By Robert J. Semrad | Published September 18 2022 |
Can You File Bankruptcy on Child Support in Georgia?
Getting divorced or separating from a partner is an incredibly challenging situation. When children are involved, it becomes even more complex and raises the issue of custody and monthly payments.
It’s no secret that child support laws can be confusing. If you find yourself struggling to pay, you can discuss your situation with one of the experienced Georgia bankruptcy lawyers at DebtStoppers.
Does Bankruptcy Cancel Child Support?
Many people who are struggling financially because of support payments reasonably wonder if this expense can be discharged by filing for bankruptcy.
While you can’t have this debt discharged or forgiven in Georgia, bankruptcy can still help. Your maintenance payments won’t be lowered through this process, but other debts will be consolidated or eliminated. This will lower the monthly cost of your other financial commitments, so you will have more money to pay for maintenance.
Keep in mind that, although filing implements an automatic stay that prohibits creditors from contacting you to collect a payment, support isn’t included in this because they are considered non-dischargeable. This means that even if you file, you will still have to pay while the process is ongoing.
How Will Bankruptcy Affect Your Obligations?
When you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy declaration in Georgia, some of your assets will be sold to repay your creditors. After this occurs, the rest of your eligible debt will be discharged.
The discharge does not include your financial duties to your children, but filing for bankruptcy can still help. Not only will it help you reduce and discharge other debts, but it can also help you pay any back maintenance that you owe.
Because child support is a priority debt, the income received from your liquidated assets will be used to pay the past due amount before any other creditors are paid. Just keep in mind that it won’t change any monthly maintenance obligations going forward.
for Chapter 13 bankruptcy can also help you repay missed payments. Any back payment you owe can be paid back over the course of the 3-to-5-year payment plan, giving you a significant amount of time to catch up.
Your other debts will be consolidated into a lower monthly payment. Once your repayment period is over and you have fulfilled the requirements, the remaining debt will be discharged, excluding any child support obligations. Before you can have any debt discharged from Chapter 13, you must be up to date on the payments for your children.
What Happens if You Can’t Pay Child Support?
If you can't afford your court-ordered child support, you might be feeling defeated.
While you may be able to receive a modification to your obligations in the Georgia courts if your income has changed, keep in mind that past due maintenance typically cannot be modified.
Filing for bankruptcy allows you to face the situation head-on and deal with the underlying cause of your issues: your debt. By reducing and eliminating your other debts, you can get caught up on your child support obligations.
The Experienced Georgia Lawyers at DebtStoppers Can Help
Divorce isn’t easy for anyone, and being parents often makes it much more difficult. If you are having difficulty with your child support costs, it’s important to speak with an experienced lawyer.
If you need assistance, DebtStoppers is here to help. Request a free consultation today to discuss the possibilities with an experienced Georgia attorney and get started on the path to financial freedom.