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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34276
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 partner of 14yrs has a child. he walked away giving her

Customer Question

hi,my partner of 14yrs has a child. he walked away giving her the house! and left with nothing.he had a court order saying he was to pay 500 a month for one child.! soon after they divorced he lost his job, and life has been very hard with him being on benifits.! she has now remarried a lawyer! child goes to private school, ect! we have two children and have been together 14yrs! he has only seen the child once! as the mother would always deny him.this year life is getting better he has a good job ect! she has now found out that he has a job and now is saying she is going to inforce child debt for a child that he once had witch is around 80k for the last 14yrs.! would he be forced to pay all that money plus more.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 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.
What actually happened in respect of Child Maintenance when he lost his job?
How much does he now earn gross
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

hi, nothing she did not do anything! and he has only just gone back into work. He earns £25.000 a year gross.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

she did not inforce anything as she said she wanted nothing from us as she did not want the child to see her dad. and the position that he was left in after giving her a 4 bedroom house for one child! and walking away with nothing! and losing his job! he did nothing! he was never means tested when the order was made at the time of the divorce, £500 a month seems to be a lot for one child and to have all the house.!

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.

Hi

Please do not worry too much

Does your partner accept that he will now have to start paying child maintenance of some sort?

Clare

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes but what i would like to know is will he have to pay backdated maintence from 14yrs ago at the rate of £ 500 a month as they did not go back to court.!

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
The starting point is for your partner to ask the CMS (new CSA) to do an assessment. There is a cost involved but it will be worth it as it automatically supersedes the court order which will then be finished.
Technically his ex could still apply to the court to enforce the arrears - but she would need the permission of the court to enforce any arrears more than 12 months old - and it is unlikely that the court would do so - and most likely that they will remit (cancel) the arrears in full
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I contacted the CSA and they said he would not be able to get an assessment as there was already a court order in place.we would have to take it back to court to get the order canceled,would we be able to do so with out her finding out and once the order was finished we would then make a new claim to the CSA and then let her know and start paying.!

