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20 JUL 2011

Law Commission to review enforcement of financial provision orders and child maintenance

By Hugh Logue, Newswatch Editor

DivorceAs part of its Eleventh Programme of Law Reform, the Law Commission has announced it will review how court orders for financial provision on divorce or civil partnership dissolution and child maintenance arrangements are enforced.

The review will consider the legal tools available to force a party to comply with the financial orders made under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, the Civil Partnership Act 2004 and the Children Act 1989.

The aim of the project would be to offer a clear set of rules and the opportunity to access the full range of enforcement options in the same court and without the need for multiple hearings.

The intention would be to ensure that money that has been ordered to be paid for the support of children and adults is paid. It would also be to limit the damaging effects of ongoing litigation on families, enabling couples who are divorcing or separating to move on with their lives.

Lord Justice Munby, Chairman of the Law Commission, commented: "Our Eleventh Programme brings together a diverse range of law reform projects. Each area of law we will examine has been identified as being flawed and at risk of creating confusion and injustice. Each demands review and reform. Ideas for the Programme were generated through wide and thorough consultation. We are grateful to all our consultees for their suggestions."

The Law Commission will commence the review once it has completed its work on Marital Property Agreements from its tenth programme. It aims to publish a consultation paper 12 months after commencement and, if the project continues, a draft bill a further 18 months after that.

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