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Harris, Law Specialist
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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My court order from 2002 states that I should pay

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My court order from 2002 states that I should pay maintenance until my son is 17 or leaves full-time education whichever is the later. He is just turned 16 but now working full-time. Can I get it overturned or contested? I didn't realise the exact wording 15 years ago!

Hi, thank you for your question. Was the order agreed by consent or not?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think so. We both signed it back then. I didn't realise the "later" bit, though it should read "latter" I think. My son has started an apprenticeship and it seems l am paying for nothing. I didn't understand at the time.

Thank you - is it a government approved training/apprenticeship course? (for example :

  • Foundation Apprenticeships or Traineeships in Wales
  • Employability Fund programmes or Get Ready for Work (if started before 1 April 2013) in Scotland
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am not sure, the paperwork is at his mother's house, I haven't seen it. It is with a private engineering firm with day release at a technical college, with standard engineering qualifications from it.

Thank you. You will not be able to overturn the order as it was agreed by consent. However, if he is no longer in education or a government approved training course then the mother would not be entitled to child maintenance. Furthermore, if your income has reduced or arrangements have changed then you can submit a child maintenance application to the CMS and their decision will supersede the consent order clause regarding child maintenance.

If you are able to confirm your gross taxable income per year and the amount of time he stays overnight with you (on average each week), and how many other children are in your care I can provide your legal liability so that you can compare with the amount in the order.

In the meantime if you found my information provided helpful please could you rate my response positively using the stars at the top as I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can you clarify what you mean by "his mother not being entitled to child maintenance", please? This conflicts with not being able to overturn the order?

If you were to apply to the CMS their decision will state that there is no child maintenance liability if he is not on an approved training course, and this decision will supersede the consent order

Harris and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will no longer have to pay? What is "an approved training course"? This is not an apprenticeship?
I take it the CMS is the old CSA?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you still there?

Yes, the CMS has replaced the CSA (see here:

An approved government training course can include a training course or an apprenticeship - see more details here:

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The CMO reckon that since the court order was prior to April 2003 ( it was actually 2002) that CSA/CMS cannot super cede it, it has to be overturned by a court. Is this correct?

If it was made prior to 6 April 2002 then it cannot be superseded

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It's dated 25th June 2002. All of the correspondence on websites and blogs suggest 3rd March 2003 is the date by which anything prior cannot be superseded?

Please see here: