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Child Support, Spousal Support and Bankruptcy : Personal Service Law Firm, Bankruptcy, Family Law, Criminal Law, Personal Injury

Child Support, Spousal Support and Bankruptcy

A common inquiry among parents and former spouses with child or spousal support obligations is whether their delinquent support payments can be discharged under Chapter 7 bankruptcy.   A simple answer to their question is, “No, support payments are generally not dischargeable in bankruptcy.”   The basic purpose of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to free you from the burden of overwhelming debt and its associated paralysis that handcuffs your ability to become financially viable.  As your debt and stress is eliminated you will be given a “fresh start” and again be free to become a productive member of society.

Children and former spouses are afforded a protected status in our society.  Whereas child support obligations and spousal support obligations can also be paralyzing, the public policy of protecting children and former spouses far outweighs the good achieved by allowing the debt to be discharged in bankruptcy.

Children and former spouses maintain an entirely different relationship with a debtor than a typical creditor.  Generally creditors enter into relationships with debtors voluntarily and with full knowledge of the consequences if the debtor fails to satisfy the debt.   Child Support, on the other hand, is designed for the welfare of the debtor’s child, and society puts great emphasis in providing an atmosphere conducive for their development.  Additionally, Spousal Support is designed to maintain the standard of living for each spouse established during the marriage with the objective that they become self-supporting within a reasonable period of time.

A correlated issue to the non-dischargeability of support payments under Chapter 7 relates to Attorney’s Fees.  Though some debts in family law matters may be dischargeable, attorney’s fees earned while establishing or enforcing spousal and child support, or if designated by the court as relating to support payments, are also not dischargeable in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

If you have a question regarding Bankruptcy or Family Law in Los Angeles, please contact us at (877) 327-5291 / 8-SPEARLAW-1 or visit our website at and we will put you in contact with one of our experienced lawyers.   After you have spoken with one of our Los Angeles attorneys we will schedule you with a free consultation in our Tarzana office.

Our Lawyers will thoroughly discuss all aspects of your case and assist you with any issues.  If you have a bankruptcy question regarding Chapter 7, Chapter 13, Lien Avoidance or Stripping, or a family law question regarding Divorce, Spousal Support, Child Support, Custody, or Modification, we can help.  Call us immediately for a free consultation and evaluation.