My ex husband has suddenly stopped my maintenance payments and has threatened to stop the child support as well. He says he is going to reduce his working hours next month and he has stopped the maintenance because his salary will be reduced. My questions are,
Can I do anything to get the maintenace restarted without having to go back to court?
Would all of his asset (he owns three houses) be taken into account in any caculations if he tried to claim child support and maintence from me? We have a shared care arrangement for the children and I am worried he stop working and try to get me to support him.
If you have a Consent Order in place and your payments have stopped then you''ll need to seek legal advice, as you need to go back to the court to get the payments enforced. You need to do this promptly as Courts will not enforce maintenance arrears more than 12 months old. They may enforce payments through ordering a payment direct from his wage or through placing a charging order on property or forcing a sale of the non-paying parent’s possessions.
If you need some more information about where you stand legally, it might be worth contacting Community Legal Advice. Their helpline number is 0845 345 4345.
In answer to your second question, child maintenance is paid to the parent with day-to-day care of the children by the other parent. In cases where parents share the care of their children equally and the main day-to-day carer cannot be determined, the parent who receives Child Benefit for the children will be classed as the provider of day-to-day care. So, even if you share the care of your children, if you receive Child Benefit for them, you are the parent with day-to-day care and the non-resident parent has a legal responsibility to pay child maintenance. This is set to change in future under the reforms proposed by the Government.
For more information about maintenance and access to useful tools and forms online you can visit www.cmoptions.org, or if you''d prefer a confidential chat you could call the child maintenance Options team on 0800 988 0988 (free from a landline).