Do I still need to pay for child support? 24 Answers as of May 30, 2013

I have filed for bankruptcy and my earnings is just enough for my daily expenses. Will I have to pay for child support even if I am considered bankrupt? If I do not pay for this what will happen to me? Will I be sent to prison? Can I request for temporary cease of child support while I am still recovering financially?

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Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law
Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law | Phil Boardman
The bankruptcy will not discharge your support obligations.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 3/12/2012
The Barger Law Firm
The Barger Law Firm | Jason W. Barger
Bankruptcy will not affect your obligation to pay child support. Child support payments are not dischargeable. If you are unable to make the payments, you need to first contact your ex-wife/mother of your children about the situation and see if she would be agreeable to a reduction. You will then need to contact the Texas Attorney General's office and include them in any agreement. Then you must go before the judge who issued the child support order and get his approval. Now, if your ex-wife or the Attorney General's office will not agree with you, you need to file a Motion to Modify Child Support in which you will show the court your inability to pay the amount ordered. Should you stop paying, you may face jail time as Texas is very strict about paying child support.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 3/12/2012
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
Filing bankruptcy does not change your child support obligations. If you want to change your obligation you need to file a motion in the family law court. Consult a family law attorney as to the facts in your specific case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/9/2012
Dan Wilson Bankruptcy
Dan Wilson Bankruptcy | Dan Wilson
You have to pay your child support. If you don't you are subject to a contempt action. Child support can be modified only through court order.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 3/9/2012
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
You will have to pay child support regardless of the bankruptcy and they can put a warrant for your arrest. You may want to go to family court to request a downward modification of child support payments.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 3/9/2012
    Yahima Suarez, A Law Firm, PL | YAHIMA SUAREZ
    Child support is a financial obligation that is not dischargeable in bankruptcy, same with any other domestic obligation like alimony. You will have to calculate your child support payment before you add on your own expenses.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/9/2012
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    The failure to pay child support is a crime and yes, you can go to prison. The failure also can hurt some bankruptcy cases.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/9/2012
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    You must pay the child support, no ifs, ands, or buts. The bankruptcy filing does not affect those debts in the slightest.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/9/2012
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu | Mengjun Qiu
    Yes you will have to continue to pay child support and alimony. Unfortunately they're considered priority debts. If you want to suspend the payments, you need to make the request to the family court, as the bankruptcy court won't have jurisdiction to decide.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/9/2012
    Eranthe Law Firm
    Eranthe Law Firm | Cate Eranthe
    Bankruptcy does not impact your child support obligation. You must continue to pay it unless you file a motion in Superior Court where the order was issued and ask for a modification. If you are earning less than when the original order was made there is an excellent chance that the court will modify it. You should bring this motion as soon as possible because it can not be effective prior to the date of filing the motion. In other words the amount stays the same until you file the request to change it. When the judge orders a new lower amount it can only go back to the date that you filed the motion/request and not before. Check with your local court for free or low costs clinics for help changing the support order.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/9/2012
    J.M. Cook, P.A. | J.M. Cook
    You will still need to pay your child support. If you can't pay it, you need to file for a modification with the Court to change the support amount or you may be arrested on civil contempt.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 3/9/2012
    Law Office of Jeffrey Solomon
    Law Office of Jeffrey Solomon | Jeffrey Solomon
    The bankruptcy will not help reduce your child support obligations. A chapter 13 can allow you to pay an arrears over time, but otherwise, your remedy is in state court to modify child support.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/9/2012
    Law offices of John P. Brooke | John Brooke
    You still need to pay your child support. If you cannot afford the payments you should make an application for a downward modification in family court. If you stop paying you can be sent to jail and at a minimum you will incur arrears that will need to be paid back anyway.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/9/2012
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Jackie Ferguson Graham
    Bankruptcy does not relieve you of your child support obligation. You would do better by petitioning for relief as to your child support payments in the court that originally ordered the child support. It is possible to go to jail in some jurisdictions for non-payment of child support.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/9/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    The bankruptcy does discharge support payments. So, you would need to pay this debt. If you do not pay, the other person can file a contempt motion and one of the possible outcomes is prison time. This is not likely, but possible. Support is your priority responsibility so the court will not be sympathetic that you have a lot of other expenses.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/9/2012
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    Child support is not dischargeable in bankruptcy and must be paid. Yes, you can go to jail if you do not pay assuming the judge finds you are able to pay and didn't do it. It can also be taken from your paycheck, bank accounts and tax refunds or other government benefits. A lien can be put on your property, both real estate and personal property and the property taken. Your passport can be taken away also. You can also be charged with a crime for failure to provide support. Yes, you need to return to the court that ordered the support and ask for a reduction or other relief you might be able to get before it becomes a very serious problem. Back child support must be paid in a Plan if you file a Chapter 13 case and you must keep up regular payments as ordered by the Family Law Court or the bankruptcy case would be dismissed. You should not ignore a child support obligation and need to go back to the Family Law Court immediately to get the order modified if possible.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/9/2012
    CONSUMER PROTECTION ASSISTANCE COALITION, INC. (DE).
    CONSUMER PROTECTION ASSISTANCE COALITION, INC. (DE). | Gary Lee Lane
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/30/2013
    Ryan Legal Services, Inc.
    Ryan Legal Services, Inc. | Kevin Ryan
    You are required to comply with all domestic support orders
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 3/9/2012
    Debt Relief Law Center | Roger J. Bus
    Bankruptcy has no effect on child support. It is not discharged, nor does it give you any extra time to pay it or grant a delay in paying it. It is between you and your ex-spouse, the divorce court, family law attorneys, etc. You would need to speak to them about not paying support- results can be many including having tax refunds taken, wages being garnished for child support, being held in contempt of court, etc.. A family law attorney could answer these questions.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/9/2012
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Bankruptcy has nothing to do with your child support payments. You need to get the amount modified in state court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/9/2012
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    Child support is not discharged in bankruptcy, whether it is money you owe before you file or afterwards. The requirement to pay support and the amount you pay is only a Family Law Court matter and must be resolved in Family Law Court, not bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/9/2012
    Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law
    Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law | Christiaan van Niekerk
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/30/2013
    Charles Schneider, P.C.
    Charles Schneider, P.C. | Charles J. Schneider
    Yes, you must pay the child support. Individuals can be jailed for the willful failure to pay child support.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/8/2012
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