Failure to pay might end in prison

When the court issues an order for financial remedy, there is a legal obligation to follow the direction of the order. If you – or your ex-partner – do not do so, you are in contempt of court. That means committal proceedings can be brought against you and you might end up going to prison for failing to obey the ruling contained in the court order.

In the recent case of Hope v Krejci [2014] EWHC B5 (Fam) the husband had been ordered to hand over three cars to his ex wife. He failed to do so, claiming that the vehicles were no longer in his possession, and were not even in the country.

The judge recognised that the wife had had to struggle in the face of constant litigation, to get this far, and that the husband had made no attempt to retrieve the vehicles or to reimburse the wife in lieu of their return.

In order for the case to be resolved without the wife having further stress and incurring further costs in coming back to court yet again, the judge proposed that unless the husband complied with the order and paid the value of the cars to the wife within six weeks, he would be sent to prison for two months.

The cars were not worth a fortune, the husband in this case owed the wife only £16,000 in total. The judgement however reflects the principle: when the court rules on what you should do, it has the power to enforce that ruling.

If you need advice about your financial remedy proceedings, especially if you have any questions or doubts about the outcome, or the consequences for you of any court order, you should speak to your solicitor. Andrew Isaacs Solicitors can help. We are divorce specialists and will be there for you as long as you need us, for as long as it takes.