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RJM Law
RJM Law, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 3486
Experience:  LL.B (Hons)
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Child Maintenance - incorrect calculation and special

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Child Maintenance - incorrect calculation and special expensesI am paying child maintenance which, on the initial basis, was calculated correctly based on income However, i am paying for the car that my ex-wife is using. This falls under the "special expenses" section for child maintenance calculations. I raised this when the initial application was made and they suggested that i just take the car back (which i'm not able to do as the children would be left without a vehicle) or that my ex-wife make the car payments (which she is refusing to do). I have filled in all the special expenses forms and submitted them in May/June, so 3 months ago. I had a follow-up call and they said that they were "illegible" but when i questioned them what was illegible, they weren't able to say and were very evasive. All the forms were computer-typed and pdf documents, copies of original documents etc and/or printed documents so they were perfectly legible. I have provided all evidence and documentation showing that I am making car payments and covering the finance and the finance agreement, bank statements showing all the transactions etc and all other evidence relating to the car They have never responded to these. I have followed the complaints procedure and their advice when i spoke to them about how to make a complaint but they haven't got back to me at all and so far are refusing to and ignoring the complaints raised.I intend to make my own calculations and pay that amount (which will be a reduction) and explain this when they ring up to tell me i haven't paid. I will say that, if they don't make the calculation, then i will. Is this acceptable and what can they [immediately] do about it? I'm assuming that if they want to make some sort of collection order or get money deducted from my pay packet, this will take some considerable time and there are many steps that will need to be followed before they do this meaning this could be many, many months away? But in the meantime, what can they do?Alternatively, and this is my question: can i just ask for this to be dealt with in a court and by a judge at some sort of tribunal? If so, what is the process and what will happen, how long will it take etc?There is a child arrangements order application in process and a final 2-day hearing is being listed for this CAO. The result should be that the children spend a significant amount of time staying with me (as non-resident parent), anywhere between 40-50% of the time. They are currently spending no nights with me.

Thank you for the question.  I am familiar with the difficulties in complaining to the CMS.  However, until such times as the matter has been exhausted with them then you will have to follow this process through to the end.  You can resubmit the evidence again so it may flag up a bit quicker for your.  In terms of your payments, I would not advise that you start paying less as they can legally enforce the arrears against you in court and this can end up costing you more.  What you can do is come to an agreement with you ex partner, i.e ask her to agree a small payment in return you will continue to pay the car, if you explain you would have to take the car back if you are continued to be forced to pay this amount.  If you can agree this with your ex then that will negate the need for the CMS to be involved, or look through your file.  If you do any such agreement please ENSURE you get it in writing.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Should you require any further assistance on this matter, please do not hesitate to post a further questions for additional assistance.

Kindest Regards.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thank you. The problem is that i cannot get them to respond to the complaints I've raised. I've sent numerous messages and even sent messages that they recommended i send to raise complaints but to no avail.If I wanted the calculations to be determined by a judge, what would i have to do? Would they still chase for payments while a tribunal is awaited?

Yes, unfortunately they would.  I would try and make a deal with your ex then that would forego the need for the CMS to rectify the matter.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I am unable to make a deal with my ex. We are in the middle of an acrimonious divorce and I'm being financially screwed over.I am expecting there to be a child arrangements order in a few months' time and I will have overpaid by the time that gets sorted. I think it would be better that the calculation gets delayed / goes to a tribunal and then i pay up whatever is owed when it is determined. This will also have the advantage that the tribunal/judge will have the child arrangements order to hand.How can I take this to a tribunal? If i asked for it to be dealt with via tribunal, then surely they can't pursue me for collections in the meantime, like make a collections order, if there is a tribunal in progress?

You can yes, you will simple need to make an application to the CM Tribual.  You can do this online.

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