Has my ex breached the Consent Order?
As soon as an Order has been approved and sealed by a Judge it becomes legally binding on both you and your ex and you should both comply with the terms of the Order. This includes keeping up with all payments listed within the Order, for the duration specified in the Order.
If a party fails to comply with one or more terms of the Order, this is a breach, which the Court will not look favourably on.
I think my Order has been breached. What do I do?
- Warning Letter
We usually suggest sending your ex a ‘warning letter’ to provide them with the chance to comply with the term they’ve breached. In this letter we would confirm that if they don’t reinstate payments, including any backdated payments due, you will seek enforcement at the Court and reimbursement of the costs and court fee for enforcement.
If it becomes necessary to commence enforcement proceedings at the Court, you’ll need to apply on a form D11. This is something we would be happy to assist you with. As a matter of courtesy, we would also send a copy of the form to your ex. There’s a Court fee payable to make this application to the Court that you’ll need to pay together with any legal fees incurred to bring the application. However, as indicated above, reimbursement of this fee can be sought from the other side in the Court proceedings. This is likely to be ordered should the Court agree there has been a breach.
If the Court agrees there has been a breach, the Order will be enforced by the Court and the party who breached the Order will be ordered to pay the money owed within a specified timeframe.
As part of enforcement, the Court is likely to order that if they breach the Order again, they will be punished by fine or even imprisonment.
What if the Court doesn’t agree the Order has been breached or doesn’t make a full enforcement order?
In some circumstances, the Court may decide that the Order hasn’t been breached or be lenient. This may happen where the non-compliant party, has had a material change in circumstances and seeks a variation of the Order. If this is the case and the Court decides that this party cannot meet its original responsibilities, then the Court may allow the payments to be reduced or even stopped altogether. The original Order would be amended to reflect this.
Please note this article is provided for general information purposes only to clients and friends of Atkins Dellow LLP. It is not intended to impart legal advice on any matter. Specialist advice should be taken in relation to specific circumstances. Whilst we endeavour to ensure that the information in this article is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy, and Atkins Dellow LLP does not accept any liability for error or omission.
© Atkins Dellow LLP 2021
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