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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35044
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My ex wife has contacted a family law solicitor to get back

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My ex wife has contacted a family law solicitor to get back pay plus interest from me for maintenance when I was unemployed. I did pay 233 per month for several months until the money ran out. I was not aware that I should have gone back to the court for a variance and then only paid 7 per week. I have now been employed since November but have calculated the overpayment I made means I would start paying maintenance again in May 2015. I have asked my ex for bank details to pay the amount I believe I owe which is 233 plus rpi = 290 p/m. I have now received a letter from csa saying that I should pay 389 per month which is more than 15% of my net income, and astonishingly now received a court order summons. My ex is expecting me to pay for her solicitor costs and court costs on top! where do I stand?
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How much are the arrears that your ex is claiming?
What period does that relate to?
How much do you currently earn gross?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

my current gross is £45k per annum. CSA have calculated £389 per month which according to their rules is correct.

my ex wife has leapt to CSA from court order. CSA say I am £280 in arrears.

my ex wife is taking me to court for £1800. That's court order amount since November 2014 when I returned to work. It's worded in very careful legal speak not referencing other debt, this would be settled. In addition I pay £1500 court costs

I. have argued with her solicitor that having been out of work for 16 months and although I attempted to continue paying the court order. I could not after April 2014. my mistake through lack of knowledge was not going back to court for a variance.

The CSA have told me court order are for 12 months only. then I would have only to pay £7 a week or£30 a week.

using that logic I argue that in the 16 months at £30 or £480 but have paid £2330. her solicitor has argued for £306 a month and so I have calculated that my payments would start again in May. which I have duly done.

What confuses me my ex wife accepted non payment from April 2014 only to raise this in February.

so it seems letter of law versus fairness and justness of the law.

I have always paid well above CSA levels and paid thousands extra for my kids school trips. my eldest was ill when 18 and I had no hesitation to pay for an extra year when he could return to school. as I result I would expect something of an understanding from my ex wife when I was unemployed.

add to that my last letter made a fair offer with a statement if I hadn't hear back by April 30th then I would assume that the deal had been accepted. on 28th I chased the solicitor for answer and proof that my youngest was at school not an apprenticeship. no answer was ever received.

The next correspondence was from CSA on 2 June and then court summons for payment of £1800.

so you can imagine my confusion.

When was the CSA applictaion made?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The CSA application was made sometime before 2 June when I got the first correspondence

Ok Thank you.
For clarity can you confirm what the court order said you should pay, when you stopped paying; and when you resumed employment and how much you have paid since then
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

the court order was issued July 2007.

I paid a total of £2330 whilst unemployed( stopped April 2014 when I ran out of mone) and have resumed payments in May this year. my logic is whilst unemployed I use CSA figure of £7 a week or £30 a month. as I was out of work 16 months. that totals £480. as I had paid £2330 I had roughly £1800 excess. that equates to 6 months full rate of court order payment. I started work in November 2014, so I resume payments 6 months later in May 2015. which I have done.

I am in court as they want full payment from Nov 2014. i do think this is grossly unfair and takes advantage of me not knowing i had to amend a court rather than hope for a sensible discussion with my ex wife. this is why i feel so aggrieved at this action as i have always supported my children, paying 35% of my take home pay for six years, paying for their phone contracts and around £4000 on school trips. when you are that fair, you would expect some return in bad times. sadly not with my ex wife. .

I am afraid that you have no defence to the claim.
Sadly the fact that you were not aware that you could have applied to vary the Order ; or that you could have applied to the CSA is of no relevance since the Order remained in place and unvaried.
Accordingly you were liable for the full amount and as soon as you resumed work you shoudl have paid it.
I agree that it is not fair - but sadly legally it is a debt that is due and there is no legal way around it.
I am sorry - I agree that your ex is not acting well - sadly she is taking advantage of the law
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

in the exchanges between her solicitor and myself, they used reply by 30th of April or your liable. if I did reply and contained the statement " if I do not hear anything back by 30th of April I will consider the matter closed and my offer accepted"

that was on 22nd April and on 28th April I confirmed the offer and asked for proof my x son was still in education. understand my ex poisons my kids against me to the point they daren't speak to me.

would that make any difference? should they not have come back to me rather than heading straight to the court with what is the 4th different attempt to get money. they started at £6000 but that was full of lies. then £2800, then £3800 and finally this £1800.

they also want to claim costs and I dont see why I should.

I am sorry but it makes no difference.
I suspect they had hoped to get more out of you but have limited the actual claim to what the court might agree to
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