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Bankruptcy and child support are not connected

Your ex has always had financial troubles. That's part of the reason the two of you got divorced. Your ex was ordered to pay child support.

Fast forward two years, and now your ex is filing for bankruptcy. He or she claims that this will discharge the child support debt and all obligations going forward. Naturally, you're worried about raising the kids and making ends meet without that money.

Don't worry. Generally speaking, in the vast majority of cases, child support and bankruptcy aren't linked. Even if your spouse files and the request is granted, he or she still has to pay any back child support that is owed. Your spouse also has to keep paying child support in the future. It's not discharged like credit card debt or other types of debt.

Moreover, the bankruptcy filing doesn't even put a stay on the child support payments. Some parents assume this will happen because filing can put a stay on other legal actions, such as a foreclosure. The home can't be foreclosed upon until after the bankruptcy case is finished.

The same is not true for child support. Not matter how long the bankruptcy case takes, your ex has to keep paying.

The only way to alter those payments is to ask the court for a modification. If this is granted -- and only after it is granted -- your ex may be able to pay the new, lower amount. That, however, has nothing to do with the bankruptcy case.

Know your rights. Don't let your ex push you around if you think those rights -- and the court order -- are being violated.

Source: FindLaw, "Child Support and Bankruptcy," accessed July 20, 2017

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