A capital idea: Will courts now consider other assets in child maintenance cases? By Lindsey Randall

Family Law|October 21st 2011

In recent weeks one case has set a marker that could prove significant for those struggling to receive a fair level of child maintenance from an absent parent.

In the recent High Court case of FG v MBW ([2011] EWHC 1729 (Fam) child maintenance payments were ordered to be made out of a non-resident father’s capital.

So does this then set a precedent for similar orders where an absent parent fails to pay a fair level of child maintenance from his or her income? Or is the ruling highly specific to the details of this case?

The circumstances of this case are particularly complex and worth considering in some detail.

Top-up maintenance

The relationship between mother and father had lasted 4 years and they had a child in 2002, named Luc, but remained unmarried. They separated shortly after Luc’s birth and the father then had a further son after marrying and then later divorcing. At the time of this judgment he resided with a new partner and had fathered a third child.

He made maintenance payments to Luc in accordance with an order made under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989. Maintenance payments had not been subject to a Child Support Agency (CSA) assessment because the father earned in excess of the £2,000 per week maximum level of CSA assessable income.  Therefore the case concerned a higher“top-up” maintenance payment, based on the lifestyle the mother had enjoyed during their relationship and their future expectations for Luc as they had been at that time.

Under an order made in 2005, the father paid £1,886 in child maintenance each month. This was based upon the couple’s salaries, which amounted to £130,000 per year in total. They had a comfortable lifestyle and were paying for Luc to be privately educated.

During the father’s divorce proceedings, Luc’s mother learnt that shares in one of the companies he had owned appeared to still belong to him, whereas during the 2005 maintenance proceedings he had alleged these were in his wife’s name.

The mother obtained disclosure of the husband’s financial position as he had been presenting it during divorce proceedings.   It was shown that he hadclaimed that the shares belonged to him and had been put into his wife’s name to “ensure they were protected from a litigious ex-girlfriend”.

Giving evidence during the 2011 proceedings, the father claimed that he had only made that statement because he wanted the shares to be included in the pot of family assets for the purposes of the divorce.

The father’s earnings had also increased consistently over the years since the original maintenance order, which had been based on a projected future salary of £150,000. In addition, it was thought that he could expect significant capital growth in the future. He failed to disclose these facts to the mother and, although he had made some small voluntary increases in child maintenance, these were not proportional to his increase in income and capital.

The mother had been unemployed for some time after sustaining injuries in a car accident. She was in receipt of state benefits and her long-term prognosis and capacity to work were uncertain.

A decision born of uncertainty

There are two distinct features of this case:

  • It is a “top-up” case in which maintenance is to be higher than the level at which the CSA administrates;
  • Non-disclosure was alleged by the mother and the application was for an upward variation of maintenance payments. It was not a case of non-payment, but of under payment.

It is only in top-up cases,or where an agreement has been reached between the parents as to child maintenance arrangements,that the court has the jurisdiction to make a maintenance order under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989.  However where an agreement is reached, a party may apply to the CSA for an assessment after 12 months have passed.  This may result in the sum of the original child maintenance agreement, which may have been relatively generous, being reduced and maintenance arrangements falling outside of the jurisdiction of the court.

It may be possible for a “Christmas” order to be agreed between parties,which would have the effect of ensuring that the maintenance agreement was never more than 12 months old and therefore could not be subject to CSA assessment.

It is likely that where relations between parties are acrimonious, no agreement will be reached. Where there is no substantial wealth on the part of the absent parent and no agreement, the CSA will have the jurisdiction to deal with the matter. Unfortunately this excludes the vast majority of cases from the court’s jurisdiction.

In delivering his judgment in this case Mr Justice Charles found that there had been inconsistences in the father’s account of his ownership of the company shares.  The father’s financial position was described as being “in a state of transition” and his future income therefore uncertain.  His current disclosed income indicated that he would have to meet maintenance payments by using his capital reserves.

