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Consent Form - Tertiary Education (another one)

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New dad here, long term dad! This has very recently come up with my ex who just happened to have this consent form to hand literally 1 minute after i mentioned that payments would be coming to an end (she must have been walking around with it in hand waiting for the day...)

Anyway; My son has turned 18 and completed his A Levels. He is considering taking a gap year and also while at it, considering if he actually wants to go to Uni.

I casually mentioned to his mother that payments would be coming to end but not immediately. Actually what i want to do is transfer the payment from her to him so that he can get familiar with handling money and get some money management in prep for the real world. This however didnt go down well with his mother and she pulled out this consent form that has this clause: (photo'd and sent to me via whatsapp)

'These provisions will not require payments to continue beyond the latter of "sons name"

1) reaching the age of 18; or 2) ending his full-time tertiary education, whichever is later, though the court may (prior to these events or subsequently) order a longer period of payment.'

My son may be looking at 4 yrs in Uni. He is also looking to move away from his home and get a job. There have also been discussions about him coming to stay with me in the US or go to another Country to stay with another relative.


  • My order was to pay £300 per month, i paid £400 per month plus an extra £100 per month allowance to my son
  • payments were made direct and not through a court or CMS
  • My intention as mentioned above is to redirect my payments to my son until he gets himself established with an income.
  • I now live in the USA and have done for the past 6 yrs

My questions

  1. If i just redirect without applying to the court, would it stand in court if she decided i was being unreasonable?
  2. does tertiary education cover the complete University education? I was under the impression Uni was advanced and tertiary was A Level or equivalent
  3. How does work if there is a gap year?
  4. How does it work if he leaves to go to another country?
  5. If he comes to me and continues education, does his mother have to pay? seems fair
  6. Seeing as live in the US, can she actually do anything that is enforceable?

Side note

When i lived in the UK, he stayed with me 2 nights out of 7 every week, when i visit the UK 3 times per year he stays with me for the full 10 day periods, He comes out to me each year for a month (all funded by me) and i never challenged the payments for deductions (not even sure if i could). He was out with me for a month recently and while he was here i had his mother demanding his money...

Thanks for any advice 🙂



This topic was modified 4 months ago 4 times by USUKDad
Topic starter Posted : 27/07/2022 4:19 pm
Active Member Registered

I found this on

Child Benefit when your child turns 16 - GOV.UK (

Which seems to declare university as 'not approved' because its advanced. Am i reading this right or is this strictly related to benefit claims only?

Below excerpt taken direct from the above link

Approved education

Education must be full-time (more than an average of 12 hours a week supervised study or course-related work experience) and can include:

  • A levels or similar, for example Pre-U, International Baccalaureate
  • T levels
  • Scottish Highers
  • NVQs and other vocational qualifications up to level 3
  • home education - if it started before your child turned 16 or after 16 if they have special needs
  • traineeships in England

Courses are not approved if paid for by an employer or ‘advanced’, for example a university degree or BTEC Higher National Certificate.

Tell the Child Benefit Office if your child is:

Your child must be accepted onto the course before they turn 19.

Topic starter Posted : 27/07/2022 4:40 pm
Illustrious Member

Unfortunately, they way I see this is that you have a problem. The rules you have found are correct, and what are applied by CMS, but in your case, you have a court order which will continue unless overridden by CMS - which can happen 12 months after a court order. The only way to do this is for CMS to open a case, and I'm not sure they will do so now your son has completed his education. You may possibly have one way out which is because your son is taking a gap year, so I'm not sure whether that would allow maintenance to continue. I would contact CMS with a view to opening a case yourself (costs £25 one off fee I think), if they will, then maintenance will stop when your son goes to university, so at least then you can pay him directly.

Posted : 31/07/2022 11:21 am
Active Member Registered


Thanks for the reply and apologies for a late response. Ok so heres an update:


My son is not doing a gap year now, hes going to 'try out uni for a bit, see how it goes'.. Im not sure what that means, we will see. In the mean time, hes doing 2 days a week at uni which im not sure if this is part-time or full time, information varies. My son is working part time and paying his mother board to stay at home but isnt that what im paying? I thought i was contributing to his keep... I did read that as he is over 18, i 'could' change how i pay and she wouldnt be able to uphold a court order change because that would need to be done before he turned 18. I also found that because i now live in the US and away from UK law, it might be more difficult for her to uphold anything at all.


In the separation 10 yrs ago, i agreed to to give everything. house, 7 horses, 1 lorry, 2 cars, all furniture, all asset and in return i get little liabilities that were joint. She has recently transferred legacy debt to my name claiming im responsible (this is 10yrs old now). Im pushing back, i dont even live in the UK anymore.


I have a call with a lawyer next week to discuss what options i might have, if any!





Topic starter Posted : 01/10/2022 5:53 am

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