Divorce is a challenging and emotional time. You and your former spouse are splitting your lives together and your child is caught in the middle. Part of what keeps normalcy for your child is child support.
How Child Support is Determined
Child support is based on several factors, including:
- The age of your child
- The standard of living of your family
- The anticipated costs of your child
- The time your child spends with you.
During your divorce proceedings, the court will review your financial information and make a determination about child support. In the final divorce order, the court will explain the support required, who is paying it, and for how long. If your former spouse has stopped paying child support for any reason, you need the services of a trusted attorney.
Your Former Spouse has Stopped Paying Child Support
When your former spouse stops paying child support, you may not know the reason why. Maybe they lost their job. Maybe they simply don’t want to pay anymore. Only one of these is a good reason to temporarily stop paying child support.
If you’ve had contact with your former spouse and they’ve told you they are filing bankruptcy and that’s why they’ve stopped the child support payments, you need to contact a lawyer right away.
Bankruptcy is an Option for Some Debts – Not Child Support
While bankruptcy is an option for some debts, the bankruptcy code does not allow for child support to be discharged in bankruptcy. In 2005, Congress amended the bankruptcy code and declared that any alimony or child support obligations are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.
Some debts are dischargeable through bankruptcy:
- Car payment
- Credit card debt
Child support must be paid until your child reaches age eighteen. If your former spouse is filing bankruptcy, that does not eliminate their obligation to pay child support.
File a Petition to Enforce
While filing bankruptcy may show that your former spouse has a reduced income, that doesn’t mean child support will stop. You must let the court know what is happening and allow them the opportunity to take action on your behalf.
Even if the court finds your former spouse has a reduced ability to pay child support and reduces the payment amount, the court can still enforce the back child support they still owe you. The court can also garnish your former spouse’s wages to make sure they don’t miss a payment in the future and you get the child support you need to properly support your child.
Contact a Lawyer for Help
Filing a petition to enforce child support is a complex legal procedure that requires the keen eye of a skilled attorney. A law firm has the experience you can lean on to make sure you get the child support you need for your child.
But you must act fast. Contact a lawyer today to get started.