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Can bankruptcy end child support payments?

Most parents in Illinois know how expensive it can be to raise a child. From medical needs and food, to toys and school supplies, the costs can mount up quickly. Covering for their basic needs is a struggle. That's why when parents get a divorce, they have to come to an agreement that divides the financial responsibility equally between both former spouses. After all, it's not fair lo leave one parent with the lion's share of the child support, whether he or she is the custodial parent or not.

The courts are set up this way to make sure that children of divorce don't fall through the cracks. Sadly, many parents don't take their child support seriously and try to find ways to skirt their responsibility by not paying or going into hiding. They may believe that bankruptcy is a way out of their obligations, but it's not.

Filing for bankruptcy may erase a number of debts and give the debtor a fresh start, but courts take child support seriously and it's one example of a debt that cannot be wiped clean. In fact, not paying it at all can result in serious repercussions, including jail time. If a former spouse has stopped paying, you have every right to report it.

If you feel your child support obligations are too heavy to handle because of a recent life change, the last thing you want to do is try to get away from them yourself. An attorney may be able to get you a child support modification that would make the payments more manageable.

Source: findlaw.com, "Child Support and Bankruptcy," retrieved May 15, 2015

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