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Advice on Child Support

Child Support

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  • Full Question

    Can anyone help me with how to word the consent order re child maintenance?
    I want to pay 20% of my salary (CSA guidelines) until my eldest son leaves full-time education, and then 15% until my youngest son leaves full-time education.
    Does this wording 'have' to be in the consent order, or is it taken to be law, that I pay until they finish full-time education? Also, is full-time education taken as being school ie it doesn't include University?
    I am currently paying 22% of my salary. My wife won't agree to putting 20% in the consent order. Any ideas?


    The Petitioner (or Respondent if payer) do pay or cause to be paid periodical payments to the Respondent (or Petitioner if payee) for the benefit of ??? (d.o.b.) and ??? (d.o.b.) at the rate of 22% of the Petitioner's income net of tax and national insurance contributions from the date of this Order until the eldest child shall attain the age of 18 years or ceases full time education whichever shall be the later and thereafter at the rate of 15% of his income net of tax and national insurance contributions from the date of this Order until the youngest child shall attain the age of 18 years or ceases full time education whichever shall be the later, such payments shall made monthly in arrears"

    You will also need a recital undertaking to provide a copy of your P60 or tax return in each financial year.

    The above will provide for maintenance to the end of university education. If it says "until they shall cease full time secondary education" then that would be until the end of a level education. If you do not want to pay whilst they are at university then you must ensure that you put full time secondary education in to the draft order. You can then of course make payments direct to the children once they are over 18 in any event to help support them directly whilst they are at university.

  • Full Question - 

    I've been divorced for 6 years and my ex husband is currently paying £1000 per month for my 4 children and £750 per month for me. I am about to co-habit and therefore do not expect my ex to pay anything for myself but believe it is time to re-assess the payments for the children. They have remained fixed for the last 6 years despite his income increasing substantially. He is a consultant anesthetist with private work and whilst I do not know exactly what he earns I suspect it's in excess of £100,000. I hear all sorts of figures and percentages he should pay me but am unsure. What do you think and what does the Law suggest? 

    Answer - 

    The current CSA rates for 4 children under the age of 16 is 25% of income net of tax and national insurance contributions for 3 or more children. If you have a Court Order for maintenance for the children you will have to apply to the Court for a variation. The Court will then look at your ex-husband's income to see how much the maintenance should be varied to. I calculate on the basis his income is £100,000 gross you should be looking at an increase. Do remember the Court has power to make a downward variation too.

  • Full question- I separated from my ex-wife almost 4 years ago and finalised a divorced soon after. However, for the past 3 years have struggled through court and finally managed to get a Contact order for my Son (aged 4) for alternate weekends mid week contact and shared holidays, the order has been working well since it was finalised back in February. I have recently met someone and plan to get engaged. My Ex found out and has herself now been introduced to someone for marriage purposes except he has a 5 year contract in Dubai. She is now talking of moving and taking my Son abroad with her to settle with her future husband (No 3), What are my rights to maintain my substantial contact with my Son and keep him in this country, My son is in school and settled and has a very strong relationship with me and my family, I cannot bear or accept him being taken abroad. Please advise. Answer- She cannot take him to live abroad without a court order. If you believe that she will take him any way you need to apply to the court for what is known as a prohibited steps order to prevent the child being removed from the jurisdiction of the court. You will need to instruct a Solicitor for this I feel as there is quite a lot of case law dealing with this area.

  • Full Question- 

    I applied for a variance of a 2001 order last year. After attending all hearings a Final Order was granted on Dec.29,2006. Within one week of the Order my x quit his one hundred and forty thousand pound a year job that he had held for eight and one half years. He then immediately applied for a variance and refused to abide by the recent order. As he was in breach of the order I applied for the order to be registered in the Magistrates Court and asked that his application be dismissed. The Judge responded by saying that while there is an application to vary, it would be inappropriate to register the order. I live in America and can simply not afford to endure another round of hearings. Does a Final Order not mean final. Why should I have to wait another year to enforce an Order he is in breach of? Why should he be allowed to manipulate the system in such an obvious way?

    Answer - 

    I presume you are talking about maintenance. If a maintenance order has been made then you can of course apply to enforce the Order by first registering it in the Magistrates Court. If either of you are applying to vary the existing order then it cannot be registered with the Magistrates until the Order has been made. Have you thought about applying for a lump sum in lieu of maintenance and then obtaining a full clean break from the Court?

    You ought to see a lawyer specialising in family issues as quickly as possible to get this cleared up as quickly as possible. Spousal maintenance Orders are always difficult to enforce and always seem to come before the Courts for variation by one party.

  • Full Question - 


    My husband and I have will have been separated 2 years come June. He left after I found out about his affair (2nd time with same woman). The matrimonial home was sold as he couldn't afford to keep the mortgage payments up and it was in his sole name. I work part time and have 3 children (1 by him aged 10 and two by my first husband aged 12 and 16) He pays £100.00 per week maintenance. I am having difficulty in meeting all the financial demands for bills, mortgage etc.

    I cannot afford the legal bills to divorce him and we have a fairly amicable relationship. I don't want to rock the boat by asking for more money but am in need of it especially as my eldest daughter is going to university next year (he has raised all 3 children as his own for the last 11 years and they all class him as their dad).

    I have a new boyfriend but we have no plans to cohabit. My 'husband' lives with his partner and are having lots of improvement work done on the house/garden. I cannot afford to do any of this is I have had to buy my own property for myself and the children to live in. Am I entitled to any more money from him?

    Answer - 

    You may be entitled to more maintenance for yourself if you cannot make ends meet, however it would seem he is paying about the right amount for child maintenance under CSA rules (15% of his take home pay).

    So the maintenance you ask for will be for yourself and not in respect of your child.

    As for the divorce we can deal with this for you which will save you on legal fees.

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  • Full Question - 

    I have a child maintenance court order in place to which my ex-wife and I agreed to at the time of our divorce. I now feel that the amount I am paying is too high and that all of the money given is not being spent fully on the welfare of my two children. I am currently paying £1350 per month for both children and wondered what level of income would I need to be on, in order, to pay this amount. Additionally how do I go about varying the order and is only my income taken into account in the variation or are all my assets assessed as well. Thanking you in anticipation.

    Answer - 

    A. The courts now tend to look at the new CSA rules as guidance for what you should be paying for maintenance.

    If we were to take the figure you have been giving, you would need a take home monthly income of £2295 to be paying £1350.00 per month.

    That equates roughly to an income of £40k per annum gross.

    As you are under a court order, the court has to take into account what you can actually afford as opposed to the CSA which is a strict formula. So if you have debts, high mortgage etc, this will also be a factor.

    We can prepare your application for a variation of maintenance for £199.00 + court fee.