- July 15, 2022
- Thomas Adam
If you are behind on your child support payments and are considering bankruptcy, you may be wondering what happens to child support if you file for bankruptcy. Sure, bankruptcy could be a lifesaver — a way to have a fresh start devoid of many financial obligations. Will bankruptcy eliminate your child support obligations in Florida?
What is Child Support?
Child support is a payment, usually monthly, that one parent pays to the other parent to help cover the costs of raising their child. This payment is mostly required to be made in the form of cash but in some specific circumstances, could be substituted by (or complemented with) in-kind support (e.g., providing housing, food, or clothing). Child support is typically ordered by a court when parents separate or divorce and is meant to ensure that the child continues to receive the same level of financial support after the separation as they did before.
What Happens to Past, Unpaid Child Support if You File for Bankruptcy?
When a person files for bankruptcy, most or all of their debts are essentially forgiven. This means that the person no longer has to pay any of the money they owe to their creditors. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. One such exception is past unpaid child support. If a person files for bankruptcy, they will still be responsible for paying any outstanding child support payments. This is because child support is considered a priority debt, meaning that it is more important than other types of debt.
Can Future Child Support be Discharged in Bankruptcy?
The simple answer to this question is also no: Future child support cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. The rationale for this is that child support, as mentioned above, is a priority debt, meaning that it is more important than other types of debt. It is considered top priority because children, under the law, have a fundamental right to be supported by their parents, and the parent who owes child support has a legal duty to pay it.
How Can You Get Help With Your Child Support Payments?
In Florida, you may request a child support modification under certain circumstances. The most common reason to modify child support is a change in the paying parent’s income. If the paying parent’s income decreases, they may be able to get a modification to their child support order. On the other hand, if the paying parent’s income increases, they may have to pay more child support.
The general rule of thumb is that there must be a “substantial change of circumstances.” This could be a change in the child’s needs, the parents’ income, or the amount of time the child spends with each parent. The court will consider all of these factors when determining whether to modify child support.
Talk to a Bankruptcy Attorney in Florida
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in Florida, you should speak to an attorney at Adam Law Group to find out how filing will impact your child support payments. We will be happy to answer all of your questions about how it may impact your current child support obligations and how we can best work it out so it may have minimal consequences on your finances and your relationship with your children.