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Advise please - maintenance changing -

  • Tinkerbelle
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08 Aug 12 #348069 by Tinkerbelle
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thought all the hard work had been done - seperation agreement/divorce all done and dusted - lawyers paid - and things starting to get back to a form of normality......
ex is going to cut the maintance he agreed in half. claims he can no longer afford it
Whats happened is he has told our 13 year old child that he is going to half the maintenance cos he now cant afford it....but he wants her to live with him Sunday - Friday cos he feels where he lives is better enviroment for her to live/study etc...300k lovely house v 80k run down ex council house - which I just managed to get mortgage on based on current level of income (including maintance)cos it is cheaper than rented accomodation.
My daughter was a bit upset last night as she feels her dad is putting her into a position where she has to choose between parents - she has told me this in advance of the money stopping as she was so worried about it......
Lifestyle 1 - run down ex council house - money coming will just covers essentials each month V
Lifestyle 2 - lovely detatched nice area - holidays - weekends away - will be allowed activities clothes when ever she wants them etc etc.
At 13 she is old enough to choose for herself and there is nothing I can do about it.....I just feel she is slowly being forced into a position where she has to choose....and money/lifestyle is the carrot he is dangling in front of her eyes...
She knows the life she has with me is controlled by the money we have comming in every month
It pains me to say but I dont trust ex when it comes to money - he has his own business - he can/does manipulate things to his advantage....


I take it as long as he can prove to the powers to be that he cant pay the amount agreed in the seperation agreement then he will just get away with cutting the money.......he knows I dont have the money to go down the road of lawyers/courts - so really I feel the seperation agreement is worthless.....
When the divorce/agreement was all being sorted out I did attempt to try to discuss the maintenance situation but the lawyers insisted we leave this area alone as ex was insisting he was willing to pay xxx per month -

I know my daughter is of age where she has to make up her own mind....I just think she should not be put in this position because of the manipulation of £££££.....

I dont want to go down the road of CSA

But to take some of the pressure away from our daughter I really think the maintenance issue needs addressed - like it should have been done when the lawyers were involved....

anyone got any advise on how I should tackle this.....so that its fair on everyone - and my daughter is no longer under any pressure to choose between parents....

I suppose if he is cutting the maintenance then by rights we need to enter into a new voluntary arrangement - so would this have to be overseen by lawyers......

does anyone have any good voluntary maintenance ideas out there that work for them...or which might work in this situation....

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08 Aug 12 #348075 by happyagain
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Is this just child maintenance we are talking, or it is inclusive of spousal maintenance? When did you reach this agreement?
Do you think he is asking your daughter to spend more time with him to reduce his maintenance or are you more concerned that you will be spending less time with her?
If it does go back to court, you don''t have to spend a fortune on solicitors. You can self-rep with advice on here.

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08 Aug 12 #348106 by Tinkerbelle
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first of all Im in Scotland.....we have a minute of agreement here..this is child maintance only..through out the whole seperation/divorce process he never mentioned our daughter at all - he did not ask to have her x nigts a week x weeks a year during holidays etc etc.....only thing was he would pay xxx as voluntary arrangement - I went with this on basis Daughter was not under any pressure she could decided when etc she visited/went to stay etc......the agreement/divorce was about 2 years ago.....
It has always been on the back of my mind he would do this...when things dont go his way he brings up the fact he is paying more than he would have via CSA yet he was the one who decided this amount.
I honestly think my ex is now tryng to manipuate things to suit him.....he does not like where we have moved to says its just a area full of scum/perverts etc....(family home was in nice area but I just could not afford to stay) I saved and scrapped everything I had to buy this house as had no chance of getting council house and private renting too expensive....
He knows if he cuts the money he pays it will hit us hard....his lifestlye wont change (just back from his 4th holiday abroad in 12 months)


during the time the lawyers were involved and agreement being set up....he freqently insisted on paying xxx maintance for daughter - had he wanted to restrict this by the no of days daughter was with him he should have done that then......I think he just made things look good so it would go through quicker....he remarried 7 weeks after the divorce came through....

Am I worried about spending less time with my daughter ..... not really....most of the time when she is here I only see her briefly - usualy when needing food - or a favour.....

The honeymoon period I think is over...things had to look good on paper to get what he wanted - also made him look good to other people....now we have moved on he does not like where we stay - thinks cos he can afford it he can give daughter a better life - which if he cuts the money he can.......

Here was me thinking the worst was over - and just when trying to adjust life as it is now...he goes and messes it all up....

Does anyone know - bearing in mind im in Scotland - how I stand with the minute of agreement showing maintance to be xxx - can he just adjust this if he choose to without backing it up.....he knows daughter is of age where she can decide things for herself...bit problem for her is that she does not want to be in a situation where she has to choose....she says she would stay with me cos she wants to be here - but enjoys the life style at dad`s - just does not want to be there are permanent feature.....
How does someone go about getting such a agreement changed...

I really think I need a better maintance arrangement.when I say that i dont mean more money etc...one which will eliminate the need for my daughter to feel she one day is going to have to choose between her parents..and if that means me receiving less money - but her dad paying out for more of the things i paid out for then that might be the way forward.....

The good thing about how things were was that I paid for everything....school clothes, ordinary clothes, school trips, glasses, after school activities money to go out with pals - picked up and dropped off etc etc...daughter happily picked and choosed how she spent time between houses without pressure.....Now he has discussed things with her (before talking to me) she knows the impact it will have on her living here which makes it worse for her eg dad cutting money to mum, so she cant do this and that....dad wants me to stay with him most of week at least if i go and stay there then I stand a chance of still being able to do the stuff i normally do....

So really need some advise
(1) in relation to amending the minute of agreement.....if thats the right thing to do.....
(2) any good practice tips out there on how to come to voluntary child maintance agreement - preferrably something which takes into account the current lifestyle of the child but does not favour one parent to the other or dictate how many nights a child must spend with each parent........

so sorry for rambling - thought i was done with all of this.....

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08 Aug 12 #348128 by Tinkerbelle
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oops just realised ive posted this twice - sorry.....

just read this.....

When the Separation Agreement has been in place for a year either party can apply to the CSA if the child qualifies, the CSA notifies the court and the separation agreement ceases to have any effect. In the meantime any arrears can be enforced through the courts like any other debts.....

So after a year the agreement is not worth the paper its printed on (unless there are arrears) and here was me thinking it was worth spending 4k on lawyers to get the right agreement for us, as maintenance was offered voluntary and a bit more than CSA would have calculated no wonder both lawyers didnt dwell on any maintenance issues...what a great idea - looks good on paper..pulled wool over my eyes..makes ex look good to other people well i pay xxx to support my child etc...but in the knowledge after a respective period of time ...you can just stop when you feel like it - go to CSA and pay less...even though you can still afford to pay what you offered in the first place...

What is the point of putting this in an agreement if it only lasts a year.....I am sure my ex would still be able to pay what he agreed but he has the perfect get out clause....

he offered more at the start so that it looked good and got things moving - so he could move on and get remarried....in the knowledge he only needed to pay this for at least a year....then he could reduce payments or go to CSA in the knowledge he will pay less and even better if he can persuade daughter to stay with him 5 days brings it down to almost nothing...major impact on my daughter and I`s life...but big financial improvement on his....and no questions asked...he can do it just cos he feels like doing it...

on my soapbox now.....just cant beleive how much worry - time - and money I spent trying to sort this out via lawyers - only to feel i was stitched up....

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