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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35051
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 am currently paying £600 per month child maintenance the

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I am currently paying £600 per month child maintenance the CSA website states I should pay £456 (he spends at least 10 nights a month with me). I have had an email stating -
"I have been in touch with a solicitor to get some advice on maintenance for Lochie. The advice I have been given is that I am in a position to seek a court hearing to ask for a maintenance order for him, given that he now has a diagnosis and has considerably more needs than a child his age who doesn't have autism. The CSA route would not be applicable for us, as they do not take into account his additional needs and therefore a more individual approach is more appropriate. "
Could a court order override the CSA guidelines and / or is normal to do so?
My reluctance is that my ex is living beyond her means i.e. a 4 bed house with just her and our son.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further informtaion first

How old is your son and were you ever married to your ex?

What special financial needs does your ex think your son has?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare,My son is 7 and has been diagnosed with autism recently. Yes we were married, divorced 4 years ago (separated for an additional 2 years) no court order was in place.The special financial needs seemed to summarised by the following statement form her -"Obviously you are welcome to seek legal advice yourself, but the reality is that I have had to give up a well paid job to be available to look after our son as his additional needs mean that he cannot attend regular childcare provision. In addition, I have no choice to be available to have him with me when you are spending a considerable amount of time working away from home. The only work I can get now depends on your movements and when you are able to take care of him. I have had to curtail my career because of this, giving up a diploma course as well. "Thanks,Robin

How far along the spectrum is your son - what type pf school does he attend?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He has been diagnosed as very high on the spectrum - 80 - 90%. He his attending mainstream school but with great difficulty (multiple exclusions due to behavior) his statement of special educational needs should be completed soon which should, I hope, see him in a specialist school at the start of next term if not by half term.To give a little further background -
I work as a self employed contractor often working away, generally I do look after my son at least 10 nights / days a month (I say days right now because of the exclusions, which hopefully should change next term), so when I am not working away I generally have him the majority of the time I am not working away.

Do you pay spouse as well as child maintenance?

Was there actually a final financial order made within the divorce proceedings?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I only pay child maintenance, the amount currently being £600 per month. According to the CSA website I should pay £456 (£144 per week).My ex claims she is only asking for child maintenance - though it would seem she is now asking for an element of spousal maintenance due to the fact she has look after more as he struggles with school (hopefully a more appropriate school will be found in the new term) and childcare arrangements for him.My ex is currently married to another man, though she is currently seperated and living apart from him. Since this has happened she has struggled financial apparently accumulating in this request for additional child maintenance.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, no financial order was made with the divorce proceedings. All arrangements have been discussed and mutually agreed between us previously.

What happened to the Matrimonial home - and what income do you each have?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There wasn't a matrimonial home, we lived on a rented farm where she ran a dog kennel business which she kept. I also made a financial settlement of £8000.I don't know her income but she was on around £40k a year before giving up work and now works freelance when she can i.e. when I am in the country and look after our son and she can get the work.My gross income is around £1500 per week.No other children are involved.

So her current home is rented (you refer to four bedrooms)

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Correct, her current home is rented (as is mine).

Your ex is incorrect.

The Court cannot deal with Child Maintenance unless both parties agree OR there is already a CMS (CSA) assessment in place and a top up is required.

Given what you have said there is in fact no reason why the diagnosis involves any extra expenses - especially since he does spend a fair number of nights with you.

She cannot claim any spouse maintenance and would have to justify any extra money sought for the child in terms of specific expenditure

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details

Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you