Enforcing a child-maintenance order

| 31/10/2017

How do you get maintenance enforced when one party has defaulted for many years? What is the process? Maintenance in this instance was mandated in court.

Auntie’s answer: This question was posed in response to a recent column on this topic (see The legal obligations of child maintenance), which discussed the general process for applying for child support. However, I did not look at the problem of a parent not complying with court-ordered maintenance. It is also not clear from this question if you are asking about child or spousal maintenance, but I believe your recourse would be the same.

I found some information about your issue on the Family Resource Centre (FRC) website, which contains a page dedicated to maintenance applications that you can read here. It is very unfortunate that this situation has been ongoing for years. The FRC advises not to let the arrears build up, so I hope you can seek redress and start getting what you are due.

Towards that end, the FRC explains that if you are not being paid as the court decreed, then you need to call the Court Office (244-3826 or 949-4296) to speak to the affiliation and maintenance officer. The next step would be to apply for an attachment of earnings order if the person who has defaulted is employed.

The Judicial Administration website also provides lots of information on child maintenance.

I think the way forward is first to talk to the officer as mentioned; I believe he or she would be the best person to advise you.


Category: Ask Auntie, Legal Questions

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