Bankruptcy & Family Law

Bankruptcy. This is perhaps the most frightening word a family law practitioner can hear. After all, once issues of custody and access are set aside, the remaining claims between husband and wife are all of a financial nature: alimentary support, partition of the value of the family patrimony, compensatory allowance, and last but not least, attorney’s fees.

This paper does not purport to be a comprehensive review of bankruptcy law in Canada. Yet, lawyers who specialize in bankruptcy often know little about family law; conversely, family law lawyers rarely have adequate experience dealing with bankruptcy issues. Insofar as the family law practitioner must be able effectively to execute judgments of the Superior Court against bankrupt individuals (invariably the husbands), and must at the same time have his fees paid, this paper will address the practical considerations involved in confronting the obstacles a bankruptcy may create.