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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35046
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I need to get an answer about an ancillary relief order that

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I need to get an answer about an ancillary relief order that by ex-wife and I agreed to and that was ratified at a county court.
The key element was a payment of child maintenance at a fixed amount of £1200 per month until my daughter reached the age of 18. It was a fixed sum and not a percentage of my income. My daughter is over 18 now and I have stopped payments.
About two years shy of my daughters 18th I lost my job and my income was substantially reduced. She accepted £300 paid from savings and then I continued with £300 per month when I was living on benefits that totalled around £600 per month.
The £1,200 was originally 30% of my net income. I also paid her £300 when I had no income and £300 out of £600 income.
I did not at any point go back to the court to amend the order, and since this did not happen my ex is asking for a back payment of £18,000 (a figure plucked out of the air). The actual shortfall against the agreement is probably more, but then as my income dropped.
Am I liable for the total as I did not go back to court to get it reduced?
Surely that is inequitable?
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
When did your daughter turn 18?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare,

July 2014

Has you ex taken any steps at all to try and enforce the arrears in that time?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No because my income was virtualy zero so there was no point.

Whilst the fact that you did not apply to amend the Order means that technically there are arrears your ex needs the permission of the court to enforce arrears that are more than 12 months old.
Given the circumstances it is unlikely that permission would be given in theses circumstances
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you