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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33004
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 applied financial remedy to deal with outstanding

Resolved Question:

I have applied for interim financial remedy to deal with outstanding school fees to be paid by my ex husband and make arrangement for on going and future school fees. He stopped paying because he cliams I upset him. I have realised that this is probably would be better dealt with under the children's act. he is starting to use various isssues to cloud the need to arrange for his school fees promptly.
1)Can I stop the interim application as a way to deal with this and make a fresh application under the children's law to ask for a school fees order? We ar due in court on friday. His barrister has indicated that they had asked for extented time in court to deal with negotiation with me on this. They also want me to pay for the court proceeding. Fact is I cannot negotiate with them or pay the legal fees.
I don't uderstand why they would require all day in court for this, other than they want insist putting pressure on me to agree what I cannot do.
2) i have since come to understand that child best interest may not be considered in the financial settlement as part of divorce process. So it seems to me that instead of prolonging needless period in court and distress to me, I should make a separete application for school fees order under the children's act which will effectively loo to protect my son's education need. he is 15 now. can I apply for a separate order for school fees until he finishes education?
I look forward to your quick reply. Thak you
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further information first.Did you apply for an interim spouse maintenance order?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

i applied for interim maintenance pending suit so I can pay the school the outstaanding school fees. My son is in his gcse year and the situation his dad created with the school is embarassing and could affect his eg being asked to leave the school. So I assured the school I'd pursue the outstanding fees. but he and his lawyers are planning to be awkward and seems to be playing games bringing everthing else not in the interest of the child to help him avoid responsibility to his child.

Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.
What are his solicitors actually saying about this?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

They are saying that I should look for a bursary for him. They believe I have enough equity in my property to arrange school fees for our son. They believe I earn more than my ex-husband and should be able to pay our son's school fees. They would like to see evidence that I had not already applied or obtain bursary for him as a single parent. They believe I should collect social services benefit to help me and my son financially. They want time to negotiate with all these and consent to agreement which I can see is for their client's benefit not my son. They also said that as a disable person I have disability benefit that i could use as income.

The fact is he earns more than me though he claims not to. Over £10k more than me in basic salary and in addition an annual bonus of over 20k in March of each year which he merely mentioned in his statement. He does not want his bonus counted in because he said it is not garranteed despite that this has been paid for the last 15years and many times higher than what he decleared. He is also prepared to offer me £200 towards the fees provided I agree to take responsibility for the school fees. .They believe that I should divert money paid for my sons music study to paying the school fees. Our son is a very good musician

I cannot obtain bursay for my son because of my level of earnings at the moment. I struggle to keep up maintaining us due to ill health and disability. I may take an early retirement in the very near future due to ill health.The disability benefit pays for my motability car. There does nt seem to be any morality or sensitivity in their approach.

This is why I feel perhaps if should consider a separate application through the children's act.

Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.
All those points are valid (apart form the one about the music lessons)
You do have to show that you have accessed all possible funds - so you will need to take with you evidence of the availability or otherwise of Bursaries; and ensure that you have accessed all possible benefits - you can use the website here to check
This is an urgent applictaion so will be dealt with on the position NOW - not what might happen if you retire.
This will be same whether you use this option or the Children Act and on that basis there is no point in changing the basis of your applictaion at this point.
Prepare your paperwork clearly and be clear about what you want from the negotiations and let them look like the bullies they are
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for this. Regarding his music study, Please do you think that these reasons will be taken account of ?
1) My son is an extremely talented musician, with international award for composition, national awards for strings and choral works, in the national children orchestra of great britain and work with major uk orchestra in composition now. I never put him in music or even knew he was doing it at school since he was 6 until we got a letter that he has unique aptitude for music and has demonstrated so over a range of orchestral instruments and composition for orchestra and how the school is helping him with his development in this area. He was getting 100% in composition consistently since junior school and they wrote they believe he has something to offer the music world. They put him in international music examinations and he has always succeeded with distinction and with full marks in many. There is a fair bit written about him already in magazines and music publications. He is on track to have his music degree by the time he finishes sixth form. Because of his high performance is the reason he has to go to the conservatoire of music for his further study in composition and orchestra works alongside his education. He also has a medical condition and his music helps him with this. He is one child ever remembered for being admitted into the college of music to study composition in depth at his age. His school work hand in hand with the music college to make sure he develops his talent. The school gave him bursary towards it where possible within the 's current policy, but unfortunately for him, due to our income level it is not substantially covered. His dad's solicitors are saying if the school and college could not give him full bursary he must stop his music education and must leave the school. they say the money I spend to support his music should go towards his school fees and proposed his father pays nothing because he is entitled to this choice. I pay towards his school fees and have always struggle with his dad to pay because he believes he has this chioce and he is execising it.

