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James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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I have 2 children at University. One is 21 and in his second

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I have 2 children at University. One is 21 and in his second year of a 3 year degree. The other is 20 in July and in the 2nd year of his degree but has a year out in industry next year. I pay a monthly amount to their mother as part of a clean break agreement 12 years ago. My obligation is defined as "when they leave full time education or up to 18 years of age"
I would like to undersand when I will be entitled to cease payments/reduce/pay directly an amount to my sons?

Many thanks
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Is it a court order?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I don't think it's an actual court order but was approved as part of the settlement by the court.

I really need to know how the obligation to pay this
money was arrived at.

If it was supposed to finish at 18 and you didn't finish at
18, then you really need to see whether she is going to start enforcing it.

I also don't know whether this was child maintenance or
spousal maintenance.

You can get a copy of any court order from the court
which dealt with the divorce.

I'm sorry my answer is a little, thin , but with such
brief facts, it is very difficult to add anything further

I am happy to answer individual questions you may have.

Please bear with me today because I will be online and

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The thread remains open.

Thank you.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi I understand your position. I am away from home at the moment and I have the paperwork there. I am back tomorrow so can look at it first thing in the morning but how can I get back to you with the additional info?


I do know that it is a child maintenance agreement as I did a clean break with my ex wife and gave her the house etc.

If it was clean break, it probably is child maintenance.
This thread remains open. So just post on here tomorrow. I am usually on here
every day at some stage in any event.

James Mather and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

so do I now close this and rate your response but will this not then close the thread?

If not can I simply open this page tomorrow as I do not have a subscription as this is a one off?

Rate now. It remains open just as before and we continue on here.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.


Having looked at the paper work, the agreement was done via a consent through the County Court. In addition, I have a certificate from the Court which sets out the position re s 41 of the Matrimonial Clauses Act, confirming that there are the 2 children but saying that the court does not need to exercise its power under the Childrens Act 1989 with respect to them or give any direction under section 41.

The actual wording of the provision for the children in the consent order is " .... until eacg child attain the age of 17 or cease full time education, whichever is the later"

I hope this helps and look forward to your guidance.

education is generally classed as nonadvanced education , although, based upon
the wording of the order, it is quite loose and could be interpreted as either.

education courses include:

a degree

Diploma of Higher Education (DHE)

NVQ level 4 or above

BTEC Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND)

teacher training

'Non-advanced' education includes the following:


A levels

NVQ/SVQ level 1, 2 or 3

BTEC National Diploma, National Certificate and 1st Diploma

SCE higher grade or similar

your ex is likely to take issue if you stop paying maintenance, you really need
to apply to court for a definitive order that either the continues until the
end of tertiary education (University. Tertiary is the phrase most often used)
or is no longer applicable.

children can still bring a Children's Act application for support from you
while they are at university.

reference to section 41 is with regard to the court appointing someone to
represent the children, which presumably were younger at the time and it did
not deem was necessary.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

OK Thanks. Is there any guidance re how long tertiary eduction lasts for. As i have said they are both undergrads at university but does it also cover if they decide to do post grad degrees?



End of Uni usually although beware of "professional students" who want to remain at Uni for ever doing course after course and vets uni which is 7 years