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Wife turns home into a fortress

A recent family court case illustrates how difficult it can be for the Courts to enforce financial orders made in divorce or dissolution proceedings.
The case concerned a wife who was refusing to leave the £2 million former matrimonial home following an order for sale of the property made in the Family Court.  The wife defied orders to give keys to her ex husband and to the estate agents and allow access to valuers and “dared a judge to jail her.” 

The wife was reported to have turned the home into a “fortress”.  The wife was ultimately found to be in contempt of Court and her arrest was ordered and bailiffs sent to her door, but even the bailiffs were unable to gain access.  The wife proceeded to seek to appeal the order for her to leave but was unsuccessful and she was told by the Court of Appeal that the order for sale must be enforced. 

Methods of enforcement of such Court orders, such as threatening imprisonment, are not always the most appropriate way of dealing with these matters and other methods such as using Court bailiffs are likely to be more effective than threats of imprisonment in such cases. 

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