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
That is nonsense - the order is more than 12 months old so the assessment can be completed - there is no requirement to go back to court.
Simply complete the application and progress it
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi I would like to carry on asking some more questions can my partners ex wife enforce that court order for the arrears plus make a new claim with the CSS??
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi what is the chances of her being able to inforce 80k worth of arrears!! After 14yrs of doing nothing, if my partner makes a new application to the CSS to now start paying.!
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
As I said
Technically his ex could still apply to the court to enforce the arrears - but she would need the permission of the court to enforce any arrears more than 12 months old - and it is unlikely that the court would do so - and most likely that they will remit (cancel) the arrears in full
So no he is not likely to have to pay any more than 12 months arrears if that
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
So would he have too pay 500 a month for a year? On the old order.?
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Potentially - but as I said I think it is more likely that the the court will remit (cancel) the arrears in full
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi,you say that it is most unlikely they will inforce him to pay 14yrs of backdated arrears but nobody can give me a yes or no he won't ! How can a women take everything! Deny him too see the child! We live on Benifits for the last 14yrs!! His child goes to a 30 k school!!! And he then be possibly liable for 80k in child maintance 14yrs on! Something does not seem right too me!!
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
As I have said his ex will have to get the permission of the court to try and enforce arrears that are more than 12 months old and in the circumstances you have described that is simply not going to happen.
In fact, as I have said, I think that it is unlikely she will even be able to enforce the last 12 months worth.
HOWEVER - my knowledge of the case is limited to what you have written which automatically means that I can only give you an opinion rather than a guarantee
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ok thanks!
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
You are most welcome
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Sorry just one more question! Stevens mother has just died! And there is money and a house in her estate. Would the ex be able to put a claim on her estate for child maintance arrears! And put him through court that way.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
That might get her the 12 months worth - no more
Clate
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, just got an inforcement order through the post for 93k to go to court on the 5th of nov! She has put interest on it.is it to late now too get a new assessment though the CSS now that we have got something through the post.! What are her chances of her being able to get that money back! It says that they can inforce it though sale of property, attachment of earnings, or stop the sale of a property.! Help!
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Can you tell me the exact wording of the notice?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi,it says take notice that the hearing of this cause will take place at the family court In Medway family court! Notice of application for enforcement by such method as the court may consider appropriate! To the respondent you must attend court and provide information about your means needed to enforce the order referred to above! The court may make an order for enforcement as it considers appropriate. Then it has been signed from her solicitor's and on the back it's got a spread sheet of the arrears. Order by consent it says.!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, should he make that application to the CSS now! Or is it to late if we call them today! As you said that would cease any order for the future?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Please do not worry
Yes apply to the CMS immediately anyway - but do not worry.
At the first hearing she will be told that only the last 12 months can be enforced without the permission of the court - which will not be given
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, so will he have to pay backdated maintance at 500 a month plus whatever the CSA tell him he has to pay for future maintance!! That's like 700 a month we can't afford that! He might as we'll go back to square one! And give up his job.! She already had a house!!! Surely she can't come back for more After 14yrs considering he has only got himself back on his feet! Surely the courts will look at that! You can't make someone pay 500 a month if they are claiming housing benifits can you.! When they got divorced she put a claim on the house for clay heave,so at the time of the divorce the house was worth nothing, so that put him in a situation where he had to hand the house over as it could not be sold! 3yrs later she sold the house for 275k less 100k for the mortgage! So she walked away with best part of 175k! And he had nothing! And was expected to pay 500 a month! He lost his job! And we were homeless! So surly get me if Iam wrong no court would make him pay 100k in arrears.!
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I have already told you that there is no question of your partner having to pay that much in arrears
The MOST he would have to pay is £6,000 for the last 12 months - and even that is unlikely if he can show that he was unemployed
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok what plus the new CSA claim that's 700 a month then untill the arrears are paid off that's the 6k is that what you are saying? As it states in this order that we got in the post she wishes to put a claim on Stevens late mothers house can she do that!
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
You are crossing bridges beyond what can be predicted.
If your ex has been unemployed and can prove it the fact that he has inherited the property will not mean that he will be ordered to pay all the arrears accrued.
If he is ordered to pay arrears then the arrears will be paid off at a suitable rate - not at £500 a month
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok what you have said if he is ordered to to pay the arrears? You are only talking about the 12months still are you not?? (Sorry I'am just very tired and worried!)not all the last 14yrs! We have owned our own company's before and he has been self employed! But that was for a very short time the rest of it he's been unemployed until last year! He has a good job but he is still self employed.!
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
can he prove he was not employed?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes! For most of the time probably a couple of years she could prove he owned his own company!
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
But she did nothing then and that will count against her.
Whilst I only know what you have told me I still believe 12 moths is your worst case scenario
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
we'll that's what I thought! It would go against her! So we don't know why she is doing this after all this time! But you never know how things will turn out in court! That's why I needed to get some sort of advise! As we need to protect our family. If we get a solicitor would he have to go to court still?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
One more!!! If he was made to pay and he wanted to see the child could he get an order for that or has it been to long? She is 14 would she have a say if she wanted to see him or not?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Maintenance and contact are not related.
Your ex can apply for contact at any time - but it will entirely up to the child whether she sees him or not
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, went to see a lawyer today.! Not what we wanted to hear!! She asked why he has not paid under the order! We explained our situation with unemployment! She put that to one side and said that's why veriation orders are in place! For when you can't pay! But the fact that now you have a job! And you have the means to pay the backdated arrears from your mums estate you will be forced to pay she could put an charging order on the house! For arrears, and you will have to pay future payments on what you earn now.! Help!!!
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Did she remember that the court needs to give permission or did that one pass her by?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes it did!! And that was put aside! She said they may take it into consideration! But we have a order and it simply has not been met! And now he has the means to pay he will have to pay!!! ??
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes she did! But the fact he had a order and that order has not been met. He now has a job, the means to pay!! She seemed to think that he would be forced to pay the arrears And future payments untill the said child is 18.!
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I am appalled.
As I have said to you the last 12 months may well be ordered - but the previous years - highly unlikely despite the inheritance
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We'll i do hope that is the case we would be ok with that and some sort of future payments.! But from what she said today! It seems more likely that she will go for a judgement order on the house for the arrears and seek future payments what the court feels he should pay.! And if he refuses to pay the arrears she said that could carry a prison sentence! For contempt of court!!!
