When couples in Kentucky go through a divorce, one party will likely pay child support to the other. Though the courts typically make sure the payments are set to an amount the non-custodial parent can pay, unexpected financial challenges can lead to them being unable to make ends meet. As such, the paying party may declare bankruptcy in hopes to find debt relief. But how does declaring bankruptcy affect child support?
In short, it doesn’t. Any payments you have that are “in the nature of support” must be made, regardless of your financial situation. This not only includes court-ordered child support, but also payments like medical bills directly related to the wellbeing of the child. If any debt is related to your children, personal bankruptcy does not touch those.
After bankruptcy, if you are still unable to make child support payments, you can petition the courts to modify the order. This will generally be approved if you can prove that making these payments causes undue hardship. Even so, any back child support payments are still due in full, even if future payments are lowered.
This is not to say that bankruptcy will not help you make child support payments. In fact, freeing yourself of your other debts, or restructuring them through chapter 13 bankruptcy, will generally leave you with more cash to put towards support. In addition, filing for bankruptcy will usually work toward your benefit if you file a motion to modify the order.
If you find yourself unable to make child support payments, it may be beneficial to contact a bankruptcy law attorney to discuss your options.