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My ex-spouse filed for bankruptcy in Kansas and I was not listed as a creditor but Chid Support Enforcement (CSE) was — will I get the child support arrears owed to me?

There are certain debts that are not dischargeable in either a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case. Child support is one of them. So, you will get any arrears owed to you; however, the method may vary.

Typically a Creditor must file a Proof of Claim  in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case in order to make sure they have the right to collect during the life of the plan. In this case, it would be the agency that is enforcing the child support order.In Kansas the Bankruptcy Trustee goes out of his way to make sure that child support issues are taken care of — he will often personally send notice to the CSE  to make sure the agency is aware that a bankruptcy case has been filed.  He does this because child support is special and is a priority.

With that said, Kansas CSE rarely files a Proof of Claim in bankruptcy cases. This is particularly true if there has been an income withholding order (IWO) in place. If you have reviewed your ex’s monthly Chapter 13 plan payment and it does not appear that child support is being addressed you should contact CSE and make sure that it is still being properly enforced.

Upon getting notice of a bankruptcy case, it is possible that an employer would stop the IWO because of the automatic stay. If this is the case, the IWO may be reissued. Only a CSE attorney will be able to determine if a Proof of Claim should have been / needs to be filed, so contact them is you have concerns regarding your case.


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