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How Does Bankruptcy Affect Child Support in New Jersey?

Financial troubles can have a major impact on a marriage. As a result, filing for bankruptcy and getting divorced may occur at the same time. If this is the case, you may be wondering how filing for bankruptcy might affect the divorce process. Additionally, many people wonder if they will still have to pay child support if they have filed for bankruptcy. Read on to learn more.

How is Child Support Determined in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, both parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children until a certain point. When making a decision about child support, a New Jersey court may examine the following factors:

  • The financial status of each parent
  • Who has physical custody of the child
  • Any income, debt, and assets of each parent
  • Each parent’s earning capacity
  • Each parent’s work history
  • The child’s needs
  • The child’s age/health
  • The child’s education
  • The cost of providing for the child

Is Child Support Considered a Dischargeable Debt?

When someone files for bankruptcy, their debts are broken down into two categories: dischargeable and non-dischargeable. Essentially, dischargeable debts are those that can be wiped out by filing for bankruptcy. There are many examples of dischargeable debts, though the most common is credit card debt. That being said, non-dischargeable debts are those that cannot be wiped out by filing for bankruptcy. It is important to know that child support is a non-dischargeable debt, which means that even if you file for bankruptcy, you will still be legally obligated to make your child support payments on time. Other domestic support obligations, such as alimony, are also non-dischargeable in bankruptcy.

The general rules that usually apply in most New Jersey cases include:

  • Claims for alimony generally cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding
  • Claims for child support generally cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding
  • Claims for property settlements may generally be discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding if the divorce judgment has not been finalized

If you have any questions or concerns about filing for bankruptcy and the impact it may have on your divorce, reach out to our firm to speak with an experienced family law attorney.


If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.