Use the Motion for Relief from Automatic Stay for child support collection, when the deadbeat has filed for bankruptcy.  Child support is not dischargeable under bankruptcy law.  This means that even if the deadbeat files for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, he can not get rid of the debt.  He will still owe you the current support and the arrears.  What does happen is that by law, when a person files for bankruptcy, all creditors must stop attempting to collect the debts owed.  This is called an “automatic stay”. With child support matters, you have the opportunity to get “relief” from that automatic stay from the courts.  Relief would mean that the courts remove the “stay” and allow you to continue collecting both your current support and your arrears.

Here are the steps:

  1. Download the Motion for Relief from Stay form from the Document Library
  2. Complete the form.  See a sample in our Sample Letters/Language and Forms section
  3. Download the Opportunity to Object form from the Document Library
  4. Complete the form.  See a sample in our Sample Letters/Language and Forms section
  5. Download a copy of the Order for Relief from Stay form from the Document Library
  6. Complete the form.  See a sample in our Sample Letters/Language and Forms section
  7. Download the Affidavit in Support of Motion form from the Document Library
  8. Complete the form.  See a sample in our Sample Letters/Language and Forms section
  9. Download the Proof of Service form from the Document Library.
  10. Make two copies of all of your documents
  11. Have your affidavit notarized
  12. Attach one copy of all of your documents to each other and in order
  13. File your documents with the clerk’s office.  The only document that you will not be attaching and filing at this time will be the proof of service
  14. Serve the deadbeat your packet of paperwork.  See the website blog and article section for rules about proper service. Generally speaking you have the options of paying a sheriff’s constable or processor server to serve the paperwork.  Or, anyone over the age of 18 and not a party to the case in any way can serve the paperwork for you.
  15. Have the person who served the deadbeat to complete the proof of service document
  16. Return (provide) the proof of service document to the clerk’s office as your proof of proper service.
  17. You will receive a court date at that time which will probably be about 30 days in the future to allow the person time to object to your motion.
  18. Mail a copy of the service to the deadbeat.  Mail a copy by regular and by certified mail, return receipt.
  19. Show up for court.
  20. If there is employment on record or if you can prove employment or an income stream to the court, you have nearly 100% chance of being granted relief.

In most states there aren’t any filing fees for a Relief from an Automatic Stay when it comes to child support proceedings.
At times there may be a fee listed but it can be waived whether you qualify for indigent status or not, so be sure to ask.

Should you encounter a fee and you are concerned about whether you can afford the costs associated with a motion for relief from an automatic stay, including paying filing fees, consider filing for Indigent Status at the County Clerk’s office.  Search our blog and article area for information to help you understand what that is and how to utilize it.