Many divorced consumers, at times, are in a position where they owe alimony, child support, or both. Moreover, they are having a difficult time to fulfilling their obligations So what can be done? One option is bankruptcy. Since each case is different, each Chapter is different, the attorney has to find the right program for you to assist you in post-marital obligations as well as your debt, the debt you may be able to pay Best thing is to see Patrick L Cordero Esq., and get some good advice and direction. In the meantime, below IS a brief breakdown of how this area works At times, it sounds confusing, but at the end, all you want is peace In your world, and at the same time, doing the right thing for you and for the dependents getting alimony and/or child support.
Different Types Of Domestic Support Obligations
A “domestic support obligation” as defined by the bankruptcy code is a debt “in the nature of alimony, maintenance, or support” owed in accordance with a separation agreement made under nonbankruptcy, usually state-specific, law.
Child support is big business in the United States, but fewer than one In two custodial parents receive all the child support they’re supposed to receive under either a court order or an informal agreement. Of custodial parents awarded child support, on average they receive less than 70 percent of the amount they’re due.
What happens when child support that doesn’t get paid? The debt grows and grows just like any other unpaid debt. Those arrearages will add up fast and the consequences are serious. Depending on where you lived, the authorities can.
- Charge interest on the past due amounts
- Publish your name and picture on a list of “deadbeat” parents in the newspaper. Deny your passport application
- Seize your wages, your bank account, and your tax refunds. Place a lien against your house and other real estate. Report you to the credit bureaus.
- Suspend your driver’s Incense. Suspend your professional license Charge you with contempt
- Fine you
- Put you in jail
In straight Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, a number of different types debts can be eliminated (aka discharged) Most credit card debt, personal loans, and medical bills will be eliminated to allow the debtor (the person who files the bankruptcy case) to get a fresh start
While It’s usually not a major problem for the creditor if, for example, someone misses a payment owed to them, the same cannot be said for single parents or former spouses waiting on support checks. Filing for bankruptcy In cases such as those can be a very big deal Indeed. Many of those families end up on public assistance American society as a whole, and legal institutions specifically, rightly insist that parents meet their financial obligations to their children Therefore, delinquent parents can’t Just eliminate that obligation by filing a bankruptcy case Parents that owe children support payments can use bankruptcy to help themselves manage overdue/past payments so that they can, in an organized way, try and get their financial houses in order, rather than trying to avoid the payments altogether
Alimony And/Or Spousal Maintenance
In order to discharge the money you owe your former spouse via a bankruptcy filing, the money owed to a spouse has to meet three requirements:
- The debt must be in the nature of alimony, maintenance, or support. 0 The debt must be owed to a former spouse.
- The debt (if it is to be legally discharged) must be the result of a separation agreement, divorce, or property settlement agreement or other order of a court of record
Most discharge-related litigation Is concerned with the first requirement. If the divorce court Initially intended the alimony payment to serve as maintenance it will be eliminated.
In short, you can’t typically use bankruptcy to eliminate past due child support or alimony You may, however, be able to use bankruptcy to eliminate certain obligations under a property settlement Bankruptcy, however, can in many cases still help you because although you may not be able to use it In order to discharge your support payments completely, you can use It to manage your past due domestic support obligations and keep yourself out of family court – and maybe even out of jail.
If you’re getting divorced In South Florida and need help modifying your alimony due to a bankruptcy contact the Law Offices of Patrick L Cordero today at 305-445-4855 for a free, no-obligation consultation