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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34902
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 relationship with ex-wife is at an all time low. I am depressed

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My relationship with ex-wife is at an all time low. I am depressed and anxious and on medication. We have two children, one living with each. My daughter lives with her mum and I see her alternate weekends. My son lives with me and chooses not to see his mum at all.
I pay her £221. This was worked out when she had both kids, when my son came to me we reduced it from approx. £400. The arrangement we have isn't an agreement. She includes stuff her parents buys for my son. It is not clear, open and honest.
I want to review maintenance and other issues. I asked her to go to mediation, she couldn't. I asked her to share wage slips so we could compare income. She refused. I am considering stopping the maintenance and thus forcing her to go to mediation (by sorting herself). I feel I need a solicitor. What can be done?
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 do you receive Child Benefit for your son
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My problem is complex.

The relationship I have with my ex-wife has deteriorated to an all-time low.

We divorced nearly 5 years ago. Initially our children lived with her. I paid approx. £400 per month in maintenance. This was using the CSA model. I saw the kids every other weekend and then one of them on alternate Tuesday nights.

Presently my daughter (kate is 12) lives with her mum I see her alternate weekends. My son (Luke is 17) lives with me and chooses not to see his mum. Maintenance was reduced to £221. This is a reduction based on me having one child, but also based on the increase that I would have to pay when my son (he is 17) goes to Uni. The 221 was worked on using the average of what I pay her for having daughter, what she pays me for having son and then the increase when son goes to Uni.

I receive child benefit for my son, ex wife receives child benefit for daughter

Ex-wife remarried approx. 2 years ago.

I have tried to renegotiate based on need. My finances took a knock recently, I was about to move in with my girlfriend but my ex-wife meddled and sabotaged it. I have tried to renegotiate but received threats. I have suggested mediation but she couldn’t go. She works bank shifts and as these appointments are in normal office hours she would have lost money so didn’t go. I asked her for wage slips she refused. This was all conducted via email and text.

I was careful to be considerate but her husband then waded in and made demands of me regards ***** ***** no demanding that I had her for half of all school holidays.

They have been abusive and threatening to me, not physically, but threatening to restrict access to my daughter, court orders, claims on my pension.

I am now on anti-depressants due to the stress of it all and the collapse of my relationship with my girlfriend when I didn’t move in.

Communication is poor. I am expected to comply with everything they ask for with nothing in return. This is damaging to us all, including the children.

There are no boundaries, there is no respect and there are no rules. There are no agreements based on openness and honesty and that is what I want.

The current arrangements are unacceptable and having a huge effect on my health and wellbeing. I recently stopped all communication with my ex-wife and her partner. This was a huge relief but caused problems in arranging weekends with my daughter. I did this directly but this stressed my daughter (she is 12).

I am at my wits end. I am considering stopping the maintenance payment (due Friday 1st August) and asking her to communicate with me only via a solicitor. Mediation is probably no longer an option. What are the impacts of me stopping the payments? I need professional help, what can I do?

What do you each earn - Gross per annum
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I earn about £39K, I have no idea what she earns, probably £30K?

Using current CSA rates you should be paying your ex £278 a month and she should be paying you £300 a month
Details here
You must not stop paying maintenance - instead apply to the CMS (new CSA) and ask them to complete two assessments
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

If I go the CMS route then when my son goes to Uni in a years time I will end up paying much more money. This is a rubbish system, why should my ex wife need more money at this time? I am trying to achieve a system based on need and openness!

I am sorry but the simple fact is that that is NOT the system that is currently in existence and enforceable.
Your ex is not willing to negotiate with you so then only option is
the CMS.
For now you will benefit by paying nothing at all - but yes in due course you will pay more - unless of course you have your daughter to stay more often
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Please can you expand on why I shouldn't stop paying the maintenance?

Because that allows her to be the one to apply to the CMS - which means you may end up having to challenge any incorrect statements she has made - far better to make the application to the CMS yourself and THEN stop the payments
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