Most people comply with financial orders made by the court, whether the order was as a result of negotiation/mediation and a financial consent order or whether it was a final order made by a court in financial proceedings.
However, if you find yourself in a position where your former spouse is refusing to comply with an order you need to get urgent, specialist advice. Our financial solicitors will discuss your situation with you and work out which steps you need to take. There are a variety of different orders that can be applied for when you need to enforce a financial order and which one will be quicker and most cost effective depends on your circumstances. Early advice from our specialist divorce solicitors really can be invaluable. Examples of the most frequently used orders are as follows:
Attachment of Earnings Order
This order would require the employer of the person who is not complying with an order to deduct payments from their income at source i.e. before they get paid. This is usually used to enforce maintenance payments.
This allows the spouse trying to enforce the financial order to place a legal charge over an asset, usually a property, held by the spouse who isn’t complying with the order. Once a charging order has been made by the court a further application can be made to the court for the asset to be sold so that debt can be paid from the proceeds of sale.
The family court has the power to send or ‘commit’ the person who is not complying with the order to prison for failing to obey a court order. However, committal proceedings can only be used to enforce performance of a specific act i.e. to transfer a property and cannot be used to enforce orders for payment of money
Execution of documentation
A Judge in the Family Court has the power to sign a document if the person refusing to comply with the order won’t do it. An example of when this might be used is to sign a transfer deed where the Family Court has ordered a property be sold or transferred from one party to the other.
Third party debt order
If the person who is refusing to comply with the order has money in a bank account, and they are refusing to pay you a sum of money, the court can order the bank to pay the money to you directly to satisfy the debt.
If the person refusing to comply with a court order won’t pay the sum of money they have been ordered to pay then they can be sent to prison. This is generally used as a last option and the Judge would have to be satisfied that the person has refused or neglected to comply with the order.
Our divorce solicitors can give you tailored advice about which of the above steps might help your circumstances. There are also times when it might be necessary to enforce orders in relation to assets abroad and our solicitors can help you resolve this complex and specialist issue.