How A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Can Affect Child Custody

22 June 2022
 Categories: Law, Blog


Not everyone has to deal with two major legal matters all at once. However, money troubles can create a need to file for bankruptcy and they can also cause a divorce. If you are trying to obtain custody of your minor child, you might be worried about how a chapter 7 bankruptcy filing could affect things. Read on to find out more.

Two Different Courts

You probably won't meet your spouse in the hallway while you are appearing in bankruptcy court. That is because they are two very different legal matters. Bankruptcies are federal matters and are dealt with by your federal district court. Divorce is a family court matter. In most cases, there is no reason that a family law case could be intertwined with a bankruptcy case. While bankruptcies are considered public records, few people take the time to view the filings. Unless you tell your spouse, they may not know about the filing. However, if you are filing jointly, they will certainly know about the bankruptcy.

Custody and Bankruptcy

Money problems can happen to almost anyone, even very good parents. A bankruptcy filing may not necessarily have anything to do with your ability to parent but that depends on why you are filing. If you, for instance, are suffering from a substance abuse problem and that prompted the bankruptcy, it's that problem and not the bankruptcy that the family law judge will be interested in. The same goes for gambling problems, criminal activities, and other behaviors that are not known to be good parenting practices.


If you and your spouse are at odds with who is the best parent to take on full physical custody of the child, things could get heated. Being a parent and loving a child can cause things to quickly become more of a war than a divorce process. In some cases, parents who cannot decide on custody will hire an investigator to obtain evidence of wrongdoing by a spouse. In most cases, investigations can turn up a bankruptcy filing. However, if you are a good parent and there are no other issues, bankruptcy does not need to keep you from proving that you are the best custodial parent for the child.

Speak to your child custody attorney and let them know that you are considering a bankruptcy filing or that you already have filed and find out how to make things work. 

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