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extending a court order to provide uni fees

(59 Posts)
determinedmum Mon 14-Mar-11 21:18:10

Does anyone know if it is possible to ask the court to extend an order for maintenance for children-currently till they finish secondary education- to be extended until they finish further education?
Essentially I bought my exH out of the family home 10 years ago, as ruled by the court after a contested hearing. At the same time a consent order was made whereby exH paid me money for each of the 2 children till they left school or were 17 whichever was later. He stopped this when the eldest became 18 even though both were still at school at the time. The eldest has now started uni. As exH has not responded to reminders and requests and the younger child is about to leave school I am planning to ask the court to make exH pay the arrears (?how?) to me and also in future pay an allowance directly to the children till they finish further education.
Financially I know exH has no problems: he is just being cussed as he wants the best possible lifestyle for himself.
What is the best way to achieve a contribution to uni costs for the children and payment of the amount he owes me? Can I just apply to have the original order extended?

Resolution Mon 14-Mar-11 22:20:03

Apply immediately within the divorce proceedings for an extension/fresh order. It can only be backdated to the date of the application , so act quick. You should get maintenance updated as to quantum, though at least some of what is paid for a child in university will be payable to the child direct.

determinedmum Mon 14-Mar-11 22:32:44

Thank you -very helpful indeed- what does 'updated as to quantum' mean?
Should I ask for any to be paid to me because of needing to maintain the current home for uni holidays or should I ask for all of any maintenance extended beyond school age to be paid to the children?

determinedmum Mon 14-Mar-11 22:35:18

Does 'updated as to quantum' mean updated as to the amount? Are there guidelines for amounts? For instance could I ask for half of the costs of university education to be paid to the children?

Resolution Mon 14-Mar-11 23:24:00

Updated as to amount, yes. Will take everything into account, eg what the CSA would make him pay, increases in his income since the original order, changes incircumstances all round ( eg dies he have a new family and new kids - had he married a millionaire?).

Gottakeepchanging Mon 14-Mar-11 23:28:29

Are any parents expected to pay for uni?

I know that many including us do however my understanding is that through loans the child could be self financing and so not dependent on either parent.

I know nothing about maintenance and so just a query really.

determinedmum Tue 15-Mar-11 06:17:14

Loans dont cover the total amount needed for uni-especially for London students, and especially if one includes books, clothes and transport costs- and I imagine that most parents would contribute the top up needed. Many parents I know try and contribute a substantial amount to decrease the future debt of the student. There will probably be a futur issue about funding postgraduate qualifications for which no loan scheme is available.

In this case exH contributed to school fees, so a contribution to uni fees/maintenance would not be unreasonable to expect. Otherwise I would be left with the unsustainable whole burden of maintaining the family home and two children at uni. Neither of us has remarried.

He could (and I expect will) argue that the children should get a part time job to make up the deficit. I am not quite sure what to say to that.

rainbowinthesky Tue 15-Mar-11 07:07:22

I am amazed that a parents can be made to pay maintenance when a child is no longer a child but an adult.

Resolution Tue 15-Mar-11 07:15:29

Parents will usually do what they can to support a child through uni. Unfortunately some become parsimonious when they separate from the child's mother. Why should those kids miss out? It's usually not more than the parent was paying through school. The loans argument shouldn't impress a judge.

determinedmum Tue 15-Mar-11 15:32:17

Judge wants both parties to fill in financial statements all over again. Plus another hearing. Exactly as exH wanted. The hearing will be in September too close to the start of university term to enable sensible budget planning for student accommodation.

Devastating and stressful. And probably pointless.

freshmint Wed 16-Mar-11 15:52:48

actually if the child is 18 you can't apply for a variation for maintenance for her. she can, however, apply in her own right for an order against her father.

You can apply for a variation/extension for the younger child if he/she is still under 18

If you both apply it may be that they are heard together but that will be for the court to decide. It would seem to be sensible to do so.

Yes any variation or application for ancillary relief by a child who is no longer a minor will require brand new Forms E I'm afraid.

Is this not something you can discuss together and reach an agreement on? Even if he pays your children a maintenance allowance directly? That would be the much better approach if at all possible. You could even get it mediated.

freshmint Wed 16-Mar-11 15:56:25

ps the judge really has no option. You have to file full financial information pursuant to the rules. how can she/he make a decision if she/he doesn't know if your husband can afford it? or what your situation is? You might have won the lottery/married a billionaire since the divorce. I heard of a bloke last week who won £195,000 on the lottery between filing his Forms E and having his first appointment....

