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he's completely ignoring the Consent Order!

(6 Posts)
unicornspooprainbows Fri 27-Nov-15 21:05:16

So I sent my X adjustments for this year's spousal and child maintenance as I was advised by my solicitor to do a year ago when the consent order was agreed. And received this back

'I reiterate I am not in a position to pay you any more than I currently do so if you wish to increase maintenance beyond the current level at any point, whatever might have been discussed before, we will need to go to court. I have resisted this before but feel that this is the point where I have no further option.  The settlement as you will know is only binding for one year'

WTF?? What planet is he on? I also reminded him that if I lose Tax Credits the consent order says he needs to match each £1 lost by half. So he's refusing to do this too.

Binding for a year?? The order talks about when my youngest DC finishes tertiary education! So where is he getting this from?

So angry at his stupidity. He didn't use a solicitor for the divorce, so I footed the bill. He clearly has no idea what he signed.

Please someone..,,,calm me down/pour cold water on me/tell me he can't do this/tell me where I stand.

changename54 Fri 27-Nov-15 21:23:15

I'm not a lawyer, but I also got this advice when I agreed spousal/child maintenance i.e. that consent orders (no matter what they say) are actually only binding for a year. So, it may say that your XH will pay you £x between now and 2030 (say) but either party can go back to court as long as it's at least a year later and ask for the whole issue to be revisited if there's been a change in circumstances.

When you say you asked him to make amendments to the maintenance calculations, I assume that's just inflation is it? In which case, presumably the change is very small indeed? Do you know if his earnings have changed much this year? If this is not a bluff on his part and he really will struggle to pay any extra, it might be worth thinking about letting this slide, as the cost of you both going to court is likely to be so much more than a few extra pounds a month. Also, if you do go to court there's always the risk that a judge will completely recalculate everything based on the figures as they are today.

I've had similar run-ins with my XH over the years and ultimately decided not to insist on the spousal maintenance, even though the consent order said it was for life. Lots of XHs hate the idea of paying money to their XWs, but don't mind paying a sum which is classified as "child maintenance".

unicornspooprainbows Fri 27-Nov-15 21:41:31

Thank you changename this is a bit of a shock to be honest. I paid £15k for a document that's only valid for a year? I did not realise this at all...feeling incredibly conned tbh.

You are right though just inflation, so it's for the princely sum of £8.39 a month, (£100 a year) no biggie, but it's the principle that from here on in he will just disregard the order. I will let this slide as it's not worth it, but begs the question, where does it stop? Doesn't really empower me or make me feel secure. What about when I lose my tax credits which he agreed to match by half each pound lost? I will be £800 a month worse off.
Infuriating that we can be left like this. So unjust.

prh47bridge Sat 28-Nov-15 08:52:19

Your ex can go back to court to ask for spousal maintenance to be reduced. He would need to show that his circumstances have changed. Until he applies to court he remains liable for the amount of spousal maintenance stated in the consent order including any adjustments set out in the order and you can apply to the courts for enforcement.

He cannot go to the courts to get the child maintenance changed. He can, however, apply to the CMS (Child Maintenance Service). If he does so their calculation will replace the consent order. Until he applies to the CMS the consent order applies and can be enforced.

From your posts it sounds like your ex has not applied to the courts for a variation regarding spousal maintenance, nor has he applied to the CMS regarding child maintenance. He must therefore continue to comply with the order in full.

changename54 Sat 28-Nov-15 10:32:20

Re losing your tax credits - only single people without children are being moved over to universal credit at the moment. People with DCs already claiming tax credits are at the very end of the list of groups to be migrated onto UC, so I reckon it will only happen in 2019-20. As you know, your spousal maintenance will count as "income" then, although child maintenance will still be disregarded. So if your spousal maintenance is significant it may be that you'll lose some money (although not all of it, I guess). However, there's something called Transitional Protection which is supposed to ensure that no-one who is forced to migrate onto UC loses out. Whether this will actually apply in practice to people with spousal maintenance remains to be seen.

So I reckon, as long as your circumstances remain the same (you don't get a new partner, you carry on working the same number of hours etc) you will get tax credits for the next 3 years or so and then should be protected when you are forced onto UC. I wouldn't bank on the UC system though, so you'd be best advised to make plans to increase your income if at all possible in 3 years' time.

Sounds like you are at the beginning of your divorce settlement. Getting income from your XH over the coming years will depend to a large extent on goodwill on his part. Plenty of XHs become self-employed and claim penury to reduce the money they have to pay. Others, like mine, go and live overseas. So appearing to be reasonable in the face of any changes, may well mean you get more money out of him long-term. I know it shouldn't have to be like that - it's just my experience. Other people may feel they have done better by going in all guns blazing and taking their Xs to court every time there's a problem. You will know your XH best and what is likely to work best with him. I would just say to think carefully before you act, if this is going to be a long-term financial arrangement.

unicornspooprainbows Sat 28-Nov-15 11:01:32

Thank you bridge that is good to know. I'm no sure what he hopes to achieve in court, circumstances have not changed, the consent order was fair, ensuring both parties have similar disposable income. Except ours is a household of 3, while he is on his own. Not sure how he thinks courts will grant a reduction.

Thank you change the UC is the contentious issue here, there is a clause that says if I lose Tax Credits he should match each pound lost by 50p. He's not happy with this now. But yes I too understood that it could be years yet, and that I may be legible for Transition Protection in any event (fingers crossed). I've just sent him an email explaining this so hopefully he'll calm down now. I also reminded him that current order is fair and reasonable and he is still liable to keep to it, until a new one is in place, although given the current one is fair and there are no change of circumstances I'm not.sure what good will come of trying to reduce it. Hopefully it will help him to be reasonable.
Your ex sounds lovely! It's just so unjust that that we give up careers to bring up the DC and support the XH on their career path, only to be treated like this.

As little contact as possible is the best way to go with my ex (he was EA)......I wish he would move overseas! That would be a dream come true wink

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