An interesting case is currently before the English High Court in relation to Divorce and the payment of maintenance in the context of bankruptcy. A High Court Judge in the case has warned that divorcing partners could avoid paying maintenance if Alexander McRoberts wins a legal test case in the High Court.
Mr McRoberts ia attempting to have a 350,000 sterling claim written off from a previous divorce judgement because he is now bankrupt. The Judge heard that if the Applicant is successful the case may open the floodgates for similar applications in divorce cases. In his 2003 divorce Mr McRoberts agreed to pay his wife 500,00 pounds however he cannot now afford to pay the balance of the money. He is asking the Family Law Courts to rule that his matrimonial debt did not survive his bankruptcy. The worry here for family law lawyers is that bankrupts may avoid paying lump sums as part of their bankruptcy proceedings.
The case raises serious questions over the relationship between the bankruptcy and family law jurisdictions. Judgement has been reserved in the case. The UK decision may have implications in Ireland for anyone declared bankrupt post their divorce.
Healy O’ Connor Solicitors have a wealth of experience dealing with bankruptcy and divorce cases and inquiries can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org