So why were payments ordered out of the father’s available capital of £130,000? This was largely due to the uncertainty of the financial positions of both parties and the fact that there would only be clarity as to their positions in the long-term. In the meantime, even though an increased maintenance order would mean the father eating into his capital, this was considered preferable to reducingpayments to Luc: the interests of the child were paramount.   In this instance the issue of maintenance will be subject to future review in light of any future capital gains or increase in income.

Balance of fairness

I believe that the most crucial point to emerge from this judgment is the alteration of the balance of fairness between the parents. The balance had previously been tipped in favour of the father, insofar as he was able to conceal income and assets and the onus was on the mother to uncover any facts that would entitle her to a higher level of maintenance for their son.

As a result of this decision, the balance of fairness seems to have been equalised, as in order for the father to make any application for a reduction in maintenance payments he must provide financial details showing that he cannot afford the current payments  He therefore must disclose information for his own benefit.

The advantage gained by the mother is that she is at the very least able to maintain the higher level of payment awarded in the case. Combined with the order made by the judge for further, regular disclosure in the future by the husband, her son is in a much more certain and strong position as to his future financial wellbeing.

But is this an example of maintenance payment enforcement in the long-term, or an example of a short-term arrangement designed to secure payment just for the time being?

It is clearly not intended that the father carry on making payments out of his capital. However, now that the balance of fairness has been adjusted between the parties the likelihood of being able to enforce maintenance at an appropriate level in the future does seem to be stronger.

The court expecting an absent parent to pay maintenance from capital reserves could be a crucial development. But the circumstances of this case are very particular. It will prove difficult to extend this principle to CSA-assessed cases where the court does not have jurisdiction.So only time will tell as to whether this ruling sets a precedent, or is merely an inventive solution to individual circumstances.


Lindsey Randall studied at Trinity College, University of Cambridge, for an MA in English before deciding to pursue a
career in law. She attended The College of Law in York before going on to study for the Bar at BPP Law School in Leeds. She is a barrister member of the Middle Temple, having been called to the Bar in 2010. Following a brief career in Banking Litigation Lindsey has decided to pursue a career in family law. She has now joined Stowe Family Law LLP .

Author: Stowe Family Law

Comments(40)

  1. A capital idea: Will courts now consider other assets in child maintenance cases? By guest blogger Lindsey Randall « Untouched Smile | Care Your Child says:

    […] A capital idea: Will courts now consider other assets in child maintenance cases? By guest blogger L… is a post from: Marilyn Stowe Family Law and Divorce Blog […]

  2. rachel says:

    Marilyn, can you tell me if it is possible to amend my open offer AFTER final hearing in divorce? I was seeking 60% capital based on large disparity of earning capacity, him 58k net (after reducing to a 30hr wk) and me 5k plus maintenance@ 18k for me and 15 yr old daughter. DJ clear that 50% was fair split of capital. DJ said earning disparity would be dealt with by a ‘proper maintenance order’.
    I have since discovered the existing mortgage lender will agree transfer of title and will lend me what i need to keep the house albeit a large mortgage, based on the amount currently owed being substantialy reduced whici i can do with my 50% capital settlement.So i want to write to DJ explaining this as he made it clear he was going to order sale of house(not the mh which was sold and the proceeds frozen. The hse i live in is a 2nd property owned by us.) judgement due to be delivered within 28 days. Can i write to DJ saying i can raise mortgage and sale should not be ordered or wait for judgement and then put forward my offer to raise a mortgage and keep the house? I woukd reallx appreciate your advice. i am desperate to keep my home after already moving from the mh 16 mths ago.

  3. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Hi Rachel
    Can you preferably get in to see me or arrange a tel con?
    If you can please call Paul Read to arrange. No charge.
    Regards
    Marilyn

  4. rachel says:

    I appreciate that so much and I will contact Paul Read on Monday! Thank you Marilyn.

