It is widely acknowledged that Britain has one of the highest divorce rates in Europe. It is also acknowledged that many of those divorces are acrimonious and extremely costly for the parties involved. Imagine the shock and frustration when, having been through all that, a former partner fails to implement the terms of the financial settlement reached. One party’s failure to meet their financial obligations can cause great financial distress to the other party and in many cases their children.
Although there are methods in place to enforce financial orders where one party fails to comply, these have been described as being “hopelessly complex and procedurally tortuous” (The Law Commission) for those involved and, for the Courts. For this reason, the Law Commission has been appointed to undertake a consultation process to review the current mechanisms that are in place to see whether these can be improved upon. The consultation commenced last month and will remain open for the next three months after which recommendations for reforms will be made by 2017.
It is hoped that reforming this area of law will help to create clear rules on enforcement of court orders, and further information as to the enforcement options available without the need for further litigation. It will be interesting to see whether the reforms will achieve the desired clarity and, whether they will act as a deterrent for anyone considering reneging on their financial obligations.
If you are going through a relationship breakdown and require legal advice please contact our specialist family team for advice on 020 7935 3522.