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bankruptcy coinciding with MAJOR life changes, what do i do now?

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  • bankruptcy coinciding with MAJOR life changes, what do i do now?

    I'm looking for some advice from someone that may have been in this place before. About 6 months ago my 2nd wife decided that she could no longer deal with the stress of living with me, and decided that it was time to move out, abruptly. The stress was in large part because of my first wife, which has been 8 steady years of constant court struggles over custody. much of my debt was credit card debt racked up in the last 3 years to pay for lawyers to fight to keep my girls. Everything went on hold while I fought to keep my girls, including the marriage. Once my beloved 2nd wife decided it was time to move out, i had no choice since I couldn't afford to keep everything, but needed to keep the house. If I lost the house, I'd surely lose my kids. now, I'm being kicked while I'm down, the first wife feels that even though I'm only a one income household, since I won't have any "debts" that I should be able to pay much more child support. Just paying the basics, mortgage, utilities, food, I can now get by. Just when I think I'm going to be okay.... now I'm being asked to pay half of my net salary in child support. Any one been in this boat before? I'm almost certainly going to need a 2nd job, but don't know if I really should with the BK still pending. I'm not sure what to do, might be better off fleeing the country.

  • #2
    A second job would likely be counterproductive, as you would run your health into the ground, give up valuable family/relaxation time, and probably not gain much additional income after paying your ex. Unless the "second job" is a "cash under the table" sort of gig, or involves turning to criminal activity, the additional income will be reported to the state, and your ex will then demand even more child support. Since child support is an after-tax deduction, increasing your income with a second job could increase your tax burden to the point that you would take home even less pay than you did with just one job. Also, there is no legal requirement for a man to work more than one job, and a court cannot require you to.

    Unfortunately, I don't have any advice to give on dealing with the ex. The problem is that when it comes to custody and other family law matters, the deck is heavily stacked against the man. There are many nonprofit organizations which will provide free legal representation for a woman in custody matters, but none for men. Likewise, the state provides plenty of free resources to extract child support and welfare repayment funds from a non-custodial parent, but nothing to assist a man who has fallen behind, for example due to losing their job. Men are expected to pay all the attorney fees, etc. out of pocket, and those who can't end up getting the short end of the stick in court.

    Obviously, you (should) have a right to live, and if the amount being garnished for child support makes it impossible to afford a reasonable existence, then you will need to hire an attorney and fight for a modification. If the problem is that you are in arrears, then Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be used to limit the amount taken out of your pay due to arrears (though the plan must still provide for paying any arrears in full).

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    • #3
      Originally posted by vtbk1 View Post
      I'm almost certainly going to need a 2nd job, but don't know if I really should with the BK still pending. I'm not sure what to do, might be better off fleeing the country.
      So you are in an active bankruptcy? Chap 7 or 13 and what is the current status of your case?
      LadyInTheRed is in the black!
      Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
      $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

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      • #4
        Of course I'm kidding, you need a sense of humor right? ....about fleeing the country, in case any one thought I was serious. Any way, I'm 4 weeks post 341, ch7. It's not a complicated case, pretty basic as I understand it. I just want to keep my house, and keep on paying the bills. Right now I have a car, but it'll be gone ( still not sure when they'll take it) and I have no idea how I'll afford another. I also have no idea how I'll afford attorney fees, let alone the increase CS. It's a pretty horrible situation.

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        • #5
          Getting a second job should not effect your bankruptcy case. Your eligibility for discharge is based on the facts as of the date you filed BK. But, before you go get another job, make sure increasing your income at this point won't jeopardize your ability to fight the higher child support.
          LadyInTheRed is in the black!
          Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
          $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

          Comment


          • #6
            Unless the second job is a "cash under the table" sort of arrangement, where taxes aren't withheld, and the income isn't reported, it would be counterproductive to do it.

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