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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34234
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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Child maintenance

Customer Question

I am a German national who has been living and working in the UK for 18 years. I have two children (21 and 19) with my German ex-wife; they are German nationals and live in Germany. My daughter is at university until the summer of 2017. My son is on a gap year in India and will commence a 5-year university course in autumn 2016. According to German law, I am obliged to pay child maintenance for them until they graduate from university (but no longer than age 27). I recently separated from my British partner after 12 years. We have an 8-year old daughter Francesca, who has dual British-German nationality and now lives with her mother. I pay child maintenance for her, according to English law. The amount of child maintenance depends on the number of dependent children. My ex-partner claims that my older children must be discounted as they do not fall under English jurisdiction, are above the age of 18 (where they would not be entitled to maintenance under English law) and are "none of her business". I think they should be included in the formula, as they ARE a legal obligation to me and significantly reduce my available income. Who is right? Thank you. René Customer

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further information first?Are you paying voluntarily or via the CMS (CSA)Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you Clare for your reply. I'm paying voluntarily, using the widely published formula. My ex-partner is currently extremely upset by the split-up and near a breakdown. I don't wish to do anything confrontational at the moment and I'm complying with her demands to leave my older children out of the equation. However, I need to know where I stand. In the long term, I think the amount is unsustainable and unfair to me, especially when my son returns from India and starts university as well. In my view, it cannot be possible that the German law demands payment for three children, and the British one only for one. I am sure there are European Union rules for this sort of scenario.

Regards

René Customer

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare

I haven't received the answer to my question, but have been duly charged £ 19.00 already (which I find unfortunate). Please get back to me with your definitive answer within 10 days.

Regards

Dr. René Customer

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
My apologies.
If the CMS complete and assessment then no account will be taken of the older children in the initial assessment due to the fact that the children are over 20
However you can then apply for a Variation based on the legal responsibility you have to pay maintenance
You do need to be aware that the difference (if you are successful) is £1.68 per £100 of income
I hope that this is of assistance.
I expect to be back on the sire daily for some time each day now (fingers crossed)
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you Clare. What does it mean, a difference of £ 1.68 per £ 100 income if I'm successful? Is that the amount I'd have to pay less per other child that I'm responsible for? Would there be deductions or fees if the CMS gets involved? I heard that this is the case. Obviously, I don't want to pay THEM for the privilege of having to support my children, and I don't want any deductions on my ex-partner's side. Would they be able to recommend a formula or an amount that we should agree on, without actually enforcing it and deducting money?

My reluctance to pay the full amount (without recognition of my other two children) is not due to malice towards my ex-partner. It's just that I can't pay more than what I earn and need for my own life, and I'm not willing to fund child maintenance on loans for the next 5-10 years.

Regards

René Customer

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What is your current gross income and how many nights a month does the child spend with you?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Gross income per month is £ 6800 (net £ 4000). I'm spending 2 weeks per month with my daughter in London which costs me £ 200 per weekend in travel, hotel costs, food and entertainment. That's only Saturdays at present (2 nights per month) as I can't afford more in London hotel costs. It's early days and I can't say yet how it will work with holidays. My guess is 4 or 5 weeks per year, so 28-35 days. Plus £ 564 per month child maintenance as per formula, ignoring my other daughter in Germany for that calculation. She gets € 420 per month (~£ 300 at current exchange rate). (Same for my son when he is back from his gap year in Sept 2016.) Fixed costs are £ 850 mortgage interest and repayment and £ 260 for utility bills.

Regards

René Customer

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
As things stand you should be paying roughly £800 a month child maintenance.
If your other children are taken into account then you will be paying roughly £700 a month.
Only you can say if that is a figure that is worth fighting over
Clare
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks. I'll have to think about it.

Regards René Customer

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I hope all goes as well as it can
Clare