I have heard many women whinning that it is no use to ask for maintenance for herself and the children because the husband will not pay and there is no way to make him pay. In fact, this is WRONG!
In Malaysia, the law allows a woman to apply from Court for an order to attach her (ex) husband's earning. This would mean that his employer is ordered by the court to pay directly to the wife (or to the court) all or part of his earnings to :
settle arrears of maintenance provided in an order; and/or
pay wife and/or children maintenance periodically.
How Much is His Earnings? The Court may before or at the hearing order the (ex) husband and his employer to give a signed statements of his earnings. After identifying the earnings, the court is able to make a just order to attached his earnings for the purpose of paying wife and/or children maintenance.
What if His Employer is Unknown? If the (ex) husband's employer is not known to the wife, then the court may order him to give to the court prescribed specific particulars for the identification of his employer.
Penalties for Non-Compliance with Attachment of Earning Order / Giving False notice or Statement If a person failed to comply with the order or had given statement or notice which he knows to be false, that person shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to a fine not exceeding RM1,000.00 or to both.
This is indeed a very cost-effective mechanism to ensure a man pays maintenance and to prevent a woman from chasing her ex-husband around for maintenance. Most importantly, this mechanism ensures that a wife and/or children maintenance is paid by the (ex) husband and/or father in accordance to the maintenance order.
Unfortunately, this method is not widely used. Most of the enforcement for maintenance is done through committal proceeding against the (ex) husband for in breach of Court order, in which I personally think that is not effective as such proceeding takes longer time which would result in unnecessary delay and costs and that most women may not be able to afford them.