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What bankruptcy can and cannot do for your unpaid child support

Divorce can bring significant financial changes, and for some Tennessee residents, it can set the stage for significant financial hardship. Parents ordered to pay child support may find that it is difficult to keep up with their financial obligations, despite the best of intentions.

If you need relief from debt, you may be considering the many benefits of bankruptcy, but there are certain types of debt that are not dischargeable in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. While child support is not eligible for discharge according to the United States Bankruptcy Code, you may still find that there are many benefits to seeking a stronger financial future through bankruptcy.

Should you consider filing for bankruptcy?

Child support and alimony may not be eligible for discharge through Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but if you are unable to manage these payments as a result of other debt, you may benefit from the following advantages provided to individuals who file for bankruptcy protection:

  • Halts all contact from creditors
  • Stops repossession or the foreclosure of the home
  • Allows for the reduction or discharge of eligible debt
  • Provides opportunity to keep certain assets

In addition to these benefits, a person who applies for bankruptcy will have the opportunity to rebuild his or her credit and move toward a better, more stable future.

As Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to effectively confront other types of debt in an organized manner, it will ultimately provide you with more money with which you can meet your child support obligations. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a process that takes three to five years to complete, you may be able to include your unpaid child support, providing you an opportunity to catch up on late payments.

Which comes first, divorce or bankruptcy?

Knowing what to expect and planning ahead can make both a divorce and bankruptcy easier for all parties involved. If you believe that bankruptcy is the best option for your situation, you may be wondering which legal process you should initiate first. This depends on multiple factors, such as:

  • What type of debt you have
  • Where you will live after divorce
  • Your earning capacity
  • Potential post-divorce financial obligations
  • What type of property you have

Multiple factors determine which chapter of bankruptcy is most appropriate for your situation. If you are facing a divorce or the financial impact of a recent divorce, you would be wise to seek the opinion of an experienced bankruptcy attorney in order to make the best decision for your future interests.

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Mark T. Young & Associates
2895 Northpoint Blvd.
Hixson, TN 37343

Toll Free: 888-376-0282
Phone: 423-933-1606
Fax: 423-877-0363
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