Child support and alimony/spousal maintenance are among four categories of debts that cannot be discharged by either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcies.
Many types of debts may be discharged through bankruptcy; however, these two are called non-dischargeable debts. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, the bankrupt must pay non-dischargeable debts after the discharge; in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief, non-dischargeable debts are paid through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan. If the non-dischargeable debts are not paid, the creditor will likely be able to collect on any remaining balance.
Other types of debts that may not be discharged by Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 are student loans, most tax debt, and some criminal fines and penalties. The debts are not dischargeable in bankruptcy, which means that filing bankruptcy does not relieve a person of responsibility to pay.