Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts

Child Support Broke Me. Can’t Pay My Bills Now. – Justin

“Dear Steve,

Recent child support took my financial cusion away that I had for years an years. I’m not saying it’s wrong, but I accumulated my debt, when I had the funds to keep my payments up to date and when the support kicked in, I no longer had a cusion and yet, I still had the debt. And now my credit is suffering. I had to pay a few late and my score plummeted to barely over 600. I am a single male in my late 30’s.

Is there anything like a government grant that could help me pay off the debt, while possibly bettering myself in the process? IE. education, business. I am an Illinois resident, FYI.


Dear Justin,

Let me sum this up for you in lay terms, “you’re screwed.”

There is no grant to bail you out of your debt so you can meet your legal obligation to pay court ordered child support. The government stance is if you can’t pay your bills after you pay your child support, you better go bankrupt.

This is a situation that happens daily.

A good friend of mine is drowning under the burden of child support. To make issues worse, every time he makes more money the court raises his child support and then makes it retroactively effective.

I believe in child support and think that it has many beneficial sides to it, but it is for the kids, and they should come first.

It sucks, I know it, but a trip to a local bankruptcy attorney is probably the best course of action for you. And just to be 100% clear, bankruptcy will not terminate, adjust or eliminate your child support payments. It will clear your other debts so you can make room to pay the child support.

Please update me on your progress by posting updates here in the comments section of your question. I’m very interested in how this works out for you.

P.S. Be sure to read ‘The Secret of Surviving Through Difficult Economic Times. What I Learned On My Journey‘.

About the author

Steve Rhode

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.


  • Yep. To put it not so eloquently, you’re f**cked. If it’s any consolation, there are many others in your situation. Also, mortgage and debt holders are very aware of the child support problem, and will recognize it as a financial hardship, much like a job less or medical catastrophe. They will forgive your debts for you in most cases so you can pay child support.
    Hope this helps, good luck!

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top