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Maintenance advice required

(19 Posts)
Tryfon Fri 07-Feb-14 13:28:03

This is a bit of a different one.

I am divorced and my DDs reside with their father, this is a long and other story so please don't judge me on this, they stayed there in the week and I had them weekends and Hols.

I am now remarried and have recently moved a flight away as a result of my husbands job and my DDs come at holiday time.

Prior to the move I had a stable job and my maintenance payment to my xH was over double the CSa advice.(as well as every term paying half of the termly clubs etc) We had a statement of arrangements written up by a solicitor and my exH to a certain extent bullied me into these large payment regardless of whether I could afford it. Well, then I could, just about it didn't leave me with much left in the month after paying it.

I realise I should have had a solicitor but at the time I was weak and I was terrified of the costs that would ensue and getting into debt. I just let him walk all over me.

He owes me a reasonable sum from the equity in the house.

When we moved here obviously I had to give up my job.

I have agreed for a certain amount of time to pay half the payment and the other half comes off my exHs debt to me. But my savings are running out.

The kind of job I could get here would nowhere near pay me what I used to earn and I just won't be able to pay him what I used to . I could probably scrape together what the CSA payment whilst I was working before was. If that makes sense.

I am terrified if I approach this issue with him he will stop me seeing my precious DDs who I love dearly and ideally would want with me anyway.

What do I do?

All my savings go on the girls and I haven't got any extra money to get a solicitor.

I went through a hard few years and things are just starting to come right for me, I love my new husband and have my two gorgeous DDs and two smalls DSs. But this financial issue hangs over me all the time.

IncognitoIsMyFavouriteWord Fri 07-Feb-14 13:36:06

If you can pay what the csa say you should then do.

Also you can do a calculator on the csa website and it will say how much you're supposed to pay.

Do that and pay it.

Child access and maintenance payments are two separate issues.
If your exH stops access because you're not paying the same amount then file court order for access. You do not need a solicitor to do that.

LadyMaryLikesCake Fri 07-Feb-14 13:44:02

OP has said she isn't working, Incognito.

I'm assuming you're not in the UK? In that case the CSA doesn't have jurisdiction and will close your file but you need to tell them that you've moved.

Your ex can apply for what's called a REMO. He'll have to apply to his local court for a maintenance order, which needs to be enforced in the country where you are now living. They will look at your income (not that of your husbands) and will calculate an appropriate amount. I had to go down this route and I asked for the amount that the CSA would award if ds's father had been living in the UK. If you have no income it's not going to be a lot.

He can't stop you from seeing your children, it's not a 'pay and see' situation. If you can't afford anything then there isn't anything that you can do.

wannaBe Fri 07-Feb-14 13:53:13

well, if you were a man you would get short shrift on here.

Why don't you get a job so that you can afford to support your children. I understand that you can no longer afford to pay the amount you were paying previously but putting your husband and other children over your dd's by moving away leaving your ex a full-time single parent and not providing for them financially either is a pretty shit thing to do.

Access and maintanence are not linked and neither should they be, but there is no excuse for not providing financially for your children.

Sorry, I have little sympathy.

Tryfon Fri 07-Feb-14 14:02:12

Firstly I did say it was a long story and I do not feel it is fair to be judged on a story you do not know.

Secondly I did not say I would no longer pay, I said I have been bleeding myself dry pay OVER DOUBLE the CSA advised amount on my old salary.

I also said I probably could afford to pay the CSA advised amount from my old salary even on a lower one.

I never said I would not get a job I just said it would be difficult to earn what I was earning here as it is very isolated.

I am still in the uk just a flight away.

I came here for some advice on legal advice not judgement on what had happened in my life of which you know nothing.

Tryfon Fri 07-Feb-14 14:02:47

I tnk I also mentioned I would rather my DDs were with me.

LadyMaryLikesCake Fri 07-Feb-14 14:05:38

As you're still in the UK it's probably a good idea to contact the CSA yourself and ask them to do a re-calculation. When things improve for you, you can pay more. The CSA just say a minimum amount, a NRP can pay more if they can/want to.

Tryfon Fri 07-Feb-14 14:07:45

Thanks ladymary I think I will do that.

I would always pay as much as I could but obviously I can't pay what I haven't got.

STIDW Fri 07-Feb-14 14:09:26

Sadly not consulting a solicitor can be a false economy and you really need to see one sooner rather than later.

Was there a court order settling the finances on divorce? A statement of arrangements isn't legally binding and just states the arrangements at the time of the divorce so the courts can ensure suitable provision has been made for children. A court order would be legally binding and enforceable so you would need to apply to court to vary the terms.

When there is no court order someone may be at a disadvantage if they remarry.

If you don't live in the UK or work for a company based here the CSA or new Child Maintenance Service wouldn't have any jurisdiction for child maintenance any more.

LadyMaryLikesCake Fri 07-Feb-14 14:12:28

I've been hoping my money tree will start helping bearing tenners, but alas.

He shouldn't stop you from seeing or contacting your children just because you're earning less and unable to pay as much as before. Your children have every right to see you. A lot of law centres offer free legal advice so it may be useful for you to keep an eye out for your local one, just incase you need it.

Tryfon Fri 07-Feb-14 14:12:34

I realise that now about the solicitor. Was very stupid.

STIDW Fri 07-Feb-14 14:15:37

Ok I missed that you are still in the uk. In that case can you confirm there was no child maintenance included in a court order settling the finances on divorce?

Tryfon Fri 07-Feb-14 14:21:05

I just had a check through. There is no court order just the statement of arrangements.

Tryfon Fri 07-Feb-14 14:22:06

It actually states on all the bumf at the from that there would not be a court order unless it was deemed better for the children.

wannaBe Fri 07-Feb-14 14:38:40

did you not have a consent order when the divorce went through? It's generally impossible to get a divorce without a consent order if there are children involved because it has to stipulate the arrangements for the children. It's not a court order - it's a financial agreement between the divorcing couples which is signed off by a court but is not a court order iyswim.

Tryfon Fri 07-Feb-14 15:19:24

Yes I have a consent order. So does that mean I would need to go back to court if I can't meet the financials?

prh47bridge Fri 07-Feb-14 15:32:19

If the consent order is over 12 months old you are entitled to refer the matter of child maintenance to the CSA. Their calculation would then take over from the amount specified in the order.

Tryfon Fri 07-Feb-14 16:08:30

Oh. Ok. That might be my best route then.

Thanks everyone, it has helped.

I realise in some situations people try and get out of paying maintenance. I would never do that, I give everything I have to my children both emotionally and financially and I just hope that one day my DDs will be under the same roof as me,mI miss them every day.

NatashaBee Fri 07-Feb-14 16:17:15

Yes, the CSA amount can take over from the consent order once it's 12 months old. If you're not working, that would usually be 5 pounds a week - I'm not sure how the CSA would handle it if you said you wanted to pay more.

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