When facing financial hardship in Indiana, individuals may consider filing for bankruptcy as a means to alleviate debt. However, there is a common misconception regarding whether or not Chapter 7 bankruptcy can discharge child support.
While considering this type of financial relief, it is important to understand the effect that it has on your support obligations.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy basics
Chapter 7 bankruptcy, often referred to as liquidation bankruptcy, involves the liquidation of a debtor’s assets to pay off creditors. This process typically lasts a few months and results in the discharge of most unsecured debts, such as credit card debt and medical bills.
Child support obligations
Bankruptcy law, however, treats child support differently. It stands out from other forms of debt as a priority obligation and is generally not subject to discharge. This means that even if a debtor successfully files for Chapter 7, they will still be responsible for fulfilling their support obligations.
Public policy and the child’s welfare form the basis for this reasoning. Special legal protections ensure that child support payments get paid in full because they are necessary for a child’s well-being. Bankruptcy laws recognize this importance and prioritize their fulfillment above other debts.
Consequences of non-payment
Individuals should be aware that filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not absolve them of their responsibility to pay child support. Failure to do so can result in serious consequences, including wage garnishment, seizure of assets and even legal penalties such as fines or imprisonment.
Those facing financial burdens should prioritize meeting their child support obligations to ensure the well-being of their children and avoid potential legal consequences.