Congress decided that child support is too important to be discharged in a bankruptcy. It is not possible to get a discharge in bankruptcy for child support. Child support has been granted a priority status in bankruptcy. As a result of that your child support will be placed in as a priority debt in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan. The idea of a priority debt in Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that this class of debt and paid off in full during the required repayment period. A Chapter 13 will however let you catch up on missed payments for child support during the length of the plan which some debtors find helpful. Before you are able to get a Chapter 13 discharge at the end of you case you have to prove that you are up to date on all of your child support obligations, and you have to pay them off before you’re able to get a discharge.
If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy your child support will still be owed after the case is completed. Many times people are under the mistaken notion that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy “wipes out” all my debts including child support and alimony. It is also important to note that when you file for bankruptcy you are required to list the party to whom you owe and alimony or child support even if you are current on your payments to that party. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case if any assets are recovered by the court appointed trustee there is an order in which the funds are distributed and holders of alimony and child support claims are given a higher status that an unsecured creditor such as a credit card company.
If you are looking at filing for bankruptcy working with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer will help you avoid many of the pitfall of failing to properly notify the holder of a domestic support obligation.