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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35214
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 got divorced in 2008 and a court order for maintenance was

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Hi, I got divorced in 2008 and a court order for maintenance was granted to my ex wife for £971 pm for her and £500 per month for each of my 2 children.
Shortly after the divorce I lost my business and became subject to an IVA.
This made it impossible to make the payments under the court order and I agreed with my ex wife I would pay what I could afford each month - this varied between £1000 and £1500 per month until 2017 when my daughter turned 19 and went to University and I reduced the amount to £650 per month plus £100 towards my daughters mobile phone bills.My ex wife has now applied to the court for an enforcement order of £25k for the difference between the £1971 in the order and the actual amount paid since 2016 and I have been ordered to attend court for questioning.Surely she can’t do this after 10 years?Should I be applying to the court for a variation to the order of simply go along for questioning and make my case on the day?FYI I can’t afford to pay £1971 pm
The on line maintenance calculator says I should be paying £720 per month.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

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

How much were you earning when the order was made and how much are you earning now?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Clare
Back in 2008 I was a self employed fearning approx £150k - £200k before tax (which thanks to my accountant was not very much).
I am now employed in a different Industry on a salary of £90k plus a car / travel allowance of £12k before tax. Take home pay is £5200.
Do you also need a breakdown of my credit / loan commitments?Regards
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
FYI as part of the original order, my ex wife got to keep the former matrimonial home - then worth circa £225k now worth circa £400k.

You do need to make an immediate application for a downward variation and the remittance (dismissal) of all arrears.

This is a separate issue from her attempt to enforce the arrears - which she is entitled to try to do despite the passage of time

Your argument must be focussed on the fact that you earn less - your credit card or loan payments are not relevant as you took them on knowing that you had a court order in place

The online figure you quote only deals with Child Maintenance and you were also ordered to pay Spouse Maintenance - and that is not percentage based.

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

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Clare
Thanks for your reply.
Is the application for a variation an easy thing to do ? I guess I’ should engage a local solicitor?
Does the fact that she agreed verbally to accept a lesser amount help my case?

Not difficult at all - just complete the Form A here

The fee is £245.

When. You send it in ask for it to be linked to the existing proceedings and listed on the same day

The solicitor issue is your choice!

Yes the fact that she agreed the reduction will help you

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thanks Clare
I think I should engage a solicitor not least to make sure the form is completed properly and given that the enforcement hearing is on 8th Feb I need to get my f**ks in a line.
The form talks about mediation though which confuses me - do I need to try and arrange that before the enforcement hearing?
I’d be happy to work with you / your practice but not sure if the logistics would work - I work in London, live in Rochester in Kent and the hearing is at Chelmsford in Essex.
What do you think?

Sadly we are not allowed any contact outside of this forum - and in any event I live much further north!

You will need to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting with a local family mediator but mediation will not be effective in the circumstances

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
That’s a shame. Thank you so much for your help, you have really opened my eyes to the situation which will now allowe me to take the appropriate action.
Kind regards

You are most welcome - and I hope that all goes well

Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you