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TOPIC: When do the payments legally stop ?

When do the payments legally stop ? 1 month 1 week ago #96650

I know that it says on the CSM and GOV website that child maintenance payments stop when the child reaches 16 or 20 if in full-time education up to A-level or equivalent.
Recently I have read about a case where the daughter of a man has gone on to uni and is now 24 and is still studying full time and he still has to pay because he agreed in the divorce papers to pay until the child is finished with full-time education....
Surely that is not right.
I am paying more than the CSA has calculated and agreed to do so until the child is 18. At the moment we are in the process of setting up the consent order and the maintenance paragraph is in the recital.
I am keen to get it put into the main body of the order. Am I right in thinking that if it is in the main body of the order that it is more legally binding and she can’t turn around and force me to keep paying longer than it states in the consent order?
Can a judge overrule the consent order?
Any advice is hugely appreciated!

Is there any way that the ex can force me to keep paying longer than the agreement I have with her?

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When do the payments legally stop ? 1 month 1 week ago #96652

  • Mojo
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If child maintenance has been decided by court order, it can stipulate a different set of rules, for instance to cover a child through university, or tertiary education as a general term.

A recital isn't an order of the court, but records of things that happened, were agreed, or were noted in the context of the court process, usually above the section on the order document, that contains the order itself.

Once a court order has been in place for 12 months, it can be overridden by opening a statutory claim through the CMS. Likewise, if you have a court order in place that ends when the child is 18, if the receiving parent still qualifies for maintenance under the CMS criteria, she can open a claim with them for maintenance to resume.

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DadTalk Moderator...

I'm not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.

I may not be legally trained... but I have plenty of experience and common sense!

When do the payments legally stop ? 1 month 1 week ago #96660

Thanks for that !
So it is more or less a waste of time writing anything into the court order if it’s only valid for 12. Months ....
And if the child becomes a ‘eternal student’ and stays in full-time education I will have to keep paying and paying ?

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When do the payments legally stop ? 1 month 1 week ago #96661

Hello Happynow

As you are putting a Consent Order in place for your maintenance arrangement, you will need to seek legal advice as to the wording, and content, of your agreement and when your payments should come to an end.

As you are already aware, under child support legislation, regular child maintenance payments must be made until a child is 16 years old, or 20 if they are in full-time, non-advanced education (A-level or equivalent), or for as long as Child Benefit is being paid.

When a child leaves full-time education in the summer, Child Benefit generally continues until the first week of September. The definition of full-time education is more than 12 hours a week of study, on a course up to and including A-level standard. Under the UK legislation. If a child is attending university, they will no longer qualify for child maintenance.

Anyone aged 16 or 17 who is not in education, is not working and does not receive employment related benefits, is also defined as a child and entitled to receive child maintenance.

Once a Consent Order has been agreed and authorised, the paying parent is legally liable to pay the amount the court has endorsed. However, the court does not monitor or collect payments. This means the receiving parent will need to seek legal advice for any missed or reduced payments, unless they are happy to accept them.

Once your arrangement is in place, it is possible to change the terms of your Consent Order, however, to do this you will need to get legal advice. This usually results in going back to court to set out the application on a standard form. The court will then consider any changes.

Any Consent Orders that were endorsed after March 2003 are not legally subject to change unless they have been in place for at least 12 months. After 12 months, either parent can apply to the Child Maintenance Service and the Consent Order will no longer be valid.

Child Maintenance Options is an organisation that can help parents with information about all their options regarding a child maintenance arrangement. All the information is available for you to view on their website at www.cmoptions.org .

You may also be interested to know the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have a website, 'Sorting out Separation'. It aims to make it much easier for separating and separated parents (and childless couples) to find the support they need, when and where they need it, and encourages them to collaborate on a range of issues. The link is www.sortingoutseparation.org.uk/

For more information and for a more personalised service, you and your partner may wish to visit the Child Maintenance Options website yourself.

Regards

William
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This information which Child Maintenance Options has provided is not a substitute for independent professional advice and users should obtain professional advice relevant to their particular circumstances.

Please note: the Child Maintenance Options team cannot answer any questions relating to a specific CSA or Child Maintenance Service case

When do the payments legally stop ? 1 month 1 week ago #96668

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The easiest solution is to open a case now with CMS and use their payment amount. The courts will generally accept this and not then require child maintenance to be written into the divorce financial settlement.

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When do the payments legally stop ? 1 month 6 days ago #96735

Says 16 or 20 so I'm stopping my private arrangement at 18 lol

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When do the payments legally stop ? 1 month 2 days ago #96806

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If your child is still in full time education, then your ex can open a case with CMS herself, so it would depend on whether that's still the case.
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