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ukfamilysolicitor
ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1494
Experience:  Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
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I have a query regarding child maintenance agreed on a

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I have a query regarding child maintenance agreed on a Consent Order dated 27/4/16.A clause on the consent order says it can be reviewed on the anniversary: "the parties agreeing that they shall review the amount of child maintenance as set out in paragraph 1 below upon each anniversary of this order".My question is - when we review this how do we ensure the review is recorded correctly. Is it sufficient to write a letter and have both of us sign it and store it with the consent order? Or is there a simple contract we can write.My main reason for wanting to do this is actually related to getting a mortgage. The lender will ask about child maintenance for the affordability calculations. They may not require proof of what was agreed, but should they require proof would a covering letter signed by both parties referencing the consent order be sufficient?
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
For some reason my question above is only partial. I wrote more than that. So in case you did not get it. My question was, what do we need to do to ensure that a review is formalised? Is it sufficient to write a letter or simple agreement signed and dated by both parties that references the consent order.

Hello

Welcome to Just Answer

I am a Solicitor and will assist you.

Please may I ask:

- what is the date of your court order?

kind regards

Caroline

PS I just need to nip out but will respond as soon as I return

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
It is dated by the court 24th April 2016.

Hello

Thank you for clarifying that for me.

Any agreement that you reach between you does not mean that the order that you have needs to be varied.

That being said, if the amount agreed was to be less then you can ask the court to vary the order according to the agreement that you have reached so that you can have some reassurance that the other party cannot try and say that this was not agreed and seek any shortfall. Although if you do have any agreement in writing then the court can and will consider this should the other party try to take such action.

In relation to the mortgage company they should accept a written letter from both of you in relation to the current payments as well as a copy of the court order. It really is dependant upon their own internal rules and not set externally. If they do want an order confirming the review then you can send a consent order to the court signed by both of you for the court approval.

You may or may not be aware that as your court order is now over 1 year old then either of you can choose to 'opt out' of the provisions relating to child maintenance as long as you provide 2 months notice and refer to the Child Maintenance Service for a full assessment. This is known as the one year rule. It may well be worth you checking the calculator on the CMS website to see what your liability would be and if it is less then what you are currently paying then you may choose to provide such notice and refer to the CMS. If you took such action then the mortgage company would only need a copy of the CMS assessment.

Let me know if I can assist you further

kind regards

Caroline

Please kindly remember to rate positively by using the stars so that credit is received for helping you today

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
We share the care of the kids equally on a 50/50 basis. We do 2/2/3 nights. On that basis I believe the CMS would deem there not to be any payment due. I'm currently paying £600/month and this is effecting my ability to remortgage while she has used it to help towards obtaining a mortgage on a £700k property with a new partner. That smarts a bit. Having said that I want to support my kids. I'd just be happier if i could put money into a trust fund or similar for them. It sounds like it may be easier just to go to the CMS but it may be more amicable to ask her to agree directly and just put it in writing. It sounds like we may not need to get a court to approve that unless a mortgage lender requested it. If we did would it just be a case of asking a solicitor to draw up a document to send to the court which we can both sign?

Hello

You are correct - if there is a true shared care arrangement in place then under the CMS rules you would not need to pay maintenance. This has to be a true shared care arrangement. I say this because it is not just nights. This means that if it was your day and the children were ill then you would need to pick them up from school etc to make it a true shared care arrangement.

You really do need to give consideration to giving notice and referring to the CMS in your case.

You can ask a solicitor to draw up a consent order if you need one but be careful as the 12 month rule will start again from the date of the new order being approved, which means you will have to wait again.

Let me know if I can assist you further

kind regards

Caroline

Positive feedback is gratefully received

ukfamilysolicitor and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thank you. That's really helpful. Yes I often have them during the day if they are ill etc, in fact even when it is her day as her work is less flexible than mine. In that regard we are very accommodating and it is truly equal care. I just don't want to cause upset re the money as I know she won't be happy about it, but also have to think of my future ... and my future with the kids. Sounds like I should go to the CMS. Thanks again. Will finish and rate. Marcus.

Hello Marcus

Thank you for your kind words. Glad I could help.

It doesn't sound like your ex is struggling and you do need to secure the best for yourself and your children too.

kindest regards

Caroline