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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34885
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I have a somewhat lose agreement with my children's father

Customer Question

Good morning,
I have a somewhat lose agreement with my children's father who lives in the states reference child maintanence. He sends £450 a month for 2 children. The boys see him for 7-10 days at Easter and then just over 2 weeks in the summer. Last year he said he could not afford to see them unless i forfeit maintenance. I agreed as i had a good year and feel its important they see him. However; this year he has assumed the same that he will not be paying maintenance and I need to pay for the chaperone. Its an 8 hour round trip to the airport and the chaperone is £350.00 plus he says he wont be paying maintenance so in essence the trip will cost me approximatly £900.00 and he did not see them at Easter this year. I believe this to be unfair and he says he will consult a family law solicitor, so I have said I will need to do the same. The trip is planned on the 6th August and at this present moment I am in two minds as what to do feeling we need a more formal arrangement or the boys dont go?
Can you please advise what steps I should take and if this is unfair for him to expect of us?
Kind Regards
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

How old are the children?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The children are 11 and 15 and their father started paying towards their upbringing just under 4 years ago although I have always let him see the children and stay either with us or family members.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Do you know how much he earns?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not really, he is in commercial real estate and has his own company. I would say between 60-100k.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Why are you paying the chaperone?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Apparently it can only be paid for at the time of check in. We had in the past used British airways but they no longer offer the chaperone service so the boys have to fly with Delta this time. He has paid for it in the past directly to the airline.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Seems odd - but in any event e should be paying this sum to you IN ADVANCE to facilitate the contact

In addition child maintenance is payable to cover such things as housing the children and providing heat and light (and no doubt electronics) as well as food and clothes

Aside form the food there is no financial benefit to you in the children being away (saving your sanity is not part of the deal)

He should be paying a set sum monthly - the figure should reflect the fact that ocntact is costly - but it remains payable wherever the children are.

You can either apply to the court in the UK for an Order that you then enforce in the States, or you can make the applictaion in the States if you so wish.

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you know the name of the order that I can apply for , the length of time it takes and any cost implications.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Where was the divorce?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The UK
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Was there a financial settlement at all?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No none, he had wanted alimony from me at one point, but I signed the house over and came home nearly 10 years ago, he has always pleaded poverty and as mentioned he only started to pay maintenance 4 years ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
that property has since been sold ... and I cant recall in its entirety but he may have filed bankruptcy..
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Have you remarried at all?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Then you can still make the applictaion within the divorce proceedings - using a Form A available here

and paying the fee of £245.

the fact that he is abroad will complicate the matters - but they should be resolved within six to eight months if he does not negotiate sooner