Resolution Wed 16-Mar-11 16:51:14

Is that right freshmint? Under s23(4) of the MCA the court can make further orders from time to time, and they can last until the cessation of education. I thought the child could apply but the mother can also apply too.

(This'll have her reaching for the red book).

freshmint Wed 16-Mar-11 17:03:24

no the child must apply if over 18
s23(4) only applies to a child by action of 29(1) and (2)\

now trying to find the bit which allows the child to make an application for ar

freshmint Wed 16-Mar-11 17:06:25

hmm but 29 3a excludes children in education

let me work it out

I had an application for maintenance by a kid against father a little while ago. mother sitting beside her. dad had no money though

freshmint Wed 16-Mar-11 17:15:13

27( 6A)

Where a periodical payments order made in favour of a child under this section ceases to have effect on the date on which h the child attains the age of 16 or any time after that date but before or on the date on which he attains the age of 18 then, if any time before he attains the age of 21 an application is made by the child for an order under the subsection the court shall have power by ore to revive the first-mentioned order from such date as the court may specify, not being earlier than the date of the making of the application, and to exercise its powers under section 31 [variation] in relation to any order so revived

but that only relates to orders made under s27 to begin with

freshmint Wed 16-Mar-11 17:27:47

ok look at the notes to s15 children act headed "orders for financial relief for persons aged over 18".

Child has to apply - if an order existed before he was 16 and child is in full time education or there is another good reason (usually relates to disabilities or something) the CHILD applies for an extension under MCA, if there was no such order the CHILD applies under Sch 1 para 2 of the Children's Act.

No ability to make or extend an order on parent's application once child is over 18.

sneezecakesmum Wed 16-Mar-11 21:21:00

I did read about a precedent being set fairly recently. The daughter about to start university got legal aid and took her father to court for payments of CM to continue after age 18. See a solicitor for advice.

freshmint Wed 16-Mar-11 21:53:10

is that jones v jones?

the courts see these cases more often than you would imagine. not all the time, but now and then. especially since fees for uni.

sneezecakesmum Wed 16-Mar-11 21:59:53

Something like that, I cant find the website that shows you these precedents as I am a rank amateur! Will look now!
Doesn't appear to be - thats a man a wife. How on earth do solicitors look up precedents if they are bad on names. Or can't they afford to be!!

freshmint Wed 16-Mar-11 22:05:36

there is a nice database you put in random words a la google and it spews up likely options

or you ask the spoddy bloke in the room next door who remembers all the case names AND has a good stab at their reference hmm

sneezecakesmum Wed 16-Mar-11 22:36:49

I want one of them wink

sneezecakesmum Wed 16-Mar-11 22:39:08

I can do all sorts of clever things with medicine databases though - did you know that according to Toxbase fresh dog poo is not very dangerous but old dog poo is (toxicara cannis!!)

determinedmum Wed 16-Mar-11 22:44:05

The application I made quotes 29 /3/a and 31 and 27/6/b of the matrimonial causes act 1973 if that means anything to anyone as the children are in continuing education. It was made in the divorce proceedings as a variation and extension of an existing order in those proceedings is being requested.

Thanks for pointing out that forms E would be routinely asked for all over again- it is so easy for a lay person to feel got at through ignorance. I must admit I dislike revealing my financial circumstances in court as I feel it is an invasion of privacy.

Anyway I got the arrears of maintenance while the children were still at school for one of the children, but not for the other who, though still at school, now lives mainly with the father. Even though the original order provided for maintenance for both children.

And the hearing to decide whether the father should pay for uni education and if so how much is in September. And we have agreed to go for mediation meanwhile apart from submitting forms E etc. Are there any guidelines as to amounts it is reasonable to ask fathers to pay young people in further education? I was thinking of basing it on half the cost of (tuition fee plus accommodation fee plus maintenance) per young person and for each young person to get the same amount in the interests of equity. It is what a non divorced family might do. Is this reasonable?

determinedmum Wed 16-Mar-11 23:00:20

Do you think there are there any benefits or risks in asking for exH to pay for the younger child while I pay for the older?

Do you think I should aim to use the words 'further education' rather than university so as to cover post grad?

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