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Arrested for maintenance arrears

Hello. I was arrested at my house one morning without notice and brought to court in the Garda van. I had to sign myself out on bail. I fell behind in my maintenance under €500 my case had being adjourned and I was waiting to see a legal aid solicitor. I never broke the law in my whole life how could this happen I didn’t fail to turn up or anything please don’t mention my name (name supplied)

As this listener says, he fell behind in his maintenance payments and didn’t tell anyone or go to anyone to explain the situation.  He should have gone to the court office to explain and they would have advised him to immediately apply to court for a Variation Order on the original court order made.

 

When it comes to the enforcement of debts, whether it is a maintenance obligation or a bank debt, it is very important to keep the lines of communication open and advise the other party, or the court service in this case, that there was a problem and try to work it out.  Also what this listener should have done was to go to the Legal Aid Board and explain that the matter was very urgent and they would have been seen immediately.

 

No one in Ireland can go to prison for being unable to pay a debt – only refusal to pay a debt. But if you don’t tell the court that it’s a case of cannot pay (the court will want to know why?) then it will assume that it is a refusal.

 

Clearly a warrant was issued because of this default and he was arrested. 

The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

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