Ask A Lawyer: How Does Bankruptcy Affect Child Support In Arrears?

I filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy about 1 1/2 years ago, and both of the children I was paying child support for have since been emancipated. I still owe arrears on my child support, and there is a repayment order on one case but none on the other case.  I am married now and have two small children at home which add to my financial concerns.  Since I filed for bankruptcy, things have gotten increasingly more difficult financially and it has become increasingly harder for me to support my family.


My questions are:

1) Can I request that the orders on arrears be terminated until after my bankruptcy is completed?

2) Can I have the orders reduced since I am married and have two small children at home?

3) What is the likelihood that the motion will be granted (in your opinion)?



You should consult with the lawyer who is representing you in the bankruptcy court as well as a family attorney in your jurisdiction.  Generally, the orders to repay the arrearage can take your financial situation into consideration (whereas current child support payments generally do not), so the family law attorney can advise you on this.  Or, your Chapter 13 Plan may be able to be adjusted to take the arrearage repayments into consideration (if they were not considered in the original Plan).  Your bankruptcy attorney can advise you on this.



Erik H. Carter is a Senior Attorney of the Cordell & Cordell, P.C. office in Indianapolis, Indiana as well as the Litigation Manager of both the Indianapolis and Pittsburgh offices. Mr. Carter has practiced since 1993 as an attorney. He is licensed in Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania as well as the Northern District of Indiana and the Southern District of Indiana.

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