How Can Bankruptcy Affect Your Divorce?
When parents get a divorce, they still have a legal duty to care for their children and meet their financial needs. Courts take child support seriously and hardly relieve a parent of this duty. However, a parent may consider filing for bankruptcy, and it’s essential to know how this affects their responsibilities in taking care of their children.
If your co-parent is considering filing for bankruptcy, it’s natural to worry about how it’ll eventually impact their ability to take care of your children. The best way forward would be to consult lawyers from a reputable Germantown law firm for legal guidance. An experienced law firm will evaluate the circumstances and advise you on your options.
Filing for Divorce and Bankruptcy at the Same Time Causes Problems
Sadly, some people in Maryland try to file for bankruptcy in Maryland to avoid paying child support. The law in Maryland doesn’t allow bankruptcy to grant relief from parental responsibilities. Spousal support, alimony, and child support are not eligible for relief on the grounds of insolvency.
Ex-spouses are still required to make the payments during and after the bankruptcy process. If your ex-spouse has refused to meet their obligations, citing bankruptcy, consult skilled Germantown bankruptcy lawyers for legal counsel on the best legal action to pursue.
Maryland family law courts don’t reassign debts from one spouse to another, mainly because debts are not considered in the divorce. However, a pending bankruptcy application may prevent you and your spouse from taking the necessary steps in dividing family assets, avoiding the judgment from reaching a final absolute until the discharge order is entered.
How Does Bankruptcy Affect the Custodial Parent?
If you’re a custodial parent receiving child support and your ex-spouse has filed for bankruptcy, you might worry that you will no longer receive child support. Filing for bankruptcy doesn’t end the child support obligation by the non-custodial parent. Nonetheless, the law allows them to request child support modification, but bankruptcy can’t be the only qualifying factor.
If your co-parent stops paying child support, hire a skilled child support lawyer in Germantown to guide you accordingly. They can help you initiate a process at the Office of the Attorney General to enforce child support responsibilities.
Bankruptcy and Non-Custodial Parent
If you’re a non-custodial parent and have filed for bankruptcy, remember that it doesn’t waive your child support responsibilities. So, notify the Child Support Division as soon as possible, bearing in mind the complex relationship between child support and bankruptcy. Your current child support payment obligations remain in place, and bankruptcy is insufficient to clear you.
On the other hand, non-payment of child support may affect your bankruptcy. Courts and the Office of the Attorney General may use various approaches to enforce your child support responsibilities regardless of your bankruptcy status. Before defaulting on child support payments based on bankruptcy, get legal counsel from a Germantown law firm.
They could advise you to request a modification, showing your inability to meet your current child support obligations due to a change of circumstances like reduced income or unemployment.
How Does Bankruptcy Work if My Ex-Spouse Owes Child Support?
It’s crucial to note that bankruptcy can’t eliminate a parent’s child support obligations or debt. There’s also an exception to the Bankruptcy Code’s Automatic Stays that prevents wages from being garnished while the bankruptcy case is pending. Any garnishment due to a child support order will continue despite filing for bankruptcy.
Overdue Child Support
Overdue child support payments are unsecured debt and must be given priority and special treatment. The law provides that they must be paid before other unsecured debts like medical bills and credit cards, regardless of how much the debt is.
If your ex-spouse files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the relief they receive won’t include child support debt. So, they will be subjected to any child support order the court has entered against them. They also must pay off their domestic support obligations in full if they file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Talk to bankruptcy lawyers in Germantown for more information on this.
Can We File for Joint Bankruptcy Before Divorce?
As bankruptcy attorneys in Germantown may advise you, it would be better to complete a joint bankruptcy before filing for divorce. It would be in your best interests to cooperate with your ex-spouse to complete the process, enabling you to share the cost of filing for bankruptcy.
Doing so may enable you to protect more assets as a married couple than individually. Experienced bankruptcy lawyers in Germantown can give you more details and guide you on the most suitable course of action before filing either case.
What Happens If One Spouse Declares Bankruptcy After Divorce?
It’s essential to understand how bankruptcy in your ex-spouse’s future affects your financial obligations in child support when negotiating the terms of your divorce. The law stipulates that the name on the debt agreement, whether a car loan, credit card, or mortgage, plays a crucial role in determining who will take responsibility for the debt after divorce.
In joint debts where your and your ex-spouse’s name appear on the debt agreement, your absolute divorce judgment will have to be very clear about what will happen to the debts. If your ex-spouse declares bankruptcy and discharges their liability after divorce, the creditors may come after you. You will only be safe if the divorce includes protections against this.
A Reputable Germantown Law Firm Helping You Deal with Bankruptcy Matters
Filing for bankruptcy doesn’t absolve anyone of their responsibility to meet their child support obligations. If your ex-spouse doesn’t meet their part of the bargain and cites bankruptcy, consult child support lawyers in Germantown to help you resolve the stalemate. They can help you initiate the process to have your ex-spouse remit the payments.
Our Germantown law firm has skilled and compassionate child support attorneys who can help you deal with bankruptcy matters. We can advise you on the types of debts that bankruptcy can help erase and those it cannot, such as child support. If you disagree with your ex-spouse over bankruptcy matters, contact us to schedule a FREE in-depth case evaluation.