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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10656
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Good evening I have been ordered to pay £10200 pounds in child

Resolved Question:

Good evening
I have been ordered to pay £10200 pounds in child support 'arrears' to my ex partner in Germany by a German court. The real amount is probably around £3000. We took legal advice nearly four years ago in Edinburgh and were assigned a trainee lawyer. We could not get legal aid to challenge the case due to it being in Getmany. We were advised at a meeting that if we could not afford to pay for a German lawyer we should wait on the German court when they contacted the Scottish legal system. A Scottish judge would take into account my earnings and set the payments.
When the enforcement order came in in September I went to another lawyer who told me I had been given the wrong advice and would need to pay these arrears because there was no appeal process.
I am extremely annoyed about the advice originally given and at my wits end at having to pay money I do not owe, which my ex partner is happy of course to accept.
I do not know where to turn to fight this. Many things are going through my head but, surely there must be something I can do to fight this injustice. I am being punished for not cooperating with an arrogant woman from the German CSA. This is meant to be about my child's welfare, someone I have financially supported to the best of my ability since his birth.
Can you advise me of any way to fight this. Do you or one of your colleagues like a case that involves looking between the lines and that involves a good fight instead of a case that's plain black or white?
I look forward to your reply.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
When an order is made abroad in respect of child maintenance, it has to be registered in Scotland so as to be enforceable against the defender, (you).
It is absolute nonsense that a Scottish judge can interfere with the foreign court order. It is registered for enforcement; the merits of the case are determined by the foreign court, not by any court or judge in Scotland.
So you were definitely given the wrong advice in Scotland and you have also been told by a German lawyer that you can't do anything about this in Germany, presumably because of the passage of time.
So what do you do?
You are liable to pay the maintenance. You can't do anything about that now. Your only remedy is to sue your original lawyer in Scotland on the basis that the advice was wrong, therefore that firm of lawyers was negligent. No lawyer firm of ordinary competence would have given the advice you were given. You have to make a claim against them for the difference in what you should have paid and what you are now being forced to pay.
What you need is a lawyer who specialises in professional negligence to make a claim on your behalf for your losses. Contact the Law Society of Scotland and ask for a "pursuer's" professional neglignce lawyer. See www.lawscot.org.uk for contact details.
Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10656
Experience: 30 years as a practising solicitor.
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