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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I have moved to France from the UK, and as a result the Child

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I have moved to France from the UK, and as a result the Child Support Agency have informed my ex husband & I that my child maintenance support case is closed, as they no longer have jurisdiction over the case. As a result of this my ex has ended payments. When payments were first set my ex husband threatened to pack in his job rather than pay the full amount. So we had a verbal agreement that he would pay a reduced amount and that payments would continue until my youngest daughter was 19. I have documentation from the CSA that his monthly payments in 2004 were set at a figure of £572 per month. He has only ever paid £425 per month. As the records show he had been making reduced payments directly to me for such a long period does that constitute in itself that a contract must have existed between us, and therefore can I make a claim for the amount owing now he has decided to no longer make payments?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How old is the child and when did you move?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

There are two children Amy (19) and Megan now (17). The payments continued at the same agreed rate at £425 per month after Amy's b'day as the agreement was until Megan's 19th birtdhday.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Sorry, we moved to France on the 26th June 2014.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Are both the girls still in education?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Amy is at university (strting year 2) and Megan starts college in England on the 6th September. Since being in France, Megan has attended the Lycee (English college) and also 'As' by correspondance but this has not worked out. Both girls have high functioning Asperger's.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
What level of education is the younger child in - is it still secondary education
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

yes its still classified as secondary education

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
I am afraid that the agreement that you had with your ex is not enforceable - although if you did not actually close the CSA case the arrears accrued until you left the country could still be enforced
However since your youngest child is now living in the UK, is under 20 and is in full time education you could instigate a further CMS assessment.
Alternatively you can make a claim in the UK court provided you do so before the child's 18th birthday.
Your elder daughter can also make a claim in her own right using the Children Act
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello Clare, thank you for your responses.

I will follow your guidance with the CSA, once I have received a response to the letter I sent asking for a summary of the total he should have paid and a schedule of any changes

I have previously written to the CSA regarding reclaiming any shortfall of payments due to our agreement matter and they have said it is not a matter for them to address.

They state 'There are no arrears on your case therefore Mr XXXXX has paid all money due through the agency. You had a private agreement with Mr XXXXX therfore any underpayments from 2003 onwards are between yourself and Mr XXXXX.

Firstly payments were not made through the CSA, they were paid direct to my bank account, under the private agreement so they would not be able to make such a statement.

Secondly it is the validity of the private agreement that my questions relate to. If he was paying monthly then surely it identifies that an agreement must of existed and therefore is there validity in perusing a claim against him directly now he has ceased payments?

Regards

Debra

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
I am sorry private agreements are not enforceable - they are not viewed as contracts
I suspect what the CSA are saying is that they closed their case in 2003 - but it is worth checking
Clare
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