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Harris
Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2725
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I've been paying child and spousal maintenance at a fixed £

Resolved Question:

I've been paying child and spousal maintenance at a fixed £ amount since separation (now divorced) agreed in a court order. I've also been paying school fees. My daughter is 17 now and intends to go to university. she will then be 18.
Can the court force me to pay all her university costs (tuition and maintenance) through university? Can i switch all child maintenance payments straight to my daughter from her 18th birthday?
thanks
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 11 months ago.

Hi, thanks for your question. Please confirm if you are in England or Wales and kindly attach the order here using the paperclip icon please

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi, thanks, I'm in England. Original consent order and subsequent variation attached.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi Harris.I'm not sure if you go this. If you did could you please give me an indication of timescales for an answer please?
thanks
Dave
Expert:  Harris replied 11 months ago.

Apologies for the delay. I have considered the documents you have sent and the order of April 2012 and it is clear that in relation to school fees, these are limited to secondary education and there is no order or agreement that you pay university costs.

Furthermore, in relation to the child maintenance amount, this must be paid to the mother for the benefit of your daughter and if you wish to change this you should initially seek agreement from the mother to pay the maintenance directly to your daughter, and then apply to court to have this approved in an order - however, in the event that this does not happen you must pay the child maintenance directly to the mother otherwise you will accumulate arrears and she can apply to enforce this against you.

I hope this assists you. If you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for your question without a positive rating. Thank you.

Expert:  Harris replied 11 months ago.

Hi, this question remains open. If you found my information provided helpful please could you rate my response positively using the stars at the top of this page as I will not be credited for my response without a positive rating.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Didn't really help as it was ambiguous.
1. Can I be obliged by the courts to pay university tuition fees or maintenance to my daughter after her 18th birthday if my ex brings a claim?
2. If yes, or if I make voluntary payments, will I have to pay these to my ex or can I pay my daughter direct?
Thanks.
Expert:  Harris replied 11 months ago.

Apologies that it appears ambiguous. Under the terms of the order you provided:

1. The court order specifically states that school fees are until the end of secondary school, therefore you will not need to pay university fees. Once your daughter goes to university any issue of fees will need to be pursued by your daughter directly.

2. You are obliged to make child maintenance payments to the mother, for the benefit of your daughter, until your daughter completes university. These should not be made directly to your daughter as the order is clear that they should be made to the mother even during university.

I hope this further assists you. If you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for your question without a positive rating. Thank you.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thanks. On 1 I'm clear that the current order only covers school fees, but if my ex applies to court for a new order to cover university fees too, is it within the power of the court to order that I pay university fees in addition to maintenance?
Expert:  Harris replied 11 months ago.

She will not be entitled to apply for such an order, only your daughter can

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