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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 17613
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I have a query on child maintenance payments, so for 3 years

Customer Question

I have a query on child maintenance payments
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: so for 3 years I have given a fixed amount to ex as agreed with her solicitor. She’s asked for a review which I’m fine with but demanding p60. My wage has now gone up and worried she will force back payments
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do you live in?
Customer: uk i don’t want to go through courts I was feeling will the csa be better route to stop harament from solicitor?
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no that I can think of right now
Submitted: 21 days ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 21 days ago.

Welcome to Just Answer.

I will be happy to assist with your question today. I need some time to consider this and compose a response. There is NO need to wait online because you will get an email when I respond. Sometimes it will be minutes, sometimes longer.

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to clarify -

the original amount was agreed between youreself and your ex?

and now she is asking for an increase?

have you looked at the CSM calculator?

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
Yeah no written contract between parties oral agreement through her solicitorShe asking for increase what I’m willing to give her as I earn more money nowI did the calculations already yes
Customer: replied 21 days ago.
Oral agreements via email with her solicitor
Expert:  F E Smith replied 21 days ago.

She will not get back payments from the Child Maintenance service beyond when she makes the application.

Even if it’s done through the courts and solicitors, they would only go back 12 months.

If they want the P60, then you are obliged to pass it over otherwise they will ask the court order you hand it over and they will ask the court to award costs against you.

Child maintenance is a percentage of income and that’s why, when your salary increased, this should have been renegotiated.

What you might want to do is study the CMS Rates which are here

Do read the whole document but the basic rates start at the top of page 18.

Child maintenance is reduced by 1/7th for each 52 nights that the non-resident parent has the children.

So that you know exactly how much you should be paying if it was to go through the CMS and that the solicitor is not trying to shaft you.

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
Would it be better to go through cms?
Customer: replied 21 days ago.
Would that reduce back dated amounts?
Customer: replied 21 days ago.
I’m worried they will bankrupt me as they haven’t bothered to chase me up before?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 21 days ago.

CMS can charge an admin fee so I would avoid them if possible. I would agree to pay the CMS rate to the solicitor because then, there is nothing for the solicitors pursue. Unless there is anything else to go to court for, the court will very often refer child maintenance payments in isolation back to the CMS. avoid the CMS like the plague.

Bankrupting you does not get rid of child maintenance arrears but what it would do is make you very undesirable financially everything in the future so bankrupting you would, to a great extent, shoot them in the foot with regard to future payments.

In any event, it’s going to cost them the best part of a grand just in court costs to bankrupt you (including the necessary deposit) without the legal costs. So it simply isn’t worth it.

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
with p60 and wage slips? I regard these as confidential information that would only want the relevant people to see this, so like solicitor on cms there anyway I can stop them sharing this under some confidential legislation?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 21 days ago.

I’m not altogether certain who you are concerned about them sharing it with because in respect of any claim for child maintenance or any other kind of maintenance, your wife is entitled to see them.

So it depends who you are concerned about them being shared with.

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
But isn’t that breaching confidentiality between me and her solicitors?
Customer: replied 21 days ago.
just to clear up we were never married
Expert:  F E Smith replied 21 days ago.

Her solicitor has no duty of confidentiality to you, only to his client.

If she didn’t have solicitors she is entitled to ask for that information herself.

The only difference not being married makes is that she has no claim for spousal maintenance or any other kind of financial support, only child maintenance.

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
shall I just supply what they request and wait to see what they say?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 20 days ago.

I would never volunteer anything except what they are asking for.