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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33542
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Hi there! 4 years ago at County court I received a Periodical

Resolved Question:

Hi there!
4 years ago at County court I received a Periodical Payment order of £230 per month. Unfortunately though my former spouse has never complied to the order and pays as and when he feels it appropriate to do so.
I escalated the matter to the Magistrates for enforcement but that has made no difference...despite several etters from the Magistrates for none compliance he still continues to pay when he can be bothered. It isn't as if he hasn't got the monies to pay...I have made an application to vary (increase) said order and bank statements he has provided demonstrate a significant amount (£41,000 in 16 weeks spent on gambling) The gambling is historic. He Is also receiving significant cash payments into his account from his business (or one assumes) he has to fulfil an order to produce more documents for Court
Anyhow...he can easily afford the payments but is not doing so hence is wilfully refusing to do so.
He is very canny...I have twice issued Judgment Summons on him and on both instances he has paid the arrears on the day prior to the Court hearing so that he doesn't have to attend and doesn't incur committal proceedings.
I feel that we will just carry on in this spiral of events...him in arrears and making payments the day before a hearing...unless I can do some specific enforcement to stop him doing this.
The County Court cannot give any advise and I will not use a solicitor as my last solicitor lost 11 boxes of my files and was hence charged by the ICO!!
Can I make an application for committal if he continues in this matter/He is wasting the Court's and my time constantly
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Were the Judgement Summons' applied for prior to the Registration in the Magistrates court?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi there!

No....I had a County Court order for periodical payments made at County Court on 19th November 2010. Due to none payment on the day specified I was advised to escalate the matter to the Magistrates for enforcement...this I did in September 2012. However due to continual not paying on the date specified then starting to go into arrears I applied to the Magistrates for a Judgment summons

The 1st Judgment Summons took place at the Magistrates on 20th March 2014. The Respondent paid his arrears at close of business on the 19th March.

When I made a further application for none payment to the Magistrates on 12th August 2014 I was advised that the Magistrates were no longer dealing with enforcement because new regulations meant that the County Court was dealing with this matter.

I have today been to County Court only to be advised that the Respondent paid the arrears on Friday of last week!

He is just going to carry on in this manner unless I can take measures which prevent him doing so. I need advice please of what enforcement I can take

Claire

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What do you know about his financial position - assets income etc?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have applied to vary the Periodical payment order and he has provided "a handful" of the bank statements required for the hearing regarding his finances. Going to court on Wednesday next week to hopefully get an order to make him produce more docs. However from the statements already provided he has spent £41,000.00 on gambling period April to August this year! He is declaring to the Inland Rev that he only earns £1000 per month which is ludicrous as his statements are demonstrating significant cash amounts totalling £33,000.00 having been paid into his current acc Feb to August this year.These transactions are unaccounted for at present although one assumes that they are payments from his business (he is self employed)

I already have a charge on his house...but 1: there is hardly any equity in the property and 2: there are young children from his spouse living there. The charging order was made as part of previous enforcement for an unpaid lump sum order for initially £115,000.00 . This order was made on 10th May 2006. With interest it is now £204,000 approx.!

It has just been uncovered that a new (supplementary to his current home) was purchased on 16th December 2010. This house was purchased by way of cash for £60,000.00 At present the Respondent is claiming that the property was purchased by his wife. Whilst the title deeds are in her sole name as you know that doesn't mean he hasn't got a beneficial interest in the property. This point will be mentioned next week at Court and hopefully the Judge will order full disclosure re the property. Since I commenced proceedings regarding a variation of the Periodical payment order there has been a charge secured on said property by way of a mortgage....that leads me to believe he is trying to dispose of assets

My ex is a master at concealing assets and none disclosure...however even the few bank statements I hold demonstrate he is wilfully refusing to pay. He has just paid arrears of £800 in one go...so it shows he can affordto pay.

Claire

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How much are the current arrears?
Does he own a car or any other capital assets?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi there

as I explained in my first query he paid the arrears of £800 on Friday of last week....as his Judgment Summons Court appointment was for Monday....

this he will keep doing....going into arrears then making payment on the 11th hour unless something can be done to stop him doing so.

Can I issue proceedings for Committal for breach of a court order and contempt in the face of the Court?

Please can you just answer this question ...I already have full evidence I require regarding his means and ability to pay.

I just need to know from you how to prevent this continual disregard to the order for Periodical Payments.

Such as which application I need to submit....what order I need to apply for...what details should be included in an application.

Claire

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
The problem is there is no option available to achieve this based on what you have said so far.
You are clearly aware of the enforcement options and how to use them - indeed you know enough to use one of the most effective but underused option - the Judgement Summons
A Secured Periodical Payment Order could be an option if there was an asset it can be secured on - however the same last minute payment game can and no doubt will be used when it comes to enforcement
The only other alternative could be to apply for a Capitalised Order if there are sufficient assets to make that realistic
The only other possible tactic is to send the bailiffs in (warrant of execution) - he may find the pressure of regular Bailiffs visits more difficult to ignore
I wish there was a better option to offer - but there is not
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Please can you explain a capitalised order?

Would a third party debt order also be a possibility (as I know all his banking details) and I could apply to the Court ex parte?

You do not say if committal proceedings for continued contempt of Court are a possibility...please can you advise regarding this?

Baliff's I doubt would not be an option...as I understand now you have to "invite" the Baliff into the property. Even if they gained access he would just claim that all the household contents belong to his wife anyhow. Can I have your thoughts on this please.

Thank you

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
The problem is that all of these orders work the same way.
Arrears arise, you enforce he pays at the last minute
A Third Party Debt Order is in fact more complex as you have to involve other organisations - and only the initial Order freezing the asset is made ex parte
I am afraid Committal proceedings for contempt are not an option.
Bailiffs are more persistent than you fear - and of course will be very public on his doorstep. Nor do bailiffs easily accept that goods belong to a spouse without evidence.
A Capitalised Order merely means that your ex pays you a lump sum in stead of ongoing maintenance
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33542
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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