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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34903
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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Hi, my current partner has 3 children, the youngest 2 live

Customer Question

Hi, my current partner has 3 children, the youngest 2 live with him, the eldest (now 18) lived with his ex wife (child's biological mother) but moved out when she was 17 and went to live with her boyfriend. My partner has just received a letter from the CSA stating that his daughter's boyfriend's mother is revceiving benefits for his child and is now making a claim against my partner for Child Support. The biological mother is not making any payment whatsoever for the daughter and has now packed her job in and has told the CSA that her net income is less than £5.00 per week so she will not be paying my partner any CSA for the younger children or the daughter. This has caused problems as we cannot confirm whether the daughter is in education as she is now 18 yrs old no college will confirm or deny that she is a student. We do not know the woman who has made the claim, where she lives or whether indeed the daughter is living there. There is no contact with the daughter. The biological mother has been granted child contact with the younger children every other weekend for 2 days and for 2 weeks in the school summer holidays. If she has no income then the question is can she provide adequate and appropriate food etc. for the younger children and should my partner allow the children to go at the weekend, when he doesn't know that there is money there to meet their needs?

My partner has now been told that he will be legally obliged to pay for the daughter if she chooses to go to University? Is this correct as she will be 20 yrs old when and if she passes her A levels?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
Your partner must make the children available for contact as otherwise he is in breach of the Court Order.
Clearly if the children return and have not been properly fed then your partner can consider whether or not to let them go next time - but he has no grounds for refusing now.
So far as the holidays are concerned he is entitled to know where in the country their mother intends to take them
With regard to the CSA if the person making the claim has been granted Child Benefit then she will have shown that his daughter is still in full time secondary education and thus I am afraid the CSA can make an assessment which will run until she is 20 or leaves secondary education.
If his daughter chooses to go to University then she can certainly apply to the court for maintenance - but there is no guarantee that it will be granted
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your reply. Would you clarify whether I am right in thinking that my partner is entitled to proof of where the children will be going eg. a copy of the booking form? With regard to the CSA payments for the younger children, does my partner have any grounds to make a civil claim for money towards their upkeep in the event that his ex wife has savings or investments.? With regard to the university payments, what Statute/grounds would a claim by his daughter or Guardian be made under and do you have any idea of the probability of the daughter succeeding?


Thank you

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Unless he has reason to doubt what he is told about where the children are going then no he cannot ask to see the booking form
The only claim for maintenance that he can make is via the CSA
If his daughter goes to University she and she alone can make a claim using Schedule 1 of the Children Act.
Her claim is only likely to succeed if her father is a relatively high earner