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James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1390
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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I have been separated from my wife for just over four years

Customer Question

I have been separated from my wife for just over four years after she walked out of our home for another man. We have three girls who are now 15, 14 and 9. We agreed early on that I would have the girls for two days per week and I would pay my wife £800 monthly child maintenance to take care of them. That was at a time when I drew a reasonable salary from my own business.

However, over the last two and a half years my work situation has changed dramatically. My income has been sporadic at best and is vastly reduced. I now receive support from my family to meet bills but despite this I am falling further into debt. Consequently, my wife agreed to reduce her demand to £600. Then a year ago, my eldest daughter moved in with me full time after falling out with her mother and being thrown out. At this time, I reduced the child maintenance payment to my wife to £400 monthly.

Given our current financial situations, where my wife is in full time employment and earns more than myself, and where I effectively take care of our daughters for 11 out of 21 nights (1 daughter 7 nights/week, 2 daughters 2 nights/week) I feel I should not be paying anything to my wife. In fact, she should be paying me. Whereas I am stuck at home trying to meet bills with borrowing, my wife is drawing various single parent benefits (I believe but can't confirm), earning a full-time salary and taking child maintenance money from me; all of which allows her to holiday each year, carry out various home improvements and go out with friends each week. Can you please confirm where I stand with regards XXXXX XXXXX
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare and I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
What income do you actually each have before tax?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I am unaware of my wife's income as she does not divulge, but estimate it to be anything between £25000-£35000pa. In 2011, I was earning £66000pa, but in the last two years that has fallen drastically. I can only draw earnings sporadically, but most months draw nothing. In the last two years I would estimate I have drawn about £20000.

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
In fact you should be paying 16% of 89% of your gross income less a 2/7 reduction for the children who live with her and she should be paying 12% of 86% of her income for the child living with her
This is the CSA rate detailed here
I would suggest that you reduce your payments to the CSA rate as soon as possible - and if you ex will not make a payment in respect of the child living with you then you will have to make an application to the CSA for an assessment
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details