Bankruptcy and Child Support

As the economy continues to struggle, bankruptcy can become an enticing option to more and more people who are looking for a fresh start. We have found that bankruptcy can pose some interesting questions for those receiving payments from their former spouse or partner. What happens if your former husband or wife files for bankruptcy? Will you lose your right to collect any back child or spousal support payments? The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA) makes certain that child support and spousal support cannot be discharged through bankruptcy. In fact, you may be able to collect your debts by attaching property owned by your former spouse that is normally unreachable during a bankruptcy proceeding. Other debts owed to you by your former spouse can sometimes be discharged during bankruptcy, depending on the nature of the debt and the chapter of bankruptcy he or she is filing.

BAPCPA is still relatively a new law, so there is some uncertainty about how BAPCPA will apply in some situations. In addition, the process to protect your rights can be complex if your former spouse files for bankruptcy. If your former spouse owes you money and is filing for bankruptcy, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney. The lawyers are Stephens & Margolin LLP have substantial experience in cases involving support obligations and bankruptcy.

 

About Sean Stephens

By Sean Stephens Google + Sean Stephens is divorce and family law lawyer, and a founding member of Stephens & Margolin LLP He was born in Eugene, Oregon and is a fourth generation Oregonian. Sean Stephens attended the University of Oregon, and graduated in with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, with a minor in English Literature. His psychology studies emphasized early childhood development. You can find more about Sean Stephens at Stephens & Margolin LLP Follow him
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2 Responses to Bankruptcy and Child Support

  1. I graduated from law school 3 years ago – during law school me and my classmates were taught that child support cannot be discharged in bankruptcy and that the nationwide trend (at that time) was to treat spousal support the same way. This post confirms what the professors are teaching in the law schools.

  2. …in Oklahoma, not only can child support obligations not be discharged, but also there is no statute of limitations on a child support arrearage.

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