2) The fact is our son is at a disadvantage geting financial support via bursary because he has parents with good incomes and one of them is unwilling to support him. I have discussed with him the possibility of him having to stop due to financial reason if we could not get his dad to help. He simply looked so deep in thought so sad with nerves standing over his head and said - if i stop my music mama what am I? That's me and it's going to be taken away, why is dad doing this? He referred to another child in his school who is also in the special programme with him and remarked how her dad supports her those he does not live with them and went into his room. He has been withdrawn and quite. There has been other consequencies as his medical condition got worse suddenly. The psychological department at the children hospital are now helping him with the various stress issues and have written that they have to see him more often. The headmaster and the school counsellor have been great with him as he doesn't even want to go to school expressing no point. The enthusiasm has gone out of him and he practices or sit down to write less now. He thinks the future is bleak and no point doing anything anymore and his medical condition starts to weigh heavy in his thoughts and expressions.The college and school gave me a list of sponsors I could contact and I have done so, sadly with the same barrier to succeeding. The option is for him to enter competetion and win music prize to train him but he can't until he is 17/18. He is unhappy and I try to assure him I'd do my best till he can do this.I trust his ability to do so and succeed. Who am I to take all these away from him now, no matter what the future holds. It would be easier for me if he stopped music, but who am I to take that away from him in his case? Long term there are indication that he would be abe to get music scholarship for his education.

3)Do you think the court will be able to treat his case sensitively and sympathetically, as an unsual special case due to potentially significant harm to the child? the conclusion of the court proceeing under the children's act in April asked myself and his dad to work together to prevent the potential ofr a significant harm to him but his dad has no interest doing so. Can the time for support and school fees payment from his dad be set and be open to review at a suitable period to avert any considerable harm to our son in short term? I also think that my son may be better off now if I take early retirement now. But It means I have no opportunity to recover and progress my career. I am going through request for reasonabke adjustment for me to work at home so I can cope with with work but I do not know if it would be granted yet.

4) do you think the court will consider all these evidence for his reason I support his music and try to get his dad to support the only thing he could not riggle out of, his school fees?

I eagerly await your reply. Regards

Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.
1. I do not think the Court will make him give up his music studies - make sure you have evidence of his great gift in this area
2. The emphasis should be on his ability and what you have done to secure bursaries - not on the emotions involved
3 and 4 I do think you have a good case if you stay calm and show that your ex CAN afford it
Customer: replied 10 months ago.


I was in court on Friday. It was not good news. My ex-husband's barrister clouded alot of issues and concentrated on discrediting me and determined to prove my ability to pay, despite that it's obvious I could not pay the outstanding fees and school fees. My solicitor was ill-prepared and refused to present the evidences I'd taken with me as you advised, saying they are not relevant. It's a house in my name I bought years ago with my inheritance from my mother and placed in trust for my son at first. My ex husband asked me to take the house out of trust so he could manage it. His barrister said that if I sold it it could pay for my son's education. His barrister said he had no money but the schedule they produced were full of flaws and lies. The house is in negative equity, run down, needing repair and at riak of repossession. He made sure he ran it down, still holds the keys and has not been let since 2007. I was fruastrated as I had the evidence the judge needed, but my solicitor would not present it even when I took them out and showed during proceeding and hearing what the judge said, he still refused to present the evidence argued with the judge that they are not relevant to the case. Judge told him that prove of capital in the property was relevant. My solicitor told mehe did not do so because he believed the judge was misinterpreting the law. I believe all he has to do was too show that even if my ex husband could not afford to pay now, he has the ability to arrange his finances and pay.

