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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34511
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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I had a maintenance order made in a UK court in september 2012,

Customer Question

I had a maintenance order made in a UK court in september 2012, the terms of which state that a payment of £220 is to be made every month with arrears accruing from the date of the order.
Childs father lives in Guernsey, so the order had to be transmitted via REMO. this was done in december 2012, and in January 2013 I received confirmation that everything had been forwarded to Guernsey. I hadnt heard anything further by april 2013 so contacted tbe Royal Court in Guernsey only to find they hadnt received anything, so info. had to be resent, and then the paperwork got lost in the court system so there was further delay. June 2013 I was informed that all necessary steps had been taken and that the order had been registered in Guernsey exactly as it was made in the UK, but that arrears could only be accrued from the date of registration.
What is the correct position here? Obviously having done everything I should have have done I dont feel it is fair that I should miss out on so many payments becaus of the delay in Guernsey, and if the order has been registered exactly as it was made should this not include the term that arrears accrue fom the date of the order being made? it has always been my understanding that a reciprocal enforcement agreement means an order made in th UK is transmitted to another country for enforcement under exactly the same terms. where under the original order I could expect to receive £2000 in arrears from september to now, the Guernsey dcision would mean I receive nothing until the first payment is made in July.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question
I shall do my best to assist you but I need some further information first.
What response did you actually get from REMO?
Claire
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

REMO said basically the delay was nothing to do with them, they sent everything as they should have done and they cant help with arrears as theyre just a transmitting body and dont deal with specifics of the case

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Hi
What did the Guernsey advocate say?
Does your ex have any assets here on the mainland?
Claire

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The advocate said arrears are only accrued from the date the order ks registered in Guernsey.


He doesnt have assets here, but he is employed by a Uk company

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Hi
When you say he is employed by a Uk company is he employed on Guernsey and paid from there - or is he employed by Head Office in the UK and paid from there?
Also may I ask why you did not choose to use the CSA
Does he have a mainland Bank Account?
Claire
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

he works for waitrose in Guernsey, head office is in bracknell and he is paid from there. no mainland bank account. tried csa first of all but was told that they couldn't act as he doesn't have ties to the uk, his employment isnt sufficient

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

he works for waitrose in Guernsey, head office is in Bracknell and he is paid from there. no mainland bank account. tried csa first of all but was told that they couldn't act as he has no ties to the uk, his employment isn't sufficient

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Hi
Does he often come to the mainland?
Claire
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

not that im aware of

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Hi
OK looking at another option - has REMO confirmed that they did not send it promptly?
Claire
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

it was sent promptly, have confirmation to that effect from REMO. when I contacted the court in Guernsey they then tracked it down

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Hi
So the Guernsey Court had received it but not acted upon it?
Claire
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thats the impression I got yes. First of all I was told they hadnt received it then the next time I chased it they had no record on their system but later managed to track it down

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Hi
What is the amount of the arrears which accrued during this period
Claire
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

payment due of 220 per month, first to be paid by October 2012 so its been 9 montjs, £1980 in arrears to date

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Hi
Was he at the original hearing when the order was made?
Claire
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

he wasnt. he also didn't return any documents or provide any defence or statement of earnings etc., and didn't attend the hearing in guernswy either

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Hi
I agree with you - it is deeply unfair that the arrears are not enforceable under Guernsey law - but sadly REMO cases can only work with the rules of the Country (state)
However there may be some claim to be made against the court for the period between January and April when they had lost the paperwork
I did look at all of the possible options for recovering the arrears through the UK courts but there is no option from what you have said
Sorry I could not be more positive please ask if you need further information
Claire
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

so Guernsey are able to change the terms of the original order? ive not been given any info re how/ when payments are to be made etc so am still completely in the dark!

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Hi
No they cannot change the terms of the original order - they cannot change the mount payable.
They can however choose what arrears to enforce I am afraid
Claire
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

ok so while arrears may not be enforceable as part of the order, do I have grounds to file a petty debt claim against my ex for any payments not made to date, is that an option?

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Hi
They are not enforceable in Guernsey and from what you have said there is no immediate way of enforcing the debt in the UK - unless he acquires assets here
Claire
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

but a petty debt claim made at the royal court in guernsey for money owed would be considered completely separately to enforcement of a maintenance order surely?

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Hi
Interesting point
In the Uk court it would not be accepted as such - but worth a try in Guernsey where it is nit actually a local court debt
Claire
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I think I'll give it a try...technically he owes me money from the date of the original ruling, Guernsey havent disputed that but are just unable to enforce it under the maintenance order

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Hi
It is certainly worth a try - and hopefully the difference in the legal system will work for you rather than against you this time
Claire