What happens if Maintenance is not paid?
- If the husband fails to pay maintenance (whether or not this has been previously ordered), the wife can submit a formal application to the Court to obtain a Maintenance Order which will formally order the husband to provide maintenance to her and their children.
- If the husband fails to comply with the Court’s Maintenance Order to make maintenance payments, he is liable to be prosecuted for a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment.
- The husband must pay the outstanding maintenance even if he has already been prosecuted and punished for the non-compliance of the Court’s Maintenance Order.
- The Court may also order that the maintenance payments be obtained from the husband in the following ways:
- Garnishee Order: this means that a bank or third party will be ordered to pay monies for the maintenance directly from the husband’s bank account or funds.
- Attachment of Earnings Order: this means that the husband’s employer will be ordered to retain a portion of his salary which will be used to pay for the maintenance directly.