Can I Get Out of Paying Child Support by Filing Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy Lawyer

Going through a divorce is an emotional time for everyone involved. The lives of you, your spouse, and your children are going to dramatically change, if they haven’t already. Depending on the custody arrangement, you may be required to pay child support to your former spouse.

How Child Support is Determined

Child support is based on several factors, including:

  • The age of your child
  • The standard of living of your family
  • The anticipated costs of your child
  • The time your child spends with you.

Child support will generally not go on beyond your child’s eighteenth birthday. The court will take into consideration all of the factors above in determining what you need to pay in child support. It’s commonly thought child support is money paid to your child’s other parent. In reality, child support is used to keep your child in the same financial condition had they been if you and your former spouse were still married.

I Can’t Afford Child Support

If you can’t afford your child support payments, you must petition the court to modify your alimony. When you realize you can no longer afford your child support payments, you must act fast because the court will take action against you if you fail to make the child support payments as required.

When you contact us, we’ll file a petition to modify the child support payments and give reasons why it should change. If you recently lost a job, were part of a layoff, or took a reduction in pay, we can help you adjust your child support payments to something you can afford.

Bankruptcy is an Option for Some Debts

While bankruptcy is an option for some debts, the bankruptcy code does not allow for child support to be discharged in bankruptcy. In 2005, Congress amended the bankruptcy code and declared that any alimony or child support obligations are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

But you have options. Other debts are dischargeable:

  • Mortgage
  • Car payment
  • Credit card debt

If you’re at a place in life where you can no longer afford your child support payments, a lawyer is ready to help you take action and protect your rights. You cannot reduce your child support payments through bankruptcy but you can through other means.

Reduce Your Child Support Payments

To reduce your child support payments, we’ll take a thorough look at your financial situation. It’s possible your former spouse is better off now than when you got divorced or your child is spending less time with them. That is a fact the court needs to know and may make a change in your child support payments because of this new information.

The court may also take a look at your reduced earning potential or a substantial change in your financial situation. This would also be a reason to reduce your child support payments. But under no circumstances should you reduce or stop your payments without court approval.

Contact a Law Firm for Help

Lawyers have helped clients just like you through some of their most challenging personal situations. They can help you, too.

But you must act fast. Contact a law firm today to get started.