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Please help me be brave & confront H (title edited by MNHQ)

(47 Posts)
januarycat Tue 18-Feb-14 22:40:35

On the advice of my solicitor, I need to ask H if he would prefer to get CSA involved or sort something out (temporarily) between us regarding child maintenance.

He hasn't paid anything into my bank account since before christmas. We have always lived in seperate houses. 10 yrs ago I gave up a career to bring up our DCs (aged 10 & 2). He said from the start that he knew how important my independence was & would always pay above what I could earn.

He has paid the same amount monthly over the past 10yrs, even though bills have increased & I have subsidised the income with my savings. the extent that I no longer have any savings.

I am now totally dependent on him financially.
He is angry with me - withholding money. Its almost 8 weeks now - I'm selling things on ebay but I'm in a lot of debt because of this - surviving on my overdraft, which now has £2 approx available. i'm juggling debts.

I can't believe I have been so stupid to be in this situation now. I think my solicitor is a good one, although expensive. She has experience of dealing with dom violence cases. BUT I am just so very scared. he isn't physically violent (apart from when i have woken up & he was having sex with me - I can only confide that here - never in RL) but 3yrs ago when i wanted to get divorced persuaded me not to with threats to take the DCs. he is now doing what I think is thinly veiled threats - telling the DCs they are australian (H has dual (UK & OZ) citizenship. he recently got OZ citizenship for DCs.

I'm sorry that this is all over the place. My instincts are telling me for some reason I need to act quickly (???)

OvertiredandConfused Tue 18-Feb-14 23:25:53

No practical advice I'm afraid, just don't want to read and run.

Have you looked at options to work, if only part-time. Are you claiming all the benefits to which you're entitled?

Offred Tue 18-Feb-14 23:26:49

Why do you need to ask him? Just go to The child maintenance service (new name I think?) now. They won't backdate so you need to do it sooner rather than later. He has stopped paying, it isn't like you have recently left and are asking him what is best in a new situation. Protect yourself before pandering to his temper.

Offred Tue 18-Feb-14 23:28:13

If you are married he is legally obliged to financially support you too given you are SAHM. You need to start the ball rolling with court orders for spousal support too.

januarycat Tue 18-Feb-14 23:35:52

I only decided y'day re divorce. My solicitor advised that I give him a choice regarding maintenance. Csa or privately.

Offred Tue 18-Feb-14 23:45:10

Why though? I'm interested in the reasoning from someone who is supposedly experienced with dv. It isn't normal to encourage people to have unnecessary communication with their abuser or make themselves dependent on their abuser's whim and wish by having private arrangements which have not previously worked.

He has stopped paying the maintenance he previously paid. That's the appropriate time to involve the agency. He isn't going to suddenly say "oh yes, I will reconsider my decision to abandon my children financially now that you mention it" he will likely string you along or use it as an opportunity to abuse you further by making you beg for it and threatening to stop/stopping in the future.

You are entitled to maintenance, with the history of serious abuse and his current behaviour (cutting you off financially as a punishment) I would not give him any further opportunity to abuse you further.

Offred Tue 18-Feb-14 23:46:23

And I would be trying to lock him in using outside agencies in order to prevent money being an avenue for him to further abuse you.

GilmoursPillow Wed 19-Feb-14 02:21:38

You have the children's passports, yes?

januarycat Wed 19-Feb-14 07:30:03

Thank you so much for the advice. I'll contact child maintenance service today. Just terrified of his reaction. I have zero confidence.

Theas18 Wed 19-Feb-14 07:34:12

Bugger the "choice" he doesn't seem like someone who will stick to a plan, but use it manipulate you and keep you dependent and grateful... CSA all the way!

Offred Wed 19-Feb-14 08:14:39

I'm interested in why the solicitor said to give him a choice though? She will have undoubtedly had more information than us.

Have you got emotional support from women's aid?

43percentburnt Wed 19-Feb-14 08:20:48

Where are your children's passports?

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 19-Feb-14 08:46:13

I'm not sure whether your solicitor is giving you bad advice because they are a bad solicitor or whether it's because they don't know the full story e.g the sexual abuse. In a DV case, you see, with a hostile ex-partner I'd have thought the CSA route would be far preferable to a private arrangement for maintenance. Was the private arrangement formalised legally?

januarycat Wed 19-Feb-14 20:17:29


H has one of the Dcs passports. I have downloaded a form to fill out to state that it is lost. Not sure if this is the way to go? as I'm not sure if H signed DCs passport, if he did, the passport office need him to confirm that it is lost. Maybe there is another way - I am in panic mode at the moment, so not really thinking very clearly.

Solicitor advised that I give H a choice btwn privately arranging child maintenance or going CSA route because of his very complicated financial/tax set up, I think (?) on paper (with the help of a 'good' accountant) he can make it seem that he earns only a small amount, in reality I know he earns £100K+ pa, has lots of property, off shore accounts & businesses.

