How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35047
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Clare is online now

pay maintenance for my daughter

This answer was rated:

The courts order say my ex must pay maintenance for my daughter until she is 18 or finishes tertiary education. She started her undergraduate course in September but due to ill health and two hospital stays she has exited her course and will go in this September instead, she has her place at Liverpool University. My ex has now stopped paying her maintenance saying she has ceased tertiary education. My solicitor says technically she hasn't as she has just deferred because of ill health. She needs the money to help support her. What do I do?

My solicitor also says I should go for an Enforcement Action against my ex. My ex says he as consulted his solicitor and he is within his right to stop the maintenance. I don't want to spend a fortune on EA and possible court action if there is no chance of him continuing to support my daughter who is 19.

Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Does your ex accept that he will have to restart payments in September?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No he's not saying that -will he have to?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

As far as I know - no - he told me he would stop the payment and my solicitor wrote to him telling him not to that technically my daughter is still in education - just delaying the year due to ill health and therefore stlll needs support until she restarts in September. He has apparently had advice for his solicitor (my ex) and a letter is on the way to say my daughter has ceased her education - this is not the case - she has her new place for September her UCAS letter confirming it all and will be going back. He is being very harassing - her (by phone and text) and me (by text). Telling her to get a job and me that he hated giving me money - it's not me - it's to support our daughter.

Our of interest would you be willing to agree that he pays her and not you?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He's already tried to do that and the courts order says the money is paid to me - also what he suggested was paying her rent and giving her 'a bit of money' - I'm not convinced if I agree to that he would stick to it and my daughter certainly wouldn't want to be in a position where she has to keep asking or indeed going to court to get him to pay. He has tried for 8 years to stop paying for one reason or another - - he told my 15 year old son yesterday that he (my son) is my meal ticket and started basically telling him not to go to university - he's only 15 and hasn't even done his GCSE's yet but the manipulation is already starting - it's ridiculous and damaging behaviour.

The fact that your daughter has had to drop out of the first year clearly creates a situation that is ambiguous
She is not actually currently in education since the University year is still ongoing and she is not in attendance, but neither has she actually finished Tertiary education since she fully intends to return in September and has the place lined up.
Where there is ambiguity then it is for the Judge to decide how to interpret the order
On the basis of what you have said I actually agree with your solicitor and believe the Court will hold that maintenance is still payable - or that it will again be payable in September
Your only option is to apply to enforce the order - details here ( do NOT register it with the magistrates court) and let him fight it
If the worst happens and the court finds in his favour then in fact in September your daughter can make an application in her own right under Schedule 1 of the Children Act
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you