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Financial order reforms set to help unfairly treated former partners and families

Government will seek to amend Family Procedure Rules

The Government has agreed to improve the enforcement of financial orders, in response to a Law Commission report.

In 2016 a report by the Law Commission found that the law in this area was too complicated, sometimes ineffective, and that orders fairly awarded by the courts were not always complied with as a result.

Now in a letter to the Commission, Justice Minister Lucy Frazer has said the Government will bring forward non-legislative measures to improve the enforcement system, whilst considering further reform in the future.

Law Commissioner Professor Nick Hopkins said:

"If a court decides that a former partner or children are deserving of financial support, it's not for a debtor to act or do otherwise.

"These reforms will help to prevent serious hardship that some face when debtors refuse to pay, and I'm pleased Government is taking action to help those most in need."

There are four key problems with the current law:

Following calls for reform by the Law Commission, the Government has now agreed to explore amendments to the Family Procedure Rules 2010 and operational procedures to:

Other reforms suggested by the Law Commission are still under consideration by the government. They include:

For the 2016 Law Commission report, click here. For Justice Minister Lucy Frazer's letter to the Law Commission, click here. For the Law Commission's reply, click here.