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Child maintenaince

(21 Posts)
breezybeach Sun 11-Sep-16 00:33:23

Freind has been divorced one year
Lives in Scotland so law slightly different to England
Divorce agreement says he will pay " 1200 a month or csa ,whatever the greater "
However a year later he is struggling and has calculated based on number of nights dc with him over last year he should by csa calculation be paying 800 and another night a month it would be 600'

His XW works and earns well and receives tax credits and child benefits and received entire marital wealth and pension ( he concedes he was rather over generous in his haste to get away from a very unhappy marriage .) her income is actually higher than his .

What can he do to reduce this amount ( he would prefer to pay more directly for his DC e.g move them to private secondary school education , pay for extra tuition or holidays, museum trips which they don't seem to receive with their dm

Can he just reduce or is there a Legal procedure applying directly to court and is it Costly ?

His ex is not the sort of person he could reason or negotiate with .

ladylambkin Sun 11-Sep-16 00:38:49

If his ex wife was earning well she wouldn't be receiving tax credits?

Fourormore Sun 11-Sep-16 13:14:28

I don't think you've got the full story. A saving of £400 on what he pays to his children's mother would not cover the cost of private education, for a start. And as a PP said, the mother cannot both be earning well and in receipt of tax credits. The fact that if he had the children for an extra 12 nights a year he would save a further £200 is irrelevant unless he is willing and able to do those 12 nights.

My understanding is that, in England and Wales, a consent order for child maintenance stands for one year, after which either party can apply to the CMS. I don't know if it's the same in Scotland or not.

Fidelia Mon 12-Sep-16 13:09:15

Hmm...Thing is, the court order would still be more than the CM amount, so it would still stand, surely?

I'm sorry, but he's either earning more than you realise (£1200 a month is a lot of spousal support) or is lying to you about how much his ex is earning (well paid workers are over the threshold for tax credits). And given that he's talking about private schooling for the children, I suspect that he is very well paid, whilst his ex is not.

Fidelia Mon 12-Sep-16 13:29:40

In fact, if your friend has two dc and sees them roughly 1-2 days a week (which would equate to a weekend every other week) then he must be earning around £80k gross (after pension contributions have been taken off). And if that's about right, then your friend is lying about his Ex's income...by quite a way.

scallopsrgreat Mon 12-Sep-16 13:44:26

So he wants to pay for all the grand gestures just not the essentials like food, clothing, heating, school stuff etc?

Imagine my surprise.

No really.

Agree with the others about the relative incomes. Also another 1 night a month is equivalent to taking off 1/6th of the CSA??? That doesn't sound right to me.

And I'd also think about your last sentence as to why his "ex is not the sort of person he could reason or negotiate with". I suspect either it might be him who is the one you can't reason with or, judging off this post, she has learnt that if she gives him an inch, he'll take a mile.

But this is his perceived issue to sort out. Why isn't he seeking legal advice if he thinks he's been hard done by?

Phillipa12 Mon 12-Sep-16 13:54:27

On those first calculations his wage is probably more around the 90-95k mark as thats what my ex pays me and ive seen his wage slips. (Pension contribution taken into account as well)Based on that his ex wife most certainly wont be recieving any benefits.

Fidelia Mon 12-Sep-16 14:34:38

OP, I hope this friend isn't your partner because it looks like there are some honesty issues with him.

Fourormore Mon 12-Sep-16 15:10:17

Eh? What has the NRPs income got to do with whether the RP is in receipt of benefits or not?

scallopsrgreat Mon 12-Sep-16 15:55:11

It doesn't - except he's claiming that his ex earns more than him even though she claims benefit. Yet he has been ordered by the courts to pay £1200 per month. That would equate to earning considerably more than the threshold for receiving benefits and therefore considerably more than his ex.

Fourormore Mon 12-Sep-16 16:23:10

Oh yes, I missed that line. There's no way the ex can be both earning more and in receipt of benefits.

Fidelia Mon 12-Sep-16 23:06:08

BTW, my calculations were based on the CMS figure of him having to pay £800 per month.

His income has nothing to do with the RP, except that the OP says that the RP is supposedly earning more, whilst receiving tax credits. That's simply not possible.

jellybelly16 Mon 12-Sep-16 23:13:49

With the above. She couldn't possibly earn more than him and receive benefits. To have to pay £1200 pm he must be on a good wage as i don't receive anywhere near that for 3 dc and my exh has decent earnings.. If he thinks he's paying too much he'll have to get his solicitor to write to her with his new proposed payment and if she contests it, it will be dealt with by the cms. That's what's written into my agreement.

TheGruffaloMother Mon 12-Sep-16 23:15:29

Her income is most certainly not higher than his if she's iin receipt of tax credits and the CMS award would be that much. It's probably better for your 'friend' to get his own advice based on the actual facts rather than his convenient version.

