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Threatening to not pay maintenance

(6 Posts)
seaweedthins Sat 06-Dec-14 20:40:11

Hi there, can anyone advise me on child maintenance, and what happens if you're ex misses payments? It's theoretical for me at the moment as we've only separated this summer, and due to joint finance stuff (long story) we've agreed Ex-H will start paying next spring when we've sold our house.

However, he's already started to make silly threats about not paying - it's like he's testing me out.

So, my Q is, what options do I have if he fails to pay up? I've heard the CMS is very slow and a bit of a waste of time - no idea if true.

I'm on a low income - he earns around £58k a year - and I will really need the money. He's also self employedhmm

cauliflowerfairy Sat 06-Dec-14 23:37:51

How disgusting of him, I'm really sorry to hear that op. Punishing the kids to get at you is just abhorrent.

what I would do is quite immoral probably in some ways but probably best by your kids. Drop the issue completely, if hethreatens anything stay calm n don't respond, or say "ok well then I will have to manage alone." In the meantime, go to the cms behind his back. They take the his info direct from hmrc I understand these days, bypassing the other parent.... They will calculate the amount he must pay from his tax records.

Now he can always ring them and say his circumstances have changed but this will have to be reflected in the independent info they get from hmrc.and there are some appeals you can make if you have proof his lifestyle doesn't reflect his declared earnings.

Good luck - I know it can be a minefield trying to get maintenance from someone self employed sometimes. But definitely go through cms and don't think twice..or feel any guilt, it's really nasty that he's threatening you like that

seaweedthins Sun 07-Dec-14 00:09:25

Hi Cauliflowerfairy

Thanks very much for your message. I didn't realise the CMS could go direct to hmrc to get income info - is that even with self employed people do you know? It's reassuring to think I might be able to go through them - up to now, I've been thinking of the unofficial 'name and shame' route ie: posting up flyers with a pic of him outside his office announcing 'this man doesn't pay for his kids', or emailing his staff to let them know what type of man they work for. Probably illegal but the whole thing makes me so angry tbh.

Whatever happens, I will have to take some action - and no, no guilt or anxiety here over that! Making life hard financially for kids while his life carries on just fine is totally abhorrent as you say. Sadly far too many men appear to still get away with ithmm

STIDW Sun 07-Dec-14 01:16:40

Sadly it isn't uncommon for divorcing couples to make threats to withhold finances or contact with the children depending on what they feel they have some control over. Often they are angry but the anger may be secondary to more primary emotions of uncertainty or fear, say of how they will manage financially or because of uncertainties about seeing the children. During the initial two years after separation there can be a lot of chaos which tends to settle down if at least one parent can focus on the interests of children.

First thing is the house shouldn't be sold until there is a legally binding settlement in place to determine how the equity is to be shared. Alternatively the proceeds of the sale can be held in a solicitor's client account. If you haven't already done so you really should see a family lawyer who can tell you where you stand and what options there are in your particular circumstances.

Child maintenance can be agreed as part of the divorce settlement which is legally binding and enforceable once it has been ratified by a court and turned into a Consent Order. That will see you at least through for fourteen months. The courts have more powers to ask for information than the CMS so it can be easier to enforce through the courts when the payer of maintenance is self employed. After 12 months of the date of the order either parent can apply to the Child Maintenance Service, the CMS notifies the court and the Consent Order ceases to have any effect with regard to child maintenance.

Naming and shaming is a form of harassment/pestering which may result in police involvement and/or an injunction taken out against you.

STIDW Sun 07-Dec-14 01:20:47

BTW it may be possible for the courts to make an order that your husband pays for your legal services if you have little income and he has resources available. If you are on a low income you could be eligible for legal aid for mediation.

CupidStuntSurvivor Mon 08-Dec-14 01:03:36

I would and did do exactly what cauli advises. Let him think you're accepting he holds the cards, then let the CMS pull the rug from under his feet. They did it all very quickly for me...I had an angry message from the ex within a couple of days of starting the claim. Took a while to finalise it but it he then had to pay arrears back to my original claim date and stopped assuming he was all-powerful.

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