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Question about maintenance

(62 Posts)
vieniqua Sat 16-Mar-13 18:08:21

I have a question about when maintenance is paid until?

Is it when the kids are 18? Or is it until they have finished university, even if this is well into their 20's?

Also what does the law say, and what is the tendency (ie. to keep paying even if they don't legally have to?)

I am completely clueless, so any answers are gratefully received!

Petal02 Wed 20-Mar-13 16:54:24

So are only NRPs vulnerable to legal claims? What about parents in intact families? I never said I was a lawyer, we all talk about our own experiences on this forum, none of us claim to be experts. I still wonder though, that if it were really possible, why more people aren't being sued?

Mendi Wed 20-Mar-13 17:00:38

I am speculating here Petal02 but it is possible that the reason the DSD in your case could not succeed was that:

1. her parents were never married, so

2. there would have been no divorce proceedings for her to issue in, and the only option for her would be a claim under Sch. 1 Children Act 1989 AND

3.there was a maintenance order in respect of her in force immediately before her 16th birthday, which would bring her within sub-paragraph (3) above meaning that she fell into the legislative gap discussed in the article I linked to above.

That's just my conjecture, mind.

Mendi Wed 20-Mar-13 17:03:03

Yes Petal02, parents still together cannot be sued because it is assumed that most parents will want to support their children.

The difficulty tends to come when NRPs decide they don't feel like supporting the child any more because their relationship with the PWC (and sometimes the child) has ended. That's why there is law to force such parents to provide financially. Unfortunately some children of unmarried parents will fall within the gap described above - very unfair on those children IMO.

Petal02 Wed 20-Mar-13 18:07:53

Mendi, I don't understand the legal jargon you keep quoting, but DSD's parents were married (until they got divorced when DSD was 13/14). A consent order, expiring at age 18, was arranged at the time of the divorce.

I'm still puzzled though, if its legally possible to sue a divorced father then why doesn't it seem to be happening in practice? Surely DH and his daughter were a fairly text book case of relationship between parent/child breaking down, resulting in no support through Uni.

Mendi Wed 20-Mar-13 18:41:44

petal02 it does happen in practice. The cases I've cited are examples of just that and they date back to the seventies.

I'll go out on a limb and say I think you and your SD were badly advised. The terms of Sch 1 are quite clear in that a child over 18 absolutely can claim for support through tertiary education,

Petal02 Wed 20-Mar-13 18:56:28

I could understand if one party had been badly advised, but for both parties to be given identical advice about the same set of circumstances, in the space of a fortnight, seems strange.

But as I said, if you're a lawyer then you obviously know your stuff, but can't understand why two independent legal firms got it wrong?

Mendi Wed 20-Mar-13 19:12:39

It does happen petal. Alternatively there is something in the facts of your case that you haven't mentioned.

Either way the wording of Sch 1 quoted above is unambivalent on the point. An adult child can claim.

Petal02 Wed 20-Mar-13 19:14:32

Am still not convinced, but don't want to spend all evening going round in circles.

Mendi Wed 20-Mar-13 19:30:13

In your case petal, things have worked out well for you as the crafty little madam has gone unprovided for by her father. For anyone else: do look at the unambiguous wording of Para. 2(3) of Sch. 1 Children Act 1989, which provides the basis for a claim for financial provision while at university (or in 'special circumstances').

Petal02 Wed 20-Mar-13 19:36:46

Crafty little madam disowned her father a number of years ago, I was not involved and don't really know her. She made nasty allegations to the police and social services, caused DH and his family all sorts of trauma. She then decides she wants money but didn't get any. Justice was done. The money we saved will benefit DSS.

allnewtaketwo Wed 20-Mar-13 20:04:53

"Unprovided for by her father" hmm who she disowned hmm. Wonder how much her mother provided for her [her]

I'd call her a lot worse than "crafty little madam". This is an adult were talking about, and she sounds like a nasty conniving grabbing little bitch to be honest

Mendi Wed 20-Mar-13 20:12:55

I must have misunderstood. In my mind, if the SD had 'disowned' her father many years before her request for funding for uni, then unless she was applying to uni as a mature student she must have done this 'disowning' as a child/early teen. Ergo, not really the same as an adult casting off all ties and then asking for money.

I have no idea of what went on between the SD's parents but it's not uncommon for the PWC to poison the child against the NRP and perhaps that night account for a child or young adult 'disowning' the NRP. Though, if I were the NRP in that scenario, I would always want my child to know I was there for him/her so I wouldn't be so happy about not supporting him/her financially.

Of course, it may be that this particular girl is a proper little bitch, but IME such creatures are rarely cast in stone before they reach adulthood. And a child cutting ties with a parent may be under emotional pressure he/she can't deal with as a child/young adult that perhaps they would deal with differently as an adult.

Just my general musings. As I say, she may just be evil in which case, disregard!

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