Can I Get Rid of Child Support Arrears in Bankruptcy in New York City?

If you live in New York and have fallen behind on your child support payments bankruptcy can provide some immediate relief. There are many reasons a good parent falls behind on child support payments, and once behind it doesn’t take long before it can be impossible for him or her to catch up. By law the bankruptcy process can’t eliminate the child support payments you owe, but it will help you catch up on them over time with a court monitored payment plan. In addition to helping you catch up on the back payments, bankruptcy will also eliminate the other bad debts that may have put you in this spot to begin with.

Domestic support obligations including alimony and child support cannot be discharged in a Chapter 7, as they are considered to be priority debts by law. Even in bankruptcy you are required to pay your priority debts. Chapter 13 can help with priority debts like child support payments where Chapter 7 cannot, but it doesn’t eliminate the arrears entirely. Instead, it spreads the back payments out over a period of 3-5 years. Putting this into perspective, you could be behind by $20,000 or more on your child support payments going into the bankruptcy, and even with this hefty amount you would only be paying about $333 per month for 60 months to get caught up.

In most cases in New York City paying child support off in a Chapter 13 plan will actually reduce the amount of money that would otherwise go to one of your unsecured creditors, and we feel that most of our clients would rather help their children than pay a credit card bill. If you stick to your repayment plan you shouldn’t have any further problems with the child support arrears, but you should always have the advice of a bankruptcy attorney when family law and bankruptcy law intersect. A qualified bankruptcy attorney will be able to explain your relief options as they relate to any child support obligations.

Parents should not be prevented from supporting their children because of bad credit card debt, medical bills or other financial mishaps. Filing Chapter 13 will force your creditors to take a back seat to your kid’s needs. You can also pay your attorney fees through the plan in the same way as the back child support payments. Get the bankruptcy help you and your children need now and pay for it over 3-5 years. There is really no reason to delay. Our law firm maintains a 99% Chapter 7 Bankruptcy discharge record in New York City as of 9/31/16. Contact the Law Offices of William Waldner online or at 212.244.2882 to arrange a free bankruptcy consultation today.

**** DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for educational purposes only. By reading no attorney-client relationship has been created. Prior results do not guarantee a similar result for future clients.