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Ex threatening Court Action Unless i Agree to His Maintenance Offer

(80 Posts)
Joy5 Fri 04-Oct-13 11:55:40


Been trying to sort the finances out for the past 12 months with my ex (we divorced at the beginning of this year), i made an offer two weeks ago asking for spousal and child maintenace until our youngest leaves FT education in six years. I'm back at university now, and hopeful of getting a much better paid job in two years time, then i can try and improve my credit rating so i'll be able to take on a mortgage on a family size home myself.

My ex is saying (his solicitor has spoken to mine this morning) unless i agree to him ending maintenace when our youngest is 18 is will file court papers next week.

Has anyone been in this position, and braved it out? Did your ex actually file court papers, or did they threaten too but then come to an agreement before doing it?

Really don't know what to do about this, am on a low income and can't afford the legale fees for a court case, but if i agree to my ex's offer, we'll be selling the family home in 3 years time, and trying to rent with my bad credit rating.

Hoping someone whose been in this position can give me some advice.

babybarrister Fri 04-Oct-13 12:52:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lostdad Fri 04-Oct-13 13:18:06

If you have a problem paying legal fees consider using a McKenzie Friend. Google the term and you'll find lots. Phone them up. Ask them what their experience is. Ask for references. Research them.

allnewtaketwo Fri 04-Oct-13 13:20:38

His request to end child maintenance when the youngest is 18 sounds very reasonable. What objection do you have to this?

Joy5 Fri 04-Oct-13 15:09:21

Objecting in that i currently earn under 10k, i don't earn enough to pay the mortgage on the family home, or to move us into a smaller house. When i tried to rent last year, i failed the credit check, which is now even worse has my ex defaulted on a joint loan.

I'm studying at uni, whilst still working so in 2 to 3 years i'll be qualified to apply for a job at 3 times what i'm earning now, and thats just the starting salary.

If my ex supports us for the next six years until our youngest leaves ft education it gives me the time to get the better paid job and then to hopefully re mortgage in my own name.

Thanks lostdad for the suggestion of the Mckensie friend, i'll look into it this weekend.

Know i've got to take my solicitors advice, but would feel better if i knew someone else who'd been in a similar situation and how it worked out for them.

Collaborate Fri 04-Oct-13 16:13:07

In this situation you need legal advice rather than a McKenzie Friend, whose function is to assist you during court proceedings when you are otherwise too emotional to deal properly with it. Most McKenzie Friends will not try and advise you in relation to financial orders on divorce, and the rest to be frank shouldn't.

allnewtaketwo Fri 04-Oct-13 16:44:54

"If my ex supports us for the next six years until our youngest leaves ft education it gives me the time to get the better paid job and then to hopefully re mortgage in my own name."

I'm struggling to see what this has to do with you insisting he pays child maintenance for an over 18yo

JustMe1993 Fri 04-Oct-13 16:51:00

This should help

"let’s say then that your 18-year-old is still studying for A levels and wants to go to university. You would still owe child maintenance for this child because she is in school, non-advanced study and under the age of 19."

As long as your 18yo is still in full time education it says he has to pay as he is still responsible for them.

allnewtaketwo Fri 04-Oct-13 16:56:03

OP are you wanting the CM just to continue up to the end up A levels, or beyond? I got the impression you meant the latter, as it is generally the case that A CM ceases at 18 (unless the student is doing resits)

STIDW Fri 04-Oct-13 17:14:05

Normally the courts have no powers to impose a court order for child maintenance because the CSA/CMS has jurisdiction. IF child maintenance can be agreed it may be included in an order only "by consent." However either party may then apply to the CSA/CMS after 12 months and the consent order ceases to have any effect so an application to the courts could be a waste of time. There are exceptions (including maintenance for over 18s in education) so you really do need to see a solicitor to find out where you stand and what options there are given your particular circumstances.

As far as CSA/CMS rules are concerned a child qualifies for child maintenance until the age of 20 now if they are continuing full time non advanced education (A level standard or less).

Collaborate Fri 04-Oct-13 20:00:08

Is he saying no to child maintenance after 18, or spouse maintenance?

