My name is Danielle Diaz. One of the things I've learned in life, both inside and outside the courtroom, is that it is important to not see others as your enemy. Even though you may see the prosecutor as your enemy, he or she is just trying to do a job. It may be possible that you can get a prosecutor or the judge to be sympathetic and get him or her on your side. In order to accomplish this, you need to understand the law. I feel that most individuals do not understand the law, which is why I was motivated to create this blog.
Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a great way to eliminate debts you owe; however, it will not help you if you owe back child support. Child support is a debt that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy; however, there are a few things you should be aware of regarding the child support you owe if you plan on filing for bankruptcy.
Effects of bankruptcy on child support
There are many types of debts you can include in your bankruptcy case which will be discharged, but there are also debts that cannot be included. Child support is a common exclusion in bankruptcy, because child support is such an important debt to pay, and the court labels this debt as a priority debt.
In addition, when you file for Chapter 7, you will receive an automatic stay. This is something that prohibits creditors from coming after you for debts you owe, and it also stops wage garnishments that are currently in place. It is important for you to realize that this automatic stay does not apply to child support you owe. You will still have to continue paying it, and the court and your ex-spouse can continue coming after you for it.
Other parent may view this as an opportunity
Another thing to know is that your ex-spouse may view you filing for bankruptcy as an opportunity to collect back support you owe. If you are completely debt-free, other than excluded debts like child support, your ex may decide to try to collect all the back support you owe. Filing for bankruptcy will not cause your child support payments to increase, but it may encourage your ex to seek back support you owe.
One method he or she may use is taking you to court to request wage garnishment for back support. The court has the right to garnish your wages to collect the current child support payments you owe, but they can also add an extra amount to your weekly payments to try to repay the arrearage owed. Filing for bankruptcy does not mean your ex-spouse will do this, but it is a possibility that you should be aware of.
If you are not sure whether to file for bankruptcy or not, you may want to discuss your situation with a bankruptcy attorney. Bankruptcy attorneys can offer advice and suggestions for any situation, and this is one way to find out what you should do.