Do I have to pay child support after bankruptcy?

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Paternity/Child Support on Wednesday, July 22, 2015.

When Missouri families go through a divorce, custody is generally granted to one parent or to the other. This tends to leave the other parent with the order to pay support to cover the everyday expenses associated with raising a child. Typically, the Missouri court system tries to balance between having the non-custodial pay enough to cover the child’s expenses without leaving them in poverty. This sometimes doesn’t work out, however, and the payer finds themselves filing for bankruptcy.

Unfortunately, filing for bankruptcy does not eliminate the child support order. In fact, any debt you have that is associated with the child, such as their medical bills, is unaffected by bankruptcy. If your former spouse stops paying support because they filed, you can still petition the courts to enforce the order.

After you file for bankruptcy, you can ask the courts to modify the order to reflect your current financial situation. Typically, they will work with you so you can both, support your child and get back on your feet. However, bankruptcy does not eliminate any back child support that has been left unpaid. If you have not paid support in three months, you still owe that amount, even if future payments have been modified.

The relationship between child support and bankruptcy is a complicated one. You may find yourself better able to pay support after filing, however. It may be beneficial to seek the counsel of a family law attorney if you find you are unable to make payments.

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