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Child support after bankruptcy

22135079_S.jpgWhen Missouri parents divorce or separate, the non-custodial parent may be ordered to pay child support. These funds are used for the everyday expenses of raising a child, including food, housing, clothing, school fees and health care. Most parents pay child support willingly and take this responsibility seriously.

There are, however, some cases in which people who have child support obligations find themselves in adverse financial circumstances. Despite their best efforts, it may become difficult, if not impossible, to make the agreed-upon monthly payments. In such cases, they may consider bankruptcy as a way of dealing with their financial circumstances, something that may be of great concern to custodial parents who may worry that they will not receive the delinquent payments.

Contrary to what many might think, child support obligations cannot be wiped out in a bankruptcy. This applies to both current and future payments, as well as back child support. While bankruptcy may be a good option for a parent who needs to eliminate or restructure other debt, he or she will remain responsible for any agreed-upon or court-ordered payments. Failure to pay child support, even when funds are not available, can result in serious consequences including jail, professional license suspension and other penalties.

In situations where a parent is unable to meet a child support obligation, he or she may be able to ask the court to grant a child support modification. In such cases, speaking with an experienced family law attorney may be a good idea, as in addition to the preparation of the required paperwork, an attorney can provide advocacy at the hearing on the order modification motion.

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