UK Family Law
UK Family Law Questions Answered by Verified Experts
Hi there - my ex-partner and I split up in early 2000 after we'd had a son together in 1998; we never married and I have brought up the child. As part of a financial settlement, I took legal advice on, and subsequently agreed to, a Clean Break agreement which stated that he would give me £30k plus £200 monthly payments towards child maintenance, in return for parental responsibility. This was signed in or around May 2000 but, whilst the lump sum was paid immediately, the monthly payments dried up within 18 months. With lots of other things going on at that time and the copy of the agreement lost within various moves, my only recourse at the time appeared to be the CSA (which back then was a slightly different animal to the one we know and love today). To cut a long and very turgid story short, they were hopeless. The father then started paying £200 a month again from September 2009 to date. How do I then recoup the outstanding £16/17k from the father? Could I pursue him for breach of the original agreement - I think I can obtain a copy from the original firm of solicitors? (By the way, the father and son maintained a good relationship for the first 10 years, which was wholly encouraged by me - I know this is entirely unrelated, but worth knowing all the same!). Any advice you can pass on would be gratefully received. Thanks, KJ
Yes, a formal CSA assessment was originally made back in 2002/3; as he is self-employed, this came back at £5 per week. I then re-applied with a variation and this was upped to £200 per month which was paid several times and then stopped again. I can't quite remember the full details but I then re-applied with a variation, which then triggered a tribunal in September 2009. Days beforehand, he came back with the offer of £200 per month privately which has remained paid ever since. However, in parallel, the original CSA payments continued to build up unpaid and when this breached the £10,000 mark, they got back in touch with me. When I explained about the £200 private arrangement, they then netted down the outstanding CSA debt to some £6,900. The last conversation I had with them was that, as he is continuing to pay privately, then they cannot pursue him for the debt, unless I closed my bank account down to stop his standing orders so that I was no longer in receipt of private payments. I gave this solution about a 5 second think and, given the amount of time, money, energy, effort and stress over the years, I really cannot pursue via the CSA anymore. Hence the re-think over the Clean Break Order. Thanks.
Thanks very much, Claire. Could I sue him privately for the outstanding maintenance, either via the County Court or High Court?