  5. Mark says:

    Marilyn,

    Can you help. I was divorced 3 years ago and never completed a financial order, as we were being amicable, very naive!!! I am going through form e’s disclosure at the moment. We have 2 children, one solely lives with me, the other is an exact 50/50 split. I am now being hounded for some of my redundancy recd after absolute. Can u help/advise? To counteract that claim i am requesting a larger portion if the former matrimonial home as i needed a bigger house to house both children and support for student fees for our eldest? Not sure if i have a leg to stand on?? Best rgds

  6. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Mark
    Your arguments centre around whether post divorce accrual should be taken into account given the reasonable needs of you and your ex wife.
    Before you complete your Form E this needs to be fully discussed with your solicitor and the Form E should include your arguments.
    Regards
    Marilyn

  7. Emanuela says:

    Hello Marilyn,

    I am 23 and a full-time Education student at University. My Mother and Father separated while I was still young, but they never married. My father did not pay any child maintenance my mother raised us on her own, and I want him to give me what I believe I deserve, me and my younger sister 22. I need some advice to know if there is a law that helps me in doing so and what I must do.

    Kind Regards,

    Emanuela

  8. Amanda says:

    Marilyn, i have a daughter aged 9 but never married the father. Since he sold his business 6 years ago he has not paid maintenance for our daughter. I have full time care. He cites CSA law and says he doesnt have to pay as he has no income from a job. I don’t believe this. He has substantial assets and refuses to pay, stating he does not want to support ME. Please help! We struggle daily to support ourselves whilst he lives in luxury!

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Amanda
      The answer is he does have to pay and you should apply through the CSA for a variation on the basis his income is inconsistent with lifestyle and he has additional capital that should be taken into account.
      Regards
      Marilyn

  9. sacha says:

    Hello Marilyn

    I was never married to my daughter’s father who permanently resides in the UK. My daughter and I reside in the Caribbean. My daughter’s father is quite wealthy. He owns a business which generates in excess of 350k profits annually. I am aware he has 2 properties in Holland Park and another in Notting Hill. If i were to move to UK permanently can I apply for transfer of property for my daughter’s minority? What other rights do I have. I have not filed a mentainence application against him yet.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Sacha
      You could make an application on behalf of your daughter under Schedule 1 Children Act 1989 for housing during her minority plus a lump sum, and as well as child support through the CSA, if he has a high income, he may be eligible to make “top up” payments to cover additional expenses and school fees. You may also be eligible for legal aid to proceed.I am not a legal aid lawyer but it’s worth considering.
      Regards
      Marilyn

  10. Natalie Butler says:

    Hi Marilyn,

    I am currently going through the courts system regarding two separate issues with my ex. 1. Domestic violence and contact. 2. CSA tribunal. I found the legal system awful in this country. I am currently on legal aid but that doesn’t cover maintenance issues. My ex ran his own private ltd company as a free lance consultant and earns a considerable amount of money but only claims minimum wage to csa. I have presented the csa with company accounts and his name is even advertised on a company website as a manager. He has also transferred his company into his girlfriends name. He has told the CSA he has no income and his family pay for his lifestyle. I am now taking him to a tribunal. Every day I phone the CSA to look into whether he is working for this company as a manager and they just ignore me. I am appalled at the way I am treated. It is clear to me that the CSA are only interested in PAYE not self employed/ Ltd companies. Please can you help me I have asked the CSA to look into my case but don’t get no where with them.

  11. louise says:

    My husband had a fling which resulted in girl getting preg.hetold her to he wanted nothing to do with heer or thr child, she was fine with this until havin it then tried to blackmail him.( basicalky she had this child for miney), my husband was houndded and threated by csa. Surely he has rights!!!%

  12. gail says:

    I have a court order in july 2010 ‘payments made under schedule 1 of childrens act 1989’ he is now going to the CSA to reduce the maintenance to the max ie 104,000£ being 20% = £1733 my mortgage being £1600 – being joint owners
    leaving me £133 to pay all other bills, (he has substantial assets). why is he allowed to do this. i understand that i would have to appeal to CSA for a variation. i don’t understand why he is allowed to do this – given his millionaire status. we were never married. we have 2 children.

