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Enforcement of Financial Orders

Eleanor Roosevelt

“If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavour.”

When a party fails to comply with a court order, the aggrieved party will have to take steps to enforce the order. While there is a range of enforcement options available, this is often one of the most difficult and frustrating areas of Family Law.

At McAlister Family Law, we work hard to negotiate financial settlements, which foresee issues such as non-payment, and we try to put security in place in the event that payment is not made.

Breach of a Financial Consent Order

A consent order is a legal document recording the financial division of assets or payment of maintenance following a divorce. A consent order is approved and sealed by the court and must be adhered to by both parties. Occasionally, the situation arises where one party attempts to try and avoid the implementation of the terms of the financial order. If an order has not been complied with, you must contact one of our expert family lawyers who can take immediate action on your behalf to ensure compliance of the financial order. Please note that time can be of the essence with such steps and delays should be avoided.

Non-payment of maintenance

Where a party has ceased to make maintenance payments, the receiving party will be extremely anxious, as they may rely heavily on this maintenance as a source of income. In such circumstances, it may be possible to apply for an attachment of earnings order, that is, an order that money from a person’s wages is paid direct from that person’s employer to the person who is owed the money.

In other cases, it may be possible to seek an order putting a “freeze” on the non-payer’s assets so that he/she cannot operate financially until they comply with their obligations. It may be possible for interest to be claimed on any maintenance arrears and this is something that we will discuss with you at our first appointment. Please note that delay in pursuing the breach of a financial order, whether as a maintenance provision, could have adetrimental impact if immediate advice is not obtained. 

Forcing the sale of property

There are often circumstances where the court has ordered the sale of a property and the party who is not in occupation believes that the person living in the home is delaying or avoiding a sale.

This can be frustrating if capital is required from the sale to rehouse, or you are still contributing to the mortgage and/or outgoings.

An application can be made to the court for the conduct of the sale to be transferred to the aggrieved party. In addition, if an offer has been made for the purchase of the property then the court can order that the offer is accepted and the judge can grant himself/herself authority to execute the sale documentation to avoid further delay.

When there has been a breach to a court order, legal advice should be sought immediately. The McAlister Family Law Team will help clients to put pressure on the party in default by issuing enforcement proceedings if all else fails.

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When there has been a breach to a court order, legal advice should be sought immediately.  The McAlister Family Law Team will help clients to put pressure on the party in default by issuing enforcement proceedings if all else fails.

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