2. His income has not dropped since the agreement was reached.
3. He agreed to do extra mileage
If this all went to court, the judge would go apoplectic with your partner for unilaterally messing around with finances and he would go apoplectic with the ex wife for messing around with contact.
Both parties are behaving very badly indeed.
If he does not like the deal he has agreed to and his circumstances have not changed, then he should follow the correct legal process and apply for a variation downwards of CM based on the csa recommendation and the extra mileage. I have no idea whether he would be successful or not.
As for his ex wife: her conduct (and anyone who seeks to justify it) deserves the full wrath of a court and I suspect (given her and her partners earnings) a judge would give her both barrels.
However, your partner''s best bet, given what you have now told us, is to pay the agreed amount and if he is not happy and cannot negotiate with her, he should follow the correct legal process.
His ex wife has shown a very very nasty side to her character, but if your partner is going to throw stones, he must make sure he is behaving well himself - unilaterally going back on deals just because he feels hard done by with the original deal is not fair particularly when they''re his kids.
Rugby, you seem to be assuming that the maintenance, and that there have been no changes.
Tinkerbell''s partner''s income may not have changed, but there may have been other changes to circumstances - most perople will have found that their living costs have risen over the past two years - think of the change in petrol costs alone. Anyone who has the same (in money terms) income now that they had 2 years ago will have lower efective income as there will have been no cost of living increase.
Of cours, this may also be true of the Mum - although what Tinkerbell seems to be saying is that her circumstances may have changed, re; new partner etc.
I agree that if you ealise you''ve been paying 1/3 more maintenace than you werer required to, it would be reasonable to make the adjustment gradually so eveyone has tiime to adjust - I would have suggested changing the payments over a period of (say0 3 months to allow time to budget for the change, but that said, there is absolutely no excuse for stiopping contact.
If he hasn''t already done so, Tinkerbell, I would suggest that your ex prepare a letter to go to his ex, setting out the cotnact he wouldlie, based on the pattern which has been happening up to now, and asking that this is reinstaced immediately, and that contact continues as previously agreed until suchtiem as any new pattern is agreed or ordered.
Make a referral for mediation, and if she ignores that, make the application to the corut. In making the application, focus on the child''s needs - whether and how well the existing arrangemetns were working, whether anything has changed for the child which might be a reason to adjust the contact.
Try to avoid making comments about his being fed up of being dictated to, as the court has to look at this from the persective of what is right for the child, not what either parent wants or feels, so if he can, he is better advised not to focus on his (reasonable) feelings, but on the impact which his ex''s actions have on their child, and how his proposlas will meet child''s needs.
The problem for Tinkerbell''s partner is that he is highly likely to wind up having to make 2 applications to court if he chooses the court route: one on contact and one on varying cm.
Added to this, his ex wife has already shown a propensity not to negotiate and that she is prepared to use the children.
So his choices are:
1. Act unilaterally on finances and don''t see much of the kids.
2. Pay agreed sm and see the kids.
3. Spend the next few years in court.
I fail to see how applying to court for contact will help him at all. Either she will cross apply for enforcement of finances (which is a nightmare for him) or she will start making all sorts of accusations about him to justify her bahaviour or both.
Any which way he is caught between a rock and a hard place.
If the mainteneace is Child Maintenance, he doesn not have to apply to the court. He would apply formally to the CSA to confirm the calculation he has already carried out.
You asked inkerbell whether he paid spousal meaintenace and I think the answer was no, the maintenace is child maintenance.
Any court order for child maintenance is superceeded by a later CSA assessment.So if the child maintenace is under an order, then Mr Tinkerbell would need to apply to the CSa, which will issue a calculation which nends the existing order, or, if there is no exisiting order (which was my reading of the situation) Mr Tinkerbell can either apply to the CS (if he feels that stepping back from trying to deal with fiancial issues directly with his ex may be helpful) or he can pay at the lwer rate, explain to his ex why he has done so, and focus on the contact issue.
I''m not sdaying that sending a letter and referring to mediation will necessarily result in the outcome he wants, I''m saying that those should be the first steps, before applying to court, as (i) the *may* work and (ii) if he does then go to court, a court can see that he has tried to be reasonable and child-centred.
Yes guys we are caught between a rock & a hard place.
His wages had dipped and she did not take into account fuel costs and other deductions that the csa have taken into account.
A solicitor has advised we seek a court order but I had already anticipated that she will come back at us with the nasty route!!!
It''s not so much about him feeling hard done by and more about what''s fair and right.
His son is 12 & has expressed his wishes to see us...that is being ignored.
I will get him to contact his bank and make the change gradual as that is sound advice...
Thanks everyone,much appreciated
Shame that the solicitor''s advice wasn''t heeded. If memory serves me correctly there is a Separation Agreement and no final order settling finances here. Now the situation has become overheated it could make turning the agreement into a Consent Order difficult, if not impossible, and the legal costs involved would make the amount of CM saved pale into insignificance. As the cliche goes solicitors love clients who say it is about principle because they will fight to the bitter end no mater what the costs.
The CM may be treated like a private debt and enforced through the courts until the agreement ceases to have any effect. That will be until either a change to the agreement can be negotiated, CM agreement is incorporated into a consent order or an application is made to the CSA.
A very big thank you for these comments
We are sending mr.tinkerbell (love it!! !!)''s ex an email today stating the changes and the reasons.
Offering mediation and the notice that the maintainence drop gradually.A renegotiation of the original aggrement taking into account rising fuel costs etc.
I can only hope that this will remedy this situation.
Keep you posted thanks again xx