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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34236
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 2 children from a previous marriage that I am paying

Customer Question

Hi I have 2 children from a previous marriage that I am paying for and unfortunately my current partner e.g we are not married wants to separate and we have a five year old Son together Could you tell me what maintenance payments I will have to pay for my Son in addition to the payments I am already paying for my 2 Daughters thanks Dale
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

What is your gross annual income and what maintenance are you currently paying?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I currently earn £10416.67 per month and pay £833 per month into my pension and currently pay £800 per month to my ex Wife
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
On the basis we are not married would my partner have any legal claim on any of my assets ? Also what would happen in the event I lost my job and my income reduced or stopped if I opted for early retirement ?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Does the £800 a month include spouse maintenance?

Who owns the property you and your current partner live in?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The £800 includes spouse maintenance as part of a clean break and I own the property we currently live in
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Could you confirm if you are going to get back to me tonight ?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare I appreciate it got a little late last night but I am still awaiting an answer to the questions that I put to you Can you confirm back with the information or when you will be able to get back to me thanks Dale
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

My apologies for the delay.

Under the CMS(CSA) rules you would be paying approximately 16% of your gross income as child maintenance split as to two thirds to your ex wife and one third to your current partner - which (again very roughly) means a payment to your current partner of about £500 a month.

Full details here

http://www.nacsa.co.uk/index.php/cs3-calculations

Your partner could potentially also apply for an order forcing you to also find her a small two bedroom property which would remain yours but in which she could live until the child is 18 or she cohabits - but that is less certain.

She has no other claim on you.

If your income reduces your child maintenance will reduce and remain a percentage of your gross income from all sources.

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare many thanks for the information provided which is very helpful Just one further point of clarity that I alluded to earlier was whether increasing my pension contribution would reduce my maintenance payment or has the rule on this point changed or been abolished ?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

It can still work - but only if the pension contribution remains "reasonable" (yes who knows what that might mean!)

Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare I have just returned from a mediation session that I entered with the information that you provided and which I relied on for the decisions and positions in the meeting. The Mediator although not a currently practising family lawyer completely discounted the fact that I have to pay maintenance to my ex Wife and suggested the calculation of my maintenance payments to my current partner would simply default to 16% of my gross salary which completely contradicts the position you confirmed. In the circumstances could you reassure me that the position you outlined is the correct one ?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Sorry - they said that the full 16% would go to your current partner who only has the one child?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think the point of difference is around the fact that my other 2 children do not live with me however if they did live with me why would I pay maintenance ? The mediator was trying to force me to disclose my assets to ascertain how much I could afford in providing accommodation for Natalie and Luke however sure the point is what is reasonable in terms of the type of accommodation rather than my ability to afford it in the first instance It didn't feel like an impartial meeting and I will not be going back what would be your advice ?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

What nonsense.

In the event that the other chidlren were ignored (which they wont be) then it would not be 16% - it would be something like 10% of your gross income for one child (at most)

You are correct - it is about what is a reasonable property - bearing in mind it is important that the difference between your property and hers shoudl not be too great so that the difference as the child moves between you is not too extreme

You can read more here

http://174law.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/COHABITING-PARENTS-CHILDREN-ACT-SCH-1-APPLICATIONS.pdf

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the clarity The law seems bizarre at times we all currently live in a 5 bedroom family home so you are implying I would have to buy her something similar for just her and my Son ? If that was the case couldn't I just sell up and move into a flat for myself to achieve the same Its mind boggling how subjective the whole area seems to be
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Not quite

Think of it more like this - if you have a five bedroom detached house in a nice area - she will need more than a two bedroom ex council flat in a tower block!