If You File For Bankruptcy Will it Get Rid of Child Support? - By: Jim Brown
You can't file bankruptcy in to simply get rid of back child support debt, so you may as well just give up that idea. Okay, so it's true. But if a bankruptcy attorney tells you that without adding on to the statement possible options, then you should head for the hills. You can't just completely erase your back child support. As a bankruptcy attorney, I hear it all the time from people who are overwhelmed by their debt:
"I don't want to file bankruptcy, because it won't get rid of my back child support and that is really what's messing up my finances."
Child support isn't like regular debt. It won't just disappear and you aren't dealing with the average creditor. If you're far enough behind, you are probably dealing with a government agency working to collect, and it's pretty likely they've started garnishing your wages (or plan to in the near future). A garnishment for back child support doesn't follow normal amounts either;they could conceivably garnish up to 65% of your paycheck.
BUT there is still help. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can get rid of the involuntary garnishment on your paycheck. This is referred to as an "automatic stay".What this does is prevent your creditors from coming after you while you make your Chapter 13 plan paymetns. You can stop even a government agency from collecting that 65% and limit what they can get. This puts you in control of your debt, not them.
So how does this work? You still owe the money, right? Right. Filing for Chapter 13 protection means that you are re-organizing your debts—your attorney works with you to develop a plan to repay your debts over a 3-5 year period.
Filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to get caught up on those child support payments, without having to worry about some creditor taking the majority of your paycheck every month. And because the Chapter 13 will eliminate most of your debt payments altogether and reduce those that are left, you will now be able to afford to repay that back child support on your terms. So if an attorney tells you that you can't get rid of your child support without mentioning the relief bankruptcy still affords, get help somewhere else. Your bankruptcy attorney should go over every possible option for you so that they make sure they're doing the right thing for your specific case.
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Author Resource : James Brown is a personal bankruptcy attorney in St. Louis, Missouri. He has filed over 30,000 bankruptcy cases and published many books and articles. You can request his free Missouri and Illinois bankruptcy guide(http://www.castlelaw.net) for the best tips on how to prepare for your bankruptcy and find a great bankruptcy attorney.