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court order & child maintenance

(7 Posts)
catkin14 Wed 17-Dec-14 22:50:54

I posted on Relationships board but got no reply so I think it wasnt the right place.
I hope this one might be so here goes!

I have been divorced now for nearly a year, and as I have a 15 year old DC part of the court order included his maintenance payment.
On the order it says payments must be made till he is out of full time education or 18 etc and he will be starting college hopefully in september next year.
However the court order is only for a year.
DC lives with me full time and I earn a very low wage so need the payments very much.
I am very confused, do the payment from exh have to continue till DC is 18 despite the court order being only for a year?
A friend has said that the payments for my DC continue till he is 18 but are reviewed at the end of the one year court order incase he has a job or apprenticeship in which case the payments would reduce.
I have spoken to the new CMS and they seem very vague and say we have to sort things out ourselves, which will be very hard as exh wont speak to me.
He was also very EA, a big reason why I left and I do not want anymore contact with him than necessary.

Any help please?

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 18-Dec-14 13:15:11

After the first 12 months either party can go to the CMS to have the maintenance reassessed. It will continue till your DC is 18.

STIDW Thu 18-Dec-14 14:57:19

It depends on the circumstances and exact terms of the Order. Normally the courts have no powers to make an order for child maintenance or to vary it.
So child maintenance can only be agreed as part of a Consent Order settling the finances on divorce and not imposed by a court ruling.

After 12 months of the date of the Consent Order either parent may apply to the new Child Maintenance Service who then calculate child maintenance and notify the courts so the Consent Order ceases to have any effect with regard to child maintenance. Whilst a Consent Order is in effect it is binding and enforceable.

The exceptions are when the Consent Order predates March 2003, there are step-children, one parent lives abroad or care is shared equally 50:50. In those cases the CMS can't progress an application so the Consent Order remains in effect.

catkin14 Thu 18-Dec-14 18:18:38

Thanks for replies.
Does this mean that my exh must apply to the CMS to amend it before he can change the payments?
Atm he pays 15% of salary but I think he can reduce it to 12%? He is a very high earner and I earn minimum wage.
The court order was only February this year but due to his ability to manipulate I need to be prepared.
I am right in thinking that he does still have to pay maintenance for DC till he is 18 though?

STIDW Thu 18-Dec-14 19:43:37

Yes it does mean your ex would need to apply to the CMS and it wold take a couple of months before the Consent Order would cease to have any effect.

Is your husband paying 15% of his net income? Under the old CSA rules child maintenance the non resident parent paid child maintenance at the rate of 15% of their net income for one child minus a deduction if the child stayed with them for more than 52 overnights a year.

All new applications are handled by the Child Maintenance Service under different rules and basic payments are calculated at 12% of the non resident parent's gross income (up to £800/week + a reduced rate over that if memory serves me well ) minus the overnight deductions. The CM Options website has information and tools, including a calculator, to assist separated parents work out child maintenance. There is also a useful leaflet about managing conflict.

Under the CSA/CMS rules children in approved full time non advanced education qualify for child maintenance until they reach the age of 20. "Non advanced education" is A Level standard or less.

catkin14 Thu 18-Dec-14 22:08:17

Thank you.
He pays the amount that was agreed between our solicitors who dealt with the whole divorce. We had a long marriage and exh idea of fair was 75% assets belonged to him and 25% to me so it all had to go through solicitors. So I imagine it is 15% of net salary.
Our DC doesnt spend any nights with his DF, nor even any days, exh can only spare DC a few hours every 2 months despite living only 15 miles from us.
I wont have to get another court order if he doesnt pay will I? I just see another long fight ahead of me, so sorry for so many questions!

STIDW Thu 18-Dec-14 23:31:45

If he doesn't pay whilst the Consent Order is in effect you should be able to enforce the arrears through the courts. However if his circumstances have changed and his income has reduced it makes sense to agree a reduction.

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