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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34581
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 divorced in 2008 and there was a consent order re

Customer Question

Hi,
I divorced in 2008 and there was a consent order re maintenance of my children. I have paid this without fail until last month when i lost my job. I am now unable to met this obligation and would like to know how i can stop payments until i get a new job?
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 informtaion first.

How much did you earn and how much were you paying>

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was earning 40K and have always paid £200 per child - £400 per month.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Are you likely to be able to get another job reasonably swiftly?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have been off for 1 month already and am actively looking. I do not know how long it will take. I want to ensure I have the funds to cover myself until I get another job.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Sorry - I had asked another question but it disappeared!

Will you earn much the same or are you expecting a decrease?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am expecting a decrease due to the market but I hope not. I am also looking for temp work in the meantime which will mean a lower income if successful.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare, I was wondering if I could have an answer before the weekend, as I would like to go back to my ex wife with a course of action. I do appreciate you are busy.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

My apologies for the delay.

You have two options.

You can make an application to the CMS - this will immediately override the Court Order

Since you currently have no income then you would pay a low flat rate until you find work

The downside of that is that if you do earn £40,000 and assuming the children do not spend more than one night a week with you, the ongoing monthly bill is more than £500.

The alternative is for you to apply to the court for a downward variation.

This is done using a Form A any paying the fee of £245.

The downside of that is being locked into what is a cumbersome system.

In addition your ex may discover that she will get more if she goes to the CMS.

At this stage you may wish to negotiate with your ex and point out that a court applictaion to vary downwards would be expensive and agree a short term reduction - but please please get it in writing.

Please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Carol, appreciate you quick response
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

You are welcome - I hope all goes well

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare,If I go the CMS route can I confirm that only overides the maintenance part of the consent order. I.e. So the other elements stay within the consent order.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Yes that is correct

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare,One final question. If I decide to retrain and become a mature student, during this time what are my financial responsibilities.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

provided you have applied either for a CMS assessment or a downward variation you will only be liable for the lower amount