TROUBLESHOOTER / My boyfriend’s father went bankrupt, I can’t get married

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I’m a company employee in my 30s. I need advice about my boyfriend’s father, who failed in business, filed for personal bankruptcy and received an exemption from responsibility.

My boyfriend told me that his father said he can’t meet me and my parents until five years have passed since he received the exemption. As a result, our prospective marriage has been postponed.

The five-year period apparently comes from the fact that his name will be removed from the records of credit information agencies after five years. According to my boyfriend, his father stubbornly insists: “My lawyer will contact me in five years. We can’t make any moves until then.”

His father also seems to feel guilty that I know about his bankruptcy, as I’m not a member of the family, and he may be reluctant to meet me.

I’m serious about my future with my boyfriend, but I can’t talk about this with anyone. Sometimes I feel exhausted as I continue waiting without a guarantee of marriage. I don’t know if I can keep this up.

C, Tokyo

Dear Ms. C:

Your marriage has been delayed because your boyfriend’s father believes he “cannot make a move until five years have passed” since receiving an exemption of responsibility for his bankruptcy.

However, the father’s assertion isn’t really true.

You aren’t seeking legal advice, so I won’t go into detail. However, personal bankruptcy causes few inconveniences in one’s ordinary life. After being exempted from responsibility, your boyfriend’s father will also not have to pay any remaining debts and will regain the status he lost due to bankruptcy. At that point, he will be able to live as he did before. The father seems to misunderstand the circumstances of his exemption.

If you are serious about marriage, you should take a stand to prevent your boyfriend from becoming entangled in his father’s money problems in the future. To do so, you need to understand his father’s economic situation. You should sit down and talk to your boyfriend about how to interact with his father.

I recommend you to meet the lawyer who dealt with the father’s personal bankruptcy and consult with him if possible.

You can’t move things forward just by waiting. You need to take action to realize your dream of marriage. I wish you happiness.

Sachiyo Dohi, lawyer

(from Aug. 28, 2018, issue)Speech

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