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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34885
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My ex husband has nver paid maintenance for our two children

Customer Question

My ex husband has nver paid maintenance for our two children aged 14 and 16. I have now applied to the CSA for child maintenance and he has been extremely aggressive towards me and has told the CSA that the younger child wants to live with him. The younger child has decided this in the last two days because he's been promised a new computer and colour television for his room by my ex.

My concern is that my ex is very agressive and frequently throws things around if things don't go his way, he is verbally abusive and manipulative and controlling (my 16 year old wants nothing to do with him). He has a vast collection of pornography that he has downloaded from the internet, some of which he left on a computer he gave to my 14 year old (and which my son found and showed me because he was concerned). My ex just laughed when I expressed my concern.

He shows no interest in the boys unless he can use them as trophies.

My reason for approaching the CSA was to try and get some formal acknowledgement for the boys that he has a moral responsibility to provide for them even if they are living with me and if that is just 50p per month I'd be happy. However, he as told me that he views it as a competition that he will will irrespective of how it hurts the boys.

Is there something I can do to ensure that the the 14 year old stays with me? I'd rather not have anything from their father if it means that he can't hurt and manipulate them any more.

The divorce petition agreed mutually agreed joint custody over 12 months ago but he has not paid a penny towards their upkeep, not even pocket money. Until February this year we were all stuck under the same roof as I was not prepared to move without the boys and leave them unprotected but could not afford to rent somewhere large enough. In february as I was desparate I accepted a very low figure for him to buy me out of the property so I could get away with the boys. He has never visited my rented flat and does not know the address of the property I have bought. Both boys suggested this as they found the fact that he followed us when we were looking at houses frightening.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question, I will do my best to assist you but I need some further information first.
What contact do the children have with their fathers at the moment?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
They have been spending between 1 and two nights a week there since I moved out in February although the eldest is now not keen on staying at all. The difficulty is I am renting a 2 bed flat until my house is finished (4 more weeks) so they go to get a break from sharing a room.
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Whatever your ex has told the CSA and whatever the younger child is saying at the moment the fact is that both the children currently live with you and you are entitled to the maintenance.
I suggest you tell the CSA this and tell your ex that if he wishes to apply for a Residence Order then it is his privilege to do so
However it is likely that ny the time it comes to court your 14 year old will have come to realise that there is more to who you live with than TV's or Computers - and a week in his father's care may well make him change his mind