If you owe child support and you file bankruptcy, you may wonder what will happen with any support you owe now and in the future.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services explains filing bankruptcy can have several impacts on your child support case, but it will not allow you to get out of your obligation or erase any overdue child support amounts.
Automatic stay effects
When you file your bankruptcy case, the court will issue an automatic stay. In general, this stops anyone from trying to collect money from you for debts. The automatic stay does have some effect on your child support case.
Child support services cannot begin or continue civil actions against you, seize your property or execute liens and judgments against you until it gets approval from the court. However, CSS can request the court lifts the stay against it. It can also continue to withhold payments from your paychecks and take other actions against you, such as suspending your license, reporting to credit agencies and modifying or establishing child support awards. CSS may also still take tax refunds.
When you file bankruptcy, your financial information becomes public. CSS can access those records and apply the information to your child support case. If you have not been truthful about your assets or income, it can lead to issues with child support.
In addition, CSS can use the information it gathers to ensure you continue your obligations. The bankruptcy court can also use child support against you. If you stop making payments or fail to pay them on time, the court could dismiss your bankruptcy case, especially if you file Chapter 13.
Bankruptcy is not a solution to get out of paying child support or to handle any back amounts