PETALING JAYA: Family law practitioners say aggrieved ex-wives can seek leave from courts to start contempt proceedings against their ex-husbands who fail to pay for maintenance of the children until they have completed their tertiary studies.
Lawyer Sharmila Sekaran said this applies to any situation where a court grants an order and that person does not follow the order.
“The father has to appear in court and explain to the judge why he’s not following the court order,” she told FMT.
Sharmila said recent amendments to the civil marriages law requires divorced fathers to pay for the maintenance of their children until they have completed their university studies.
It was gazetted recently after amendments to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 2017.
Section 95 of the act has been amended. After “physical or mental disabilities”, the words “or is pursuing further or higher education or training” have been inserted. Also, after “ceasing of such disability”, the words “or completion of such further or such higher education or training” have been added.
Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) vice-president Meera Samanther agreed with Sharmila, saying that any divorced father who fails to pay maintenance could now be held in contempt of court.
“The judge can issue a warrant of arrest for this offence.”
She said there was also another alternative which could be taken to enforce the law if the father refused to cooperate.
“The spouse (wife) can make a fresh application for an attachment of earnings’ order while he is in contempt of court.
“Second, she can also make a fresh application to garnish (deduct payments from) the husband’s bank account.”