Maintenance nightmare; any advice please?(5 Posts)
It's been an age since I've posted on here, but I hope someone on here will be able to help me. In a nutshell, my ex and I divorced in 2009. The solicitor ordered that he pay me £300 per month in total for our 3 children (this was 25% of his net income at the time). He went about a year unemployed (it was his decision to resign from a reasonably well paid job to claim JSA in order to move in and live with his new woman) and didn't pay me a penny during that time. He then found a job locally to her and started paying again.
In April this year, he and his new woman moved to Bournemouth, meaning he resigned once again from his job and was unemployed for a couple of months. He and his woman married in August. He had told me prior to their move that she had a large sum of money (circa £300k) from the sale of her house (enough to purchase another, to rent in the area, and live mortgage free). The issue I have is he is now in arrears and as far as I can see, has no intention of upholding the agreement of £300 per month.
I am, as far as I'm aware, powerless to do anything about this. He is currently working again, but his basic pay is £250 per week (with very healthy bonuses if he achieves targets and chooses to be honest about them!) I was wondering if, now he's remarried, the new 'income' from his wife would be taken into account if I approached CSA? As a low earner (part time teaching assistant), albeit receiving child and working tax credits, I'm struggling to make ends meet without regular payment from him, and with Christmas approaching, I'm starting to panic!
Any advice would be gratefully received. Thank you.
I'm a little confused by your OP - a solicitor can't "order" anything, so the £300 is likely to be a private arrangement which cannot be enforced.
The CSA a calculation is based on the sole income of the NRP - and will variy according to their income.
Unless the £300 was court ordered, there's no way of enforcing CM being paid at that level.
When child maintenance was agreed in a consent order settling the finances on divorce the order remains in effect and is enforceable unless it is either varied or superseded by a CSA/Child Maintenance Service assessment/calculation.
Where a consent order is in effect arrears of payments may be enforced through the courts, whereas if you apply to the CMS there is no back dating before the time they notify the paying parent of the application.
As far as the new wife is concerned her income has no relevance for a CMS assessment. The calculation is based on the paying parent's taxable gross income lone. If there are children living in the paying parent's household an allowance is deducted from their income before the usual child maintenance calculation.
Thanks for your replies, all. The £300 per month was agreed in the consent order but I wasn't sure if this would still be valid (the divorce was finalised in October 2010). I will give my solicitor a call and check with her. As for his new wife's money, I appreciate your responses and you've confirmed what I already suspected (I agree it wouldn't be fair but wanted to check as before moving, my ex said that she would be happy to 'cover him' and pay my maintenance until he found a job). This hasn't happened though. They have no children living with them; she has some, but they're over the age of 18 now and don't live at home.
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