I was granted a Decree Absolute in April 2011 together with an Ancillary Relief order which required my ex to pay me maintenance of x amount a month until his retirement. He is currently 62 and retirement age was deemed to be 64.
As part of the financial settlement a pension sharing order was awarded. In December 2011 my ex sent me a one line text to say he had been made redundant & would not be paying any more maintenance. True to his word he has stopped paying maintenance. He has not responded to any Communication from me since.
Today I received a notice from the court that he has applied to vary the court order and they have asked me to submit another e form providing details of my property and income.
I work part time as a secretary and have cashed in on the pensions transferred to me to get an adequate income. I am to frightened that if my ex is successful with his application to vary the Consent Order I will lose my pensions, which provide me with an income of £700 a month. Does the application to vary a consent order consider pension arrangements or just maintenance?
Do I have to complete the e form? I have suffered a nervous breakdown and cannot face going back to court. What happens if I do nothing?
My ex has not even attempted to settle this amicably. Also although my ex has been made redundant it is highly likely that he would have received a substantial redundancy payout and will be ale o secure work as a contractor.
If your ex has lost his job and wants to stop or decrease payments to you, he has to apply to vary this via the courts as its a court stamped agreement. If he does not do this, then he is still technically liable to pay maintenance every month regardless of his financial situation. So you ought to at least be able to claim for the 4 months in between the stopping of payments and the court application.
You will have to complete form E as its now in the hands of the courts and this is an unstoppable process once begun, unless your ex withdraws his application. I think you will have to include your pension income but your ex will have to include his redundancy money as assets (although not as income). I''m not sure you will lose the pensions but he may be able to decrease or stop any monthly payments. Maintenance is based on the needs of the recient AND the ability of the other party to pay.
I''m sorry this is not what you want to hear and it must be very stressful so soon after having just reached agreement.
Thank you. So I have to continue with the court process? Is it possible to stop the process by writing to him and his solicitor to say I dont want to proceed and just cut my losses and agree to no maintenance payment and just live on my income from pensions and part time job so I avoid going back to court. I just want this all to end. Thank you for your help.
form E can''t be avoided, the court requires completion. You could try to negotiate an agreement out of court perhaps for spouse maintenance to be reduced to a nominal amount so it can be increased should your ex find employment again.
The pension sharing order and sharing of assets cannot be varied, only the spouse maintenance. Arrears of maintenance can be enforced like any other debt, but if paying a debt leaves someone living below subsistence level the court won''t make the debtor pay. It isn''t possible to get blood from a stone. Sorry.