Written By: Lenorae C. Atter, Attorney
Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A.
While Jacksonville, Florida has an influx of bankruptcy filings over the last few years, child support continues to be ordered in divorce and paternity actions. If a parent files bankruptcy after child support is ordered, then Bankruptcy does not discharge that support obligation.
Florida law makes it clear that child support is for the benefit of the child and the parent receiving the money acts as the trustee of said funds for the child; therefore, the money is not considered income to the receiving parent for purposes of bankruptcy filed by that parent.
Since the money is considered support for the child, it is not a debt that can be discharged through the filing of bankruptcy. However, if the paying parent has a reduction in income by no voluntary action (i.e. laid off from job), then s/he can file for a modification of child support.
If you are dealing with bankruptcy and family law matters, it is a good idea to find out your rights and options from an experienced attorney.