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Enforcement of child financial provision

If your ex-partner is refusing to pay child maintenance then you can force them to do so. How you go about doing this depends on whether your child maintenance was included in your final order during your divorce or civil partnership dissolution or whether you obtained your child maintenance through either the Child Support Agency or the Child Maintenance Service.

If you obtained your order through court and it is less than 12 months old then you are able to enforce this order through court. However, if the order is more than 12 months old then you will need to apply to the Child Support Agency or Child Maintenance Service. One of these agencies (which one you use will depend on a number of factors including how many children you have) will assess the non-paying partner and the amount of child maintenance originally decided in court is replaced by this assessment. Then the Child Support Agency or Child Maintenance Service will enforce the child maintenance for you.

Austin Kemp has a team of expert solicitors who specialise in the enforcement of child maintenance orders, particularly with regards to high net worth individuals who have investments and assets not just in the United Kingdom but all over the world. If you wish to enforce a child maintenance order we are experienced in the court systems of both England and Wales and abroad and are able to advise you of the best way to proceed. Alternatively, if you have been told that you have failed to comply with your child maintenance order then we have experience in advising you of your options. If this is the case it is imperative that you seek independent legal advice with specialist solicitors such as Austin Kemp as soon as possible in order to best protect your assets and your freedom.

There are various enforcement methods available to you if your previous partner will not co-operate with the child maintenance order and it is under 12 months old. 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), warrants of possession or execution (seize goods or secure possession of premises) or petitioning for the debtor’s bankruptcy.

If the non-paying parent’s assets and wealth, or indeed they themselves, are outside of the jurisdiction then these methods will change. Austin Kemp are experienced in dealing with enforcement orders when the party who is not co-operating is outside of the jurisdiction and can guide you through the process either in courts in England and Wales or abroad.

The Child Support Agency will soon be replaced by the Child Maintenance Service. Both have different ways of calculating support and which one you use will depend on a number of factors including how many children you have. Both of these agencies will enforce your child maintenance order on your behalf if it was undertaken through them.

It is imperative that you seek legal advice as soon as possible if your previous partner is not complying with the child maintenance order or you yourself have been accused of failing to comply with the order. Austin Kemp has a vast range of experience in this highly complex and changing area of law.

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