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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 32987
Experience:  25 years experience of all aspects of family law
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Dear Mr Jones, My daughter, Suzanne is now 20 yrs old and

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Dear Mr Jones,

My daughter, Suzanne is now 20 yrs old and has moved away from her mum,she works over 25 hrs a week and attends a college course for about 20 hours a week. When Suzanne turned 19 I stopped payments as we had no CSA arrangements,within a month Suzanne moved in with me for a year starting in 2012.
I did not receive money from my ex wife nor would she pay me the last year of child benefit- fraud?
I have just received a solicitors letter stating that my ex wife is now looking after my daughter even though they dont live together and that payments should now continue due to college and a further course afterwards.
I have been reminded by my ex that the divorce papers state 15% of my wages should be paid whilst in all education, my biggest worry is that for the 7 years I paid maintenance it was never 15% it was just agreed between us.
What are my options, would I have to re pay outstanding money not paid over 7 years and should I now have to continue even though my daughter has a flat and job.
I wanted Suzanne to live with me longer but we argued due to her being grossly overweight and showing a lack of respect which I put squarly on my ex wife not looking after her properly.
Please can you help.

Thank you for your question, I shall do my best to assist you but need some further information first.
Was there ever a financial court order setting out the maintenance payments and other arrangements and if so do you still have a copy?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello only 15% mentioned, we agreed in consent order, the amount agreed between us. I have a copy but unsure as how to send..........

What is the exact wording of the relevant paragraph?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The petitioner shall pay periodical payments to the respondent for the benefit of Suzanne at the rate of 15% of his net income ( gross income less income tax, Nat insurance and pension. payments shall be made monthly and will end when child turns 18 or later when child finishes full time education, including education to the end of the first degree.
I have printed it out but can I send to a different email?

There is nothing else relavent.
No that is all I need.
For clarity is your daughter living at a college at all?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
No in a multi occupancy flat with others who all work at Yards public house together. I think mum feeds her dinners and helps with washing but I can't think why she would state in her solicitors letter that she is maintaing her.
Again just to check - she is not doing a University Degree is she?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No at the moment its EDEXCEL Level 3 Diploma Art and Design going on to Foundation degree course at Bedford College

Given all that you have said about the last few years it is difficult to see how your ex can argue that the maintenance should still be payable to her since clearly your daughter has been running her own life for some time.
As an alternative you could argue that in any event the Order ended when your daughter came to live with you after her 18th birthday and cannot now be re-instated.
In passing I should say that in fact you should not have stopped paying when your daughter was 19 if at that point she was still in college - and indeed even now if she had remained with her mother throughout there is no doubt that you would still be liable for payments.
So far as the arrears are concerned it is unlikely that your ex will be given permission to enforce any arrears except those which have arisen within the last 12 months (if any)
I appreciate that this is a more complicated situation than you imagined but I hope that this information is of assistance - please ask if you need further clarification
Clare and 3 other UK Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
You are right, my ex has stated the money should be paid directly to Suzanne but I cannot see how she can force this.
I am going to try to speak to the ex and reach a compromise, I need to see how she is being supported and maybe go halves.
Do you have anything on the child benefit which was withheld from me?

thank you

If your ex is saying that you should be paying your daughter directly then it would appear that she is accepting that the original Order has ended.
If your daughter wishes to pursue the issue of maintenance then she will need to deal with that herself (and it appears that you would be willing to discuss this with your daughter in any event)
I am afraid that so far as the Child Benefit is concerned it was up to you to apply for it - not for her to give it to you I am afraid
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX realises it looks bad for her to claim therefore has probably told my daughter she will sort things out and get some money from me. Which is why my daughter is being sheepish
The solicitors have requested my wage slips so that they can see how much I should pay.......I will not do this.
sorry to keep asking but what are my best points? How should I reply in the best way as not to escalate things
Could I ask for maintenance for the time I looked after Suzanne?
You have made me feel much better
To start with simply write a letter to the solicitor saying that the Order has long since expired - and indeed did so when she moved in with you.
You could also say that you are willing to discuss the issue of ongoing support directly with your daughter
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you
You are most welcome - I hope all goes well
Clare and 3 other UK Family Law Specialists are ready to help you

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