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How does bankruptcy affect a child support obligation?

A bankruptcy may be the basis for a reduction or modification in future child support, but it cannot reduce past due support. A former spouse cannot unilaterally reduce a child’s support payment without permission of the court. He or she must apply for a modification from the court that set the child support in the first place. In other words, a bankruptcy and its ensuing financial austerity may be used to argue that the bankrupt has experienced a change in circumstance warranting a change in support obligations.

Child support is always modifiable based on change in circumstance. Job loss, health and disability issues, an unexpected windfall or financial collapse -- each can change the amount of child support, but never the detriment of the child.