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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35058
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I have a consent order that stipulates the amount of child

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I have a consent order that stipulates the amount of child maintenance my ex has to pay me each month. The order states the amount 'shall be varied upwards automatically on the anniversary date of this order and at yearly intervals thereafter.' The order was made on 6th July 2012.
In addition to that my ex was asked to sign and agree to a 'Rider to Consent Order' which he did and basically states that if he may be sent to prison for contempt of court if he breaks any promises that he has given to court.
On the first annual review July 13, he requested to lower the amount payable and whilst I agreed at the time to see if it was affordable for me (he is paying in excess of CSA maintenance), I asked for it to be put back to the original amount at the second annual review in July 2014, which he declined to do on the basis that the Consent Order was only valid for 12 months anyway. I was not aware of this fact or made aware of this by my solicitor at the time as if I had been, I would have made a provision for matrimonial maintenance.
The amount initially agreed was put together by my ex and did include some provision for matrimonial maintenance, which was not detailed as such though in the Consent Order (I do still have the original proposal and amounts/calculations/emails that he sent me at the time to prove this is needs be)
He now wants to reduce it further with immediate effect even though the review is not due until July.
Please can you advise, specifically on the issue of whether the consent order is still valid and should be adhered to?
Many thanks in anticipation,
N Wade
Thank you for your question.
My name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help you
Your ex is mistaken - the Order is still valid and will be valid unless and until there is a CMS (new CSA) assessment,
If your ex does not pay the correct amount hen you can apply to the court for enforcement
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
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare,

Thank you for this.

He is saying that as he is agreeing to pay above what the CSA would enforce him to pay, then he is within his rights to amend it/reduce the amounts he previously agreed to even though it is much lower than the consent order - is this right?

Could he apply for a CMS himself via the CSA?

If I apply for an enforcement order, won't they just look at what CSA would ask him to pay regardless of what the Consent Order states?

I don't want to be even worse off financially if I applied to court for an enforcement order and they just enforce CSA amounts which would be potentially lower than his suggested amount and much lower than the original consent order. I just don't know what to do for the best!

Thank you

The Order stands and is enforceable just as it is - and unless he applies to the court to reduce the maintenance or applies to the CMS for an assessment then the court will enforce the amount that the order states
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

OK thank you Clare.

Is it likely that the court would take into account why the amounts were as they were initially, if in the meantime he applied to the CMS for an assessment or would they just go with that the amounts that the CMS state?

What was the point of the 'Rider' if he can potentially change it just by applying to the CMS?

The Court will enforce the Order no matter what.
Once the CMS are involved the court are no longer involved.
Without seeing the Order I am afraid I cannot comment on what the wording was meant to achieve!