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Maintenance stopped, is this legal??

(16 Posts)
DeFluffMyFanjo Tue 07-Jul-09 13:35:05


All help very gratefully received. My ExH is supposed to pay 15% of his salary plus half of DDs nursery fees monthly to me plus half of holiday club when it is summer. Maintenance is all for dd, not for me I work (hence the need for nursery and holiday club). This amount was agreed and is in a consent order.

He was also supposed to pay £900 to me back in Feruary for his half of the divorce costs. He was supposed to pay this in one lump sum but I said he could pay £100 monthly.

He was made redundant 3.5 months ago. He paid the maintenance until end of June and the first £500 of the £900 but is now not paying. He has said he has no money and no job. Ive asked him why he cant get a factory job or driving or bar work to tide him over till he can get the job he wants (hes a solicitor) but he wont respond.

I have just put a small claims court in for the £400 outstanding of the £900. Summer holiday club costs have come in at £340 and Ive requested his half but hes said 'no money, sorry'. He is also not now paying the normal maintenance or nursery fees,

My question is, is this allowed?? I understand he has been made redundant but I cant afford to pay all nursery and holiday club fees myself and also I cant afford to support my daughter without any contribution from him. Can he really just pay nothing? Is there anything I can do? I'm having to take out a loan and this seems really unfair as Im working long hours every week.

Any suggestions very welcome x

MilleniumHandNShrimp Tue 07-Jul-09 13:41:04

I have no idea of the legal position regarding maintenance, but could you contact CTC and see if this makes you eligible. You may well get some help towards childcare costs.

Sorry I can't be more use

DeFluffMyFanjo Tue 07-Jul-09 13:42:46

Thank you, I will try ctc.

Surfermum Tue 07-Jul-09 13:48:28

I don't know how consent orders work, but how can he be expected to continue paying at the same level if he's not working? He can't give you what he doesn't have.

And if he isn't working why can't he have your dd instead so you won't have the cost of nursery and summer club?

DeFluffMyFanjo Tue 07-Jul-09 13:52:11


I dont expect him to keep paying the same amount obviously, hence me suggesting jobs such as packing in a factory etc. I understand these would mean less maintenance for our dd (its 15% of his wages therefore goes down when his wages go down). However, he has now been unemployed for 3.5 months, do you think he couldnt have found some work in that time??

He can't have dd in holidays / instead of nursery because unfortunately he chose to move 250 miles away from us. He could, of course, have her for say a week, but he would not do this.

ShowOfHands Tue 07-Jul-09 13:53:44

It's income based isn't it? Maintenance I mean. If he has no income he can't give money to you. Friend used to get the same as you and now gets £2.50 p/w per child as her xdp was made redundant.

Could he have dd for you while he's not working?

ShowOfHands Tue 07-Jul-09 13:54:54


DeFluffMyFanjo Tue 07-Jul-09 13:59:51

Thanks ShowofHands. I think you're right it is income based. I just cant believe that he can (in my mind) choose not to get a job and not have to pay any money for his dd. Also what sort of person would want to do that?? Id seen posters before saying their exs gave them say £5 a month and I just couldnt believe it. Shows how naive I was.

Sorry, Im a bit emotional trying to work out how the hell we afford the week camping we were going on next week.

CarGirl Tue 07-Jul-09 14:06:24

Why are you paying nursery costs etc when he is not working, get him to look after her.

Surfermum Tue 07-Jul-09 14:14:00

Maybe he's got some interviews lined up or is doing some training now so he can apply for something? It sounds like he's choosing not to tell you the detail of anything, but that doesn't mean he isn't doing it, so this might be a temporary thing.

Contacting the Tax Credits people is a good idea, you might be entitled to more money now or like Millenium says, help with the childcare costs.

It must be a big worry for you though if you are going to be strugging for money. Have you looked at other ways you can cut back?

silverfrog Tue 07-Jul-09 14:15:28

3.5 months isn't that long to have been looking for work, given the general job situation.

there was a thread very similar to this a little while ago, actually. htink it ended up saying the same thing - if he hasn't got the money, he can't pay you.

Katelyn Tue 07-Jul-09 14:36:42

I don't think he will be asked to pay. My Husband has been out of work, for over a year due to the current climate and has therefore paid no maintenance to his ex partner - I have a job but it just covers our own expenses.

Yes, he could accept a job in a factory but he is not 'obligated to' - you can try, but I think the courts will say the same...


Surfermum Tue 07-Jul-09 14:38:48

I think he ought to be keeping you in the loop about things so you aren't worrying unnecessarily, and so you can make some plans about what your income is likely to be - but I know it's not always that easy after a break-up if things are acrimonious.

mumoverseas Tue 07-Jul-09 14:53:05

If as you say the maintenance (and money ref divorce costs you paid) is set out in the consent order then it is not like the CSA in that he technically and legally still needs to pay it and it doesn't cease or reduce on his unemployment.

If he is not going to pay, he needs to make an application to the Court to vary the Consent Order and until he does, he is still liable. One would have thought that as a Solicitor he would have known that and known he couldn't just say he couldn't/wouldn't pay hmm

You could technically apply to the Court (family/county Court) with regards to his non payment (not sure why you've issued small claims court application) but at the end of the day, its unlikely they will order him to pay it if he has no income. I do agree however he should be looking for some sort of work.

My neighbour is a highly qualified/skilled IT worker who was made redundant from his city job last October. He has just started working as a seasonal baggage handler because as he says, at least he is out of the house and earning, even if it isn't his ideal job.

good luck to you

DeFluffMyFanjo Tue 07-Jul-09 16:21:33

Thank you for all your responses.

Think a big part of my anger is that he just says 'no money sorry' and thats that. Ive tried explaining to him that if I did that too the mortgage / nursery fees / bills etc wouldnt get paid and then what would happen?

I used small claims court because it only cost £35 to pursue him for the debt, i thought it i went back through original court and used solicitor it would cost me a fortune.

And he doesnt keep me in the loop. He just says hes 'trying'. Theres a lot of history there as well, fortnight ago he was supposed to come up and see dd but he said he couldnt afford it, weekend after he was at a stag weekend all weekend.

Think will have to tighten belts and just try to keep going for as long as it takes.

Thanks again

trixymalixy Tue 07-Jul-09 23:25:40

Sorry to hear this, but if he's not earning then how do you expect him to pay you?

Times are tough at the moment and jobs are scarce, i have heard of people being turned down for shelf stacking jobs that they applied to to tide themselves over and being turned down as they are very overqualified for the job. In this market employers can pick and choose so why would they employ someone who is quite clearly going to move onto a better job as soon as they can?

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