Boost for unfairly treated former partners and families

The government has today confirmed their commitment to improve enforcement of financial remedy orders made on divorce.

Although financial remedy orders enable wealth to be more fairly distributed on divorce, they have limited effect when the money rewarded to the less wealthy spouse and can in certain circumstances lead to significant hardship for them and their dependent children. In 2016, the Law Commission found that the law was too complicated and sometimes ineffective.

Measures to improve the enforcement system are being brought forward by the government and further future reform is being considered.

Law Commissioner Professor Nick Hopkins said:

“These reforms will help to prevent serious hardship that some face when debtors refuse to pay, and I’m pleased Government is taking action to help those most in need”.

Many individuals who don’t have legal representation find the current law difficult.

Graeme Fraser, Partner at North London law firm OGR Stock Denton commented:

“It’s good news that the government have decided to act. The current law is badly in need of reform.

In the meantime, if you are owed money, there are useful practical steps that can be taken to ensure that debtors pay including the freezing of assets in the debtor’s business and getting the debt paid by the debtor’s employer at source from their wages. Instructing bailiffs can also be effective as a means of seizing valuable items such as the debtor’s car.

Good strategic advice from a specialist family solicitor during the negotiation can also ensure that the award is paid by secured means to avoid such difficulties arising in the first place.”

If you have any queries relating to ensuring that an existing order is paid and proposed changes to the process and how this affects you, please contact a member of the Family Team at OGR Stock Denton.

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