My husband divorced me some 3years ago, where a maintenance agreement was agreed in court. My husband however has not paid this maintenance (to me only) for some 8months. He's now applied for a downward variation which my solicitor is now telling me may cost between £3-6K to persue through the courts.
Is there any cheaper way round this?
Alternatively is there something I can apply for?
The Court is obliged to agree to adjourn if the parties agree to refer the matter to ADR (Alternate Dispute Resolution) in the form of mediation
Mediation is a great deal cheaper than contested litigation.
During mediation H will have to agree to proper disclosure of his household's finances -if not carry on with Court process for neither you any solr or the crt can decide without proper detailed corroberative evidence
If H inc has genuinely dropped and he is not messing around not wkg o/t etc AND he has maximised his earning capacity it may well well be justified
Has his income genuinely reduced or is he saying you are better off now than when the order was made? Why do you think he is applying to the Court?
Don't forget the Court doesn't even have jurisdiction to make the order UNLESS there is a meaninful change of circumstances since the original order.
If he is messing about consider enforcing the order- maintenance arrears over 1 year old annot be enforced without permission from the Court
Thanks for the reply. He says that his job has changed and that he is now self employed - meaning he can no longer afford the maintenance payments. Im loathed to believe him but then again I have no proof either way.
Im just being told by my solicitor that it may cost between 3-6K to see this back in court. On the basis that the court costs would outway the maintence backlog and any subsequent downward variation it may be in vein, i.e. id have to save 2years of maintenance to pay the court costs.
Many people "claim" to be self employed but actually they work on "contract" for the same employers
Actually in many cases by doing so the former employers save NI payments. So H if he did this would not necessarily earn less.
If he has "become" self employed -how did this come about?
If he resigned why...he may not have maximised his earning capacity by resigning and earing say £30 and then saying he is self employed and earning much less....if Court believes this a ruse or his actions unreasonable the Crt will base case on his old salary...and likely variation will fail...tehn its full steam ahead to enforce arrears...and this pain will likely make H see the light and max income out of necessity.
Has he a new Ptnr? if so her inc is a resource and if she earned same as H his expenses should be halved..info needed!
Exemption only applies to Court fees...not legal costs
In the absence of public funding "legal aid" Mediation is the answer
The Court can adjpurn his application for this process.......discuss this with solr asap
To get H's application off the ground he has to show a prima facie case for a variation -what is it
It may be that you wont find out in detail till his sworn form E is received but it is absolutely amazing that ex H or his solrs did not write to you or your solrs before app was made setting out in detail his pos'n now and why he has not paid
Did they not do that?
Or is it the case the app was made when enforcement was made -presumably not as you don't know where he is