Are you late on Alimony and Child Support Payments?

When filing for divorce many people think about the emotional repercussions, when in actuality there are many financial repercussions as well.  Sometimes the financial distress can out weight the emotional distress especially when there are significant debts in the picture.  In addition, when one spouse or parent can’t agree with the terms and conditions of the payments for the care and support of the children and the other spouse after the divorce, tension can grow and the matter could end in court.

It is important to clearly know what the law system says and what remedies it offers. Here is a brief of the two scenarios and how it would affect if you are facing financial distress while owing Child Support and Alimony payments.

What is child support?

Child Support is a payment that a noncustodial parent must make to the custodial parent to help with the expenses of raising children they have together. Child support is a court order; therefore, can be enforced, and court takes this obligation very seriously.

What is alimony?

Alimony is a payment given by the “supporting” spouse to the dependent spouse to help with living expenses. It could be a lump sum or a regular monthly payment. Usually If you and your spouse can’t agree what amount of money and for how long to pay; then, one of the spouse will request it to the court, and it will become a court order.


Bankruptcy can help you eliminate many debts so you can make your Child Support and Alimony payments.  In bankruptcy, child support and alimony unpaid obligations enter in the category of debts called “in the nature of support” and can’t be discharged. You are still responsible for the full amount you owe in arrears, even if you declare bankruptcy. Here are the options you have:

  • Declare Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: this will help to eliminate all other debt obligations to free up money to pay child support and alimony obligations.
  • Declare Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: it will also help free up disposable income to pay child support alimony arrears and extend the total amount due over 5 years.

For example: If you owe $10,000 on your child support or alimony and you are behind, you can extend the payments of the $10,000 over 60 months and pay approximately $167 a month on top of your regular payments.  By law any contempt hearings are stayed as long as you remain current with your Chapter 13 plan.

Remain current in all domestic support obligations, and avoid state contempt proceedings.  Filing bankruptcy may help you to reorganize your debt, so that you can and repay child support and alimony obligations over time.  Call us today for a consultation.