Hi, just a quick update - we had our 2nd court hearing last week and actually got a reasonable agreement to reduce the maintenance payable based on changed circumstances. I have read a lot about the variantions going either way and being risky, but just wanted to share this so if someone else is in a similar situation this may be helpful. We applied to reduce the amount payable based mainly on the fact that our expenses have gone through the roof since RP moved about 300 miles away a few years ago and we are solely financially responsible to try and maintain contact with children as much as possible. Also original court order had CM + SM which has now been reduced to nominal being £1 per year for the next couple of years in case NRP started earning ridiculously high salary so RP could apply for spousal again within this time, if this does not happen after that period they will lose the right to any claim to the estate of NRP or any right to ask for spousal which is a good Clean Break for us as children have been in full time education for a few years now and there is no reason why RP could not work part time to up her income if she is overspending living on benefits + maintenance for children alone. Our judge was reasonable and just simply pointed out that NRP expenses and costs are way too high and have been too high and RP income has gone up and expenses have been more than halved by now with the changes in circumstances so there was no other option other than reduce the child maintenance to CSA value and fix it for a year. After that either can apply to vary the amount if circumstances have changed.
Thank you for the update, it helps to know how things turn out in the end.
Its true these hearings can be a bit risky but much less so when you can show a material change in circumstances as you did, so its good for you as the spousal element is reduced to a nominal order, common sense prevails.
It did indeed at it has been a massive relief as the financial strain has been huge and had an impact on everything the last few years. We have managed to get into debt just trying to cover all our costs.
I think in our case it helped the fact that RP was adamant she would not agree to anything at the hearing and would like to go back to another hearing or two until judge simply asked the question of how much all this circus was costing everyone. RP and her representative laughed and said "Nothing" as she is on legal aid but on our part we were self funding and this cost was on top of loss of earnings for 2 days because of the hearing being mid week and 300 miles away for NRP so judge simply stated he saw no reason why something could not be agreed there and then and it was. It was just a bit shocking to see that kind of behaviour in courtroom.
On a positive note as I said I just wanted to share to say its not impossible to have a judge with common sense and reasonable approach.