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My partner isn’t complying with a financial order. Can he go to jail for this?

A financial order is made by a court when both parties separating, for example, through divorce, agree to the order or alternatively, if both parties cannot agree, the court decides what the financial order should entail. If either party doesn’t comply with the financial order then it can be enforced by the court and could result in the non-complying party going to prison through contempt of court. Imprisoning someone for non-compliance with a financial order is relatively rare, although it does happen.

If either party does not comply with the financial order then a variation of the order can be sought. Alternatively there are other remedies in English and Welsh law and abroad if the other party will not co-operate with the order.

There are various enforcement methods available to you if your previous partner will not co-operate with the order. These include a charging order (attempting to attach a charge against land), attachment of earnings (money can be deducted from the payer’s salary), a third party debt order (attempting to seize money) and warrants of possession or execution (seize goods or secure possession of premises).

It is imperative that you seek legal advice as soon as possible if your previous partner is not complying with the financial order. Any maintenance payments that haven’t been paid for more than twelve months since the enforcement order was made could be written off. It is also worth noting that you may be due interest on any unpaid capital payment.

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