Bankruptcy’s effect on child support is very similar to its effect on alimony. Past-due child support is not dischargeable in bankruptcy. If one spouse owes child support but has not paid because of hard times, the past-due amount still must be paid. A bankruptcy court can discharge many debts, but the court cannot remove a child support debt (or an alimony debt). Severe financial problems (as evidenced by the bankruptcy) could be a basis for reducing future child support payments, but not for reducing past-due costs.
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