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How does child support work in CH 13 bankruptcy?

Springfield, IL |

My ex owes back child support and has filed Ch 13 bankruptcy. Does this now give him leave to not pay until the hearing of creditors? Does he have to pay the trustee the back portion and make regular payments for current support to the state?

If his plan states that he is to start making payments this month then if the November payment of child support isn't paid by December does that put him in default of the bankruptcy

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Attorney answers 4


You can't discharge child support in bankruptcy, no matter what. So fear not.


No. The ongoing child support must be paid as it becomes due and also the arrearage must be included in the plan. As paid in the plan the chapter 13 trustee will pay the apportioned arrearage payments to you. I highly recommend that you retain a bankruptcy attorney to file an appearance in the case, to go to the creditor's meeting, to monitor each step in the chapter 13 case and file objections if necessary.

Do not allow yourself to be a victim. Watch the case each step along the way.

I truly wish you the best.

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This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice. Laws vary widely from state to state. You should rely only on the advice given to you during a personal consultation by a local attorney who is thoroughly familiar with state laws and the area of practice in which your concern lies.


Chapter 13 requires that a parent pay the ongoing child support and to pay off all past due amounts owe within the 3 - 5 year plan.

But it is up to you to let the Trustee know what you are owed & whether your ex is paying. So begin by filing a Claim form & attaching a copy of the support order as well as a summary showing the payments owed as well as accounting for any payments you have received.

If the Chapter 13 Plan is confirmed, you should be entitled to get paid first. But unless the Trustee knows about your claim & unless the Claim specifically states that it is for priority child support, you may not receive the preferential treatment you are entitled to get.

Good luck!


Past due amounts will be paid at 100% as a priority through the plan. You should file a claim with the court once you receive the forms to do so. If you do not receive them, get a copy and file a claim. Ongoing payments must be made, usually outside the plan payment. There is nothing that you need to do to keep the debt from begin discharged.

[This communication is intended as general information and not specific legal advice, and this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship.]

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