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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35054
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I work and live in China as a teacher. I stopped paying CSA

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I work and live in China as a teacher. I stopped paying CSA in January 2015 and instead put this money, plus an extra £200 a month, into a high interest savings account for my two children. This will run for 13 years and give them much security when they are older. My ex-wife was not spending CSA payments on my children - hence this step. I received a letter today from the CSA, who say that I owe money and, if not paid, my case will be passed to the Child Maintenance Service.
- are any court orders enforcable in China: I have a residency permit now?
- will I be arrested if I return to England to see family?
- can my Chinese employer be made to withhold money from my salary?
I guess that this all hinges on whether or not UK court orders are enforcable in China.
I appreciate any help that you can give me.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I also agreed as part of the divorce settlement to pay £175 per month to my ex-wife so that my pension would remain with me. She has now remarried. (a) will I have to continue paying this even if she should pass away (she has a terminal illness now) and (b) my pension has now been moved from the usual teacher's pension pot to a private financial consultancy on the Isle of Man. If I stopped paying this £175 would she be able to go after my new pension? I am not a heartless person in the least but I need to know this in relation to the future of my two children. Thank you, Michael.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is***** shall do my best to help you but I need some further information firstWhat assets do you still have in the UK?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am still named on the joint mortgage of the former matrimonial home, which my wife lived at with her husband. The court order stipulates that if it is sold my ex-wife receives all monies from the sale. The bank would not release me and wanted her to show she can pay the mortgage without default before considering this so the judge gave her 10 months to show this, which passed over a year ago. This was part of the divorce agreement. Aside from this, no assets in the UK. She is refusing to now sell the house.
What is her life expectancy and how old are the children?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The children are 11 and 10. Her life expectancy could be anything between 2 and 8 years. However, it is more likely to be closer to the former considering her length of illness. I am planning on living and working in China for at least the next 13 years.
Will you come to the UK at all in that time?Indeed will you ever wish to have financial assets in the UK in the future
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Previously, I have been in the UK for 3 weeks in the summer and 2 weeks for Christmas. However, this could stop if need be. I do not plan on having any assets in the UK in future and plan to retire abroad when I am 55. I always have somewhere to stay in the UK in terms of my parents house. This will be left to me should, God forbid, anything happen to my parents. In terms of existing assets, my teacher's pension is currently in the Isle of Man, as is a savings account (high interest) that I currently pay £650 a month into. This will continue for the next 13 years.
have you notified the CSA that you live and work abroad?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes. They know that I work in China. I was very open and told them of my intentions to still support my children while living and working abroad. However, they also know that this will be done as outlined in my previous messages. I am currently paying far more than the £420 CSA each month into a savings account. My children are the sole benificiaries of my teacher's pension too. Under no circumstances will I pay this to CSA so that it goes directly to my ex-wife, who uses it for things unrelated to what it is designed for. While abroad, I will keep my childrens' savings account accruing interest for when they are older.
I am a little confused as unless you are working for a UK based company the CSA no longer has jurisdiction.When was the Assessment made?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The letter was dated February 29th - it takes a while to reach China! They know I am in China and are still trying to get me to pay. I am not working for a UK based company. There are two possibilities here: (a) there is something that I do not know about regarding trying to obtain and enforce a court order in China - I am sure that this cannot be done, although it can be in the EU and (b) the CSA is so incompetent that they send automated, standard letters to any address, without checking whether or not it is in a different country. If this is the case, surely taxpayers' money would be wasted in going through a UK court to pursue the matter?
Go for option 2.When was the formal CSA assessment first made?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I first started paying CSA when I separated from my ex-wife, which was in about 2010. The assessment is done every year, so the amount changes slightly if circumstances change. The last time that I received a document detailing the amount to be paid each month was about a year ago (10 months).
When did you move to China?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I moved here on January 5th, 2015.
The CSA no longer have any Jurisdiction over you since you are not resident in the Uk and are not working for a Uk company.You shoudl write a clear formal and unambiguous letter to them pointing this out.Assuming you were not in arrears in January 2015 then you owe them nothing.If you were in arrears then they can collect these whenever you do return to the UK.Given that there are no reciprocal agreements in place between the Uk and China no Court Order for maintenance could be enforced against you.It is not impossible that a Court would make an Order to be enforced in the future - but it is most unlikely.I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further detailsClare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If I "owe" them money, can I be arrested for non-payment if I return to the UK?I would think that this is a civil, rather than a criminal, matter. However, for peace of mind, I'd like to check.
Technically it is possible - but only after lengthy proceedings which will have to be served on you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Can I be charged money for these lengthy proceedings?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
And how likely is this to happen?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Lastly, can they have me detained at passport control upon entering the UK? This mean seem a bit "ott". However, I would like to know.
Yes they could claim costs - but remember ONLY for arrears arising BEFORE you left the UKThey will not detain you at passport control
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