The prospect of a fresh start is what drives many people to consider Chapter 7 bankruptcy. While having debts cleared through bankruptcy discharge can greatly improve a person’s financial situation, it is important to remember that not all debts will be discharged at the completion of a case. Child and spousal support are two common examples.
If you owe child or spousal support prior to filing your petition, those obligations will remain after you obtain your discharge. A dedicated bankruptcy attorney is the best person to explain the impact of child and spousal support during a Jacksonville Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Can Someone Discharge Child or Spousal Support in Bankruptcy?
A debtor’s responsibility for child or spousal support does not disappear during a bankruptcy filing. While most of the debts included in a debtor’s petition are ultimately erased, or dischargeable, there are important exceptions, known as priority debts. The types of debt that are not dischargeable through bankruptcy include:
- Child support
- Child maintenance
- Debts arising out of a divorce decree
- Debts arising out of a separation agreement
Chapter 7 bankruptcy law treats priority debt differently. While an automatic stay prevents employers from garnishing wages or bank accounts, these protections do not extend to withholdings for child support. Income withholdings for child support will continue even when a bankruptcy proceeding is ongoing.
Likewise, the automatic stay does not put legal proceedings related to child support obligations on hold. Any legal actions to establish or modify a support order will continue even when an automatic stay is in effect. This means that a person filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy laws in Jacksonville can’t get out of their obligation to pay child or spousal support.
How Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Can Ease Other Burdens
The best way to use Chapter 7 bankruptcy to address child or spousal support obligations is to allow the bankruptcy process to provide relief from other non-priority debts. When you are no longer required to pay back non-priority debt like credit cards, you can then focus your assets to meet your support obligations.
Discuss Child and Spousal Support Obligations During Chapter 7 Bankruptcy with a Jacksonville Attorney
Confused about what debt you can and can’t get rid of with Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? It’s time to consult an experienced attorney in Jacksonville today for information on how your child and spousal support obligations will impact your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.