Modifying Child Support When Payor Files For Bankruptcy

mens divorce lawyerQuestion:

While going through our divorce, my husband was ordered to pay child support.

Shortly after the order was entered he filed for bankruptcy and now wants the child support modified.

Can child support be reduced or eliminated if the paying party files for bankruptcy?

Answer:

I am only licensed to practice law in Illinois so I cannot offer legal advice on divorce on the laws in other states. However, I can give you a general answer that may be helpful to you.

Child support payments are not dischargeable through bankruptcy, so your husband’s child support obligation will continue, even after he files for bankruptcy.

If your divorce is not yet finalized, it is possible that the child support amount currently in place is only temporary, meaning that it will continue until the final divorce decree is entered, at which time a permanent child support amount is set.

If that is the case, the court can reconsider your husband’s income and expenses, as well as the needs of the children and your financial resources, when setting the final child support amount.

If the order entered was a final order child support, then your husband must show a substantial change in the circumstances of the parties or needs of the children to modify his support obligation.

Typically, a parent attempting to modify a child support obligation would need to show that they cannot pay the child support amount due to unemployment or a reduction in income.

In your situation, the fact that your husband has filed for bankruptcy would not, by itself, seem to be enough to warrant modifying the child support amount. The bankruptcy filing does not affect your husband’s income. Rather, it would affect the amount of debt he is paying each month.

You should contact a qualified domestic relations law firm, such as Cordell & Cordell, to review the current orders in place regarding child support as well as the financial information of both parties in order to properly respond to any assertions by your husband that his child support amount should be modified. I also suggest you seek divorce advice in our divorce forum from fellow divorced dads.

To schedule an appointment with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Erin Brockhoff, an Associate Attorney in the Belleville, Illinois office, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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One comment on “Modifying Child Support When Payor Files For Bankruptcy

    I have filed for bankruptcy but have a child support hearing coming up. I don’t owe any child support and there hasn’t been any court order requiring me to pay. How will my bankruptcy affect this new child support order?

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