Navigating the complexities of bankruptcy can be challenging, especially when you have obligations like child support or alimony. In Texas, child support and alimony are considered priority debts, which means they must be paid in full before any other debts are addressed. This can make the bankruptcy process even more complicated, but it’s important to understand your rights and options to ensure you are following the law and meeting your financial commitments.
Impact of Bankruptcy on Child Support
Child support is a court-ordered obligation to provide financial support for the upbringing of minor children. Unlike other types of debt, child support is not dischargeable in bankruptcy. This means that even if you file for bankruptcy, you will still be responsible for paying child support. Failure to pay child support can result in serious legal consequences, including wage garnishment, contempt of court, and even jail time.
Impact of Bankruptcy on Alimony
Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a court-ordered payment made by one spouse to the other after a divorce. In Texas, alimony is generally not dischargeable in bankruptcy. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if the alimony agreement was entered into more than two years before you filed for bankruptcy, you may be able to discharge it. Additionally, if you can prove that paying alimony would cause undue hardship to you or your dependents, you may be able to modify the alimony agreement.
How Bankruptcy Affects Your Child Support or Alimony Payments
If you are behind on child support or alimony payments, filing for bankruptcy may be able to help you restructure your debt and make it more manageable. However, you will still be responsible for paying any back support or alimony that you owe. Your bankruptcy trustee will work with you to create a repayment plan that prioritizes your child support or alimony payments.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy for Child Support and Alimony
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a type of bankruptcy that allows you to reorganize your debts and create a repayment plan that you can afford. This type of bankruptcy is often a good option for people who have a steady income and can afford to make monthly payments. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will be required to make a lump sum payment towards your child support or alimony arrears, and then you will be required to make regular payments towards your current child support or alimony obligation.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy for Child Support and Alimony
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a type of bankruptcy that liquidates your assets to pay off your debts. This type of bankruptcy is often a good option for people who owe child support or alimony, even though as these debts will not be discharged. In fact, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy may make it easier for you to pay your child support or alimony obligations, as the other debts that you were previously paying will be discharged in most cases, leaving you more cash flow from which to pay child support on alimony.
Seeking Legal Guidance
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy and you owe child support or alimony, it is important to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney like Gregg Lundberg. An attorney can help you understand your options and explain how bankruptcy will affect your child support or alimony obligations. He can also help you prepare the necessary paperwork and represent you in court.
If you would like to schedule a free consultation, contact us through our website or call Lundberg Law at 972-775-3500.