Bankruptcy and Child Support

Understanding Bankruptcy and Child Support: A Comprehensive Guide

Child support is a financial obligation that parents owe to their children after separation or divorce. But what happens when that parent faces significant financial challenges, such as bankruptcy? In this article, we explore the intersection of bankruptcy and child support, providing you with detailed insights and expert advice.

Child Support: An Overview

Child support is a monetary contribution made by one parent to another to aid in the upbringing of their children post-separation or divorce1. It is determined based on factors such as:


  • Each parent’s yearly income
  • The living circumstances of the child(ren)
  • Special expenditures such as healthcare and extracurricular activities

The Impact of Bankruptcy on Child Support

Filing for bankruptcy can affect child support payments in two scenarios: when you’re the one paying or when you’re on the receiving end.

Filing for Bankruptcy When Paying Child Support

Bankruptcy doesn’t eliminate child support or alimony payments. However, it can help you restructure your debt so you can manage those obligations more effectively.

Filing for Bankruptcy When Receiving Child Support

If you’re receiving child support and the paying parent files for bankruptcy, you’re still entitled to the money owed to you. In such cases, it’s crucial to consult with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee to become a “preferred creditor”.

Can You Reduce or Defer Child Support Payments?

Unfortunately, going bankrupt does not permit the deferral or suspension of child support or alimony payments.

What If You’re Behind on Child Support or Alimony Payments?

If you’re struggling to meet your child support or alimony obligations, there are several steps you can take. One effective approach could be reducing other unsecured debt, which may be achieved through a consumer proposal or bankruptcy.

Consumer Proposals

A consumer proposal is a debt repayment plan that allows you to repay a portion of what you owe, making it easier to meet your child support and alimony obligations.


Filing for bankruptcy will eliminate your unsecured debts in full, typically for less than a consumer proposal, freeing up more resources for child support and alimony payments.

Where to Get Advice on Child Support and Alimony Payments

When it comes to financial matters and your kids, professional advice is invaluable. Agencies like Bankruptcy Canada offer free, confidential consultations with Licensed Insolvency Trustees who can guide you through the process.


Understanding the relationship between going bankrupt and support payments is crucial for parents facing financial hardship. By seeking professional advice and exploring options like consumer proposals and bankruptcy, you can ensure that you’re meeting your financial obligations while also putting your children first.

Contact Us

For further information or to request a consultation, please contact us.

Remember, it’s essential to act as soon as possible if you’re facing financial hardship and can’t meet your child support or alimony obligations. With the right guidance and action plan, you can navigate bankruptcy and child support effectively, ensuring the best possible outcome for you and your children.

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