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Chapter 7. How do I deal with back child/spousal support owed to me? Is this an asset or accts receivable in my petition?

Riverside, CA |

My understanding is that it is income. The Ex owes me 20k due to being behind on those payments. What do I need to know.

Is this a sched B asset in any way. I really don't want to lose this and really don't want her to know I filed for BK

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Attorney answers 4


Depending on what jurisdiction you file bankruptcy in, this answer can vary. Generally in California, If your ex is now actually paying the amount on a regular basis but you are still owed back payments then you need to list the back payments as an asset and the on-going payments as income on your Schedule I. However, if your ex is not paying support on a regular basis (even if it is ordered that they do) and you don’t reasonably expect them to start or continue paying Court ordered support, then you do not have to list what they are supposed to be paying you as “income.”

You do however have to list what is owed to you (cumulative arrears) as an asset, and there is even a specific category on Schedule B for Support and Maintenance where you can list the amount owed up to the date you file your petition. Whether or not you will be able to keep any cumulative/back owed support will depend as well. California Code of Civil Procedure 703.140(b)(10)(D) does not set a dollar limit on what you can exempt (save), but rather allows you to exempt amounts generally considered "reasonably necessary for support." (see the statute for full description). Generally speaking what is “reasonably necessary” is dependent upon your jurisdiction, the Trustee assigned to your case and your particular circumstances. Also, as a general rule, if your total assets, including the back owed support, is less than $23,250.00 then you should be able to exempt it all, whether reasonably necessary or not.


yes, it's an asset. It goes on Schedule B #17. Whether you can exempt all or some of this asset is another question and depends on what other assets you own. Be very careful filing on your own. A pro per filer is held to the same standard as an attorney knowledgeable in bankruptcy rules and procedures. My advise is to hire a BK attorney so your case is filed properly & you don't end up losing assets.


If it is back payments due to you for child support, then you need to list the payments on Schedule B. But, you must also list them on Schedule C (exemption schedule) as well. You probably need to hire a bankruptcy attorney in your area who is well versed on protecting your assets as you do not want to lose the right to this asset once you emerge from bankruptcy. Also, if you receive child support on a current basis, then you will also need to list that child support as income on Schedule I.

This information is given for informational purposes only. Nothing contained herein is intended to create nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. You should not rely on this as legal advice. If you need legal advice, you should seek the consultation of a licensed, qualified attorney.


1. It is income if you were paid and listed on Sched. I.

2. It is a receivable/asset if you were not paid and listed on Sched. B.

If you would like assistance I have an office in Riverside.

BW 877-497-0627