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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33310
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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i have been paying child maintenance for my children via a

Customer Question

i have been paying child maintenance for my children via a county court agreement since 2012. The agreement claimed when both children reach the age of 17 or leave secondary education whichever is the latter then it will cease. The have both reached over the age of 17 with one at college and and one at university. My ex wife has now contacted the CSA and they are now telling me i need to continue paying her.........
Help please
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 are they?
What course is the younger child doing?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The eldest is 19 and lives away at university so I pay him direct and not his mother. The youngest is 17, 18 in may and doing a btec course at college. He stays with me 2 or 3 nights a week

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Any payments you make to your elder child are purely voluntary
Your younger child is still in secondary education and you can either continue paying under the court order - or if an actual assessment has been made you will need to pay the CMS assessment.
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
But as a definition college is defined as higher education so I assumed this would void my payments. Please explain. How long do I have to continue laying if this is the case
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
In fact it is Universities that generally provide Tertiary education - most colleges provide secondary education.
The course your youngest is on is classed as Secondary education which is why you are still required to pay maintenance.
The cut of point is the end of Secondary education or the "child's" 20 birthday whichever comes first
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
20, surely not. I thought it was anything under a level equivalent or if they started working. The definition on the web is that secondary education is defined as taking place after primary education and may be followed by higher education which is defined as post secondary education, territory education or third level education is an optional final stage of learning that occurs after secondary education often delivered at universities, academies or colleges.
I will always support both my children but begrudge paying my ex wife who committed adultery hence the divorce and who does not yes the money on the children.
I have paid over what the CSA would of charged me over the past 12 years.
This is so unjust in fathers
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I am afraid that the latest change in Child Maintenance legislation does indeed extend the upper age limit to 20 (no doubt to reflect the rise in the Compulsory schooling age)
The wording used is "non advanced " education - which is defined on the same basis as it is for child benefit - details here
http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/ccmmanual/ccm18030.htm
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
That is absolutely disgusting and unjust. She remarried the person she committed adultery with so have a mortgage free home after I have paid for the last 12 years and I am not prepared to pay her for another 3 years regardless. I will seriously pursue this at mp level if I have too as that is totally unfair. My county court order stated 17 or when they have completed secondary education I.e. Secondary school, this is his second year of college not secondary school
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Secondary education does not mean Secondary school.
Your Court Order is in fact still enforceable against you - unless a formal Child Maintenance assessment has been made by CMS
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, but surely secondary education means a level equivalent or below, so if he moves onto a hnd or something my payments can cease then?
This is totally unfair and does not take into account what I do additionally spend on the children. The money I pay to my ex wife does not and this is so wrong
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
An HND is indeed advanced education and maintenance will no longer be payable
A BTEC is secondary edication
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok, sounds like there may be light at the end of the tunnel if he continues with his studies. He is 18 in May but will not start college again until September what happens then?
Do I stop paying when he reaches 18? What if he does not continue onto the hnd? His mother could just say continue in a level or below studies and I will have to continue paying until what age?
I am hoping that it ceases at 18 as I can not afford to continue paying further
Thanks
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I am sorry - I thought you said he was doing a BTEC ?
If so then I am afraid that you continue paying until September - and indeed longer if he continues in Secondary education - with 20 as the cut off date if he never stops
Clare

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