Enforcing Maintenance Orders

If you obtain an order from the court that your partner has to pay you maintenance, or the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) tells your partner that they have to pay maintenance for your child and your partner refuses or stops paying, the following can be done.

1. Both the CMS and the court can make your partner's employer (if they are working) deduct a certain amount from his salary to meet the maintenance payments. See Small Claims Enforcement for details of Attachment of Earnings.

2. If your partner owns another property you may be able to put a "Charge" on the property so that when it is sold he/she has to pay the arrears of maintenance from the sale proceeds. You may be able to apply to the court for an early sale of their property once you have obtained a Charge. See Small Claims Enforcement for details of Charging Orders.

3. If a third party owes money to your partner or is holding money for your partner the court can order that the third party pays some or all of that money to you. See Small Claims Enforcement for details of Third Party Debt Order.

4. If you are warned that your partner is moving money between bank accounts and is trying to hide details of his or her finances you can obtain a court order to freeze his or her accounts or stop them removing money out of the country before the court has had a chance to decide how to divide the assets. See Injunctions for details of a Freezing Injunction.

5. You can apply to the court for your partner to be sent to prison if he or she continues to refuse to pay maintenance. See Small Claims Enforcement for details of Judgment Summons.

Consent Orders - agreeing property and maintenance issues

Relationships & Family Law