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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34106
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 split up with my partner a few years ago. We have two

Customer Question

I have split up with my partner a few years ago. We have two children (both teenagers now) who both live with me now and go to local school. My ex-partner does not pay any maintenance and I am starting to struggle. I have been advised that if I applied for Child Maintenance this would be assessed based on his tax returns, i.e. how much he earned officially. However his tax returns show minimal income, even though he received over £250k as return of director's loans last year alone (but these, I'm told could not be used as basis of his income). He also has considerable assets. Could my claim be successful if I apply for child maintenance or for covering costs such as sports classess, clothes, etc for our children. I have never claimed these as I did not have the need but my situation changed (as a result of his actions). Can I ask for current and past expenses (considerable, as one of the children is in a competitive sport). Can it be enforced somehow? If I mention this to him directly, he just replies that he is happy for the children to live with him, and if they did, he would ask me for no financial support for them. This obviously doesn't help. What can I do?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 10 months ago.

Hi, thank you for your question. Has a formal application been processed by the CMS and are/were you married to each other?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi,
No, we were not married to each other. I have spoken to 'Child Maintenance Options'. They advised me that based on the fact that he is paying no tax on his income, my case would be assessed as 'Nil'. I then found out on the website that he then might have to pay minimal amount of £50/week or so.
Expert:  Harris replied 10 months ago.

Thank you. Firstly, child maintenance is worked out according to his gross taxable income - therefore if there is no tax liability on his income in return for the director loan, then that will not be taken into account as income for CMS purposes.

Furthermore, in relation to past support, there will be no legal enforcement or obligation for him to pay unless there was a formal CMS/CSA calculation that he did not comply with.

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

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
What about expenses, such as clothes, shoes, extra lessons, food, etc. Is he not supposed to contribute?
Expert:  Harris replied 10 months ago.

He is no legal liability on him to provide maintenance unless or funds unless there is a CMS calculation and if there is it will be limited to the decision that they make - unless you can provide evidence that he is earning more taxable income than has been used in their calculation.

Expert:  Harris replied 9 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.

Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.

My name is ***** ***** I have been a solicitor for more that 30 years.

There are two points to add to the above

The first is that you MUST appeal the first CSA/CMS assessment as they do not include Dividends in the first assessment.

In addition you can ask for the fact that he is diverting his income to avoid paying maintenance to be addressed.

Secondly if that fails you can apply to the Family Court using Schedule 1 of the Children act for an Order to cover the costs of extra lessons etc