I have been divorced for 3 years now, and live with my 16yr old adopted son.
My ex has given up her job, moved to the United States, and stopped paying the child support which she had reluctantly paid through the CSA. She says that she is unemployed (I have no way of knowing whether it is true or not). Now they have closed the case as she is out of their juristiction, and I dont know what to do.
I have to pay her six monthly instalments of the capital sum divorce settlement, so I deducted the amount of unpaid child support from the total. Her solicitor is now threatening me with court action to force me to pay the entire amount in one go, which I cant do.
My son has just started college, and has additional travel and other costs, which make it a real struggle to pay all the bills and capital payment with zero child support.
My question is: Would the court really force me to pay the entire outstanding amount, plus costs, when I am not trying to get out of paying the amount due, just insisting that my ex do her duty to her son?
I cant afford to pay more legal fees, as every spare penny has to go to my ex who has plenty while my son and I struggle along.
The two (the capital lump sum and the child support) are separate issues. It''s wise to not lump them together. The answer to your question is yes, the court could order you to pay in full, plus award costs against you.
Are you claiming the relevant child related benefits, ie CTC, CB etc?
The CSA are correct, when a parent moves out of the jurisdiction and doens''t work for a UK based company/business, then the CSA can''t deal with the claim any longer. The only option you ahve, other than an amicable agreement is to seek a REMO (Reciprocal Enforcement Maintaince Order) (as there is no current court order in place re child support, as part of the REMO application, the court would issue an order of maintenance ) through the Courts here - but if she isn''t working and can prove that, it will be very difficult to enforce an order where that person doesn''t have the means to pay.
I do claim child related benefits, including Tax credits.
I do understand that the issues are legally separate, but it does seem the law is very unjust if she can walk away with #150,000 capital from the home I owned prior to meeting her, after 8 years of marriage, and cannot be held accountable for financial support for her adopted son.
As it is, I am having to borrow money off my 80 year old mother to survive, so I cant afford to run up more legal costs. I will check out REMO though.
Thanks for your post. I''m Sarah, the child maintenance Options Consultant. All parents have a responsibility to provide regular and reliable financial support for their children. Child maintenance can make a significant difference to a child’s wellbeing and the quality of family relationships.
The Child Support Agency (CSA) can only deal with an application for child maintenance where both parents and the child live in the United Kingdom (UK).
However, there are exceptions to this when any of the following points apply to the paying parent:
Is working abroad in the service of the crown. For example, is a Civil Servant, works within Her Majesty''s Diplomatic Service or is a member of the Armed Forces.
Works abroad for a UK based company. For example, the company employs people to work outside the UK but makes payments via a UK payroll. The company also needs to be registered under the Companies Act 1985 (England, Wales and Scotland) or the Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 1986.
Works abroad on a secondment for a prescribed body. For example, works for a NHS trust, regional health authority, primary care trust or local authority.
If your ex-partnerr''s circumstances do not meet the above criteria, there is still an option to consider in applying for maintenance. You may wish to approach your local magistrates'' or family court to apply for a court order for maintenance. Once granted, court orders can be enforced under the Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders (REMO) agreement. REMO is the process that enables maintenance orders made by UK courts, on behalf of UK residents to be registered and enforced by courts in other countries and vice versa. This is an agreement set up via the British Government, with other countries, to enable citizens to receive maintenance from parents living abroad. Court staff may be able to help you and will forward the application to the relevant authority.
The authority will check that the application is correct and send it to the foreign authority, or court, for registration. Currently, the UK has conventions with more than 100 countries and territories worldwide. A full list is available on the Ministry of Justice Website, which does include areas of the United States (US), at www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/protecting-t...-solicitor/index.htm. Some of the REMO arrangements other countries have with the UK don''t apply to Scotland. You will need to use a solicitor if you live in Scotland.
If you live in Scotland you can find out more about REMO using the following link. www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Justice/law/1...ren-root/maintenance.
For further information about the REMO process you can contact the REMO Section of the Official Solicitor & Public Trustee either by phone (0845 345 5303) or via the Directgov website at www.direct.gov.uk/en/Dl1/Directories/DG_177531.
With regards to your divorce settlement, I suggest you seek legal advice as we''re not experts in this area. 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.
For more information about child maintenance Options 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).