The Handbook of Separation and Divorce

By Wendy Mantle | Go to book overview

Chapter 8

Insolvency

Marriage breakdown causes debts to be incurred but is sometimes the result of problems arising from an accumulation of unmanageable debt. If one spouse is made bankrupt his or her property passes to or vests in the person appointed to be the trustee in bankruptcy when the bankruptcy order is made.

Although insolvency giving rise to bankruptcy is now decreasing, the number of bankruptcies between 1988 and 1992 increased from 7,717 to 32,106. Where one or both parties to a marriage are involved in small businesses with debt difficulties they will need specialist advice if they are to negotiate the pitfalls of possible bankruptcy.

The law on bankruptcy is now contained in the Insolvency Act 1986 and the Insolvency Rules of the same year.

If there is a possibility of one spouse becoming bankrupt the solicitor acting for the other will want to make a bankruptcy search to ascertain whether a bankruptcy order has already been made. This simple procedure involves a bankruptcy search at the Land Charges Department in Plymouth (see p. 223). There is a fee of £1, or £2 by telephone. If the result is PA (B) it means that a bankruptcy petition has been presented or if the result is WO (B) a bankruptcy order has been made. If the property is registered an application must be made to HM Land Registry with the title number of the property quoted in the application for office copies of the entries on the register. For example, if the property is in the name of one spouse, and a bankruptcy petition has been presented, the register may show a ‘creditors’ notice’, or if a bankruptcy order has actually been made it will show ‘bankruptcy inhibition’. If a property is jointly owned a caution will have been registered by the trustee in bankruptcy.

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The Handbook of Separation and Divorce
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgements viii
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - Is Your Divorce Really Necessary? 7
  • Chapter 2 - First Steps 11
  • Chapter 3 - Paying for Legal Advice and Representation 20
  • Chapter 4 - Separation 27
  • Chapter 5 - Emergency Remedies 31
  • Chapter 6 - The Divorce Process 37
  • Chapter 7 - Financial Applications 47
  • Chapter 8 - Insolvency 61
  • Chapter 9 - Housing and Property 74
  • Chapter 10 - Benefits for Divorced and Separated People 82
  • Chapter 11 - Maintenance of Children 98
  • Chapter 12 - Pensions and Insurance 109
  • Chapter 13 - Foreign Element 117
  • Chapter 14 - Mediation 122
  • Chapter 15 - The Mechanics of Settlement 129
  • Chapter 16 - Death and Taxes 135
  • Chapter 17 - Enforcement of Court Orders 143
  • Appendix 1 149
  • Appendix 2 150
  • Appendix 3 153
  • Appendix 4 169
  • Appendix 5 176
  • References 222
  • Organisations and Helplines 224
  • Index 226
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