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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33313
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I have been paying Child Maintenance directly to my ex-wife

Customer Question

I have been paying Child Maintenance directly to my ex-wife in respect of my two children (currently 17 and 15) via a Consent Order since I divorced her in March 2005. I have consistently paid her slightly in excess of the CSA formula of 20%. The Consent Order provides for payment until my children are 18 or until the end of a first degree course. The monetary amount I pay to her bank account each month is about £1000.

My ex-wife remarried last year. The relationship between her, her new husband and my children has deteriorated very badly since this time and the children have to make their own food shopping trips to buy their weekly groceries, which they pay for themselves and for which they are reimbursed by their mother. They buy any clothes they want out of their pocket money which I give them (they receive nothing from their mother of step-father).

I have, for some time, considered that my ex-wife is 'pocketing' the majority of the maintenance and that my children do not receive the full benefit of the payments I make to their mother. I want to make separate arrangements to ensure they get the full benefit. I live in South Africa, returning to the UK every month for a few days, so whilst I have regular contact with them, I am not in a position to provide custody. I have not remarried.

I am considering paying them directly into a bank account that all three of us (me and my two children) have access to. Alternatively, their aunt (who lives locally and whom I trust completely) may be prepared to act as a 'trustee' to ensure the maintenance funds are properly used for their benefit.

Am I able to do either of these options or am I bound to pay the mother directly? The Consent Order states that I 'shall pay periodical payments for the benefit of the children...' but does not state that I must pay these payments to their mother.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thanks for for your query.
Sadly this is not an option - if it is not paid to your ex then it will not count as maintenance.
Claire

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