Get a Child Support Order, File Bankruptcy, and Give the Finger to Deadbeat Dad


Dear Steve,

My children’s Deadbeat Dad was $27,000 in debt with two college degrees, then got in trouble with the law, and continued to work part-time in construction while our family accumulated further debt. We’ve been separated (not legally) for nearly five years, and while I have supported our two children, he moved in with his mother and worked under the table while trying to collect on a worker’s compensation claim.

Although I’m earning more now than our previous joint incomes, I still cannot afford to file for divorce. Our finances are mostly separate, and he is not listed on any of my credit cards. I have accrued a lot of personal debt supporting our children (now adults) on one income. My Credit usage is 84%, and score is 660, with a total debt around $38k.

Would I need to be divorced to access debt relief services?



Dear Skelly,

The good news is you can file bankruptcy separately on the debts in your name and remove your liability for any debts you may jointly be responsible for.

Here is how to find a great bankruptcy attorney and get specific free advice about your specific situation.

The bigger issue here is if you eliminate your accumulated debt through bankruptcy and no longer have the personal debt to help make ends meet and support your children, what is your plan?

Eliminating the debt is 25 percent of the issue. The bigger concern is if eliminating the debt allows you to be able to meet your obligations on a monthly basis.

I’m not an attorney but in some states you can get legal assistance to pursue a child support order and force deadbeat Dad to pay child support even though you are still married.

“Child support “orders” are the method through which the court sets the terms of a child support situation, and the basis upon which an enforcement or collection action can be taken against a parent who has failed to meet his or her support obligations.” – Source

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The situation sucks but it’s time to start taking small purposeful steps to work towards a solution that deals with the old debt, gets Dad to pay his share of child support, and work on doing better moving forward.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

Do you have a question you'd like to ask me for free? Go ahead and click here.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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