The Law Commission has published a consultation paper seeking views on the enforcement of financial orders.
Such orders are issued by the family courts when separating couples are unable to reach agreement amongst themselves or when parties seek an enforceable order. They are usually designed to meet the reasonable needs of both parties and maintain their living standards wherever possible.
However, enforcement is currently complex and difficult and the Law Commission now wishes to explore ways to make the process more efficient and to more effectively exert pressure on those in breach of financial orders. Suggested reforms include the provision of better information on the financial situation of the non-payer, both to the courts and to their former partners. This would, the Commission suggests, make it easier to find a solution to their failure to pay.
Law Commissioner and Professor Elizabeth Cooke said:
“When the courts cannot enforce family financial orders, it can lead to real hardship for former partners and children and place a huge burden on the state. We need to understand whether existing mechanisms for enforcement are working as well as they might.”
The Law Commission is a statutory body established to review laws and recommend reform.
Read the consultation paper here.