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: 35069
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

The father of my 5 year old daughter (we are not

This answer was rated:

Hello The father of my 5 year old daughter (we are not married) pays me £400 per month maintenance. On checking Companies House information I see he is running a business where he has two directorships including shareholdings, both companies have turnover of 600,000 + and 700,000+. I understand he should be paying me 15% of his net earnings. Should he be paying me more based on this information and should I approach the CSA or get a solicitor? I really can't afford to lose what I am already receiving from him. Kind regards Claire

ps Just to add he has 2 boys from a previous marriage.

HiThank you for your questionMy name is***** shall do my best to help you but I need some further information firstDoes your ex pay under a Court Order, via the CSA or by way of a voluntary arrangement?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

By way of voluntary arrangement. It was an informal friendly "deal" and regrettably three years ago he stopped seeing our daughter (his choice).

Have you accessed the Accounts of the Companies to determine what dividends he receives?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes I have. I work for an accountancy firm so can access Companies House information easily. There is a holding company and two subsidiaries which as well as his salary I am sure he is drawing dividends. Unfortunately he has submitted abbreviated accounts only which doesn't disclose this information.

When we were last together in 2009 he was earning £65,000 salary gross and looking at the accounts I believe he is earning much more and I don't believe I am receiving 15% of his net earnings.

His dividends would be declared on his tax return wouldn't it? Would he have to provide this if I went through CSA? Is CSA the only option I have and do you think it's worth the risk going that route?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Good morning Clare

As yet still waiting for your reply.

Will I be getting your advice today?


My apologies for the delayUnder the latest rules he should be paying (roughly) 19% of his Gross income (assuming his other children are under 20 and in secondary education) - and you should receive a third of that sumAlthough Dividends are not counted in the first assessment if you appeal it they will include them on the re-assessment ( yes it is ridiculous - I have no idea why that works I simply know it does)It does look as though he is underpaying you - and if you cannot reach an agreement then I am afraid that the CSA is the only way forwardYou could try and establish a new Family Arrangement using Family Mediation if you wish to avoid using the CSA. (now CMS)I hope that this is of assistance -please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks Clare and no probs about the delay.

I will approach and try to reach an agreement and then consider the CSA.

Just one more query please.

As he works for a relatively small firm in insolvency it is my understanding he may be hiding a chunk of his earnings and receive an amount by an alternative source.

My point is that if it went the official route I fear it will backfire on me and I will get less or would it be that if it went to appeal would the CSA court take into consideration the fact that he has been paying me £400 maintenance every month since our daughter was born.

I suppose I am looking for reassurance of not been awarded less than I am already getting as £400 is better than nothing and don't want to jeopardise that!

The bot***** *****ne is, shall I rock the boat?

It is very clear that his income is higher than he admits - and if he resists you can always appeal on the basis that his lifestyle does not match his declared income.
After three years a review is overdue whichever way you look at it!
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you