Solicitor doesn't know the true extent of the abuse. There is NO way i could sit face to face with anyone & tell them.

H will be here to see the Dcs at the weekend. he won't accept that the marriage is over.

Offred Thu 20-Feb-14 14:18:57

Hmm... I can't see that it would make much difference then to go with enforcement over a private arrangement. If he wants to not pay then he'll minimise his income with you or the enforcement agency I would think. The advantage of the enforcement agency would be that they have powers to investigate his true income and force him to comply against his will.

It is true that if he has complicated arrangements he will probably be able to find a way to avoid paying no matter what but I think her suggestion was to try not to piss him off so he would be more open not to hiding his income. He's already pissed off and has decided not to pay at all so I think you don't have much to lose really!

Re the passports, you need to try and get hold of them really and see if you can get a residency order and maybe anything else to try and prevent him taking them out of the country.

Although if he doesn't want to pay for the kids he may not be likely to want to take them away.

Offred Thu 20-Feb-14 14:21:28

Please tell the solicitor everything so she can act in your best interests. You will still be able to control who she tells or doesn't or records if you speak to her about your wishes but she can't give you the right help if you don't tell her all of it.

I was in the same position. I told about rape which I didn't want mentioned in court (stupidly, wish I had now) and it was kept confidential but it helped my solicitor understand what I needed.

Lavenderhoney Thu 20-Feb-14 14:32:40

The problem with asking privately then going through an agency is that he will have time to hide assets. Plus its more expensive to argue through a solicitor. He isn't paying anything now, so there doesn't seem any reason to appeal to his better nature.

Depending on where he lives he will have to give full disclosure, or his bank (s) will.

Can you get a child residency order in place? And tell your solicitor your fears, if you don't she may not advise you in your best interests simply because she doesn't know your history.

januarycat Fri 21-Feb-14 19:54:11

You will never know how much you have helped me. your advice has been invaluable. Offred, I'm so sorry you have been through what you have.

Im still in some sort of fog.

I spoke to child maintenance services today & have got the ball rolling.

Today I asked H (one last chance) if he would give me some money.He refused. I told him Child Support would be in touch. He said he did'nt care - because he would not have to pay any money because I had refused to sell the car he had bought me (??)

He believes he is above the law.
This is coming from an 'educated' man in his early 60s. He's a high earner. Am I being thick & missing something?


Offred Fri 21-Feb-14 20:19:56

No, you're not thick. Unfortunately you are falling into the trap a lot of mums do in trying to handle things with regard to everyone's feelings and being reasonable when your ex is manipulative and unreasonable.

I did this. I didn't claim child support until my dc were 5 and 6. We split when the eldest was 8 months. In that whole time he paid perhaps a total of £500, the majority around a year before I contacted CSA but he gradually gave up that.

Like an idiot he built up loads of arrears with CSA and wouldn't sort it out, kept lying to them. I, like a mug spoke to them on his behalf begging them to be as lenient as possible with the arrears payments because he was getting married! Still he kept lying to me and them. Eventually they garnished his wages and it has been consistent ever since and I think actually improved things because it is out of both of our hands and isn't a source of tension.

He's wrong about the car. If he bought it for you it is yours. He can't revoke a gift. If he tries saying that to CMS he will get this face - hmm

Offred Fri 21-Feb-14 20:21:58

The money is for the dc not you and is for their upkeep. Cars he may have bought you are nothing to do with it and he didn't make an agreement with you it was instead of child support. There's recently been a fuss that agreements made in court for women to keep the house and not ask for child support are not recognised by CSA, this is being challenged but if they won't recognise a specific agreement in court about a house then they won't give a shit about his whining about a car.

Lavenderhoney Fri 21-Feb-14 20:57:51

Well done op

Ignore all that stuff about the car, and point him in the direction of the csa who I'm sure will be happy to answer his queries. The car is a gift, not in Lieu of payment for dc! Ignore.

Keep at it though, and look up as much as possible, get very knowledgeable about it all for your dc sake, and if you want you could write down all the stuff you can't tell your solicitor and hand it over for them to read.

Offred Fri 21-Feb-14 21:14:43

In that five years he paid nothing he might have been liable for £13,500 based on his current assessment just for the sake of comparison Btw

newbiefrugalgal Fri 21-Feb-14 23:02:31

Your children's residence is there home and he cannot take them to another country to live even if they are citizens of that country.
Hague convention ruling I think

And you can put some stop or restriction I believe on travel

SanityClause Fri 21-Feb-14 23:07:08

Australia takes the Hague Convention very seriously. There was a high profile case last year where children were returned to Italy when their mother had taken them illegally to Australia.

Gullygirl Sat 22-Feb-14 12:27:37

He will also not be able to get Australian passports for your children without your signature on the passport application forms.

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