Q – I am trying to get our finances sorted out following a divorce, but my ex-husband won’t produce the requested details of his assets. How much power does the Court have to force him to do this? I feel that fines and “contempt of court” are unlikely to be a deterrent, so this could go on for years.
A – The Court will take a very dim view of the matter if it has ordered your ex-husband to produce details of his finances and he fails to do so. “Contempt of Court” is regarded as a threat to the administration of justice and is taken very seriously. Disregard of a Court Order to disclose information without good reason will lead first to a penal notice being attached and to your ex-husband being ordered to pay your costs. If he still fails to comply, then you can apply to a higher Judge for proceedings to commit your husband to prison. Whilst, usually, this will initially lead to a suspended sentence, it is a fairly powerful deterrent.
Further, if your husband continues not to engage in the process it is open to the Court to proceed to a final hearing and make its own inferences, based on the information available to it, which could lead to the Court transferring all the available assets to you. It would therefore, be imprudent of him to ignore such an order. These matters are complex, however, and you would be sensible to instruct a solicitor experienced in such matters.
Please contact us if you would like more information about these issues or any aspect of family law on 01656 645525 or firstname.lastname@example.org