Ex-husbands and wives who refuse to pay their former spouses' divorce settlements could be banned from driving or travelling abroad under new proposals from the Law Commission.
Tough penalties are needed to tackle divorcees who avoid paying, it is suggesting that an ex who has not paid could be disqualified from driving for a year however it says that it would be self-defeating to impose a ban on someone who drives to earn a living as they will lose the ability to earn money to pay their former spouse.
Therefore, the Law Commission are also recommending that judges should have powers to confiscate UK passports.
Most family financial orders are based on what ex-spouses need to meet their day-to-day expenses and the expenses of dependent children.
Disqualification from driving is already used in England and Wales as a means of enforcement if a parent withholds child maintenance.
"The aim of coercive orders is to encourage compliance," the report said.
The Law Commission says people are ignoring the orders and not making payments is "a significant problem".
It estimates that, on average, there are 4,200 enforcement cases in relation to the orders each year and non-compliance can have a devastating impact.
Those that are owed the money can take their ex-spouse to court and it is possible for the judge to pass a jail sentence.
But the Law Commission says judges need a criminal standard of proof before they will send someone to jail, so the punishment is rarely enforced
More information on this article can be seen on the BBC News Website
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