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Category: Family Law
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I have maintenance until my child finishes primary school. I

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HelloI have maintenance until my child finishes primary school. I suspect he is on spectrum ( indications from a consultation i had with the director of an autism assessment place and his child therapist). My child has not had the assessment yet as there is a long waiting list.By the time my child finished primary school the maintenance will drop to a lower amount. Can i vary the current maintenance amount, which is insufficient, and had to agree with it as the final hearing was turned into an FDR on the day of the hearing, which is just unbelievable given i spent a fortune on using the services on an adhoc solicitor to prepare the bundle and paying a final hearing fee for the direct access barrister.Is there anyway i.could vary the periodical payment if I have a confirmed diagnosis of my child being on the spectrum and requiring lots of my attention and support given his needs and high anxiety that he is already suffering from?P
Thank you for your guidance

Good evening and thanks for your question. Potentially, you could vary the periodical payment if you had a confirmed diagnosis. It would be what's known as a 'novus actus' (an intervening new situation), however, you would almost certainly have to cost it to show where the extra costs would lie and provide proof of those costs. Once costed, you'd need to return to your ex and invite him to voluntarily agree to an increased amount. If he refused to do so, you'd have to make an application for variation to court. Kind regards, J

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Good morning, thank you for your reply. If I were to make an application to court, is it going to be through various hearings or just 1?I also wanted to ask you something relating to my final hearing which was going to be either adjourned ( we were allocated a judge at last minute as previous one if you know him Judge O Dwyer ( who I wish I had as he is old school and I had him for MPS hearing and he was good towards me and our son interests and well being) was unwell so he was replaced by a Deputy Judge who did not want to go ahead with the hearing saying he did not have enough time to read papers and ex was insisting on supplement bundle ( which had papers that could have been included in main bundle I was preparing if he sent his papers on time) . So judge refused to go ahead with final hearing and gave us choice to either adjourn or turn it into an FDR. I could not bear more legal costs which crippled me and went for FDR and ex dud too. So.i found myself having to do negotiations through barrister i was not prepared for ..was all shocking and i did not the figures properly through as all was rushed. Have you came across a disaster like this before? I paid hefty legal fees to prepare for Final Hearing and I had lots of evidence to show to judge...i don't know if what happended was good or bad, but i feel i have a strong case and that was all blow away.
Good morning and thank you for the additional information and question. An application to vary would probably involve at least 2 hearings - the first one being a directions/case management hearing and the second being a final/contested hearing.
JeremyT1020 and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Unfortunately, I have come across scenarios like you describe regularly. That said, you should attend all hearings ready to "save time and costs" and be prepared to consider reasonable offers and/or settle the matter. Of course, I advise my clients to do this only if they feel they have had sufficient disclosure from the other party.
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Thank you for your replies. So does it mean there is no FDR Hearing just as the 2nd hearing is a final hearing? Is it like financial proceedings? do we need to do all that disclosure? what paperwork will be required? Thank you