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familylawexpert, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 311
Experience:  Substantial experience (14yrs +) in divorce, financial cases, cohabitation, pre-nuptial agreements and civil partnerships.
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I have made an agreement with my ex wife Kate regarding child

Customer Question

I have made an agreement with my ex wife Kate regarding child maintenance whereby I give her a lump sum in lieu of CSA payments for our daughter Georgie who is 14. We've done it out of convenience because she needs to pay off an expensive debt and have some cash to be able to rent a house for the two of them after splitting up with her current husband, and I can pay back a loan for the money over a longer period than the 4 or so years remaining of CSA payments and we won't be affected by CSA changes next year where they take a percentage away from the payment by me.

The CSA, and a justanswer lawyer advised that I should get a contract drawn up to mitigate the risk of her having the money then making a CSA claim which they'd be obliged to assess and I'd have to pay for. We've discussed it and agreed we should agree a contract.

We have agreed the following and I have the money ready;

1. We have agreed to make a deal to replace the current CSA arrangement for Georgie in the amount of 30k
2. Notwithstanding the CSA arrangements, I have given you 10k of the 30k already in lieu of child maintenance
3. I will give you a further 20k in lieu of child maintenance
4. In exchange for that payment, you will close the CSA case that currently exists
5. The payment is intended to provide child maintenance until August 2017, three months after Georgie is 18
6. You will not request further money via the CSA
7. You agree to repay me the 30k in full in August 2017 UNLESS you have not made any claim to the CSA

My questions are
a) having agreed the text above in email exchanges (I emailed the list asking if she could agree, she emailed back saying yes, agreed), is a written and signed contract any more use, or do the emails constitute a contract anyway these days?
b) should a receipt be included when I transfer the money?
c) if a contract is the right thing, then is the above agreement sufficient or is here something else worth putting in?
d) how much and how quick to get a contract drawn up by a solicitor?

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  familylawexpert replied 4 years ago.

My name is Mac and I can help you with your question.

You should definitely enter into a formal contract, not just an exchange of emails. Your agreement looks fine , in broad terms, but I would definitely get a lawyer to draft it up into legal language. I would expect that that could be done for a few hundred pounds by a non-London lawyer.

Yes, if I were you I would get a receipt when you make the payments. I would strongly recommend you make no more payments until the contract is done and signed. I would expect that it would take no more than a couple of weeks, the actual drafting is only a couple of hours.

I think I have answered all the aspects of your question, but let me know if you need more clarification.


Expert:  familylawexpert replied 4 years ago.

I notice that you haven't yet rated my answer. I wondered if that was because you have any further aspects of your question that you would like me to help you with? If so, I'd be pleased to help.

Please do let me know if there are any areas of your question / my answer on which you would like me to expand, otherwise I would be very grateful you could rate my answer.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Mac,

Thanks for being clear. Given that t any time, a CSA case can be raised, then there is a risk that the CSA might not accept the argument that I've already paid despite the existence of a receipt and a contract on the basis of the above.


Do you have a view as to how the courts/the legal community would view that situation?

Expert:  familylawexpert replied 4 years ago.

Yes, there is indeed that possibility. However, the agreement that you have with her should then enable you to recover that money from her.

You might want to stage your payments slightly, so that the bulk of the £20k is paid after she actually does close the existing CSA case.

And then add a no8, saying that in the event that there is a futher CSA maintenance assessment in respect of Georgie, on August 2017 Kate will pay you a lump sum equal to the amount of maintenance that you have been required to pay pursuant to any such CSA assessments from November 2013 to August 2017.

I would expect that a properly drawn up and executed agreement to that effect would be enforceable in court.