I earn above-average money, but my support payments to my ex-spouse and children are very high—can I still qualify for an Arizona Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

When filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Arizona, you will first need to find out if you qualify to file. To discover if you are eligible, you must first take that Chapter 7 means test, created as a way to weed out debtors whose income to expense level would allow them to repay a portion of their debt.


The Chapter 7 means test looks at a six month window of your income, and compares it to your expenses, your household size, and other comparable households in Arizona. If your salary is at or below the median for an Arizona household of your size, you qualify—it is as simple as that. If your salary is above the median, as it sounds like yours is, you will have to delve a bit deeper into the means test.


As you continue with the test, you will be asked to enter information about your monthly expenses—including support expenses like alimony and child support. After subtracting your expenses from your average monthly income, the test will determine if your disposable monthly income is low enough to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or if you will have to instead file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.


If you do qualify for an Arizona Chapter 7 bankruptcy, keep one very important thing in mind—support payments are considered priority debts. This means that when you file for bankruptcy, you will still need to stay (or become) current on all support payments, and continue to pay even when your other debts are discharged.

If you are having a difficult time making ends meet financially, the time to act is now. Contact Curry, Pearson & Wooten’s Phoenix bankruptcy lawyers today at 602-258-1000 to discuss your case with experienced professionals.