter with an experienced attorney who can help you make the right decisions, ask him any relevant questions about any concerns that you may have, ask for clarifications for anything that you are not being able to understand. Remember to hash out all your concerns before filing for any legal matter, be it bankruptcy or anything else, so that you do not experience any troubles with the law later.