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Can a bankruptcy impact a child support obligation?

There are many things that a custodial parent may be alarmed to hear have happened to their ex. One is that their ex has gone into bankruptcy. One thing a custodial parent may be worried about upon hearing such a thing is how their ex is holding up through the bankruptcy. After all, just because you are no longer married to a person doesn't mean you don't care about them anymore.

Another thing a custodial parent may be concerned about is whether their ex's bankruptcy would have any impacts on their ex's child support obligations, as child support can play a very important role in a custodial parent being able to financially cover their children's needs.

An important thing to note is that, when a non-custodial parent with a child support obligation goes into bankruptcy, the bankruptcy generally will not eliminate the child support obligation and will not discharge any back-due child support. Thus, generally, a bankruptcy will have no direct effect on a child support obligation.

Now, it is possible that major financial changes that led to a non-custodial parent filing for bankruptcy could have child support implications, as changes in financial position are one of the things that a non-custodial parent could potentially request a child support order modification in connection to. Whether or not a court grants such a request will generally depend on what the court finds regarding whether there are proper grounds for a modification.

Thus, while a bankruptcy itself generally will not lead to any child support obligation changes, the underlying conditions that resulted in a bankruptcy being filed for potentially could.

If a custodial parent has questions regarding if or how financial happenings regarding their ex could impact the child support obligations of their ex, they may want to pose these questions to a child support attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "Child Support and Bankruptcy," Accessed Jan. 26, 2015

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