  13. VANESSA says:

    Hi Marilyn
    My ex is always unemployed and he girlfriend has been paying for all his bills for the last 5 years or so.
    can I claim maintenance from her as all his relatives are
    deceased?
    rg
    Vanessa

  14. Gloria Catalina says:

    Hi Marylin,

    My ex partner and I lived together in London for eight years. We have two daughters. A year and a half ago, the girls and I moved to Spain with his consent. I had a job offer here and wanted to try it out. He stayed in London but came over three weekends per month plus holidays. The idea was that he would be spending more time in Spain or even moving here if things worked out.

    Unfortunately, a few months later, he left me. He then said he would visit every other weekend and I agrred to pay child support. We agreed to split travel costs and he deducted the amount from the monthly payments. He then proceeded to only coming out once a month for roughly 48 hours and would stay at my place, but continues to deduct travel expenses from the child support payment.

    In addition, the payments only cover about a third of the girls expenses. He has a fixed income of £90k per year and a variable of up to £60k more. I had a good salary but lower than his fixed. I have recently lost my job.

    I have been trying to get him to pay at least enough to cover 50% of the girls costs, but he refuses and is even threating with lowering the payments. What can I do? What level of payment are the girls entitled to? Who should be responsible for travel costs? The girls attend private school, which in Spain is much cheaper than the full time nanny we had in London. The girls were 2 when we separated and will turn 4 in March.

    Many thanks for your help,

    Gloria

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Gloria
      You can make an application to the English court by virtue of para 14 Schedule 1 Children Act 1989, setting out your budget as to what you need for the children and asking for a court order for him to pay it. The court will decide how much if you can’t agree it.
      Regards
      Marilyn

  15. Debbie says:

    Hi,
    My ex has been unemployed for a year(on disability allowance) due to bad back. He is abt to sell his house at £500k. There is a mortgage but I believe will be £100+ Left. He had split the land and will keep a barn which he is converting to rent or live in himself. He currently gives nothing to the children and says he won’t pay anything until he gets a job! Can I claim anything through CSA for this huge savings he will be sitting on, rent and mortgage free. Thanks

  16. Rob says:

    Dear Marilyn
    My ex lives with me in my house and we have two children aged 10 and 13. We have been separated for 5 years (never married) and following my refusal to allow her to take kids to live in Australia, she took me to court for transfer of my house to her, plus periodic payments etc under schedule 1. I countered with a request for Child Arrangement as I am sole breadwinner and owner of house. She refuses to work or claim full benefits save child tax credit/child benefit. I have always paid my mortgage and all the bills. She has put charge on my house and my investment flat. I’m happy to pay 20% of my income and share custody 50:50 but her lawyer wants me to move out, pay mortgage and give her 50% of my income? Final hearing in March 2015. Will I be made homeless? Help – Can’t sleep. Rob

  17. M-A says:

    Dear Marilyn

    I was with my ex for 7 years and we had two sons who are now 6 and 7. We never married and separated in Summer 2010. He is very wealthy and retired at the age of 35, then lived in Malta for 2.5 years for the tax breaks. He bought a house for me and the boys to live in but my new husband and I bought it off him a few months ago.

    He has recently moved close by to me and my sons and says he is not going to pay maintenance any more (he used to pay £2k per month) as he is offering a perfectly good home for the boys and expects me to let them live with him 50% of the time meaning he does not have to pay maintenance. While I would accept a reduction in maintenance as my husband contributes to the running of the household, I feel my career prospects and pension etc have been severely compromised by bringing up two children alone, one of whom has special needs, and the disparity in our lifestyles is unfair. He bought a huge house outright and bought himself a Porsche last week.

