Divorced my ex last year after paying the mortgage for the 2 year process. Long story short she stopped me seeing the 2 kids out of spite for over a year. Took her to court and when the kids turned up they had been completely alienated from me, they now hate me and were hell to have. Wasn’t fair on my new partner, her child or my two so stopped the contact.
she got a big settlement and I moved away. 10 months later I get a letter from cma at my address now not known to anyone telling me I have to pay about £607 a month.
this is a huge amount and will prevent me doing anything financially for ever especially due to my age. If I pay this I will have about £40 a week left and will struggle with rising costs to even get to work.
do I have any options to challenge this?
If you have zero contact, they will simply apply a calculation based on her having 100% care which means around 16% of your take home pay depending on which earnings bracket you fall into (someone may correct me on this)
If this is the first letter, they can’t back date or chase you for arrears which is a positive for you. You also can apply for reduction on the amount due to you now being responsible for another child living with you.
obviously your best course of action would be to have your children, the more the better.
maybe offer to have them for all of their school holidays? Etc.
I don’t condone this bit, but having had the CMS absolutely screw me over and openly admit to not really investigating anything and putting more weight on whatever claim the person raising the case makes, you can simply contact them and say you have them 50% of the time, she will say you don’t. They cannot prove / disprove either way and don’t seem to care if someone offers any proof, so then they will depending on who answers the phone to you, set it at somewhere in the middle of your two stories and this would then reduce the payments.
trust me as someone who is paying / being asked to pay too much because of my ex lying and not declaring that I have my children 50% of the time, I have no respect for the CMS and how they conduct themselves.
I would say best thing is to try and repair your relationship with your children, but that’s a choice you need to make.
can you check the CMS paperwork and see how they worked out your maintenance, usually they base it on your earnings of last tax year. if your income today is 25% lower than that amount, then you can ask them to re-calculate the maintenance based on your current lower income. also if you tell them that you have other children living with you, they will reduce maintenance.