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plclegal, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8037
Experience:  Barrister at law
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I have just received an order made by the courts own

Customer Question

HiI have just received an order made by the courts own initiative. As per the order I have filed an N244 application to have this order set aside. What effectively the order is doing is extending the maintenance I have to pay past 19. It is supposed to end in September but I recently had a heart attack so was unable to attend mediation. With this in mind the judge has extended the court order without me even seeing any application from my ex. This is totally unreasonable and increasing my stress, the cause of my heart attack. As I say I have filed an N244 to have it set aside. If this fails what is the appeal process and if I suffer further heart issues can I implicate the judge for extending the order without seeing any of the documents new financial disclosure etc
Submitted: 20 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  plclegal replied 20 days ago.

Hello, my name is*****’ll do my best to assist you today and I’m sorry that you are going through this. I appreciate that is is important that you find a resolution as soon as possible.

Please bear in mind though that this is an email service and not live chat and therefore I may not respond immediately.

Please note that our discussions on this site are for general information purposes and do not create an lawyer-client relationship. It is always recommended that you consult with a local solicitor for specific legal information. You may receive a phone call request which is from the site, not me, and you may choose to ignore this request.

Can you confirm for me - is this a family court order please? Do you have a copy of the order to upload?

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
please see attacked order. This was the first I heard of it yesterday. It seems that I am being penalised for having a heart attack
Expert:  plclegal replied 20 days ago.

Thank you. Can you tell me if your earnings have reduced and/ or if you are still receiving a salary whilst you are recuperating, please? Do you have a timescale for you to return to full fitness at this stage?

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
My earnings have been reduced significantly. Rightly or wrongly I didn’t want to add extra stress by applying for a variation when I knew it would go down in September. So to manage trhe interim period I reduced my pension to ensure I received roughly the same. I can’t do this forever and it still doesn’t leave me in a position where I can pay off my extensive debts. I will probably only have a few years that I can continue flying and need to pay this debt off fast. My ex doesn’t work and that is her choice but it feels as if I am being penalised or having a heart attack which adds to my stress. I have had to represent myself at all recent hearings I can not go on like this. Dragging it out. There is a time when all parties must make there own way and whilst i appreciate I will have to pay an element for my disabled daughter it can not be at the current level nor is it fair on my other children
Expert:  plclegal replied 20 days ago.

I understand. On close reading of the order, the continuation of payments is only temporary (6 months), does not indicate that this is the final position, and if your earnings have reduced then you are permitted to make payments only at the rate you can reasonably afford to, with any arrears most likely being written off at the point (if) they are raised at the hearing in February. You are then invited to mediate to try and come up with a new figure to offer continuing support in line with a more affordable amount, when you are well enough to do so.

It seems reasonable enough order, on the face of it, given that it doesn't bind you to making payments you can't afford yet allows time to mediate before a final decision is made. The order is clear that the final decision has not been prejudged.

Honestly the court's approach is a little unusual, but I think on this occasion the judge has struck a fair balance in the draft.

There is also the fact that your daughter should now be entitled to adult social security benefits to take into account, is this something that has been explored?

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
I have tried to get to the bottom of what social care my daughter is available to get but my ex always say that she is entitled to nothing. She does receive 40hours additional direct payments which I have never seen the amount actually received or what it is used for even though she has been audited twice in recent months. If your able to help with what she can get I would be grateful. I was under the impression that universal credit plus the inability to work would count but no one is able to tell me exactly what she should get and why my ex wife has not applied for these on her behalf
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
I have stated that I am able to mediate from the end of this month. By extending it my ex has no encouragement to actually mediate effectively.
Expert:  plclegal replied 20 days ago.

I can't provide direct benefits advice, but the government site has links to benefits calculation tools here which should assist in at least getting a ballpark figure:

If you are able to participate in mediation sooner than the court order anticipated, then it may be more effective to submit a C2 application asking for the hearing date to be brought forward as 6 months is a long time for an open ended mediation commitment.

In the mean time, if you have set up the MIAM and got a date for the first session, then you have set that ball rolling.

It's clear to me from the order that the court does want to look at the issues, but fairly, and wants you to have been through mediation first before judicial discretion comes into it.

I hope that this assists?

My view would be that an appeal is going to be time consuming and more stress - and I do think the order is reasonable as above, so to say that the judge erred in law or fact (i.e. grounds for an appeal) is going to be difficult to establish.

A straightforward application to bring forward the court date should remedy this.

Can I clarify anything further?

Expert:  plclegal replied 18 days ago.

Thank you again for visiting JustAnswer, please do let me know if you have any additional questions in the future. I am also happy to answer any new questions on other topics that you may have, you can request me by putting “for PLCLEGAL” at the start of the new thread. Best wishes, Peter