1) can I appeal against the decision/order? It will not help recover the outstanding fees or arrange for the school fees. The school is not likely to accept the terms of the order from me.

2) The school sent a letter to the judge regarding the outstanding fees, that they would reconsider their position following the outcome of the court. I know the school wants to recover this money under the law of contract if I cannot. They have evidence that I cannot including this house details. Can they do this still?

3) can I ask for extension on time to prepare the form E , due to be submitted to court on 11 December. I cannot meet that date due to other evidence I need to cover.

4) or can I cancel the application to give me time and reapply later when I have got all evidence to attach?

5) Also I do not want to use the solicitor as I have no confidence in him and can I tell him i do not wish to proceed with him anymore because of this?

6) Can I make fresh application for school fees order under the children's act separately? My solictor messed up and I ended up worse off and it will affect my son seriously. I need to make an arrange for him to pay, his P60 showed he earns over £45k more than me.

I look forward to your quick reply please. Thank you.

Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.
For clarity - the suggestion was that this house could be sold to fund the school fees - is that correct?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.


Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.
In fact he needed to show both that you have no resources to pay with and that your husband could afford to pay NOW.
What is the actual position with regard to this house - is it held in your sole name?
Have you had it valued?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

It's in my sole name due to my son's age when it was purchased.

Yes I have had it valued recently

Mortgage oustanding £79k on buy-to -let interest only mortgage.

Market price £65k

Renovation cost estimate is 22K.

House not let since 2007 after he tenants had a dispute with him putting the rent up. I was ill at the time and he did not tell me, saying beacus i was ill. attempts to ruturn the house to a letting condition failed because he accuses me of undermining him and i wanted to run it, as shown on his statement to court. Husband still holds the key. The house is at risk of repossession as I stopped paying the mortgage recently.

But he believes there is up to £60-£80K in the house and has recommended sale of the property as he believes he needs his portion of the equity. can he be made to pay th negative equity?



Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.
May I ask why you have noT changed the locks and taken back control?
Did you have an up to date valuation at court?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I was scared to upset him. I have been abuse for so long and incapable of doing anything he might discover and make my life hell. I am just recovering in the past year. Sometimes i still feel i need his permission to carry out anything. Still hard but getting there. I couldn't even start the divorce let alone achieve it by cross petition, with your advice. still have good and bad days!

I did but my solicitor wouldn't take it from me saying it would be irrelevant to the case. i pointed to it to the bench, he just took it from me and placed it on the table. it was so fraustating. he just argued with the judge even when the judge said it was relevant to him and he would make a decision on what is in front of him due to the urgency of such application.

Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.
The starting point is to go ahead and change the locks and get a valuation to ad to your Form E
The issue of the School fees can be revisited at the next hearing when you can prove that the house has no equity.
You could appeal the last hearing - but frankly the extra cost involved would be excessive
However you can ask your solicitor for an explanation in writing of his actions at the hearing - and make a formal complaint if need be
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for this.

Can I ask if it would be easier to make a fresh application for the school fees order under children's act for his sixth form and beyond? He will remain at his current school for his sixth form. He plans to go to university following his six form.

Section 1.10 of form E asks details of the present and proposed future educational arrangements for the children.

I have to address future educational arrangement- can I say that that application for school fees order will be made under the children's act?

The present issue of school fees is to recover outstanding school fees relating to the present arrangement, due to his deliberate decision to stop paying.

The school still plans to recover the outstanding fees through contract law, due to my inability to pay after my feedback on the outcome. I think thst this may be more effective for the school to recover their money. The headmaster said that I have demonstrated that I had done all I could to pay the outstanding amount, he can be sued as we both jointly under contract till his notice to terminate his contract.

Can I enter in form E that outstanding fees under current arrangement has been considered and did not meet the school's demand? The school would pursue recovery via the contract agreement defaulted by him.

Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.
The issue of future fees can be dealt with within the current application, and yes you can put all those details on the Form E
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33004
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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