    As he does not have an income he thinks he is not eligible to pay maintenance. I just need some plain English as to what the law would say in these circumstances. I don’t want to have to go to court, but it would be helpful if I could send him an outline of what the outcome might be if we did, then he might more readily accept what we are asking for as a contribution to the boys’ upbringing. Incidentally, I also believe the access I give him is very fair but he disputes this. He has the boys to stay for 3 nights every other weekend. He also collects them from school every Wednesday and Friday and spends a few hours with them before returning them to me in the evening.

    I would appreciate some advice.
    M-A

  18. Elizabeth says:

    I would be interested to know whether these principles can be relied on subsequent to an initial order being made. My ex and I went though a fully contested financial hearing in 2012. Maintenance for me was capitalised and he was ordered to pay 1700 pcm approx. for our two children who are now 17 and 14. At the time of the hearing he had a job which paid £125000 basic and a similar sized bonus. As well as his own capital my ex was a half residuary beneficiary in his late fathers estate- worth approx. 4 million- (his death in late 2010 had prompted the start of the divorce proceedings. I am fairly certain that as soon as the divorce documents were dry my ex’s stepmother had begun to divest herself of the trust assets. My ex is therefore undoubtedly now independently wealthy.
    In July he emailed me to say he no longer worked for his employer. No other details have been provided although he has resigned as director of the company. As he has little or no current income (I am certain his investments will be geared to growth not income)I think that the CSA will be little help. Can I go back to court to claim that he should pay maintenance out of capital? If so under what provisions. He is 57 and his stepmother 86. Many thanks for your help.

  19. Ellen says:

    Dear Marilyn,

    My ex-partner and I were together for 6 years (we were engaged) and he has recently ended our relationship. We have a 7 month old son and I am the main parent.

    He is a very high earner – around £250-300k gross. With his line of work, it is inevitable that he’ll go to France in the near future and earn double this. I earned around £28k myself, but am on maternity leave and will have to leave my job as I’ve had to relocate from our home in Hertfordshire to Leicestershire due to finances (I’m with my mum). I’m very worried about the lifestyle we’ll be reduced to. I’m also worried that the immediate plans (one being my ex-partner helping me learn to drive and purchase a car for the day to day care of our son) we had for our son are now unattainable as he is reluctant to do anything that looks to benefit me.

    Qs:

    1.Do I apply to the CSA for the first £156k? And then to the court for the rest of his salary to be assessed?
    2. Where do I stand when he goes abroad? I’ve read about REMOs.
    3. Do I need a solicitor to help me apply to court for the top up? Or can I do this myself?

    Many thanks!

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Ellen
      It strikes me immediately you have claims under Schedule 1 Chikdren Act 1989 for capital including housing and income. It’s important you take immediate legal advice to explore the whole scenario and take steps to protect yourself financially.
      Regards
      Marilyn

      • Ellen says:

        Thank you Marilyn.

        Your comment has panicked me a little – is there a reason for the urgency? I was going to hold off as he’s offered to relocate and store my belongings and furniture. I feel as soon as he knows I’ll be applying for capital, he’ll drop his offer.

  20. Tayla says:

    Hi There,

    I split with my partner almost three years ago and he only pays a minimal amount of CSA. When he left I struggled to work and care for our daughter. Now, We have (9 months ago) been made homeless due to a sewage leak causing dangerous chemicals in our home, which killed our family pets and made my daughter and I sick and the policy wording under our insurance means that we cannot claim. My daughter’s father has nearly £200k in savings and is refusing to help when I asked him if he could loan me the money to get the house chemically treated to make it safe for us to live in again. Can I claim top up maintenance payments or ask for hep towards parental responsibilities?

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Tayla
      You can make a claim under Schedule 1 Children Act 1989 for provision of a lump sum to cover the cost of chemical treatment and it is also possible to claim against him to provide suitable housing for a child. My firm will assist you if you require further advice. You can call Morna Rose on 01423 532600 for further information.
      Regards
      Marilyn

  21. Zara says:

    Hi

    I’ve recently split from my boyfriend and we have a child together. I was living with him and his mother in their house until we split up.

