How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33533
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
13262538
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Clare is online now

My sons partner moved in with another man 14 years ago and

Customer Question

My son's partner moved in with another man 14 years ago and would not allow contact with her or his three sons for him or any of his family. He did not know where they were. She intimated to acquaintances that my son, who is 6'2" to her 4'11" that he was violent towards her. He recently found out through a classmate of the eldest boy that the boys had been told that my son beat their mother. He did not. The woman was the aggressive an controlling one. (I witnessed this)
Last year he was contacted by the CSA or equivalent and was told that he owed £20,000 in maintenance for his first son. There was no mention of the other two. We suspect that she has claimed from the second man, with whom she had another son, and kicked him out at the same time as contact re maintenance arrears. This man was in work, whereas my son was out of work at the time. A charge was put on my son's benefits, leaving him with very little to live on.
My son now has a permanent job and needs to know whether a charge can be put on his income, or whether he can make a voluntary arrangement. He has not seen any of his sons since 2000 and could not pay towards the children, not knowing where they were. His eldest son, now 19, is in further education. The whole situation sounds very odd.
I am asking this at his request, as his job involves long hours driving and also he has no internet connection.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
When did he hear from the CSA for the very first time - how long ago?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare


 


I texted my son last night and he will ring me in his break today

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
That is fine - add when you can
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare


I have spoken to my son and the information, as far as he remembers, is as follows:


The CSA contacted him in 2004 and told him that he owed £3000 for his son. The story they had from his ex, Claire, was that my son had left her when the first child was 6 months old. However, they lived together for another 4/5 years and Claire had two more sons with him. In retrospect, my son believes that she might have been having an affair for some time before eventually getting rid of my him. The two boys looked like him and he had no suspicions at the time. All three children were registered with him as the father and with his surname, although Claire has since changed their name to her maiden name.


Because my son was out of work quite a lot of the time after losing the children, the CSA took money straight from his benefits and he assumed that they had continued to do so. He suffered quite a lot of mental health issues after he lost this sons and he was homeless, depending on friends for their help. Because his name had been removed from the joint tenancy, he was no longer able to get social housing . He has a narrow boat, but had gutted it with a view to rebuilding the interior.


In 2012 he had agency work in London for the Olympics. It was a zero-hour contract, but obviously was a paid job. This was when the CSA contacted him again to say that he owed £20,000 and they put a rolling charge on his pay, allowing him only £71 to live on, including petrol to London. He did not wish to work long hours for so little money, so stopped the agency work.


Now that he has a permanent job, he wants to make an offer to pay, rather than have a charge on his income, and would also like to find out, if possible, what the situation is with his sons; ie whether they believe the second man to be their father. When Claire sent him packing too, in favour of yet another man, he wrote on Facebook that he had lost his sons. Whether he believed them to be his, or whether it was just because he had brought them up for many years, we don't know.


With regard to the CSA, my son believed them to be taking money from him, but has no proof. It is strange that he suddenly owes £20,000 if that is the case.


The proof that he was still with Claire for a further 4/5 years after their first son was 6 months should be in the tenancy agreement. My son had a bedsit through social housing, then when Claire became pregnant, they were given a two bedroom flat together, followed by a house when she was pregnant with the second child. Unknown to him, Claire took his name off the tenancy, I assume by falsifying information, but he doesn't know when.


I knew very little of this at the time, as Claire had decided to not allow me to see the boys. I didn't want to upset the applecart for my son, so I stayed away until he came to be after the split. I was working in social work and felt that I was doing the best for the children and my son by keeping to her rules, although it obviously upset me greatly at the time.


This all sounds very complicated and I don't know whether the situation can be easily resolved, but I would welcome your advice as to the next step, with minimal available funds.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
OK - lots of different issues here!
Can you confirm that they were not married - and how old the two younger children are now?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi


No, they never married. The two younger boys are 18 and 16 in July, I believe. The eldest was 19 in February.


 


Mandy

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
has your son made any attempt to contact the eldest boy given that he is an adult?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No, I don't think so. He had intended to when the boy reached 18, but then heard that he had been told that his dad had been violent.


It is difficult to comprehend the power of Claire unless you know her! My psychologist friend diagnosed her (from her behaviour to others) as borderline personality disorder. She cast quite a shadow over us all,including her own family, as she would never allow another opinion or viewpoint. And of course her power then was the children! I wish that I had insisted on seeing them, but I didn't want to rock the boat for my son. In hindsight that was a futile path to take.


My son does not know their address. None of us do.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Dealing with the contact part first.
In these days of Social Media tracing someone of that age group has never ben easier - and all three boys are of the age where it i sup to them who they do and do not speak to and meet and there is no action the mother can take to stop him (or you) from doing this.
Start with Face book
However f the boys themselves make it plain they want n contact stop immediately - as otherwise it counts as harassment
With regard to the CSA your son needs to apply for a Full copy of his file under the Freedom of Information Act (it costs £10) so that he can work out what periods of time are covered and what is not
He does need to be paying child maintenance still for the eldest if he is still in
Further Education (not University) - but that ends on his 20th Birthday.
Your son can also get help from this group
www.nacsa.org.uk
to try and work out what he actually owes (as opposed to what the cSA say he does)
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you. That information is very useful. I am about to ring my son, who is on a break, so he can get on with that as soon as possible. We have looked at the two older boys on Facebook, but not contacted them as yet. I was waiting for my son to do so before I attempted it.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I've spoken to my son and the eldest IS at university (from 29th Sept, 2013.) Does this have any relevance? My son found this on FB.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
In that case all that he has to worry about is sorting out the arrears
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33533
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The only other question I have is whether he can make an offer, rather than have a charge put on his salary, when he has discovered how much he owes? The charge the CSA put before was ridiculous and did not allow him enough money to live on. It is very difficult to get permanent work where he lives, so he needs to be in control himself, rather than under the control of the CSA. He is a Class 1 lorry driver, so the work is stressful enough without being worried about having enough money to even get to work!

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
He can make an offer but unless that offer will mean that the arrears are cleared within two years then I am afraid they will wish to deduct 40% of his income
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you. Is that 40% of gross income or 40% after essential living expenses such as rent, travel to work etc?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Sadly it is 40% after tax and insurance only
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you.


 

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
You are welcome I hope all goes well
Clare

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Kasare

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    204
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    204
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TG/TGraham12/2012-7-17_81212_bigstockBusinessHandshake508163.64x64.jpg Thomas's Avatar

    Thomas

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    160
    UK solicitor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/jojobi/2013-3-19_0265_maxlowryphoto.64x64.jpg Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    7
    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    340
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/GL/Glossolicitor/2013-5-14_214834_TWMParkinsonWright.64x64.jpg Glos solicitor's Avatar

    Glos solicitor

    Family Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    2
    10 years experience in all areas of family law, now specialising in cases involving social services and children
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CL/clairep80/2013-8-25_191218_dreamstimexs267279822nd.64x64.jpg Clare's Avatar

    Clare

    Family Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    4598
    I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/HH/hhlaw/2015-12-8_22495_unnamedlanczosbicubic.64x64.jpg Harris's Avatar

    Harris

    Family Law Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    1064
    Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters