Enforcing Financial Orders
What Happens When Your Ex-Spouse Refuses to Pay?
No matter how hard you try to make the divorce proceedings amicable and fair, your ex-partner may decide to default on the agreement. If you are the receiving party in a divorce settlement and your ex-spouse does not comply with its legally bound terms, you might find you need to ask the court to enforce your financial court order.
Family Law Solicitors Assisting with Enforcing Financial Orders
At Rowlinsons, we are committed to providing a straightforward, friendly, and effective service. Our Family Law team has supported people going through the divorce process for decades, and is on your side if you need to enforce a financial order post-divorce.
Amongst our family law team, we have accredited Resolution specialists, expert solicitors, Family Law mediators and a trained collaborative lawyer. This means you get guidance from legal experts with extensive experience in helping the divorce process to go as amicably as possible.
Call today or request a callback. We also have meeting rooms available in North Wales for our Family Law clients.
Taking the First Step in Enforcing Financial Orders
Although it’s tiresome having to chase up unpaid maintenance, a lump sum, or the sale of the house, it’s your responsibility to act when the financial order is ignored. The first step is to contact your ex-spouse, remind them of their obligation, and encourage them to pay or allow the sale of assets.
If your attempt is unsuccessful then you need to contact your family law solicitor. They can make a formal demand for payment or adherence to the order on your behalf. If necessary, they can refer the matter to the court for further action.
What are my Options if I’m Due a Lump Sum?
If your ex-partner owes you a lump sum, you have a few options.
You may be able to ask the courts to place a charge on assets or property owned by your former spouse. This will secure the money owed against the asset in your favour. If the property is sold or re-mortgaged the money will be paid to you from the proceeds.
The court has the power to ask the bank to release money from your former partner’s account, providing they have enough available to cover what’s owed in the settlement.
Another option is to obtain a third-party debt order. This is where the court approaches a third party that owes your former partner money and gets them to divert those funds to you.
What if my Ex-Spouse Won’t Pay Maintenance?
Usually, under a spousal maintenance order, If your spouse is employed an attachment of earnings order can be applied by the courts. This means that the maintenance is paid directly to you from your ex-partner’s employer.
If they’re self-employed then an attachment of earnings order cannot be made, but there are other options including a third-party debt order, sequestration of assets, or even the threat of bankruptcy.
In some cases, a judgement summons may be necessary where the defaulting party goes before the judge for cross-examination. If they cannot satisfactorily explain why they did not comply with the financial order, they could face imprisonment.
What if my Ex-Partner Obstructs the Sale of the Family Home?
If your ex-spouse refuses to cooperate in selling the family home as was agreed in the settlement, your family solicitor can apply to the court for remedies that will remove any barriers to the sale.
The court can make an order that puts you in charge of selling the house. This allows you to deal with the sale alone including arranging viewings or liaising with estate agents. The court can also order your former spouse to vacate the property if need be. If the sale has gone through but your ex refuses to sign the paperwork, the court can agree to sign papers on their behalf.
Will There Be Legal Costs?
As with all legal proceedings, there will be a cost involved with seeking enforcement of payment. It’s essential to consider the cost of the enforcement proceedings and balance this against the money owed to decide whether it’s worth pursuing. You can also ask that legal costs are added to the money owed to you by your ex-partner, but this is not guaranteed.
Can You Enforce a Financial Order Abroad?
You may need to ask a foreign court to help pursue enforcement if your ex-partner has assets or income outside England and Wales. You will have to contend with different conventions and procedures for each jurisdiction and the ability to enforce a financial order and how you go about it will depend on the country. Your family law solicitor will help you navigate the relevant legal system and let you know whether it’s possible to use its powers to receive the maintenance or lump sum owed to you.
At Rowlinsons, we can help with enforcing financial orders. Whether your spouse refuses to pay a lump sum, make maintenance payments, or sell the house, we’ll advise you on the best course of action to protect you and your family’s interests.
Contact our Financial Order Enforcement Solicitors
Obtaining a Financial Court Order can be a taxing and lengthy process, and you should not suffer the added stress of having your ex spouse refuse to comply with it. We are specialised in dealing with all matters of Family Court, and can assist you through the formal enforcement of a financial court order.
Thanks to our proactive and compassionate approach, Rowlinsons Solicitors can help you reach the best outcome. Our team is accredited by the Law Society's Family Law panel, and is approachable, friendly and professional.
You will receive the best legal expertise available, no matter what the situation. Our client satisfaction is renowned across the UK, and we pride ourselves on the results we have brought to many families through their Financial Settlements in Divorce.
With expert Family Law & Divorce Solicitors based in our Runcorn and Frodsham offices, we are recognised as one of the leading teams of Divorce Solicitors in Cheshire. We regularly help clients throughout the Northwest region including St Helens, Widnes, Warrington, Chester, and Northwich. We are able to act for clients right across England and Wales, so talk to our team today.
Contact us for an initial no obligation call or click here for a call back. We also have meeting facilities in North Wales for Family Law clients.