Filing Bankruptcy - Spousal and Child Support - Does Collection Stop?

A consumer bankruptcy should have no effect on the collection of spousal and child support.  Although Bankruptcy stays all efforts to collect debts, the code excludes actions to collect child support and spousal support from that stay unless the creditor attempts to collect from the property of the estate. 

In a chapter 7 proceeding, property of the estate includes all possessions, money, and interests the debtor owns at the time he or she files.  Money earned after the bankruptcy is filed however is not property of the estate.  Since most child and spousal support is paid out of the debtors current income, the bankruptcy should have little impact.

A chapter 13 filer must pay all domestic support obligations that fall due after the petition is filed.  Failure to do so could result in the dismissal of the case.

Neither a chapter 7 nor a chapter 13 discharge effects future child or spousal support obligations.  In other words, even at the conclusion of the bankruptcy proceeding, these on going obligations remain.