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I think you have found an incredibly pessimistic solicitor - you need one who is going to fight your corner - not roll over
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We thought that! And she said that she was just giving us facts.! She said the original order will go against him!! Forget that you gave her the house. What you have been through they are not interested it will just be about the order and why you have not paid.!
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
To an extent she is correct - the house is indeed irrelevant
What is relevant is what his income has been over the years
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
And that for most of the 14yrs has been nothing he would not been able to pay the 500 a month in the order anyway! She said she can see that. But it's the fact that he did nothing! And he could have got a veriation order! That's what they are for when you can't pay! The fact you did nothing will go against him! He did not think it would have been that easy to get one!! And at the time we were not thinking about that it was just about putting a roof over our own heads. To now be told that he will have to pay in full plus future payments is totally wrong!!!! It's not as if we have been living the high life if we had I could totally understand her comments.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Yes he should - but it will not necessarily go against him
Please try not to worry and simply prepare the chronology and evidence
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, very concerned about the outcome of next weeks court case as 95k is a lot of money .! And we just don't know if she will win.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
All you can do is go in prepared with a chronology
Nothing is decided at the first hearing so try not to panic
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, hearing on weds! We were getting all the evidence ready, and we came across an old attachment of earnings order and it was made after the the original order and it was at 150 a month not the original order at 500 a month, it was stamped by the court and I think that's what was agreed. But then he lost his job so nothing happened. So as you know it's going to court! Do you think they will look at the 150 a month or go back to the original order at 500!! As that would be a better out come to pay the 150 a month and if we have to pay that backdated for a few years as to what she wants is the full 500 a month for the last 14 yrs.!! Any suggestions ?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
When was that order made?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, that was made in 201.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Um?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The original order at 500 was made in 2000 when they divorced.!!
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
iIam sorry - I need to know if the Attachment of Earnings Order was made in 2001 or 2011
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, the original order was made when they divorced! In 2000 at the rate of 500 a month and then she tried to get an attachment of earnings and he agreed 150 a month! And we have the case number ***** nothing was done as he lost his job.! And that was in 201 so she never inforced Anything. I hope Iam making it clear.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
2001 or 2011
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry 2001.! As he was in contempt of court do you think the judge will throw the book at him.!!
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
No - I still think that provided he can prove that he was not working there will be sympathy from the court
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok as I said I think there will be a couple of years where we owned our company! But as you said she did not go back to the courts either to inforce it when she new he was running his company.?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
You do need to be honest about his earnings in those years - but the ocurt will indeed tak einto account that she knew about it and did nothing
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, he has just gone into court! And has been given a form, stating his ex applied to the CSA and she was told that they could not help her! As there was a order and she would have to go to court??we spoke with them and they said they have never spoken with her!! And there has never been a claim! And she also said that he left his job in 2000 to avoid paying child support!! And simply vanished not true.!
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What else happened?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok that was just the start of it! He was orderd to pay a new rate of 250 a month And he is able to get a veriation order on that as he thinks it's a little high as he is only on 25k gross. She tried to put in his comm's but that was kicked out! He then offered her 12k as and when his mothers house had sold. As he felt that would be the year at 500 a month on the old order! And the judge thought that he was being fair. She agreed to take that! But however she said she was not willing to take that for full and final settlement. And she would take it back to court in March for the rest of the arrears. And the judge said she really should take the offer as full and final settlement as he is being fair and she said no.! So we don't know where this will go from here or what to do. Help.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Excellent news - and your partner is indeed being more than fair.
At this stage there will be an order on its way which tells you what to do next - but a judge has already given a good indication of the outcome
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We'll we don't know the outcome of the hearing in March she could win all of the backdated arrears.!!
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Highly unlikely as the Judge has already indicated
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes but this will be at a different court not family court . Do you think he needs to get a lawyer for the march hearing as the judge said whoever loses will have to pay the other sides costs. And she also is trying to inforce it that she gets the rest Of the arrears so he could lose if he doesn't have someone helping him.!
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What make you think it will be a different court?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Oh he was told as she wants it in another court closer to her house.!
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
It will still be in a Family Court - just a different one - and the same rules will still apply
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, like to ask you something! Do you think we need a lawyer in March? Will we have to make her another offer? And if yes and she still refuses what next will this just go on and on?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I think the offer that has been made is fine.
The solicitor issue is a matter of choice
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She is going to take it back to court! And try and get the full 80k of the arrears! So i don't know really why as he made her a offer of 12k of the last year at the old order. It's not the end! Why has she been allowed to take it back to court then for the rest? Is this just going to go on and on.!
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
The first hearing was a directions hearing.
She is entitled to take the matter further - even if she is likely to fail
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
so if they don't agree anything is this likely to go on and on! Who will diside.!
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
It will not go on and on - it will be decided by the Judge at the final hearing
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
ok thanks for your help on all of this.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
You are most welcome
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, if his ex is not happy with the next offer in court.! And she then asks for a new Application With the CSA could she then ask them to collect and inforce the rest of the arrears.!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Would it be possible for my partner to ask the court if he could have the next hearing where this hearing took place.! He would like to have it at the same court where the order has been made.! She wants it in a different court as she said she can't drive that far.!
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
The CSA does not back date its assessments and can only collect arrears of assessment.
It is for the ocurt to decide if the case is transferred or not
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, are we able to keep the order the same at 250 a month after the court case in March!! Or is she able to get a veriation order? What do you think her chances are in Inforcing the arrears.??
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How much he will have to pay depends on the evidence given at the hearing.
As I have said on the basis of the information that you have given I think there is a good chance that the bulk of the arrears will be cancelled
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, are we able to keep the now order at 250 a month or can she apply for a veriation order at any time. And if she wants to cancel the order is it up to both parties to agree.!