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Bankruptcy Issues for Probate and Family Court Judges

Thursday, March 1, 2018 | 2:00pm - 4:00pm UTC


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This program will present a unique opportunity for Judges of the Probate and Family Court to meet with the Judges of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts to discuss the intersection of family law and bankruptcy law. When parties have had assets divided in a divorce proceeding one of them may seek bankruptcy relief. Even more difficult, when a party is still in an active divorce case and that party files a bankruptcy petition. This can result in difficult questions of jurisdiction, comity, supremacy and preemption.

Format: After a brief primer on the bankruptcy process and the divorce process, the judges will break up into smaller groups for a guided discussion on hypotheticals that are intended to cover many of the issues we encounter at the intersection of bankruptcy and divorce.

Topics: Here are some of the topics we expect to cover:

  • The federal automatic stay and violation of the stay in the divorce context;
  • Judgments in divorce cases, judgments in bankruptcy cases, res judicata and issue preclusion;
  • Domestic support obligations (DSO’s), property division and what they mean in each court (and what Probate Judges can do about them);
  • Bankruptcy discharges, dischargeability of specific debts, and divorce cases;
  • Same-sex marriages and their recognition in bankruptcy under federal law.

Massachusetts Bankruptcy Judges

Chief Judge Melvin S. Hoffman
Judge Joan N. Feeney
Judge Frank J. Bailey
Judge Christopher J. Panos
Judge Elizabeth D. Katz


Thursday, March 1, 2018
2:00pm - 4:00pm UTC
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