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plclegal, Barrister
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7868
Experience:  Barrister at law
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Divorced 9 years, my x told me on Friday that he has lost

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Hi. Divorced 9 years, my x told me on Friday that he has lost his job and maintenance has ceased with immediate effect. This the sealed court order maintenance for dependants and spouse. 2 x 18 year olds due to come off roll on 17th July and 13 year old. X earned 200,000 plus pa. Court order states pay maintenance from income. Can he simply not pay. He obviously gad notice that he was leaving but gave me none. He gas been with firm for 14 years. I do not know if he has been made redundant. Maintenance is payable on 1st of month.
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: None as yet. He told me on Friday at 4.30pm.
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: Divorce was finalised 7 years ago and is absolutely.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Hertfordshire / Bedfordshire border

Hello, my name is***** for your patience.

I’ll do my best to assist you and I’m sorry that you are going through this. I appreciate that is is important that you find a resolution as soon as possible.

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I understand how difficult this is.

As to the question of whether he can simply not pay, the answer is no, he can't do nothing and expect there to be no consequences. There is a court order in place, which is legally binding. He could, however, probably apply to amend the order if he has gone from having a £200k salary to being unemployed. If the reality is that he has no income, then the court will assess a change of circumstances if he makes this application. This application would require full financial disclosure again, and he would have to demonstrate that he cannot afford to pay before a court would amend the order.

If he does not make this application and simply doesn't pay, then he's in arrears and you can apply to enforce the arrears. This would be a D50k application for general enforcement as you don;' know how best to go about getting what you are owed given that he is presumably being cagey about his employment and assets.

The outcome of an enforcement application could be that the maintenance is reinstated, or that you are awarded a charge over any property he has, for example.

Be aware that enforcement isn't swift though, and there are still delays in processing cases through court following the backlash of the Covid-19 shutdown.

But there are options - and hopefully I have explained what they are.

All references to court forms are form the website.

Do remember that I can only give you my opinion.

Another lawyer may have a different opinion. If there was a black-and-white answer to every legal problem there would be no need for anything to ever proceed to court!

I am glad to help.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand.

I would be more than happy to clarify anything else for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

Please be aware that my answer is based strictly upon the information you have given me.

If you still need any points clarifying, I will be happy to reply because the thread does not close. In fact, it remains open indefinitely.

I am always happy to answer any further questions you have on any new thread in which case, please start your question with, “ For PLCLEGAL only”.

That only applies to new threads, not this one. You have me exclusively on this one.

Thank you.

Take care and stay safe.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Hi Peter. Thank you for this. As the Court order states it is from income and there is now none is he actually in breach? It states monthly in arrears... so does he owe me maintenance on 1st May from his earnings paid in April? ..Also, as he is 59 he may well not get new employment as I doubt very much he will settle for anything less than 100k. If he decides to retire...he has a sizeable pension put away, would I be entitled to claim from his pension income?Lastly, for now, the 2.5% payable if the boys go university.. (third attachment).is that payable to me as I will be housing feeding etc during the holidays, or is that payable to the twins directly?
Perhaps I can send a copy if the salient points of the order for your consideration.Kind regardsKate

I have scanned briefly, but that's all I can do in the scope of "general advice" I'm afraid.

As it's paid in arrears, you should receive a May payment from April earnings. Also, generally speaking with high earning incomes, people are not just "cut off" from income, there is usually a redundancy payout or gardening leave for example. I would be surprised if he can make a case for an immediate end to payments as such.

Obviously early retirement was also not anticipated as the nominal spousal maintenance doesn't kick in until 2030.

Orders aren't drafted to be unenforceable, so I don't think there is no come back here.

If he is refusing to work, then the whole "spirit" of the order is undermined. You can still apply to enforce in my view.

I hope that assists.

plclegal and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Brilliant. Thank you. I really appreciate your assistance.
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Sorry...under the circumstances I cant actually pay you more!

Your feedback is greatly appreciated - take care.

Thank you again for visiting JustAnswer, please do let me know if you have any additional questions in the future. I am also happy to answer any new questions on other topics that you may have, you can request me by putting “for PLCLEGAL” at the start of the new thread. Best wishes, Peter