From AdvocateDaily this week:
Bankruptcy should not be used as a tool to avoid paying costs orders, says Ottawa family lawyer Timothy N. Sullivan.
In a recent case, Ontario’s appeal court upheld a decision allowing a man to lift the automatic stay arising from his ex-wife’s bankruptcy so that he could enforce a $200,000 costs order resulting from a bitter custody battle over the couple’s three children.
“The Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA) serves a particular purpose, and that does not involve getting people out of the obligations they willingly incur for pursuing unnecessary litigation,” Sullivan, principal of SullivanLaw, tells AdvocateDaily.com.
Although he has conducted some cases that touch on both fields, Sullivan says it’s surprisingly rare for the areas of bankruptcy and family law to intersect.
“Litigation is very expensive at the best of times, and when every issue is hard-fought, it becomes extremely costly,” he says. “I don’t know why bankruptcy doesn’t occur more often since people will frequently blow their savings when it comes to family law disputes. They’re too happy to spend all their money on lawyers, instead of on their children and their future.”
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