Just an update as I get sucked into this black hole which there is no escape. I have threaded recently and am facing ''questions in court as the judgment debtor'' having failed to pay spousal maintenance as per court order. I moved 250 miles to be able to have meaningful contact with my sons, left my job and self employment growing and successful business in IT. Failed to vary spousal maintenance order downwards. Now owing costs and arrears in thousands.
I have gone over my finances with Absolute scrupulous detail and demonstrate good business growth. I can account for every penny earned, business practice, business structure, dynamics of cash flow, tax methodology, projections and business credibility. I have rescued myself despite my move away from family friends and my career. Will all this be pulled down because of spousal maintenance arrears ?
I have written to her solicitors not to do this to me as I want to pay her but please give a chance to get there - I know I will but if I am cut down at this point I will never recover and that will be it for our children''s future. I have asked them for a couple of more months just to show a better trend after 6 months of financial year instead of 4 months - this will give indication that although I left my previous job, in a couple of years time, I may even reach similar levels of earnings but they have refused to delay the hearing.
I know I owe her, but my move was motivated for me to be near my children. Nothing else. I have sent a statement of plea to the judge, I don''t know if that is the right thing to do. To urge him to consider my plea. As its questions and cross examining my finances I would be happy to supply all these details without need for court, so why drag me there?
I think my ex is consumed with utter despise for me as divorce has not meant the financial compensation she was after and no prospect of it. If she destroys me then no one will be better off. If she at least shows some patience I can gradually raise the spousal maintenance and she will benefit. I know I cannot pay the arrears but materially that will not affect her. She is by no means living in poverty, God forbid.
But her spite is all consuming. Building up to this for the last 6 weeks my sons have hardly seen me for a few hours (couple of hours separated by a week). A summer of increased holiday contact as per court order in addition to my fortnightly over night stay is punished by neither, under the pretext of children illness.
Instead I face bankruptcy which will kill off my business and and credit worthiness for ever. Or even worse - prison which has been discussed here at great length. My employability will suffer and I will not be able to function as a father who is trying to better his children''s lives. I can''t seem to reach out to her. Just a week to go. It''s the violins of self pity again I''m afraid - like writing my own obituary. God hope she''s not reading this !
I too don''t know your wife''s circumstances, however, it would be good for her to read your post ... Carrying on the way she has basically she is going to wake up one day and find that she gets nothing because you''ve got nothing rather than agreeing to wait as you are suggesting.
I did have to go to court for my own missed CSA and we agreed a payment plan which I suggested a reduced amount to ensure that x can afford it, I do agree that if it is agreed in the Consent Order and legal you should pay it, wrote several times to x suggesting that if he need a variation then ask for one and we could sort everything out. For me it was not a lot of money but I wanted to ensure that it was consistently paid not hit and miss.
My kids are teenagers they knew what was going on and why, partly because the money was paid directly to them so no way to hide it. However, I ensured that I was fair and self-reped (scary) followed the correct track and gave every bit of info to the judge, on the day we discussed reasons and affordability and agreed a payment plan.
In then end it all worked out, certainly wouldn''t want to bankrupt my x (he may disagree lol) but once an agreement has been made then it should be stuck to or varied if there is an affordability problem.
However, I am lucky it may be the case that your CSA is the main amount she recieved and therfore is needed totally hence her actions, i do not know see what the court says and good luck.
One of the things that is clear in a debt that is owed is that both parties negotiate towards a sensible settlement.
Of course it is difficult to predict how a court will act but based on what you post here you have done your best to avoid court, not stated that you do not owe the money and are doing your best to negotiate to stay out of court and avoid acrimony.
My advice to you would be to make sure that you have all the documentation you need (including your plea to court as you are not supposed to write to the judge without the other litigant being aware of it) and your letters attempting reasonable negotiations and all the rest.
Limited companies (not sure if your is a limited company) cannot be forced by a court to release capital where it can be seen that tha capital has been invested ligitimately. Neither can a company be forced to increase a salary of a director to satisfy the claim of a creditor where it is clear that in doing so it would make the company insolvent and that the director is not deliberately just paying a low salary to then be able to state that they cannot afford to pay.
