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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 32086
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Alex, I am currently defending myself after a decision by the HMCTS that I should pay £

Customer Question

Hi Alex, I am currently defending myself after a decision by the HMCTS that I should pay £25,000 in back payment to my ex wife for child maintenance. The HMCTS calculated my income in absence of any input from me. They oriiginally had an accurate calculation from the CSA and they knew that I am a freelance contractor with differring income each year. My ex wife and I had already reached a private agreement and she was telling me that the tribunal was going to be cancelled by her. She did not cancel it and the HMCTS had a final hearing and ruled that my salary should be calculated based on the average income for a salaried Quantity Surveyor. They also calculated my assets but made no allowance for all the liabilities I have.
My question is is it lawful for the HMCTS to calculate my income based on the average income of a QS when I am clearly not that at all, and is it lawful for them to take into consideration my assets but make no allowance for my vast liabilities even when they had a
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
even when they had all the evidence of my income from the CSA calculation.
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for asking for me, but sadly I dont know anything about child payments. I will let others answer this but thanks for requesting me!
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
It seems the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're OK with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
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.
When do the arrears date back to - and do you have accounts for the years in question
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Clare,
There are not any agreed arrears. My ex wife and I were divorced back in 2012 and as there were companies that we owned involved in the assets and liabilities position the court had to employ the services of an expert witness financial accountant to assess the likely value of the overall pot. The Ltd company and me personally was in a dire financial position with many debts and the Ltd company went into liquidation soon after the divorce. The divorce decision was given on a clean break basis and the judge recorded in his directions that he had allowed additional sums in favour of Mrs Elliott because he considered that she would be unlikely to get any maintenance from me going forward as a result of my dire financial position. Mrs Elliott went straight to the CSA after the divorce and I provided my financial accounts to the CSA for year end 2010 along with statements of my draft accounts for 2011. The CSA calculated that due to my losses and dire financial position and then imminent personal bankruptcy proceedings, that I should pay £5 per week which I had continued to pay. Mrs Elliott was at this time using my dire financial statements to gain heavily discounted fees for our daughters so she could keep them in private school. Then on the other hand she appealed to the CSA against the decision of £5/wk on the basis of "income inconsistent with lifestyle" claiming that I had purchased 7nr additional properties and making up other lies about me and my financial position and providing no evidence whatsoever of her claims. During this same period Mrs Elliott had agreed privately that I was paying for the children and she confirmed this to the CSA which they wrote to me about and asked me to cancel the direct debit for £5/wk confirming our private agreement. Although Mrs Elliott was leading me to believe that she had told the HMCTS tribunal that she did not want to pursue the appeal, this was all lies and she was actively pursuing it all along.I continued to have the children regularly and paid for many things for them that I had to borrow money from credit cards and friends to be able to pay, even up to this day. Mrs Elliott also continued to be very happy with my poor financial statements going to the private school where she put our daughters right up to this day. I sent numerous emails and correspondence to the HMCTS disputing the fabricated lies that Mrs Elliott was submitting to the appeal. I also wrote to them confirming that my financial position, although gradually getting better, was still quite dire and I submitted the updated accounts and tax returns as soon as they were available so they could see the position. The HMCTS were not at all interested in any evidence that I put to them and indeed disregarded the evidence in favour of the fabricated claims that Mrs Elliott put to them. I have also sent them evidence that Mrs Elliott has lied openly and admitted it on paper but they still deny me the right of appeal saying that they are not convinced that there has been an error of law. The HMCTS decided to calculate my supposed income based on that of an average salary for a Quantity Surveyor, even though they had seen real evidence of my usual income as shown in the divorce paperwork and further accounts evidence submitted to them. The calculation was worked out as being £50,000 per year whereas I haven't earned a profit of that much from my business for many years.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
May I ask why you are not able to earn the average salary - what has caused the financial difficulty?