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cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Bankruptcy professor.
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In a Chapter 7 case, how are child support arrears handled

Resolved Question:

In a Chapter 7 case, how are child support arrears handled? Can a Chapter 7 case get a discharge and still have some child support arrears, or does ALL the child support arrears, and current payments have to be breought up to date before a discharge can be obtained?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  cfortunato replied 5 years ago.
Hi JACustomer,
Will there be any assets to turn over to the Bankruptcy court?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
No assets to turn over to the court. We know the Child Support arrears are not dischargeable, but he has been laid off and probably can't catch up all the arrears before time for a discharge.
Expert:  cfortunato replied 5 years ago.
There is the requirement to pay all domestic support obligations in a Chapter 13 in order to get a discharge. There is no such requirement in a Chapter 7.
Filing a Chapter 7 does not affect one's child support payment or arrears if there are no assets. (Any assets would have been used to pay part or all of the arrears.)

I think this is what you wanted to know. If not, please let me know.
Thank you!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
So that I'm clear......The child support arrears will NOT stop a person from getting a discharge in Chapter 7 and the debtor can work out arrangements with the Child Support Enforcement Agency on their own I'm assuming.
Expert:  cfortunato replied 5 years ago.
Yes - having child support arrears will not prevent a Chapter 7 filer from getting a discharge.
Additionally, the Bankruptcy court will not get involved with the Child Support Enforcement Unit (CSEU) (if there are no assets to send them). So yes, the debtor must make arrangements with the CSEU on his own.
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