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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33307
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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Hi. My ex husband told me yesterday that he will be reducing

Customer Question

Hi. My ex husband told me yesterday that he will be reducing his maintenance payments for our child by over £200 per month from the amount we agreed in our family based arrangement to the figure that the government's child maintenance calculator says. He has remarried and has a new baby and has decided to work part time instead of full time (his wife works). I have paid him almost £25,000 as an informal divorce settlement as he moved out of the house (his name was not on the mortgage and I had the house before we were married) and have been continuing to pay him £50 per per month (reduced from his child maintenance payments) as he felt he should have more. I am in debt and could not afford it but did so as I thought it was the right thing to do at the time. We agreed both the divorce settlement figure and the child maintenance figure at the same time. Is there anything I can do as I think it's so unfair that I've kept to my side of a financial arrangement and he is trying to back out of his.  I do not have a partner and cannot afford for him to reduce his payments.

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.
How old is your child.?
How,much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

My daughter is 11 now. The house is worth about £300,000 now but much less than that when we separated. There is about £170,000 outstanding on the mortgage. We separated 8 years ago and divorced a couple of years ago. He was never on the mortgage and I was the main earner at the time of our marriage. Now I am working 6 days a week but on much less money.

Niki

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How much have you paid him altogether and what other assets does he have?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,


 


I have paid him £23,550 to date. He has a mortgage (well I'm assuming he's on the mortgage) with his new wife. They've been in their new house nearly 3 years I think. He has a car which he just bought last month.


 


Niki

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi. Did you get my message yesterday? Niki

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for that.
Do you remember roughly what it was worth when you made the agreement?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Probably about £250,000. Maybe a bit less. Definitely no more.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Just for clarity.
there was equity of about £80,000 and you have paid him what amounts to 30% of that despite the fact that you originally owned the property - and you have the care of the child.
You did this on the basis that he would pay maintenance which you knew was in excess of the CSA requirement.
Would that be correct?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes that's correct.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Unfortunately the only way that you can ensure he pays the Child Maintenance is via the CMS (new CSA) and you can find the calculation here
http://www.nacsa.co.uk/index.php/cs3-outline/cs3-calculations
I appreciate that this is not good news.
The position with regard to the capital is more complex.
Had you gone to court at the time and the Judge had had to decide the settlement it is unlikely that you would have had to pay him more than 20% of the equity possibly even 15% - so you have paid him between £8,000 and £12,000 more than you might have had to on the promise that he would pay higher child maintenance
It is possible that you could apply to the Court for a Financial Order within the Divorce {proceedings and seek an order that your ex pays you a Lump sum on the basis that he has reneged on the agreement that was made.
There is no guarantee of success and the costs would be high - but there is certainly a reasonable argument that can be made
Before starting litigation however it would be sensible to try and negotiate matters using Family Mediation (www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk)
Please ask if you need further details
Clare

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