I see. Thanks
For the sake of clarity, please confirm whether you are talking about child support or spousal maintenance (alimony). Defaults on spousal maintenance can be harder to enforce if one party is overseas as they are sometimes unenforceable but it makes no difference with child support if both parties are in REMO countries.
In the event of financial difficulties, I was told to pay maintenance first even before my tax bill. Don't even think about missing a payment especially if the ex-spouse is on Legal Aid. You'll get the meanest baddest, most expensive lawyers in town on your trail and everyone from your employer to your Consulate and the local courts will be involved AND you be liable for costs as well as the arrears. REMO does not mess around.
Apply for a variation of the Order pronto and state the grounds.
Thanks for the explicit details. In my case it's the alimony, no child in the marriage.
...Joe...take the bull by the horns, my friend...you don't want this hanging over your head, and i'm sure you don't want it to get any worse...you will all get (some) sound advice from knowlegable folk here...take it...
Guys and gals, really appreciate for the advice and admonishment. It gets very fearful, helpless and dismal at times. Anyway, my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all of you for your helpful advice. Bless you all
Get it sorted because if she gets a judgement against you in HK (she's on Legal Aid and obviously means business) it is relatively simple to transfer the case to a local court in Malaysia under the terms of REMO. A smart lawyer would push for your passport to be seized or an Order to prevent you leaving Malaysia until the arrears are paid and for your Consulate not to issue you with a new passport. You will also face local collection efforts (liens on goods/properties and garnishing of wages). It's really not worth the hustle.
I know a few guys in HK this has happened to - Australians who were prevented from exiting the country) and I have had a letter from the ex's lawyer with similar threats and I was only a few week's late... My ex even started calling my employer!
If you apply for a Variation of the Order you should be fine provided you can back up your claim that you are currently experiencing financial hardship with documentary evidence. If you simply don't pay without applying for a variation you can be held in contempt of court and yes, wilful refusal to pay (rather than genuine inability to pay) can ultimately result in imprisonment for contempt of court.
By the way, the Variation of Order should be addressed to the Family Court? Or, should it be to the Legal Aid Department?
Yes - apply for leave to vary the Order to the court where the original Consent Order was sealed (quoting the case number) which would have been the Family Court. There will be a form you can download (someone more internet savvy than me will give you a link). You will have to pay a fee to apply for leave to vary the Order which I agree is not very helpful in your case but you have to find the money to do this. If your situation really is that bad you may be eligible for Legal Aid.
I don't know about HK but in other jurisdictions there is now a backlog of cases from ex-husbands trying to vary Orders made before the financial crisis. They are currently some very interesting variation order cases going through the Courts in London.
I see, thanks again.