I have got a Court Order but I am not being paid. What do I do now?

You will have obtained a Financial Court Order within the divorce proceedings by one of two means:

1. a Consent Order having been reached between you and your former spouse which was approved by the District Judge,

2. an order made by a District Judge.

If you are not being paid under the terms of the Order, then it would be advisable to firstly communicate with your former spouse to ascertain why payment has not been forthcoming and to remind them that payment needs to be made.

If this is not successful, then a letter should be written on your behalf by your solicitor seeking payment.

If neither of these means are successful, then having created that paper trail giving you evidence that you have sought to try and resolve this matter without going through the Courts, an application should be made to the Court for enforcement of the maintenance.  Except with the leave of the Court, you cannot enforce maintenance payments that are more than a year old, so do not wait too long.  The Court will issue your application and will list a hearing at which the other party will be given an opportunity to set out what their financial position is.  The Courts have a number of ways that they can enforce payments such as an attachment of earnings order or charging order.

An application to enforce a Spousal Maintenance Order is not uncommonly met by the other party seeking a variation of the amount they pay or in fact a discharge of this Order.  This process and procedure is not dissimilar to an application to the Court for a financial relief.

As regards the enforcement of child maintenance, even if the maintenance payments were agreed by way of Consent Order, after 13 months, either party can give notice to the other side that they are referring this matter to the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) and the amount to be determined will be as by their set criteria.

Prior to considering any of these steps, we would recommend you take the opportunity of having legal advice, so you are informed.  We offer an initial consultation of up to an hour for £50 including VAT.

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