What happens to unpaid child support and alimony in the new bankruptcy law?

bankruptcy unpaid support consumer bankruptcy

What happens to unpaid child support and alimony in the new bankruptcy law?

BAPCPA elevates domestic support obligations to top priority in an “asset” case under Chapter 7, where there are funds available to pay creditors. Domestic support obligations are not dischargeable. The law no longer distinguishes between debts for alimony or support (which were also not dischargeable under prior law) and debts arising from property settlements (which were sometimes dischargeable under prior law); both kinds of debt are not dischargeable.
It remains true that a Chapter 13 plan must provide for full payment of priority debts, including arrearages in domestic support obligations. Furthermore, to obtain a discharge in a Chapter 13 case, the debtor will have to certify that all post-petition domestic support obligations have been met.
Finally, case trustees in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases are now obligated to make certain disclosures to a domestic support creditor, such as an ex- or separated spouse, including the debtor’s most recent known address at the time of discharge.
(Reviewed 11.14.08)

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