TOPIC: Help me prepare.. She may stop me seeing my son

Help me prepare.. She may stop me seeing my son 2 months 5 days ago #106987

  • Deantam
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I'll try to keep this brief.

My son lives with his mum, he is 5 and we have been seperated for 3 years.

There have been ups and downs, at one point she tried to stop me seeing him but the recent 2 years have been much better.

I pay her £500 per month as maintenance, something we agreed on ourselves.

I do contract work mainly abroad but when I'm back in the UK my son spends at least 3 days a week with me.

For the last 8 months work has been scarce and I have been struggling. Since this pandemic started I have gone on Universal Credit and I'm not sure when I can get work again (I work in travel). In short.. I'm broke.

My son is enrolling in private school which costs £15k a year. I can not afford this and have told her that. Her response is that I simply have to find a way to pay my half.

Knowing her.. if I am of no use to her, i.e. can't keep up with payments. She will not allow me to see my son. She will continue to send him to private school but will definitely try to cut me out.

Given my current career predicament what can I do to prevent this?

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Help me prepare.. She may stop me seeing my son 2 months 5 days ago #106989

hi,

i have been contracting a few years and recently stopped. i pay maintenance through child maintenance service. they recently suspended all my payments as i am out of work. so that is something you should consider doing. you can pay £20 to register with them. i can't see them trying to make you pay for expensive private school fees, seeing as your on universal credit.

if she does stop you seeing the kids, then only option is to take it to court, like most of us dads have done.

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Help me prepare.. She may stop me seeing my son 2 months 5 days ago #106990

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Yes the payments have recently been stopped. But schools fees will start later this year, so I'm more worried about affording that

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Help me prepare.. She may stop me seeing my son 2 months 5 days ago #106993

its tricky. from what i been looking up:

The courts cannot make orders for child maintenance to be paid as that is the purpose of the CMS, however they can order one parent to pay school fees where there are funds available to do so. Whilst they are treated separately, a recent case highlighted that there can be significant overlap. In the case the father argued that the payments he was making for school fees should be set off against child maintenance payments. Whilst he wasn’t successful in his claim the court conceded that when boarding costs are part of school fees, these are essentially a child’s living cost so at least that element could potentially be taken into account.

www.debenhamsottaway.co.uk/news/2016/09/...ce%20Service%20(CMS) .

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Help me prepare.. She may stop me seeing my son 2 months 5 days ago #106995

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Bill337 wrote: its tricky. from what i been looking up:

The courts cannot make orders for child maintenance to be paid as that is the purpose of the CMS, however they can order one parent to pay school fees where there are funds available to do so. Whilst they are treated separately, a recent case highlighted that there can be significant overlap. In the case the father argued that the payments he was making for school fees should be set off against child maintenance payments. Whilst he wasn’t successful in his claim the court conceded that when boarding costs are part of school fees, these are essentially a child’s living cost so at least that element could potentially be taken into account.

www.debenhamsottaway.co.uk/news/2016/09/...ce%20Service%20(CMS) .


Thanks for your help and reply.

So in the event that I can not afford the school fees but his mum is adamant that he continues independant school, is the likely result that I am ordered to pay as much as I can and she pays the rest? If this is the case, and the court takes this into consideration, how does this affect the amount of time I can see my son?

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Help me prepare.. She may stop me seeing my son 2 months 4 days ago #107008

hi,

there is no link between maintenance and the time you can see your child. we have to pay maintenance even if we are not seeing our kids. I been to court on 5 occassions in under 2 years, to sort things out about seeing my kids.

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Help me prepare.. She may stop me seeing my son 2 months 4 days ago #107015

  • Yoda
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As your child is not already at the school, it would seem silly to start him at the school if you can't afford to pay the fees.

You could apply to the court for a Specific Issue Order about where your child goes to school. You would need to attend mediation first.

Given the issues between you both at present, attending mediation could be a sensible option as it would allow you both to discuss contact and finances at the same time.

Look on National Family Mediation to find your closest provider.

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I have several years experience supporting parents in family proceedings as a McKenzie Friend. I am, however, not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.

Help me prepare.. She may stop me seeing my son 2 months 4 days ago #107020

You are absolutely under no obligation to pay half towards a school that cost 15 k a year. You already child maintenance and that's all you have to do. if she cant afford 15 k a year herself then the solution is not to send your child there.

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Help me prepare.. She may stop me seeing my son 2 months 4 days ago #107040

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As per Bill's info above - the court can make an order "where there are funds available to do so", so if it is a real financial strain on you, then I would say that those funds are not available, and if she did go to court, I would certainly make the point about what would happen if your income were to drop (or work out a formula so you pay only a percentage on income above a set minimum level)

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Help me prepare.. She may stop me seeing my son 2 months 4 days ago #107071

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warwickshire1 wrote: You are absolutely under no obligation to pay half towards a school that cost 15 k a year. You already child maintenance and that's all you have to do. if she cant afford 15 k a year herself then the solution is not to send your child there.


Well the thing is, she can afford it and is adamant in sending him to independant school. Question is, if I can't afford it, how does this affect me seeing my son?

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Help me prepare.. She may stop me seeing my son 2 months 3 days ago #107072

Hi Deantam,

You need to register with the Child Maintenance Service, as suggested. They will ensure you are paying the correct amount to mum each month based on your income. If you have moved to Universal Credit recently, they will take this into account and just your maintenance payments accordingly. I can't stress enough how important it is to do this - it's a further step in taking control of your financial situation, otherwise mum will be controlling your financial input all the time and calling the shots.

In regards to seeing your son, your financial situation shouldn't prevent you. As long as you are registered with CMS and paying what they ask, mum can't stop your contact. I'm not hugely knowledgeable on what happens with school fees, but if you rang CMS and explained your situation, I am sure they would advise you on where school fees come in. Alternatively, lots of solicitors offer a free consultation, and would be able to advise you on what is and isn't required of you financially.

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Help me prepare.. She may stop me seeing my son 2 months 3 days ago #107073

you only have to pay what is required by child maintenance . this wouldn't be a lot if you are on universal credits. you would have no obligation to pay school fees nor should you be expected too. as long as hes not staying at school for an entire school term you would be able to see your son every other weekend and half of the holidays. Maybe even midweek pick up from school play and supper or overnight stay. this would depend however where your sons school is situated distance wise from your house. Also depending on sons age he may have some say as well what happens. however he would need to be at least 10 years old before family courts start to take serious note of his wishes and feelings

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