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Overdue Child Maintenance Payments? Your Next Steps

Posted by M. Margaret Gonsalves-Sabola | Jun 25, 2018 | 0 Comments

If your ex-wife or ex-husband owes child maintenance payments, take action quickly to recover the payments. Although you may hesitate to seek court intervention due to fear that the non-custodial parent will involve your children in the dispute or stop spending time with your children, delay may result in never receiving the payments.

When you first receive a maintenance order from a court in The Bahamas, alert the court if you think that your ex-spouse may leave The Bahamas. The court can order your ex-spouse to make payments before he or she leaves, or may order him or her to appear and show cause why the court should not issue an order or warrant preventing him or her from leaving.

You may apply to the Supreme Court of the Bahamas to recover any child maintenance payments that were due in the twelve (12) months before you make the application. The Court can then issue a further order requiring payment and imposing consequences if your ex-spouse still does not pay. For payments due more than 12 months ago, you must ask the Court for permission to recover them before you can take any further steps. The Court can deny your request if you do not take timely, reasonable steps to recover the child maintenance.

For instance, waiting several years to seek relief from the court or relying on broken promises by the ex-spouse are not likely to be looked on favorably by the court. Documented, repeated attempts to recover the payments should be made. You should be able to provide the court with a good reason for failing to seek relief earlier, such as, for example, delays due to difficulties in locating your ex-spouse.

As a result, it is much easier to recover payments that were due recently than payments that were due a long time ago. While going back to court may be troublesome and time-consuming, the alternative may be never receiving important maintenance funds for your child.

To find out more about family law in The Bahamas, visit Gonsalves-Sabola Chambers online or call the office at +1 242 326 6400.

About the Author

M. Margaret Gonsalves-Sabola

M. Margaret Gonsalves-Sabola is a civil and commercial litigation attorney and an accredited civil and commercial mediator. Margaret has over 21 years' experience in legal practice in the United Kingdom, Jamaica and The Bahamas.


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