Tiggeryoubastard Tue 13-Sep-16 08:03:05

Firstly, he's lying. The figures don't fit, as has been explained. He could be lying about what he pays, what she got, what she earns, what benefits she gets. Or all of those things.
Secondly he wants to control her by not giving maintenance but paying for certain things of his choosing.
Either one of those makes him one to avoid, but both together? He's a lying controlling twat. And I agree with pp. he's saying his ex is unreasonable. I'm guessing his version of unreasonable is not letting him control her and lie to her any more.
If this is just a friend I'd be looking at the basic standards of decency you expect in a friend. If he's more then I'd run for the hills, take time and work on my boundaries and gullibility levels before attempting to date again.

STIDW Tue 13-Sep-16 19:23:35

Difficult to say without seeing exact wording of the separation agreement & knowing your friend's income.

Normally either party can apply to the Child Maintenance Service for a calculation after one year & the agreement ceases to have effect in regard to child maintenance.

There are exceptions when there are step children, one parent lives abroad or there are children are over 18 in full time education. Also a court can order top up payments if the payer of maintenance has an an income over the CMS capped amount (currently £3k/week), for expenses related to a child's disability or for school fees.

However it's not a good idea to unilaterally change payments without notice or trying to negotiate & reach agreement. CM Options website has some resources to help parents negotiate & mediation might be worth considering.

breezybeach Tue 13-Sep-16 23:56:11

The figures are correct .. I have seen both parties wage slips ( small village , same surnames = post goes to wrong houses)
His ex is freelance so lacks " security " but was left mortgage free with money in bank from divorce settlement . The calculations on tax credits are correct as her salary varies and she claims during out of work periods

I was just wondering if anybody knew the answer to a legal question
I guess I was seeking factual rather than emotive responses/ advice for my cousin who is genuinely struggling and financially disadvantaged

He doesn't pay csa .. he agreed to this amount above csa after a very generous 100% settlement voluntarily... based on what his ex told him her income was and it was subsequently written into their divorce agreement a year ago . He knew it was significantly above csa and generous but he wanted to do right by his DC and believed falsely at the time she had no other means. He also felt very guilty at exiting the marriage whilst being deeply unhappy and ashamed at what was genuine abuse towards him .

He is not a Disney dad and whilst my own Df has an ex wife and DC this post was genuinely for a family member . I have an Xh myself I am currently fighting in court for unpaid Maintenaince so I do see both sides in these unfortunate situations

Thankyou for all the replies
Much appreciate . I realise more Information than I feel I am at liberty to give was required
I have suggested he pay for legal advice which he will do
Thankyou again

Tiggeryoubastard Wed 14-Sep-16 09:53:10

Similar names small village - payslips go to wrong houses. Have seen her (freelance) payslips.
I call bollocks.

scallopsrgreat Wed 14-Sep-16 09:53:46

If you have seen her payslip because of post going to the wrong house, that is illegal and you and your cousin are treading on very thin ice. The fact he showed you that too (I'm assuming it was him) is another red flag here. I also cannot believe that post can be that bad in a small village. I've lived in one and if anything the post is better as the postie knows everyone!

There were plenty of facts within these replies about how the sums don't add up (and that is still the case whether you've seen one payslip or not) and about how he is behaving in a controlling manner - wanting to specify what the child maintenance is spent on - especially the quantifiable, visible expenses that make him look good. Classic abuser stunt.

The fact is he is wanting to pay for private school. He really isn't short of a bob or two.

She is receiving benefits because her income is below a certain threshold. If she is self-employed and her income varies then that will be reflected in the benefits she receives. It would also possibly explain the payslip you allegedly saw.

I'd be careful around this. I'm concerned you are only receiving the 'facts' that he wants you to hear. However, if his ex is scamming benefits and he genuinely is being abused then a solicitor is the best option. That and stop pulling illegal stunts like opening his ex-wife's post.

scallopsrgreat Wed 14-Sep-16 09:54:42

Ha Tigger put it more succinctly grin.

TheGruffaloMother Wed 14-Sep-16 12:10:16

So he apparently received a pay slip that wasn't from his workplace, wasn't in his name or even addressed to his home, and he opened it anyway? And showed other people? He isn't showering himself with glory and I assure you, you haven't had all the facts and those that you've been given have been presented in a very provocative way.

You say she earns more than him and receives tax credits but what you mean is she earns well when she's working but she's freelance and claims tax credits when she isn't working. But her circumstances aren't actually at all relevant to what you're asking. Nor are the assets she left the marriage with or the fact that you don't think she takes the DC to museums. You're using emotive reasoning and expecting others to give you a legal stance.

Advise him to discuss the maintenance question with a solicitor and, in the nicest way, back off. You're being fed a very biased version of events that doesn't appear to be completely based in fact.

In the meantime, if the CMS calculation comes out at £800 a month then he's on a bloody cracking wage, especially as we're talking Scotland rather than London. If he's struggling anyway, maybe you could give him some practical help with budgeting so he can start cutting his cloth accordingly? The money for his DC should come before his other expenses.

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