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Family financial orders set for reform

The body that reviews the law and recommends reform is to examine the enforcement of court orders for financial or property arrangements when couples divorce or a civil partnership is dissolved.

The Law Commission launched a four-month consultation on family financial orders for the payment of money or transfer of property in England and Wales on 11 March.

The commission said that the project was not about how much people should have to pay but about ensuring that payment was made once a court order is in place.

It added that it was seeking views on how reform could make the law more effective, “by which we mean more likely to produce compliance with a family financial order in a way that is fair to both parties”.

The consultation, which will run until 11 July, will look at issues including:

  • the importance of ensuring that someone complies with a family financial order. The commission said that non-payment could cause “real hardship” for those affected
  • the importance of distinguishing people who cannot pay from those who can but refuse to do so and the possibility of bringing pressure to bear on those who are able to pay but choose not to comply with a court order.

The consultation documents can be found here.