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can he quit his job to get legal aid?

(22 Posts)
WelshCat Thu 30-Jun-11 19:16:14

another EXP thing from me, sorry but its all kicking off this week and inm so confused..

EXP and I have fallen out, over him refusing to pay me various amounts he promised when we agreed on contact.

but he has refused to pay me, i didnt even threaten him with no access/court etc. i just said i was gonna speak to my solicitor to see where i stand.

so she told me he would quit his (well paid) job, sign on to get legal aid and take me to court. also he said i would be f**cked then coz i would only get £5 a week.

im just wondering can someone quit their job to get legal aid? i didnt think you could sign on if you quit your job...

somedayillbesaturdaynite Thu 30-Jun-11 19:36:14

You don't HAVE to receive benefits to claim Legal Aid. And he wouldn't be penalised by the Legal Services Commission for quitting his job. All they're interested in is that he has a low income and a viable case. If he tried to take you to Court for access/contact when it is already offered to him, there is no case. However, with no job he would only have to pay you a maximum of £5pw (to be split if he has dc by another woman), and you would have to make a claim to the CSA to enforce. It's sadly not unheard of for NRPs to cease employment to avoid paying maintenance, and in the view of the Court, not paying does not equal no right to access. Probably not what you wanted to hear, sorry.

sunshineandbooks Thu 30-Jun-11 21:27:43

Do you think this is likely? Even if he can claim for legal aid, would he really want to shoot himself in the foot by giving up his job? You're quite right that he won't be able to sign on and claim benefits for 6 months if he quits, so would it be worth him having 6 months of no income just so he can get legal aid? Sounds very much to me like he's trying to call your bluff and intimidate you. Besides which, he'd have to pretty damn quick because before long you won't be able to claim legal aid for family law unless it involves DV.

WelshCat Thu 30-Jun-11 22:05:39

someday, im open to opinions, i know nothing about this sort of thing. i have not told him he cannot see DS, as i dont want to mess DS around giving access then no access etc. i have survived this long looking after DS on my own with no help from him so im sure as hard as it will be i can carry on, i just dont think its fair for him to treat DS and I this way, and im annoyed that there is nothing to stop him.

sunshine, i did not know that legal aid was changing? sucks for the likes of me coz thats how i get my legal advice. i dont know if he is trying to call my bluff, he is so mean sometimes i usually just cave and let him have what he wants, which is how he got access without going to court anyway. but i dont want DS to suffer in all of this, and while now he is young enough not to know, i worry about the future if EXP is so inconsistant etc. i cant understand why he would quit his job and threaten me with court when all i asked is for the money he promised me.

niceguy2 Thu 30-Jun-11 22:10:15

Ok, first of all you have to assess how likely he is to actually do this. people with well paid jobs will rarely just quit their job. Esp in the current climate. The one's who generally do are the ones who are either in disguised employment or low paid jobs (less to lose). Those with better paid jobs usually have grown to have expensive things like cars, mortgage/rent, holidays etc. And the drop to JSA is too harsh to contemplate.

Secondly what do you mean by "refusing to pay me various amounts..." He should be paying you one maintenance payment which hopefully is roughly in line with what the CSA calculator says. If it's more complicated than that then you are setting yourself up for a fail.

As i often say, never ever rely upon maintenance for essential bills. Because in doing so your ex will have an undue amount of influence over your life.

Oh and lastly if he did quit his job, he wouldn't get JSA/benefits for a set period of time so technically he's no income so he probably wouldn't be even be liable for the fiver a week.

WelshCat Thu 30-Jun-11 22:19:41

when i say various amounts, i was trying to avoid a super long post. short story is he saw DS the day he was born then denied he was the father til DS was 9mnths, then said he was and wanted to see him, we were gonna go to court but i told him if he would pay me back manitenance (£1100) and set up weekly payments in accordance with CSA calc we could set up regular access. he agreed to this several times and told me he had been saving for such and event.

but when i asked for the money, as i am due to move next week into unfurnished home, he told me no. escalated into a row where i basically told him i expected him to uphold his side as i had agreed to access. but i think he knows i wont stop access as i wouldnt do that to DS, so he is pushing it as he doesnt want to pay. i just think, as we settled it and agreed to prevent expensive court cases, he should have done as he said he would, or not agreed to it in the first place. so all these threats and job quitting things have upset me.

also, he is the sort of dodgy guy who always has money from somewhere, and never says where, so i am not sure if he wouldnt quit, as he never seems short of cash. which is another reason im annoyed he wont just pay toward DS.

mrscolour Thu 30-Jun-11 22:37:21

He would be pretty stupid to quit his job to spite you in the current financial climate but separation seems to cause some men to do strange things.

A friend of mine who was a family solicitor advised me always to keep money and children separate as much as possible. So unfortunately there may not be a case for him paying you the money you need. And if he's anything like my ex, the more he realises that you need the money, the more he will hold it back. Have you involved the CSA at any point?

I think I'd agree with Niceguy's advice to try not to rely on maintenance.

Sorry I can't say anything more positive cos he's obviously being very unreasonable.

somedayillbesaturdaynite Thu 30-Jun-11 23:04:03

Sorry WelshCat, I was just trying to give you some facts of how the Courts see the maintenance/access issues.