    He jointly owns the house with his mother whom also lives in the house.

    Im currently a stay at home mum staying with family but want to know if i can apply to the courts under the Children Act Schedule 1 to transfer their house to my child for my child and i to live in.

    I know he’s currently earning £18,000p.a. The house he’s living in with his mum is their only home and I know neither of them have any savings either. But I don’t want to stay with my family, I want to stay in their house permanently. I currently have alot of savings but surely if he has a house I have a right to it?

    I read I can apply for an occupation order but if successful, this will only last upto 6-12 months.

    • Stitchedup says:

      Bonkers!

    • JamesB says:

      I suppose you end up on social security in a council property with child maintenance from him.

      I am not sure that is an improvement over you and him getting back together like men and women used to before it was frowned upon by strange modern convention and couples penalty. Or the Victorian workhouse for that matter.

      While we are passing judgement on others we have not met and not knowing their situation, he seems rather close to his mother as you and your family. This kids living at home in their adult head does my head in.

      I have a child with a woman who’s grown up son clings to her like a bad smell and is very rude and doesn’t grow up or leave the home or do anything or behave well at all or do anything yet I did not get a say. Ultimately broke that relationship.

      I blame feminists and unlimited immigration putting too much pressure on housing and relationships making children stay at home for too long. They should leave by their mid twenties, not their mid thirties. The Waltons was a tv programme not a suggested family household model.

    • JamesB says:

      Alternatively, you might try finding another mug, oops, meant man, while you are perhaps still young and pretty and can wiggle it a bit in his face to make a go with him and double your resources and perhaps get a place comparable to that which the taxpayer will get you for free. Like my ex did. I suppose it depends on if you are willing or able to pretend its David Beckham (or whoever the latest heartthrob is) and put up with him even though he will probably be less attractive to you than your ex and whether you can grin and bear it like my ex and many others do with the whole eyes wide shut thing. Perhaps I am getting more cynical as I age.

      I suppose my most strong advice is to try and not to start from where you are starting from. I will try and stop everyone I can from getting there or family court as if you are there you are in a bad place.

  22. Andrew says:

    Zara, are you serious? You want to evict your ex-boyfriend’s mother and take her home from her?

  23. Mark says:

    Can anyone help/advise.

    I’ve been paying child maintenance to my ex for the past five years; the first three through a court order and latterly through the CMS system.

    After my ex and I separated; I paid her the amount from the proceeds of the sale of the family home that was agreed between her lawyers and me. She bought a family home and I bought a family home for myself and the children and also a flat to rent out to a friend who was in need. Those circumstances have now changed and I’m now thinking of selling the flat which will result in a capital gain. Does anyone know if the capital gain that I make on the sale of the flat will be factored into any future payments that I make to my ex? The annual CMS review is in February 2017.

    Any thoughts?

  24. Simon says:

    hi, my ex fiance aducted our son to lithuania in 2009 (he was 3 months old). I obtained a court order (at a cost of £2000) preventing this but she ignored it. Has been there ever since & has not taught my son english & does not allow me to see him. She is very manipulative. I was left owing around £35000.00 in debt because of her (not including the child maintenance). She took me to lithuanian court for child maintenance in 2012 without my knowledge for £250.00 per month from the day she left. I could not pay or afford to go there because of the debt & was nearly bankrupt, so was advised by a solicitor in uk to sort the debt out first & then when I could afford to, start paying the maintenance. I am now debt free, my son is 7 years old & I attended the family court as I received a letter saying I owed £500.00 per month back dated from the day she left. I have been paying this for the last 5 months & will continue, but I am desperate to see my son! I always wanted him but it was the mountain of debt that prevented me in doing so. I now owe her £31000.00 in back dated child maintenance. As soon as she became pregnant with our son she gave up work? & received nothing & signed on for job seekers allowance. My earnings have always been £2000.00 per month. I cannot afford to pay her £500.00 per month & go to lithuania to visit my son as well because of the costs of travel (flights, accomodation, taxi, food, etc..). It looks like I have been used for a child & a regular income. I paid off the original debt of £35000.00 it took me 7 years! I now have to pay off the other one of £31000.00 in backdated child maintenance. How can this be, as she was responsible too for the original £35000.00 debt. She received £10000.00 from her father in 2008 when she was heavily pregnant. She bought a property in lithuania & her mother lives there. She left our son with her mother & moved to another lithuanian city, leaving her mother to bring him up! I tried to visit as they invited me over, but they refused to let me see him & just demanded money.

