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Can You Discharge Child Support or Maintenance (Alimony) in Bankruptcy?

McHenry County bankruptcy and debt lawyerWhen finances get tight, most people take an in-depth look at each of their monthly expenses and consider cutting out what they do not need. If, after making adjustments to your budget, you still cannot make ends meet, you may begin researching and considering the option of bankruptcy.

On payday, the first bill paid often covers housing. Next come all of the other expenses necessary to make the house run, such as electricity, water, and other utility bills. The phone bill, car note, and insurance payments rank next in the order of importance. If there is anything left of the paycheck, many people who are experiencing financial hardship must decide between paying their court-ordered maintenance (formerly known as alimony) or child support payments and buying food for themselves.

When times get tough, many find that bankruptcy is a prime solution to make a fresh financial start. Unfortunately, many people wait months or until there are looming legal repercussions to seek help. At this point, a significant number of bills may be months past due, and outstanding debts and interest (known as “arrears”) can add up quickly. When your domestic support payments (child support and maintenance) are past due, the punishments can also be damaging to your future, and worse, result in a jail sentence. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you may wonder if your past-due child support and maintenance payments are dischargeable.

Non-Dischargeable Debts

In the State of Illinois, certain debts are non-dischargeable by filing bankruptcy. If you are able to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your payments on non-dischargeable debts are due after the finalization of the discharge. In Chapter 13, your payments become absorbed into a payment plan. Non-dischargeable debts include child support and maintenance.

Ask a McHenry County Bankruptcy Lawyer

When you fall behind on your child support or maintenance payments, even though they are not dischargeable in a bankruptcy, a bankruptcy may help keep you from being punished by the court, including going to jail. A McHenry County bankruptcy attorney can review your case to determine whether a bankruptcy can help you with your debts, including child support or maintenance. At Thomas Law Office, we provide reliable representation when you need it most. Call us today at 847-426-7990 to set up your initial consultation.

Sources:

https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/ChildSupport/FormsBrochures/Pages/hfs1759.aspx

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/11/523

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