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plclegal, Barrister
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 8974
Experience:  Barrister at law
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I have a question about child maintenance payment and

Customer Question

JA: Hi. How can I help?
Customer: I have a question about child maintenance payment and financial settlement following a divorce
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in the family court?
Customer: Yes, I have applied for financial settlement through court but hearing is on 12 October 2022. Too far ahead
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: Berkshire
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Yes, my Ex has now agreed for our joint property to be sold
Submitted: 7 days ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  plclegal replied 7 days ago.

Hello and thank you for the question. I’ll do my best to assist you and provide an accurate and speedy response. Please bear with me as this is an email service and not live chat. Also note that the discussions here are for general information purposes only and do not constitute a lawyer client relationship.

I’ll review and come back to you as soon as I can.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Just to provide a bit more context. I am fully divorced from my Ex (decree absolute obtained in Feb 2022). We have a court hearing on 12 October 2022 for financial settlement. I filed for this court hearing because my Ex was refusing for us to sell our joint property which she lives in now. However, she has now agreed to a sale after she received the court hearing notice. Question 1 – Do I stand to lose anything if I go ahead with the sale and division of proceeds prior to the court hearing on 12 October 2022? Also, I have been the primary carer (and I formal primary custody from the court) for of our 2 kids for 7 months, but my Ex has refused to pay any child maintenance/support. I made an application to the UK Child Maintenance Service since October 2021, but the application is being delayed because my kids do not have NI numbers (as I am not a permanent resident in the UK – currently here on Tier 2 visa). I was hoping to use the court hearing that I filed to get an injunction for child support payment, but the hearing date of 12 Oct 2022 is too far ahead. Question 2 – Can I bring the court case forward or what other option do I have?
Expert:  plclegal replied 7 days ago.

Thank you for the clarification points. Is there anything else you wish to add before I provide an answer for you?

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Expert:  plclegal replied 7 days ago.

Thank you.

Question 1:

Essentially the starting point with dividing what is normally the main marital asset - the family home - is that proceeds should be shared on a 50/50 basis.

Anything that mirrors this is a fairly safe bet.

However, as you are the main carer for your children, you may be allocated with a larger than 50% share in a final hearing, so by selling up and sharing the proceeds now you may be worse off than if you wait. However, you won't normally get a final resolution at the first court hearing, so your final hearing may be some 6-12 months later than the October date. So it is a case of weighing up the options now, and also if the equity in the property is relatively modest obviously the impact is less than if there is a significant amount of equity to consider.

Question 2:

You will struggle to bring the court case (initial hearing date) forward.

You could consider filing an application for interim maintenance in the meantime.

Interim maintenance is usually spousal maintenance, but there could be an interim CM application as far as I am aware.

Have you both filed form E's?

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Not yet filed form E. We have until sometime in Aug or Sept to do that
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thanks to Q2. I will explore the interim CM option. Sorry, on a slightly different note, my Ex has refused to pay the divorce cost which was awarded to me. Deadline given to her by the judge has elapsed and I want to give her more time before I file another court suit. Any chance that I can combine that with an interim CM application or they have to be separate applications?
Expert:  plclegal replied 7 days ago.

Understood. Obviously for an application for interim maintenance there has to be financial disclosure, to determine her salary/ income. The form E would have been helpful in that regard.

I don't see why you can't combine the enforcement of the unpaid costs and the interim maintenance - they are a similar topic after all.

An interim application within proceedings is made on a D11 application notice.

Is there anything more I can clarify for you?

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Re Q/1. The major reason I would want a faster resolution is because of mortgage repayment burden as I do not live in the property. When you said "you may be allocated with a larger than 50% share in a final hearing" - is this despite the fact that we are fully divorced?
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Assuming we go through with the sale of the property, will our shares of the proceeds be expected to be declared on the form E? If so, the judge can still appropriate accordingly, right?
Expert:  plclegal replied 7 days ago.

I understand. Yes in theory, the judge can still re-allocate shares once the proceeds have been divided. But obviously if they have been spent by the time the court hearing comes around - it's quite hard to undo this in practice!

Is there anything more I can clarify today?

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
That will be all thanks
Expert:  plclegal replied 7 days ago.

My pleasure.

Thank you for your enquiry today. I am happy to answer follow-up questions - please do get in touch with requests for extra information or further queries and I will do my best to help you. You can request me personally on a new question thread saving my profile as one of your preferred experts and by tagging me (@PLCLEGAL) at the start of the new thread. Best wishes, Peter.

Have a great day!