Persons under the age of majority, age 18, and are still living at home, have a very unique status in this society, and according to the laws are entitled to food, clothing, and shelter, which is usually provided by their parents or guardians. Regardless of whether the parents are married , separated, or have never married each other at all, their children have a legal right to be supported by them. Many people are not aware that their children can actually sue them if they are not provided for in a safe and secure manner, free of abuse and neglect. Of course the child would need a legal representative of some sort to file the suit on their behalf.
In essence, the legal rights of our children are very important facts to be aware of, especially with regard to divorced or separated parents, in terms of child support. Many people are overwhelmed by bills and debts, which in turn drives them to seek a recourse that will help alleviate some of the problems they have incurred, usually bankruptcy. However it is not that simple.
Federal Law has set the standards by which each State uses in order to determine child support. Formulas are used that consider the person’s income, number of children, and other minor factors in order to determine the amount of the child support payment. Another factor that is used to determine the amount of the payment is, what the parent would spend on that particular child had the family stayed together as a family. Without a doubt the parents involved are not pleased with the amount of the payment. The custodial parent often feels the payment is too low, while the absent parent feels it is too much. Consequently, the child’s well being is not factored in from the parents perception at all.
Thank God for the Legal System!, because many people have the misconception that by filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, there obligation to pay child support ends. This can not be further from the truth. Chapter 13 may eliminate most other debts, but child support payments are not included. Neither is alimony or any other type of “support” payments. Chapter 13 bankruptcy does however, allow the obligated parent to spread out payments that are in “arrears”, over a period of time, which is a good thing for the delinquent parent, as opposed to going to jail for negligence..
The purpose of filing bankruptcy of any sort, is not to pretend as if the debtor no longer owes the debt, the purpose is to low for a restructuring of how the debt is to be paid.