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Harris
Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2849
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I have two daughters one aged 20 at university and living in

Customer Question

I have two daughters one aged 20 at university and living in student accomodation, after taking a gap year and one aged 18 currently on a gap year who will be starting university in september and will probably live in student accomodation. By order of the court I have been paying their mother a monthly payment for the benefit of the children until they reach the age of 18 or complete full time education whichever is the later or further order. My daughter currently at university as taken out a student loan to help support her she goes home most wkends.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks for your question.
Please could you elaborate what the issue is and what you need assistance with.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry should i still be paying my ex wife this money am i'm obliged to do so??? given both daughters are or will be going to university is this full time education?I would also rather pay my daughters direct then I know it is going to them at the moment I believe my wife is benefitting from this support. The court order states for the benefit of the children of the family then daughters names.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Thanks - it is usual for full-time education to refer to the end of tertiary education (sixth form or an approved training course) and not university, unless the order specifically states that it would continue into university.
Was the financial agreement reached by court order or in a consent order approved by the court?
Harris and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My documentation from the court says by consent it is ordered that subject to decree absolute.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for confirming. As the order is by consent, the child maintenance section would be for 12 months, after which either you or your ex-wife would have been able to make an application to the Child Maintenance Service and their calculation would have superceded the court order.
In the circumstances you would no longer be liable for child maintenance.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Harris thank you if possible can we discuss further over the phone my number *********** or happy to contact you.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Can you confirm what was discussed in the negotiations regarding full-time education? If your wife were to argue that this should continue then you would be able to pay this directly to your daughter's instead of through her.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Harris this was in 2002 I was represented by a barrister at the High Court of Justice family devision. My barrister and my ex wife's barrister were the go between so to speak we did not talk to each other. My understanding at the time was that it would not include university although I don't re call that it was mentioned. We finally agreed a settlement between us before the final hearing. In your response you mention making an application to child maintenance service not sure why she would do this given what the consent order says, can you pls explain.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
If the discussions were that the child maintenance would not include university then this is the position you should be arguing - it is unfortunate that the order does not specifically state as it leaves some uncertainty. In any event, any maintenance payments can be provided directly to your daughter's.
In relation to child maintenance agreements in consent orders, after 12 months from approval of the order, she would have been able to apply to the CMS for example if the agreement was lower than the CMS amount or if your income had increased. The same would have been for you - so if the agreement was for a higher amount than the CMS calculation you would have been able to apply in order to reduce your liability. This is no longer possible given your daughter's ages.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Harris so to sum up I am not legally obliged to continue to pay my ex-wife maintenance for my two children?
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
As long as the agreement for full-time education did not include university, then you are not obliged to continue the payments. In any event they no longer need to be made directly to her and can be paid directly to your daughter's if you wished.