How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34121
Experience:  25 years experience of all aspects of family law
Type Your UK Family Law Question Here...
Clare is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hi there - my ex-partner and I split up in early 2000 after

This answer was rated:

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

Thank you for your question.
I will try and assist you but need some further information first.
Did the CSA actually complete and assessment the first time around?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
I wasn't actually asking about the CSA, which I know inside out by now; I don't need a solicitor to answer that as it is clearly not an option I want to pursue. If so, I would have said so in my question. I need to know whether I can pursue the clear breach of the original Clean Break Agreement from 2000.
I understand the question that you are asking - but the issue of whether or not a formal CSA assessment was ever made is crucial to the answer - which is why I asked about it
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

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.

I feared as much.
I am very sorry - the Agreement would have been difficult to enforce at the best of times - but in fact it became impossible once the CSA assessment was made as at that point it replaced the agreement fully.
I appreciate that this is not the answer that you wanted - but sadly it is the legal position that you are in and I did not wish to give you any false hope.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks very much, Claire. Could I sue him privately for the outstanding maintenance, either via the County Court or High Court?

Sadly not - that route closed for you when the assessment was made - I wish this was not the case.
In dealing with the CSA you may find this group of assistance
They may know a way round - although sadly I would not hold your breath
Clare and other UK Family Law Specialists are ready to help you