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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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I have a consent order from 2007 that orders my ex to pay child

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I have a consent order from 2007 that orders my ex to pay child support. We had shared care then and varied it to zero by mutual agreement (not through the court). He has moved to the USA so I have the kids full time, and he paid child support again. When the eldest two just finished school, he stopped paying anything and won't pay towards the youngest who is living with me full time. I have a court date to vary the order, but that is in jan, and I can't afford to wait. Can I just go and ask the court to enforce the existing order? Would I do that here or in the USA? Can you enforce an order that was from 2007?
The old order said till the kids finish full time education... Is that uni or school? I don't actually expect him to be paying me when they are at uni but it would be a useful bargaining tool.
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 now and does the court order specify secondary or tertiary education?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The court order does not specify secondary or tertiary education. The youngest is 15 and with me full time. My other daughter is 18 and has just started uni. My son is 19 and took an extra year to finish his a levels and is having a gap year before starting uni.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I can't afford to wait for the court order to be varied, and have no support at all for my daughter at school. I am trying to continue as if nothing has happened, and she still has her gym membership, guitar lessons for duke of Edinburgh, and English tutoring. Our consent order said we will split the costs of any extra activities.
Even though our circumstances have changed, can I still ask to have the court order enforced in the meantime? Do I do that here first or go directly to California courts?
You have two options .
Neither of them are instant
You can in fact make a new application in the States
I cannot comment on how long that would take - but you will be starting from scratch and at a distance which will not make things easy
The other is to apply to enforce the existing Order - which you can do - using the REMO process described here
To be frank it is highly unlikely that either will reach a conclusion prior to the first hearing of your other application
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
That is really really helpful!!!
Just to clarify about what full time education means if it is not specified? Does he still need to pay if she is at uni? What about my son having a year break? Does it still count when he is at uni?
Now that is a Grey area as there have been court decisions both ways
It could certainly be argued that it includes Tertiary education and I suggest that you go forward on that basis
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ok thanks, ***** ***** sense. So the last thing to clarify is if tertiary support payments restart after they have had a gap year?
Yes they can do
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Many thanks.

My ex (in the USA) said that he didn't get any letter from the court. I sent him a copy of my letter (with the dates and things they were requesting) and called the court to inform them and asked them to resend it. Apparently the court resent the letter on Dec 5, but my ex said he still hasn't received it! I called the court again to inform them and they suggested I put in writing for a request for the court to email the letters to him. In the meantime I have sent in my form e as requested and have to send in details of my complaint by dec 26, with the hearing on Jan 9. I am still hoping to come to some agreement before then.

There is another related issue that I would be asking the court to resolve. My 18 year old has started university in San Diego, but with international fees of $55,000 per year which I did not agree to and can not afford, and this is why my ex is not paying anything for my 15 year old who is full time with me. She is saying that she would like to go to high school there for her last two years, instead of her A levels here. She is not sure if she wants to go to university in the UK or the USA. I have just found out that she has to be resident in the UK for 3 years or else she would have to pay international uni fees here!!! Apparently one year is seen as a gap year and is ok. She has never lived abroad and doesn't know what it will be like, but I am concerned about her burning her bridges there and not having the choice to come back.

With my ex not paying any child support, I can't go and visit my 18 year old daughter at uni or fly her home to visit us here in the UK. I am very concerned that my 15 year old will go to school there, but I won't be able to pay for her to come and visit me. Her father moved to California in Feb 2014, and has flown her out to see him 3 times and he has flown over twice with his work to see her. My daughter has no idea of the conflict with her father over finances, as I don't think this would be appropriate, but also doesn't know that I wouldn't be able to visit her and that she wouldnt be able to come back to visit me here. I think it is a fantastic opportunity for them to have the experience of living abroad, but don't know about him paying for her to go out there but never being able to come back? As a condition of her moving abroad to live with him, I would like him to agree to pay for two or three flights for her to come back during the year so that I can see her. He is the one who choose to emigrate to California and got the big salary increase.

Can I do this?

With the risk of having to pay UK international student fees for her in the future, it would make sense for her to have a gap year there, or perhaps to go there after her A levels for a gap year when she will have more of an idea where she will want to go to university. She only has to live there for a year and then she can have the California resident uni fees (which are about the same as they are here) if she decides she wants to go to university there.

What income do you each have?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

his is $158,000 US dollars plus Apple shares each year

Mine is approx £40,000, as I am in the middle of a part time PhD (due to finish in 2016).

is your ex asking her to go and live with him?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, he is. He asked her for her passport and birth certificate so that he can apply for a US visa for her. I suspected that his intention was for her to move out there this last September, but I told him that it would be considered child abduction if he did, and that she at least finish her GSCEs and wait till she was 16. She turns 16 in May.

He married an american (he left me for her, so it is particularly painful) and in their house they always talked about how wonderful amercia is, so she has caught the american dream. Me son told me last summer that one of the rooms in his dad's house was for her.