Custody graphic.

Will Filing for Bankruptcy Affect My Custody Agreement?

When it comes to parenting, nothing ranks higher than ensuring the well-being and health of one's children. But when financial troubles are weighing you down, it's natural to wonder how it can impact your custody arrangement.

Many people who file for bankruptcy worry about losing custody of their children. However, the effect of filing for bankruptcy on custody agreements is minimal, and it's unlikely that you'll lose custody just because you're going through financial troubles.

Your Custodial Parent Status

When going through bankruptcy proceedings, the court will have to determine your custodial parent status. They will then need to evaluate your child's interests and consider how custody arrangements can affect your child. The court will evaluate factors like:

  • The child's needs

  • The capacity of each parent to provide for the child's needs

  • The child's relationships with each parent

  • Each parent's ability to provide a stable and safe environment for the child


Bankruptcy proceedings typically don't affect any of these factors, but if your custody agreement was created based on your financial status and ability to provide for your child, it may be impacted.

The Effect of Bankruptcy on your Custody Agreement

Filing for bankruptcy shouldn't interrupt your custody schedule or change your current custody agreement. Child support payments and visitation schedules will continue to be enforced while you are in bankruptcy proceedings. However, it's essential to exercise caution during the bankruptcy process when filing, as failing to provide for your child can impact your custodial parent status.

If you are the custodial parent and have filed for bankruptcy, you need to prioritize your child's needs, especially when sorting out your finances with creditors. Failing to pay bills or missing payments can have significant consequences, and the courts may choose to review your custody agreement due to your financial irresponsibility.

If you're the non-custodial parent filing for bankruptcy, it's essential to maintain your visitation schedule as it is. Missing visitation or failing to pay child support will signal to the court that you are not willing to provide for your child's needs. It can impact your court decision on child support, visitation, or custodial rights.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Time With Your Child

When going through the bankruptcy process, it's essential to ensure that your child's needs are taken care of. Here are some things you can do to ensure that your custody agreement remains intact:

1. Communicated With Your Child's Other Parent

During the bankruptcy process, it's crucial to maintain an open line of communication with your child's other parent. Discuss with them which expenses you can and cannot afford and discuss payment options to ensure you are able to maintain the agreed visitation schedule.

2. Stay Active in Your Child's Life

Just because you're going through financial difficulties doesn't mean you should stop being an active parent. Attend activities that your child enjoys, ask about school, and plan activities you can do together on your time together. It's an excellent reminder to your child that even if you are struggling financially, you're still there for them.

3. Get Legal Advice

It's always best to consult an attorney before making any decisions that could affect your custodial status. Bankruptcy can be complex, so if you have any questions, it's best to get them answered by professional legal advice.

Filing for bankruptcy doesn't mean you'll automatically lose custody of your child. But it's essential to maintain your duties as a parent, including your visitation schedule and child support payments. Being transparent with your child's other parent can help ensure that communication remains open and that both of you are taking care of your child's needs.

Going through bankruptcy is difficult, but it's important to remember that you can still be an excellent parent during this time. Contacting an attorney and staying active in your child's life is a responsible and reassuring way to navigate these uncertain times.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding filing for bankruptcy, contact Wagner Law Office, P.C. today at (303) 536-5124 for a free consultation.