Family Law Titles
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'… it is a strong thing for a court to refuse to hear a party to a cause and it is only to be justified by great considerations of public policy … I am of the opinion that the fact that a party to a cause has disobeyed an order of the court … then the court may, in its discretion, refuse to hear him until the impediment is removed or good reason is shown why it should not be removed.'So an order has been made by the court whereby a husband (as it usually is) has been ordered to pay maintenance to the wife and is also in breach of other court orders. This can block an appeal or application to vary the original maintenance order if Hadkinson is invoked. So we’re looking at a situation where an order has been made by the judge on the balance of probabilities that the husband should pay a sum of money. The husband says that he can’t afford to do so but is unable to appeal the original decision. The arrears build up, the wife takes out a judgment summons and he ends up in prison. William Dorrit back in the Marshalsea and it’s 2014 not 1855.