Here''s my situation: My wife and I separated in 2010 and since that time I have been paying a voluntary amount to her as maintenance for my 2 sons. I have not seen them for almost 2 years, despite many attempts at contact with no response.
We are finalising our divorce at the moment and a Consent Order has been drawn up which we have both agreed to and signed. it is due to be submitted to the court shortly. The part of that order which deals with child maintenance states that I will pay a monthly amount per child "...until they respectively reach the age of 18 or finish full time secondary education, whichever is the later."
My eldest son is now 18 and has finished 6th form college. I don''t know of his plans for university because nobody is telling me anything. I had some brief email contact with my son a month ago, but nothing since.
As far as I am concerned, he has finished full time secondary education and has no interest in establishing any sort of contact with me. I do wish to support him through university, but I can''t invest in a future that I know absolutely nothing about.
Where do I stand if I stop maintenance payments for him, bearing in mind that the Consent Order has not yet been implemented?
I would write a letter stating that as son is now 18 and finished secondary education you intent to stop paying maintenance from fixed date (personally I wouldnt stop until September 1st.) rather than just stopping.
From the legal POV your son is 18 and finished full time education so you have no liability. From a practical POV I wouldn''t upset the applecart and continue paying until the Consent Order is sealed by the court and Child Benefit ends after the first week in September (that''s when CM payments stop under CSA rules.) Definitely write beforehand and give advance notice.
It''s then up to your son to negotiate maintenance when he is at university with you. He can do this directly or through a solicitor and at the moment he would qualify for legal aid.