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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12181
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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My ex partner and I separated last August. We were not

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My ex partner and I separated last August. We were not married. We have two children from a 7 year relationship and since separation we share responsibility equally. My ex partner returned from maternity leave after our first child on a part time basis, and has remained part time to date. She has a greivance against me as she feels penalised as her pension contributions are less than had she not had children and remained in full time employment. I recognise this, however I worked compressed hours to take some share of the childcare responsibilities and contributed all my savings and earnings to the relationship. My financial contribution in the period has been significantly more than my ex partners. I have no greivance against my ex partner.
You (Just Answer) have previously clarified that as we were not married, she has no right to claim my pension. Despite this she repeatedly asks me to disclose my pension details which to date I have refused. Is this acceptable for me to refuse?
She also is asking for details of my current salary (as opposed to my salary at point of separation). As I have negotiated a significant increase since separation is it acceptable for me only to disclose salary at point of separation?
Despite separating in August, we have not agreed maintenance support. My ex partner has hardly mentioned it to date, and her focus has been my pension. I am happy for her to receive child allowance in full and she has done so since separation. As we share the children 50/50 (I actually have them slightly more than half at just under 4 days per week) I do not believe I should be responsible for maintenance payments. This is despite having a full time position and greater salary.
Can you advise whether I am accurate in assuming that there is no maintenance requirement please? However, if I do have to pay maintenance, will this be from point of separation or from date of agreement?
Finaly, similar to above, I believe that costs and future costs, including exceptional costs should be shared equally. My ex partner believes pro rata based on earnings. Please advise which is accurate. I would like to settle our status and equal responsibilities etc in a legal document - is mediation the most appropriate mechanism to achieve this?
We are attending our first mediation session next week so clarification on the legal position would be most valuable.
Thanks, Ken
Thank you for your question. I am a family law solicitor in Scotland.
Mediation for unmarried ex partners isn't really done in Scotland.
Your rights and obligations are set out in section 28 of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006. She has a year from the separation date to make a claim via the court. You might want to keep that to yourself.
There are two issues:
1. Entitlement to make a s28 claim.
2. Child support.
The two are entirely independent of each other.
1. One party can be entitled to a capital payment as compensation for their contribution to the relationship in the interests of the other party or the children. The factor you have mentioned in your narrative is that she gave up working full time and has therefore suffered a disadvantage that you have had the benefit of. That will be offset by your larger contribution to the household. The court would have to balance your respective contributions and assess whether she is entitled to some money from you as a result. I don't have the detailed information to carry out that exercise. Apart from section 28, which you should read online, you can read the case of Gow v Grant which will give you an understanding of how the courts deal with this issue. You can get this case at the website of the UK Supreme Court. What is clear is that any claim is for money, not for a pension share. That only applies to married couples.
2. Maintenance. Whoever get the child allowance is entitled to claim child support. The amount is generally based on the income of the "absent parent" and the number of nights a week the absent parent has the children staying. So where you have them four nights and she has them three I have to say there is a grey area. As this hasn't been her focus I would try to leave it that way. Most reasonable parents will accept that if there is shared care and the extra expenses are split equitably, there should be no maintenance due to or by either party.
I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi. Thanks for your response.

You mention point of separation. Typically, is this when we agreed to separate or when my ex partner moved out (this is what we have adsumed to be the point).

Also, can you clarify my salary question as I have seen a significant rise in salary recently and since separation (additional responsibilities at work). Is my ex partner entitled to know this / know my current salary or simply my salary at point of separation?



The separation is when you stop living together as a couple, sometimes referred to at "bed and board". You can be under the one roof and still live separately.
Ongoing child support is determined by your salary at the particular point in time so would be based on your higher salary. So you would have to disclose this so that child support could be calculated. However as the principal of child support is disputed, I would not be for disclosing that at the moment.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.


Since our contact my ex partner has contacted the CSA. I have engaged with them advising of equal share of childcare arrangements, however they have contacted me to say that they are not recognising this!

Our exact arrangements arent quite equal. In any week the kids stay with me 3 nights and my ex partner 3 nights with an equal share of alternate Saturdays. As I have three nights that precede school I have responsibility for the full day and pay for childcare - that's 4 days and 3.5 nights. Slightly more than half, but happy to call it half.

I spoke with the CSA today and their stance is that they do not recognise the '0.5' night, and somehow consider the 'occasional' night as an access arrangement 26 weeks a year (I cant remember the exact term they used). I therefore have to pay £208.32 per month because my ex partner receives the child maintenance (she transferred it from our shared account without any prior consultation) and is the principal parent. I consider that they are not taking an equitable approach to this case. We clearly share the children equally. They advised I had a right to dispute, which I will.

Can you clarify / confirm the position on equal share of the children and requirement to pay maintenance - if the partner is not 'reasonable'.

I understand this to be a new string and happy to pay!

This is much as I advised above. Although I don't agree with it, the rule is that the parent who gets the child allowance is entitled to child support even where the care is equal or where the "absent parent" has in fact more contact than the "parent with care".
It produces a bizarre result and one which you should take to appeal if you can.