    This cannot be right. How can they get away with this? What should I do? I believe that the child maintenance is too high based on my salary & circumstances (I am in the uk & they live in lithuania, her mother brings our son up). I checked online on the uk csa calculator & based on my earnings of £2000.00 per month I should be paying £250.00 per month.

    I really need some proper advice & help as I am totally lost. I know I have to pay child maintenance & I do not want my son to suffer (I know that he unfortunately has). I am paying, now that I can. Please advise me what I need to do to make everything fair for everyone. I just want to pay the correct amount & to see my son. She knows how to manipulate everyone.

    I am worried that she may approach the high court in the uk for immediate enforcement of the £31000.00 child maintenance arrears they have worked out. I own a house that I bought in 2006 & recently rented out for £500 per month, but have a £15000.00 loan attached as a first charge (it was £25000.00 originally, I had to carry out repairs when I bought the property). There is around £30000.00 of equity in the house, but I still have the loan to finish paying over another 10 years. I have never missed a payment, thankfully.

    Could you please help me with some advice for what I need to do here. I am trying my very best for everyone involved.

    Thankyou.

  25. Serap says:

    Hi Marilyn,
    I recently found out myesterday ex partner is earning 700k per annum. 13500 per week just for clarification.
    We didn’t live together and the story is very complex however can I apply for a top up and if so could I apply for some sort of extra maintenance given my career has been sacrificed to bring up our son which he has no involvement what’s so ever in?

  26. A says:

    Hi Marilyn.
    We found my daughters father just before her 18th birthday. He has been paying over the years to csa from £14-£25 a week. However, he owns 2 thriving businesses, owns a massive Lodge (that he built with his own hands) on 12 acres of prime land in the New Forest. He was bragging about his business and saying he is buying the land next to his. Also bragging about the 2 new cars he has just bought, and also the outbuildings he is building on his property. I feel like as he is self employed he is cheating my daughter out of maintenance and has been for years. (She is still in college).. The maintenance does in no way reflect his lavish lifestyle. Please could you advise me if there is anything I can do.
    Many Thanks in advance.
    Andrea

  27. Gene says:

    Hi, my ex has not paid child maintenance for the last four years and now on zero income and no benefit I asked the question how is she supporting herself and my youngest son and the reply from CM was family and friends, she has a live in boyfriend, CM have said there is nothing I can do to get the money owed, a lot of money she had from the divorce, can assets be taken if I go to court. a distraught parent.
    Regards,
    Gene.

    • Cameron Paterson says:

      Hello – thanks for your message. We may be able to get you some advice. If you could tell us roughly where you live, we will ask a solicitor at the nearest office to get in touch with some thoughts.

  28. Winnie says:

    Hi Marilyn

    I have applied a lump sum to be given for the children to get a house under the children Schedule 1 Act 1989, as my ex partner has sold the family home which he owned. We had three children together currently aged 7, 6 and 4. I have been told by the court that I will most likely have to give him that lump sum back once my youngest turn 18.

    My ex partner is claiming to be homeless and is unable to work due to his mental health problem, he wants to have some of the money to buy his own place however back in 2016 a lump sum was already given to him which he could have brought his own place. however he has spent it all within 6 months to 1 year.

    Am I able to claim maintenance from him from the lump sum frozen so that once the children turn 18, I will not have to give back all of the lump sum?

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