Family Law Hub

Government to move forward with reforming enforcement of family finance orders

News set out in letter from minister to the Law Commission in response to their 2016 report

  • Lucy Fraser QC, the Justice Minister, has promised to support the FPR Committee to help progress reform of enforcement processes for family finance orders "in a timely manner".

    In a letter responding to the Law Commission's 2016 report on the issue she states that the Government shares the Law Commission's concerns that the current system is open to exploitation and that more should be done to assist those who cannot pay.

    She notes that many of the recommended changes do not require any primary legislation so she has asked officials to "work with" the senior family judiciary, FPR Committee and HMCTS to explore amendments to the FPR 2010 and current operating procedures such as:

    • the introduction of a free-standing comprehensive procedure within the FPR 2010 and inviting the President to issue a supporting PD
    • introducing / amending guidance notes for court users and practitioners
    • where possible, streamlining processes such as that for charging orders
    • looking at which judges and lay justices should be able to deal with enforcement applications
    • amending / creating new court forms where necessary

    Other changes suggested by the Law Commission that require primary legislation, such as obtaining information about assets from third parties or disqualification from driving for debtors, have been put on the back burner. There is pressure on Parliamentary time and the Minister would rather wait while this first phase of procedural reform moves forward before "coming to a final view of whether additional measures are required".

    You can read the full letter and the Law Commission's reply  on the Law Commission's website

News, published: 16/08/2018

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Published: 16/08/2018

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