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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 32086
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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The father of my daughter lives abroad in germany with his

Customer Question

The father of my daughter lives abroad in germany with his new family (wife and 2 young sons) he has not paid maintenance for some 10 years or so, my daughter turned 18 last dec 2014.I place a court order on him for child maintenance, the day the court order arrived on his doorstep in germany he wrote to tell me that he was unemployed and would not be paying his small contribution of £166 per month x 7 months of the year. A sum we arrived at based on his part time job as a music teacher. The process to get to that point of getting a court order took much time and patience due to him living abroad. At that point I stopped any more effort to ask for maintenance. He has no contact with his daughter. It has been bought to my attention that he is in employment and an advert for a guitar course he is running this summer at Marlborough college states clearly that he has infact been in full time employment in teaching guitar for the last 20 years. I wanted to ask what is the chance of me being able to again try and get some maintenance from him that is backdated based on this advert stating he is and has been in employment all this time. I have his current address in Germany. His daughter is about to start university and any additional money to help with her education would be very much appreciated. thank you.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Was the Order made in the UK and how did you go about enforcement?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

yes the enforcement was made through the courts in Bath, Somerset. it was a child maintenance order. back in 2004, They wrote to the german authorities, who then contacted Colin I think.I received a letter back the day the enforcement was due to take action from Colin, saying he would not pay as he was now unemployed and showed some letter from the equivalent of the unemployment agency in Germany, His wife has remained in full time employment as a teacher throughout this period. I tried phoning the number from the letter i received from the german authority and they basically told me it was out of their jurisdiction and i would have to either reapply once i was informed that he had been re employed. He has worked cash in hand for private tuition and would absolutly not want to under any circumstances have any responsibility to his daughter, should it be finacial or contact. Now she is over 18 I suppose it is impossible but to backdate money owed seems only fair to me. People in his position shouldnt be able to get away with not having to take responsibility for his child.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I know that his parents are very frail through the little contact i have had in the past with his sister ( now contact has stopped there too), his mother is in a care home with dementia and his father is very frail and in his late 80's. this sounds very mercenary but at some point in the future he will be inheriting a substancial amount of money from the sale of his parents house. I think that over the 16 years since Colins departure, we have received around £7000, I found a bank statement for feb 2008 and i think that was the year the money stopped, so even though i'v found paperwork dated June 2004 for the enforcment, I actually initially approached my local mp Dom Foster, and he was the one that advised me to go through the courts. I cant work out what happenened, I think he may have not been paying, then he may have initially started paying when the enforement was put in and then wrote shortly afterwards to say he was now unemployed. the up shot is that my daughter has had no fianancial support for at least the last 7 years.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have found the relavent paperwork. On 30 june 2005 I received a letter from The REMO section, Office of Official Solicitor & public trustee. WC2A 1DD with an enclosed letter from The deutsches Institute fur jungendhilfe und familienrecht .e.V dated 24 May 2005, saying that mr Colin speight has payed off the outstanding arrears and commences with the current support obligation to Antonioa, from there point of view further actions do not have to be introduced so the file will be closed.I then received a letter from Colin on 28th sep 2009 saying that as from the end July 2009 he was now unemployed and would not be able to pay maintenance for Phoebe for the forseeable future but would let me know when the situation changes. and that is the last communication over maintenance that we have had.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
What is the actual evidence that he was in work during that period
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

On the marlborough college summer school 2015 website. Classical Guitar - Colin Speight Course notes, reads about the tutor '...and has been in full time guitarist/teacher for over twenty years.

I would like to know what my position is in gaining back dated money owed to his daughter for maintenance given that he states in his bibliography that he has been employed for the last 20 years in a full time position.

His last contact back in 2009 stated that he would let me know when his position changed from being unemployed. Either way he is lying, either he wasnt unemployed back in 2009 or he is lying now that he was employed in 2009 and the years either side of that.

How simple it would seem that it is for a non resident parent living abroad, to avoid paying what should be statutory child maintenance. I ask the question, how do I go about getting what is rightfully owed to his daughter, or am I basically wasting my time.

It seems that anyone can avoid paying maintenance by just a few simple steps.

1. moving abroad. 2. pretending to be unemployed. 3. Being unemployed for a short period of time and notifying the child support agency about that. 4. Once in full time employment, not informing the child support agency. 5. Being employed but perhaps being paid cash in hand so the money received goes un detected.

6. Avoiding paying maintenance by any means.7. Making the process of getting the maintenance from the person not paying extremely difficult so in the end you decide once again can you be bothered to go through the process. 8. having to pay a huge amount of money for solicitors, and lawyers to get back what is ultimatly a pitance amount of money.

I look forward to hearing from you with perhaps some hopeful news.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
How much are the arrears under the Order now?