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Bankruptcy doesn't eliminate child support

If you've been ordered to pay child support and you're looking for a way to get rid of all of your debt, you may consider bankruptcy. If so, remember that bankruptcy does not have any impact on child support itself. If your wages are being garnished because you haven't paid, for example, that will still continue even if your case is successful.

Of course, bankruptcy can still be a useful tool. Perhaps your wages are being garnished because you have too much other debt. Making those payments doesn't leave you with enough for the child support payments, so the garnishments started as a way to ensure that you fulfilled that obligation. By declaring bankruptcy and getting rid of this other debt, you may then have enough to get caught up on the child support payments and put an end to the garnishments that way.

It's also important to note that child support orders can be changed. Maybe your hours were cut. Maybe you lost your job. Maybe your business is struggling. The court understands that situations do change with time. Still, you can't just alter the payments on your own. You have to have that order modified.

Finally, not only will bankruptcy not stop garnishments for what you owe on a monthly basis, but it also doesn't eliminate missed payments that you still owe. If you're $10,000 behind, for instance, you'll still be that far behind after you file.

When your wages are garnished, you may be frustrated and looking for any way out. Considering bankruptcy can be helpful, but be sure you know exactly what it can and cannot do for you.

Source: FIndLaw, "Child Support and Bankruptcy," accessed Nov. 30, 2016

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