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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34885
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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My divorce was in 2000. At the time it was agreed that my

Customer Question

My divorce was in 2000. At the time it was agreed that my ex husband would pay £700 per month. I have never had an increase in the maintenance towards my three boys. Is it correct that he should still be paying that or should I apply for an increase since the boys needs and costs have clearly increased with age?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How old are the children and how much does your ex earn?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The boys are now 17, 18 and 20. I have no idea what he earns. He was a director at Portsmouth Football Club and now works for Barclays Wealth in Canary Wharf, London.


The agreement at the time stated that he would have to pay maintenance until they had finished with university.


My youngest son also has special needs which is why I have not been able to get employment.


I cannot believe that he should not be paying more considering the increased needs since the time of our divorce.


My ex husband seems to believe that any monies I receive from my father should cover all costs for the children.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare,


I am sitting here and not quite sure what the next step is. I responded to your question but have had no reply.


Could you let me know whether you have received it.


Thank you,



Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
My apologies for the delay
May I ask how serious his needs are ?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

A very difficult one to define. It took years of various experts and doctors to establish. To this day, I do not think there is a specific condition. He was finally diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum with clear signs of mild Aspbergers. He is emotionally and socially behind, fine motor and gross motor skills are also not where they should be for someone of 17. His understanding of how to cope in the world is simply not there. He cannot function alone in the real world. Money, public transport, looking after himself, personal hygiene, cooking etc are foreign to him. It is a long story but one that I do not think will help my original question. I am trying to establish whether I SHOULD have had more maintenance over the past 14 years. My ex husband seems to believe that the original settlement is enough to cover their needs 14 years later. I paid for every other need they had from uniforms, school trips, holidays, allowances, mobile phones, clothing, birthdays....basically everything over and above the money he sent.


Does the money I received from divorce settlement from my second husband play a part? Or the money I receive from my father to help support the children???? His income has not been looked at in over 14 years but he seems to think because I have funds or rather had, it is all my responsibility and that if I am struggling, I should go and get a job. A little bit difficult to find a job that fits in with looking after Finn and being a taxi driver to the two boys I have at home.


Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
You are utterly correct - undoubtedly there should have been a regular review in the past - but this cannot be back dated so it is a matter of considering your position now.
You can apply to the court for an upward variation - but it is likely that your ex would then counter claim for permission to pay the older two children direct whilst they are at University and there is a chance that that would be ordered
The position with regard to the youngest is more complicated
Your ex could simply seek a CSA assessment where the payment is essentially 12% of his gross income.
However if your sons needs are such that he is likely to need your care for some considerable time the Court can "top up" that assessment if need be
Your father's money will not be relevant
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask i y ou need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare,


Thank you for your response. I appreciate that I cannot back date maintenance just wanted to clarify that I would have been entitled to more over the past 14 years. I also know that he is in within his rights to pay the older two directly. Which to be fair, he has done with our eldest son so far. Milo has only just completed his A Levels yesterday and I believe his father will be discussing the finances with him directly.


Regarding my youngest, please correct me if I am wrong, if Lucius were earning £ 150,000 + gross, 12% would have to go towards my youngest son Finn???


Regardless of the money I have received from my father and my previous divorce.



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'd like my money back...You have given me no more information than I already had.


Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
My apologies for the delay I have been off line.
I cannot say whether or not you would have been entitled to more as I do not have access to the details of the original finances nor details of his wage rises in the intervening years.
However I can say that it is sensible to include a provision for annual review in any court orders regarding maintenance and it is to say the least unfortunate that yours did not.
You could have made an application for an upward variation at any time but sadly you clearly did not know that .
With regard to the current position the courts generally follow the CSA guidelines to start with and they are set out here
As you can see the over all figure is slightly lower than 12% but it is a guide
And yes the Child maintenance position is not effected by your financial position