Your Child Support Payments in a New York Bankruptcy

When an individual files for bankruptcy protection, the goal is typically to stop collection activity and to discharge their debt. The automatic stay goes into effect as soon as the petition is filed with the court and stops debt collector’s efforts.

It is important to understand, however, that the law excludes certain proceedings from being stopped by the automatic stay. A common example is a family law proceeding involving issues of child support or child custody. The automatic stay typically does not affect the family court from deciding the amount of current child support or the issue of custody. In contrast, the stay will halt any decisions regarding past due child support.  Some family court judges prefer to postpone all issues until the automatic stay is lifted, but if an issue is an emergency, the bankruptcy filing does prohibit them from being decided.

If you are the person filing for bankruptcy and you are also obligated to pay child support or spousal support, an existing order to pay child support or alimony will still accrue during the bankruptcy case.  In other words, if you are currently obligated to pay $100 per month for child support, you will still continue to owe that amount during and after the bankruptcy case.

If you are the parent who receives child support payments and you file for bankruptcy protection, those payments are exempt from the bankruptcy proceedings.  This means that you will still receive your support payments because the trustee cannot use those funds to pay creditors.

If you have questions about how bankruptcy impacts child support, please contact The Koplen Law Firm.


If you are considering filing for bankruptcy protection, contact The Koplen Law Firm. Our attorneys strive to provide quality representation effectively and efficiently and to ensure that you achieve every legal benefit available. When you retain the services of our law firm, you can be confident that your case will get the personal attention and care that it deserves.  We serve residents of the Hudson Valley area of New York, including Rockland County, Orange County, Putnam County and Westchester County.