I have a proven history of DV with my XP and have never received a penny in maintenance. He still has a right to contact though (according to the courts, not my personal opinion).

WelshCat Fri 01-Jul-11 15:31:27

he just told me if i go to the CSA ill get much less money as he doesnt declare most of his income. ugh. he seems pretty afraid of getting anyone official involved.

AdamJaySusan Fri 01-Jul-11 15:45:43

contact and cash have nothing to do with each other, he should pay if he owes, so go to CSA. You cant say to a judge 'i dont want him to see my son as he isnt good at paying bills'.

WelshCat Fri 01-Jul-11 21:27:51

i never said that. i didnt even tell him he couldnt see DS... thats not the issue here.

gillybean2 Sat 02-Jul-11 08:48:53

The CSA will only back date the claim to the day you contact them. SO you can pretty much wave bye bye to the 'promised' money.
Accept now that you won't see it.

Is he paying anything right now? If he is, if he pays it regularly withouta fuss and it is in line with the CSA guidelines, and you are both happy that it is a reasonable amount for your dc, then you should probably just carry on with that I'm afraid.
If he is not paying anything, and/or it is sporadic, and/or it causes big conflict between you, and/or you feel he is using it to control you or hold you back in some way... then go to the CSA. Don't discuss it further as it is clearly leading to un-necessary conflict between you.

If he's not paying anyhow then you're not going to be much worse off going to the CSA.

And yes if he was on JSA allowance he would have to pay £5 only. But he wouldn't get JSA if he quit a job he already has.

Re contact, what is the conflict there. Yes he could apply for legal aid (presumably he's looked at a solicitor and decided it's too expensive) so there must be some disagreement on contact and how it is working. If there is a lot of conflict and no agreement can be reached then he ay have a case for getting legal aid. But if you are reaonable with what you are offering, are not being obstructive etc, you could argue that he shouldn't be entitled to teh legal aid. Hence why I ask what you are offering (as not everyone's idea of reasonable would be considered so by court - yours and his ideas obviously don't match up right now...)

WelshCat Sat 02-Jul-11 10:43:37

he gets three afternoons as week at the moment, with me there as he has only just met DS. planning on gradually introducing alone time as DS gets to know him etc.

we had an argument because although he is paying weekly maintenance, he never puts it in my bank on the right day and its always short by a random amount of pounds. when i said i would rather it be done through the csa he told me he would quit his job so i get less money and get legal aid to take me to court etc etc.

not really sure what he is hoping to achieve by taking me to court, i think he doesnt want CSA knowing about his income as he has always been a little on the didgy side and im not sure he declares a lot of his income. so maybe he is just trying to stop me going to CSA, i dont know.

gillybean2 Sat 02-Jul-11 12:27:55

Ask him to please pay the agreed amount on teh agreed day. Suggest he sets up a standing order to be paid to your bank so he doesn't 'forget' if that is easier for him.
POint out you weould prefer not to go to the CSA, but it will make much easier for you if you didn't have to keep asking/reminding him and so if he can't stick to the agreement you'll have little choice.

Also point out that quitting his job won't help him fulfill his parental responsibilities, including the financial ones, to his child. But if that's what he chooses to do then so be it. (ie make out you're not too bothered by it but that it is not your responsibility if that's what he chooses because 'you made me by going to the CSA')

WelshCat Sat 02-Jul-11 17:18:26

he says he wont set up a standing order coz his bank wanna charge him £15 to do it, pretty sure that not true.. i may be better of going to the CSA anyway, even if i get less money, coz he just seems to throw obstacles infront of everything..

gillybean2 Sun 03-Jul-11 04:47:39

Sounds like a control thing. And when you've found a way to get around that control (CSA) he's decided to threaten you to scare you out of doing it. He sounds lovely... hmm

WelshCat Sun 03-Jul-11 20:45:40

lol yeah he's defo one of those 'what was i thinking' exes. i have come to the conclusion that even if i end up with no money, i will not let him piss me off or upset me.

on a slightly different note, i heard they are changing the rules about legal aid so you will only be able to get it if domestic violence is involved? anyone know if this is true and when will they be doing that?

gillybean2 Sun 03-Jul-11 23:56:23

Not heard that, but I can see a rise in false DV claims if that is the case...

DollyTwat Mon 04-Jul-11 00:09:38

My ex quit his job once there was an attachment of earnings.
He owes me £3500 in arrears which he wants me to now write off, or he can't get a job ( without them taking the money)
He tells a good sob story
However it's me he owes the money to, so I shan't be falling for it

WelshCat Mon 04-Jul-11 14:44:21

its madness isnt it. if they were the ones raising the children they would be forking out a hell of a lot more than they are charged in maintenance. but they would rather see themselves out of work and skint than pay us.

i genuinely think my ex thinks i dont need the money, and that im trying to rip him off..

DollyTwat Mon 04-Jul-11 15:46:01

Once my ex had the boys for a week and was making a fuss that he had no money to take them out and that I should give him some. So I said of course, I'll give you the £5 you give me back
He had the cheek to ask what he could do for £5

Exactly grin

WelshCat Mon 04-Jul-11 17:18:53

hahaha its funny aint it. i told my ex how much i get in benefits to live on, as he was claiming poverty saying he only got paid £500, that WEEK. lol he was shocked. not shocked enough to pay me though!

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