A custodial parent may fear the day that their child’s support-paying parent files for personal bankruptcy. Bankruptcy proceedings are used to eliminate debts and allow individuals to get back on their feet after struggling with their financial situations. A Florida parent who is trying to provide for their child but who is struggling to get judicially ordered payments from their ex may worry that bankruptcy will absolve the delinquent parent of the past and future obligations to their child.
Fortunately this is not the case. While bankruptcy may allow a person to wipe out certain debts, debts to an individual’s children in the form of child support cannot be eliminated. That is to say that even if a parent successfully works through personal bankruptcy and obtains a discharge, their child support debts will not be included in the discharge order.
When a parent stops paying child support it is important for the child’s custodial parent to document their efforts to compel payments and to keep records of when payments are and are not received. A change to the existing child custody order may be warranted or more significant enforcement efforts may need to be implemented to ensure the child receives the support they deserve.
Parents who are ordered to pay support for the benefit of their kids cannot get out from under that obligation through bankruptcy. It is their responsibility to provide their kids with what the courts have deemed necessary in their operating child support orders and agreements. Parents who are unable to meet their child support obligations will want to take the necessary steps to address the situation in a proactive manner, for the benefit of their child.