Nothing ruins a relationship like money problems. Here are some tips about how bankruptcy can help with divorce or child support.
If you are not divorced, consider getting your debt under control so it is not a serious issue. We help a lot of couples quit fighting over money, by filing Chapter 7 or 13. You can also take my court approved 2 hour debtor education course at www.pfged.com, and it might help you understand and manage your debt.
If you are in the middle of a divorce, ask your divorce attorney to refer you to Geraci Law for either a single filing bankruptcy, or a joint filing. Often, one spouse wants to stick the other with the debts. If that spouse files bankruptcy, it often eliminates the issue, especially if the other spouse is not joint on them.
Be very, very careful about agreeing to pay debt in a marital settlement agreement. You might end up eliminating your right to discharge debts you agree to pay in a divorce. That is a very bad idea, especially if you have to pay support. You are better off discharging debt so you can use that money to pay support.
Some kinds of court-ordered support in a marital settlement agreement is dischargeable in bankruptcy, and some is not.
If you are not married, and you are ordered to pay support for children, that obligation is not dischargeable in bankruptcy. But in a Chapter 13, you can repay child support arrears, and get protection from having your drivers’ or professional license suspended for unpaid support.
Why are cases with divorces and domestic support obligations so complicated? The legislature wanted to protect children and spouses from the effect of a bankruptcy discharge. In Chapter 13, domestic support obligations must be paid, and you can pay arrears ahead of other creditors. You must also certify that you are current on your domestic support obligation before the court issues a discharge in your case.
You should seriously consider hiring an experienced Geraci Law bankruptcy attorney. Why? Because when you have a domestic support obligation, there are different requirements for chapter 13. Domestic support obligations, attorney fees to the other spouse in most cases, and guardian ad litem fees, and property settlement obligations, are not dischargeable in Chapter 7.
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