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: 35054
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

A woman separates from her husband in 1995. There is a separation

This answer was rated:

A woman separates from her husband in 1995. There is a separation agreement dividing their assets but no reference to maintenance of their child. The husband returns to his native Cyprus and the mother receives nothing from him for 8 years (not sought through the courts because of hopes of reconciliation, difficulty of his being non-resident in UK) when the child (now 24) is removed from her care. In Jan 2013 the husband returns to the UK and finally files for divorce. Does she still have a valid claim for the unpaid child maintenance contribution? Husband has evaded suggestions of an out of court settlement.
Thank you for your question.
My name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
What assets does the husband now have?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We are in the process of establishing the husband's assets. Initial view is that he has the means to make a payment in settlemen of at least £5,000; he confirmed this to the judge at the divorce court hearing when the matter was first raised.


The central point of our enquiry to you was one of principle. Is it possible to claim child maintenance support retrospectively (in this case for a period from 1995-2003) if the parent who was caring for the child has made no efforts to claim support previously? The judge seemed unclear on this point and suggested that a tribunal process would be required if the parties could not agree among themselves.


In essence we are trying to evaluate the chances of success in court if a settlement out of court proves not possible.

It is not possible to claim child support retrospectively - however it is possible to ask the court to bear in mind the lack of child support over the years (especially where it had been agreed) in determining what the final settlement should be
I appreciate that this sounds like the same thing - but in fact it is not - the first would be a matter of right - the second is about the exercise of the courts discretion
Please ask if you need further details
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you