Bankruptcy and Family Law Obligations

Can You Use a Bankruptcy Filing to Manage Support Arrearages?

Bankruptcy and Family Law ObligationsThe American bankruptcy laws were enacted to help people get a fresh start, to allow them to either discharge or restructure debt so that they could meet their financial obligations. What happens if one of your most significant arrearages is child or spousal support? Can you use the bankruptcy laws to eliminate or renegotiate the arrearage? Can you rely on the automatic stay to suspend support payments while the bankruptcy is in process?

A Bankruptcy Filing Has No Impact on a Support Order

The American bankruptcy laws, set forth in the federal Bankruptcy Code, specifically state that family law support obligations, such as child support and spousal support/alimony/spousal maintenance, are not dischargeable in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding. In fact, a person entitled to child or spousal support from a person in bankruptcy does not need to file anything with the Bankruptcy Court to protect his or her rights to receive support. Furthermore, the automatic stay, which applies to other types of debt, has no impact on a valid support order. A receiving spouse has a right to take or request enforcement action, and any agency with authority to collect child or spousal support may continue to do so.

If the party filing bankruptcy seeks protection under Chapter 13, he or she may seek to negotiate or set up a payment plan to pay off any arrearage, but required payments will not be suspended, and arrearages typically won’t be amended, reduced or waived.

What about Assets in a Property Settlement?

Under the bankruptcy laws, all monies owed or property required to be transferred pursuant to a property settlement order in a divorce case are also non-dischargeable.

Contact an Experienced Rockwall, TX Bankruptcy Attorney

At the Law Offices of Carrie Weir, all potential clients are entitled to a free initial consultation. To arrange an appointment, contact my office online or call 972-772-3083. I handle Texas personal bankruptcy filings in Rockwall County, Collin County, Dallas County, Hunt County and the surrounding counties.

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Call Rockwall bankruptcy lawyer Carrie Weir at 972-772-3083 or fill out the contact from below for a free, confidential consultation to discuss your options.

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