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What happens to your IRA in a child support case?

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2022 | Family Law

Florida law generally requires parents to provide financial support for their children after a separation or divorce. If you fail to make child support payments as ordered, you may be subject to wage or other types of garnishments. Depending on the details of your case, there is a chance that your retirement funds will be seized to pay off an outstanding child support balance.

Your IRA funds aren’t exempt in child support cases

As a general rule, money inside of an IRA is only protected from creditors if you file for bankruptcy. Even then, a portion of your account may be liquidated to pay your creditors. It’s worth noting that even if you do file for bankruptcy after falling behind on child support payments, it won’t eliminate your obligation to pay what you owe. This is because child support payments are considered to be priority debts, which means that they must be paid in full.

Alternate arrangements may be made

While it’s possible that your retirement funds may be vulnerable in a child support case, there is no guarantee that they will be seized. This is because a judge is more concerned with protecting your child’s interests than putting you in a financial bind. Therefore, you will likely be given a chance to make alternate arrangements to pay what you owe using other resources at your disposal.

If you are struggling to make child support payments in a timely manner, it may be in your best interest to take action as quickly as possible. A judge may allow you more time to get caught up on a past-due amount or take other steps to allow you to comply with the terms of a court order without taking further punitive actions.