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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35068
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 was divorced from my ex husband in 2003 ands we have two

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I was divorced from my ex husband in 2003 ands we have two girls aged 14 and 16. My current husband has left the armed forces and jhas secured employment in Qatar. I am due to join him at the end of March 2015. The 16 year old child does not wish to come with us. She will finish her gcse's and stay with my parents until June. After that, my husband has agreed to pay for her to be a full time boarder at Eastbourne College. The 14 year old wants to come with us to Qatar and her father does not have a problem with this. There is a court order in place for contact and the court awarded me residency. My ex husband currently pays £332 per month maintenance for the two girls.

Today the CSA called me to tell me that after 30th March, they can no longer collect maintenance payments as I am leaving the country.

when I spoke to the CSA they told me as i would not be resident in the uk they couldn't collect the money. I still am self emplyed and have an online business and will continue to pay taxes and opt to pay national insurance contributions in the UK.

in the UK. What is the score on residency what would constitute residency in the uk?

My ex husband has refused to contribute to the elder child's boarding school fees. My husband and I wish to know 1. with regards ***** ***** contact order, as long as my ex husband signs a letter to say that he doesn't mind the younger child going to Qatar, will that suffice? I don't want to have to spend unnecessary money in court. Also if there are no terms written into it re. how often the younger child will return to the UK, if my ex husband is not paying maintenance, can I refuse to send her back unless he pays? Do i need to go to a solicitor to write a letter or can get my ex husband to write a letter? 2. With regards ***** ***** maintenance is there anything else I can do? I feel cheated . I still have residency of the children even if one is in the uk? and can i ask that the boarding school refuse to have contact with my ex husband if he is not involved in paying for her fees. My ex husband is a police sergeant and thinks he is above the law. Many thanks, Lisa

Thank you for your question.
My name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help you
A simple letter confirming the father's agreement to the move is sufficient
You do however need to understand that the issues of maintenance and the time your ex spends with the children are NOT linked and you cannot simply refuse any contact if he does not pay - nor can you ask the school to refuse contact - not least because legally they have no right to do so since your ex has Parental Responsibility for both girls.
It is however entirely reasonable for you to say that he will be responsible for the costs of your daughters return flights for contact - indeed many parents in your position do indeed trade maintenance for that!
Having said that the better news is the it is only the CSA that cannot deal with maintenance once you live abroad.
The court still has power to Order maintenance and enforce it, so once you are abroad you can issue an application for maintenance in the courts here and payments will eventually resume.
Please ask if you need further details
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks Clare,

There is a contact court order and residency order in place due to allegations of sexual abuse 10 years ago when my husband and I spent 60 k trying to protect the children so this is a trying time.

I feel the best way forward would be to apply to the court to change the court order and get the girls to sign an affidavit to the effect that they do not want to live with him and the younger one wants to come to Qatar. He will not sign a letter without the stipulation that i pay for 3 flights home a year to see her father, when in fact I will have to pay for the elder child to come out to see us in her holidays. would this be an easy process and what could i expect from a Judge in this case? Is this the best way to proceed do you think and the cheapest way is to represent myself would that be appropriate?

With regards ***** ***** maintenance payments, the CSA will not collect them from 30th March so can I start the process of applying to the court to deal with this matter now as the father has stated that he will not be paying me any maintenance from that date. Will the court sort the change in contact order out and maintenance at the same time? Would I need to return to the UK for court? and if so can claim expenses for that from the father?

Many thanks

No that is not the best way to proceed -certainly there is no basis on which you should get statements from the Children
His request regarding the flights home is not unreasonable and if you apply to the court for leave to remove the child then that is likely to be what is ordered anyway.
On that basis the obvious way forward is to agree to the terms he asks for - and make an immediate application to the court for a maintenance order
I would suggest leaving it until after the move simply to ensure that he does not try and disrupt the move itself
You will need to either pay to attend via a video link or return to the Uk for the case - he will not have to pay your costs I am afraid