STIDW has it spot on. CSA will deal with child maintenance. The court will deal with spouse maintenance. When the child approaches the end of their high school education they need to be thinking about applying to the court for maintenance to see them through higher education. Personally I think that a law that makes a child take one of their parents to court for financial support is a disgrace, and that the other parent should be able to bring an application to court on their behalf, but that's the law at the moment.

allnewtaketwo Fri 04-Oct-13 22:12:17

"Personally I think that a law that makes a child take one of their parents to court for financial support is a disgrace, and that the other parent should be able to bring an application to court on their behalf"

So do you think that a father should be able to bring a mother to court on behalf of a 19yo, if the mother refuses to financially support the adult 19yo?

Collaborate Sat 05-Oct-13 00:23:08

I don't think a child should be faced with the choice of taking a parent to court it going without funding. It should be up to the resident parent to do that, be they mother or father. To take a parent to court would cause incalculable damage to the parent/child relationship.

allnewtaketwo Sat 05-Oct-13 06:49:59

What if neither parent is "resident". Can the child being both of them to court for money?

Collaborate Sat 05-Oct-13 08:33:25

Yes. The problem with the law at the moment is that it simply doesn't allow for a parent to bring an action on behalf of that child. I'm not advocating the removal of the right of the child to bring an action - merely the protection for kids who need it to go through a parent.

NandH Sat 05-Oct-13 11:18:24

To be honest I think he's got every right to stop paying child maintenance when the child is 18. Your studying and income isn't really of his concern.

No idea why you are getting spouse maintenance when you are no longer his spouse either :-/

I see no problem with his offer.

Joy5 Sat 05-Oct-13 12:19:38

I want nothing more then to be able to support myself, which is why i'm back at university in my late 40s! It will give me the qualification to apply for jobs earning 3 times what i am currently earning, but less then half what my ex is earning now.

I gave up a high paid job nearly ten years ago, to care for my termily ill Dad, i'd been part time since the birth of my eldest child as well, then my son suddenly died five years ago, i reduced my working hours to the minimim, as i was seriously depressed, struggling to cope. That was at my ex's suggestion too, unfortunately he left me 3 years later. My middle son especially has struggled with the death of his brother, more so since he became 'older' then his brother was when he died.

It is impossible to go from earning a small wage, to somehow earning enough to cover a mortgage and all the other household bills overnight, especially when like me, my family has been my main concern. I'm doing everything i can to be able to support my two younger sons, i just need support until i get there, i'm not being unreasonable to expect that, especially given our background.

prh47bridge Sat 05-Oct-13 12:33:58

NandH - Spousal maintenance is for ex-spouses.

BrandybuckCurdlesnoot Sat 05-Oct-13 13:05:58

The OP obviously wants her ex to pay child and spousal maintenance until their youngest child is 21 (and finished Uni if they go). I think you're expecting a lot from your ex OP, sorry.

Not everyone will get spousal support when a marriage ends. It's depends on lots of things. You need legal advice to determine whether you would qualify.

Child maintenance is payable until, maximum, end of A levels if the son/daughter is under 20. He could voluntarily choose to help you or the child through University or be forced to by a court but that would have to be done when the child is due to go to University.

You need legal advice.

honey86 Sat 05-Oct-13 14:02:26

whats wrong with grown up kids (over18s) getting a job to support themselves and learning some independence?

i know a bloke in his mid 20s who still lives with mummy and relys on her to bail him out. i was homeless at 18, and had to do everything myself. no bank of mummy n daddy for me n never did me any harm.

honey86 Sat 05-Oct-13 14:17:31

sorry if that sounds arsey, i just thought it was part of growing up- going to school supported by parents the college/work/training then for the then-grown up kids to support themselves through whatever further choices they may make.

i dont get why the parents should be bickering in court over money neither should have to pay, unless that child is affected by a disability or something :/

Unexpected Sat 05-Oct-13 14:22:56

I think unfortunately your son may have to do what a lot of teens with both parents living together happily do but can't afford their child to go to university - take out maximum loans, work through university and maybe take a gap year at the beginning to earn some money. It's not ideal for your son to feel that his father could, but won't, support him but it doesn't mean that he can't finish his education.

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 05-Oct-13 14:49:06

I actually cant see you being awarded spousal maintainance, you didnt give us a career for your husband but to care for your dad. You are currently working so have the means to self support even if not to previous standards.

No wonder your ex wants to go to court, its the only way he'll get a fair outcome.

babybarrister Sat 05-Oct-13 16:07:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NandH Sat 05-Oct-13 17:19:10

That's fair enough, but I do still think he's being very reasonable.

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