On May 5, 2014, attorney members of the North Jersey Collaborative Law Group and the Collaborative Divorce Association of North Jersey held their annual meeting and training, in Hackensack, New Jersey. The meeting featured a continuing education program, conducted by Catherine E. Youngman, Esq., of Paramus, New Jersey and was entitled, “I Am Getting Divorce…Can I Go Bankrupt Also?” Although many of the attending attorneys had basic knowledge, from their matrimonial law practices, regarding the impact of bankruptcy on clients going through a divorce, the presentation provided more specialized information related to actual cases. Attendees learned the differences between Chapter 7, 13 and 11 bankruptcies and which Chapter was best suited for their divorcing client. Ms Youngman offered insight into the ramifications of representing divorcing couples when only one party files a bankruptcy petition. Other topics included: if divorcing couples in the collaborative divorce process can share a bankruptcy attorney and if a Chapter 7 trustee has the power to become involved in equitable distribution decisions prior to a divorce.
Ms Youngman explained what marital property becomes part of the bankruptcy estate, what happens to secured property in bankruptcy and what can be done, if anything, about judgment and tax liens. The program was highly informative for the collaborative attorneys’ clients who are involved in a collaborative divorce, mediation or litigated matter.
Larry Esposito, Esq.