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UKfamsol
UKfamsol, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 560
Experience:  Very experienced specialist family law solicitor, qualifed in 1994
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My ex husband has stopped paying me maintenance for our 2 children.

Customer Question

My ex husband has stopped paying me maintenance for our 2 children. What legal right does he have to seeing the children if he's not paying maintenance?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  UKfamsol replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thanks for your question.

I can appreciate your frustration. Unfortunately, his contact with his children has got nothing to do with whether or not he pays you anything. He could be a lovely person but a pauper and therefore not have to pay you anything, or he could be a millionaire but a nasty person and not be allowed to see the kids at all, even though he paid you an ennormous sum regularly. Child support liability is determined by the Child Support Act 1991 - whereas contact with children is determined by the Children Act 1989 - so you can that these are two completely separate pieces of legislation.

If you now applied to court for an order for "no contact" on the basis that he had stopped paying maintenance, the court would refuse to hear any argument relating to finance.

It is government policy that children should have contact with the parent that they do not live with - unless there is VERY good reason indeed why that should not happen. Just not paying maintenance would NOT be seen as a good reason by the court to stop their father's contact with them.

I know this is not the answer you were hoping for, but it would be wrong of me to give to give you anything other than the correct legal advice for your situation.

I hope this helps anyway and I wish you the best of luck.


Thanks and best wishes...

UKfamsol, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 560
Experience: Very experienced specialist family law solicitor, qualifed in 1994
UKfamsol and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  UKfamsol replied 2 years ago.
Thanks so much for your positive rating and prompt payment - much appreciated!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
How would I go about stopping contact as the children hate going as he does nothing with them when they go. I have to bribe them to go. He has hit both of them on separate occasions in public which is currently being dealt with by the police! He marked the youngest when he hit him with a shoe on his leg! How can the law state that he has the right to see his children when he can't even provide for them. It doesn't seem fair. I work every possible working hour and yet I'm the one who has to suffer. Please could you explain. Thanks.
Expert:  UKfamsol replied 2 years ago.
Hello again

Ah! Now you are adding further information - in other words, you are now telling me it is NOT just that he pays no child support - in fact he has assaulted the children AND they do not want to go. Those are reasons that WOULD be relevant to a court application to reduce or stop his contact with the children.

If there are no court orders in place concerning his contact with the children, then you can just stop his cotnact with the children - but you must write to him to inform him why - his violence and the children's wishes. But do NOT say in your letter that it's because he is not paying any child support. If you stop his contact, he might decide to apply to court for a contact order to get it reinstated, and he might include a copy of your letter with his application to court. If you say in your letter to him that it's because he doesn't pay any child support, you will immediately lose the sympathy of the court.

If there is already a court order for contact, then after you stopped his contact and written to him, YOU must immediately apply to court to get the contact order changed.

Whichever one of you applies to court, the court will consider the position of both of you, and decide what contact if any the children should have with their father based on what is best for them, not which parent shouts loudest.

As I said above, it is government policy that children should have contact with the parent that they do not live with - unless there is VERY good reason indeed why that should not happen. But the welfare of the children is paramount, so if they are at risk of being assaulted in their father's care, then that is very serious, and could mean that the court orders that all contact should stop - or the the court might order that the contact could continue but must be supervised eg at a contact centre.

With regard to the children's wishes, the older they are, the more weight the court will give to their wishes - so if they are 12, 13,14 or upwards, their views will be taken very seriously indeed by the court, and it's unlikely that they will be forced to see their father if they don't want to.

It might help you to get some face-to-face legal advice from a specialist family law solicitor - here's where to find one:-

http://www.resolution.org.uk/findamember/

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.

 

Thanks and best wishes...



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