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Divorced clean break - no child maintenance?

(13 Posts)
Metalmama Sat 25-Mar-17 11:55:19


I am new here.

I got divorced in 2013, ex had run almost £50k of debt which was unbeknown to me.

He only started to pay child maintenance last year (June) as left town and in with his GF and has since remarried. I got £217 a month, as he said he couldn't afford any more. He earns around £38,000.

The solicitor (who has since gone into liquidation), said my case was the first divorce case she had done. The court order was for a clean break agreement, ex has to pay the mortgage on the property where kids and I live, until youngest complete his full-time education. (Youngest is 8, eldest 18 in FT education).

There is no mention of child maintenance in the order.

When he moved away I emailed asking for CM and he told me he could only afford to pay me £217 a month, even though the online calculator for CM stated it should be twice that amount.

Last week he sent an email saying he had spoken to his solicitor (he never had one when we divorced as couldn't afford it so doubt this is true) and said as he pays the mortgage, he is not going to pay any more CM. I had 15 mins free advice and was told that as nothing was written in the order (very unusual they said), that he could claim that he was paying for the children that way. The solicitor said to call CM, but as nothing was written then it could be revoked.

I have since spoken to Wikivorce who said that this was not unusual and many divorces made no mention of the children. Once my son ha completed his FT education, there is no mention of having to sell and states that both parties need to agree to the sale. My ex also extended the mortgage which means I have to pay it for 7 years. I didn't know he had done this and foolishly signed the papers thinking it was just for a new mortgage.

I spoke to Gingerbread who said my ex could argue that he couldn't afford and get the court order rewritten for £255, and I could lose it all. I am not sure if he could as when I have looked online, it says both parties have to agree to this.

Does anyone know any good family lawyers? I am on a low income and have been quoted from £150-300 and hour when I have rung round. I am on a low income bringing up tow dependents so cannot afford to pay exorbitant fees, nor lose my house.

Has anyone else been through this? Is it even worth me making an application? I am already doing two part-time jobs and am just about managing. I am on just under £4500 per yr.

Please could anyone advise?


Babyroobs Sat 25-Mar-17 12:37:42

I know my firnd did this. At the time of the divorce, she ended up with house paid for outright but no child maintainence for 3 kids. Her ex is a high earner £100k +. She laos missed out on any claim to his extensive pension whilst having no pension herself a sshe was a sahm since having kids. I sometimes think she could have fought for abetter deal given his high earnings.

Babyroobs Sat 25-Mar-17 12:43:08

Also how much is your ex paying for the mortgage per month as that is likely to be a lot more than you should be getting in CM ? I don't think many rp's get both. He could have just stipulated that the house be sold and equity divided at the time of splitting in which case you would have had to try to buy him out of the house or go into rented accomodation . if he is paying the mortgage for the next ten years and paying CM I think you have a pretty good deal.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Sat 25-Mar-17 12:45:16

Also how much is your ex paying for the mortgage per month as that is likely to be a lot more than you should be getting in CM ? I don't think many rp's get both.

That is a good point.

Babyroobs Sat 25-Mar-17 12:46:21

Sorry - Just re-read that he doesn't want to pay CM any more. To be honest depending how much the mortgage is then I think you may be getting a pretty good deal as mortgage/ rent is usually the biggest household bill each month .

PigletWasPoohsFriend Sat 25-Mar-17 12:46:23

He earns around £38,000.

On that salary to have your mortgage paid and CM is a lot.

reallyanotherone Sat 25-Mar-17 12:53:57

As far as i understand, cm supercedes court orders.

As in, even if you agree no cm in a court order, if you take it to the csa they can order child maintenance anyway.

if you take it to the csa though, he may stop paying the mortgage, unless it is written specifically in the court order.

I think you need legal advice on what he has to pay as part of the divorce, separate from cm. then decide whether it's worth going for cm over divorce payments, or whether you'll get both.

Metalmama Sun 26-Mar-17 20:21:04

Thanks all.
The mortgage is £515 a month.
What I don't want to do is shoot myself in the foot so to speak, and end up worse off as am currently doing two jobs to make ends meet.
The court order states he has to pay the mortgage but there is no mention of CM.

Metalmama Sun 26-Mar-17 20:25:07

I also saw this thread:

Quite similar situation, but in my case I pay all the bills.

mrssapphirebright Fri 31-Mar-17 14:32:55

Surely he can only afford to pay what he can pay.

if you put in a claim for CMS and he is ordered to pay twice as much (as you say he should be according to calculations) then surely he won't be able to afford the mortgage payments?

Its likely that he will then stop paying the mortgage or take you back to court to try and revoke your court order. A court will then look at his finances and see if he is able to pay for both the CMS and mortgage and order accordingly.

When you divorced the court would have looked at affordability of both of you. Maybe the mortgage being paid was seen as his contribution.

My dh earns £38k and pays £300 a month to his exw in maintenance for their ds. I'll be honest, are you really asking for your £500 mortgage to be paid and £400 maintenance a month? if so, that sounds way too much.....almost half his salary? seems unlikely a court will order that.

UnicornsShitRainbows Fri 31-Mar-17 14:51:31

crikey, poster above, £300 is low for someone earning 38k a year. my husband pays £209 a month for his son in maintenance and he only earns 19k a year. and we have 4 children to support here.

HeyCat Fri 31-Mar-17 14:54:49

It doesn't sound like you got good legal advice, as you don't seem at all clear on what you actually agreed to.

Even if your lawyer is in liquidation, there is a fund paid for by all lawyers to compensate you if you've had poor advice and can't get damages from the original solicitor. Have a look at the law society or solicitors regulatory authority websites.

mrssapphirebright Fri 31-Mar-17 15:09:11

UnicornsShitRainbows - he is paying about £50 more than the CMS calculator.

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