If my husband and I filled for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, wouldthe back child support that he owes count as debt?

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If my husband and I filled for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, wouldthe back child support that he owes count as debt?

And is there a minimum amount you must meet in order to file for a Chapter 13?

Asked on June 1, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) Back child support is debt. However, it is not dischargeable in bankruptcy--that is, bankruptcy will not eliminate or reduce it. This was a deliberate choice made by Congress in enacting the bankruptcy laws, since Congress wanted to make sure that children are supported. If most of the debt is child support, alimony, taxes, or the result of DUI/DWI (these are are typically non-dischargeable categories), Chapter 13 will not help. It is also of only limited help with mortgages, if you want to keep the property.

2) There is no minimum for Chapter 13, but there is a maximum:you can't have more than around $360,000 in unsecured debts or $1mm in secured debts. Unsecured debts are things like credit card debt, medical debts, etc.; secured debts include mortgages and the typical car loan. There are also a few more eligiblilty requirements; below, I've attached a link to a helpful government website for you.

http://www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyBasics/Chapter13.aspx


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