Combine this with the efforts you have made to move close to your family and that now your children are being punished by refusal of contact and breach (was it an order for contact).
tit for tat and refusal to negotiate and be sensible are frowned upon in a court of law.
I think now of the problems so many spouses have (usually I suppose woman) but in getting child maintenence out of erant ex partners who just claim poverty because of self employment.
As far as I can see you have done your best to do everything right and I agree that harrasssing you and making you feel like you might even get a prison sentence for basically contempt of court - no wonder you are feeling stressed.
I would also mention that you feel very harrassed about that possibility - I am not surprised you feel that way (having been there and defending three penal notices myself).
Perhaps you could even say it feels like doomsday - I know that feeling - what is going to happen to me in court.
Hopefully the judge will come out in your favour and maybe even suggest to your wife that she is abusing her position and ignoring your desire to comply.
Was thinking about your situation so am pleased that you have replied.
It occurs to me that there is no point you struggling to get back on top of debt if you can point out that you applied with evidence of your inability to pay the spousal maintenece, were turned down which resulted presumably in the arrears but that you have done your best to negotiate an comply with your debt obligations.
There is a real danger that unless you can significantly improve your financial situation that you are going to stay in arrears and just get more mounting debt as the maintenence award stands as it is.
Bearing in mind what appears to be a non reasonable and agressive stance on behalf of your ex wife and her solicitors I would, in your circumstance be looking for a reduction in the existing maintenence amount - maybe on a temporary basis with confirmation that you will regularly review.
I am thinking now about my advancing knowledge of company insolvency. When a company gets into financial difficulty and a trustee is appointed in administration to see about business rescue and creditors getting paid the trustee must make a quarterly report.
Perhaps you should ask for a maintenence which you believe you can afford now, agree to attend to the back payments (which will in any case affect your ability to live a reasonable life - it is not the company job to pay your personal debt) and then look to increase back to a higher level as soon as you can.
Remember that as an employee you could be made redundant from a job and that holds true if you are still married and then unable to support your family or divorced and unable to meet not just spousal maintenence but also general debt commitments.
I wish you luck and obviously so much is up to you and also to the judge on the day. However, and I have followed many posts from men on wiki on this subject, I really do not believe that maintenence award should be a punishment for life against the person who it is made against (or for that matter for - many woman are prejudiced by ex spouses who are negligent and are self employed and hide their finances or become unemployed or redundent just to spite their ex).
Really, every case should be considered on evidence, law and merit. How can anyone be critisied and penalised for doing their level best and why should other parties be let off when a mass of evidence shows that they have not.
Hi soulruler - grateful for your pearls of wisdom. I explained in previous threads that I did apply to vary SM downwards - but failed - self repped and she got awarded costs and arrears. Now she wants her money.
It really is a strange situation where I have made a success of my self employment and resurrected my life despite moving so far from my life that I left behind, my family, friends, career .. .where I grew up, my home. I have built up a good business and will increase SM at intervals and increments to suit all.
I want to pay her, but don''t have assets - no house etc. every month that passes by the £1750 I should be paying her builds up. The £550 I do pay leaves a short fall. So since her application to get back £22,700, there has been more added on to the arrears!
It''s like I''m running on a big treadmill at full speed, working hard to make my business successful (which by the grace of God it has and being a father to my children which is why I moved so far) and thinking I''m making progress but in actual fact I''m going backwards.
She has her court order for SM and prevented its reduction despite my application for downward vary; she has her court orders for me to pay back arrears and any further arrears that accumulate every month; her solicitors have their orders for costs; the courts feel great that they have exposed yet another SM non - payer; so where does that leave me and my sons? She has punished me more by not letting me have contact with my sons under the guise of illness over the last nealy 6 weeks I have seen them only a few hours and my overnight contact 2 weekends cancelled - how much can you push a man - all this and I am the guilty one regardless of my efforts to show that for God sake, I urge the courts not to view the men as satan''s drones and the ex wives/mothers as whiter that white, and it''s the bloke who is the aggressor who needs to be muzzled and contained.
Gotta keep it cool for next week, cool calm collected, with a gentle pause prior to every answer so that I don''t just vomit out any rubbish but at least keep my integrity and self worth intact - Amen