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How does Chapter 7 bankruptcy affect child support obligations?

A former spouse must stay up to date on support payments, both child and spousal, while he or she is Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Support obligations are not eliminated or reduced through bankruptcy.

If an ex-husband files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and if he owes children back child support or back alimony, his spouse can still collect it. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the victim spouse can garnish her ex-spouse’s wages, and she can be put first in line for the distribution of any property that a former spouse is not, by law, allowed to keep. The automatic stay provision does not stop litigation against an individual to establish, modify or collect child support or spousal support.

While Chapter 7 bankruptcy will serve to eliminate most debts, or almost all debts, it will not remove an obligation to pay support, whether it is child support or spousal support.