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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 11453
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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My husband has a son from previous marriage who is severely

Resolved Question:

My husband has a son from previous marriage who is severely disabled and needs full time care. Parents are divorced and according to Separation agreement from 2002 - son lives with his mother who is a primary carer and father is sole financial provider who also provides care over 60 days a year (flying from England to Scotland to take son to specially built and adapted second home every 3rd weekend and on school holidays). Child support payment was agreed in 2002 on the basis of son attending private special needs nursery and mother receiving marital home (with a very small mortgage payment outstanding). As son is now 14 he attends a free special needs school (no nursery). Mother recently had a bad (ski!) accident and is unable to care for the son for the next 4-5 months. She doesn't want her family, or anyone else, involved in the care and insists that son's father takes time off work for the next 4-5 months and cares for the son in holiday home. Mother refuses to approve help from specialist disable social workers. Mother has never worked. My husband is self employed - if he doesn't work he doesn't earn but the child support payments are very high as they were agreed years ago when job situation was different and much higher paid. So as a result my salary (I'm wife #2) goes towards child support to my step son's mother who is unable to do the 'job' she is effectively paid to do, but isn't helping with the crisis solution either. We would like to reduce child support payment so that the extra costs of care are shared between the 2 families, otherwise the burden is fully on us (we work, we pay, we support, we care and we travel). The mother says it is illegal to reduce her payment because it is 'guaranteed' by the Separation agreement and because her mortgage payment is a lot higher since she sold the marital home and bought a bigger house with larger mortgage. Question - is it reasonable to adjust child support payment which is intended as payment towards caring for the son and not for the mother, if the adjustment is directly related to the extra care costs we have to incur due to the mother's accident? Can mother's increased mortgage (which she took out on her initiative years after the divorce) be her child payment protection forever? Thank you
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

There has been a material change of circumstances so the separation agreement would fall to be reviewed given that the previous financial circumstances appear to be vastly different.

Happy to discuss further.

I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


thank you for your reply. May I just check as per my original question - are we able to deduct from the child support payment we make each month for the amount of extra care costs. Or do we have to go through a formal review and change of separation agreement first prior to making any amendments to the payments? thank you

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
The latter, I'm afraid.
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