A husband has been sent to prison in a divorce case, for failing to file his financial statement, in proceedings in which his wife had applied for financial support of their two children.
The husband did not appear at the committal hearing, and in his absence the Judge found him guilty of contempt of court and sentenced him to 14 days in prison. However, the Order was suspended for 11 days to give the husband, the opportunity to file his financial statement. In the event that the husband failed to do so, it was ordered that the wife could apply to the Judge for a warrant for his arrest. The husband was also ordered to pay the wife’s costs of the application.
The Judge stated that it was appropriate to make such an order as the court required to see the husband’s financial details. The judge said that it was important to have the information, so that it could make a proper order for the support of the children.
The courts are reluctant to make such orders in family law proceedings. However, where one party is blatantly ignoring a requirement of the court proceedings, then Judges are more likely to make such orders.
Even then, Judges will often try and be flexible, and as in this case, may suspend such orders, giving the person the opportunity to comply with the court order.
Such flexibility can often be frustrating for one party who simply wants to get on with their application. However, if the non compliant party ends up in prison, they may not still comply with an Order, so it is hoped that the threat of committal will help persuade that person to do what is necessary.
The courts will make costs orders in such cases, and that may be an incentive for the non compliant party to comply with an Order.
We know that divorce is stressful but if you fail to comply with an Order the consequences will be that you are ultimatelydeprived of your liberty and could cost a considerable amount of time and money.
It is therefore vitally important that no matter how aggrieved you may feel, you have to comply with the requirements of the courts. If you need help with your divorce or help with negotiating a financial settlement, please contact Shakeel Mir on 020 8956 2655 or email firstname.lastname@example.org