Private agreement from separation 10yrs ago
Good morning all
This is my first post. Appreciate I wont find answers here but may find advice and some empathy.
Now I separated from my then wife Oct 2012; We had an agreement and I paid a set figure. In the early part of this I paid too much and I reduced it.
I know it matters little but my wife left me for another chap. I hit bad times professionally there after and there were times where I was out of work and continued to pay; this over the course of the last 10years.
In addition I picked up what were jointly named debts and continued to pay them.
Now my two children are 12 & 14 now. Me and my now wife see them every other weekend where they join our family of 4 girls so 6 in total. Having recently moved house a little closer to my ex it all flamed up again.
Now the agreement I have been paying is currently at £480 per month. This not based on my income or the calculator. A figure that was agreed and slowly gone up to this figure.
Question: Irrespective of whether the amount I pay is greater or lesser than what the "calculator" says and given I can evidence the payment to my ex wife in the form of the ref against monies; who I be asked to pay an arrears for what I could of paid based on earnings i.e. greater or similarly be given a credit for overpaying?
Basically I have paid an agreed sum for years and years but now that I am doing better for myself my ex now wants more money and is threatening that if I don't give in to her demands then she will contact CSA.
To be honest the whole thing has brought me into such a dark place over the last years that I am at the point of just saying go to the CSA. I am sick of being bullied and in a no win situation.
Assuming I am contacted by the CSA; i.e. my ex raises a case what do I do then? continue to pay as I have done now whilst what ever process runs out or stop paying etc.
I am not opposed to paying for my children and my now wife and I treat them no different to our own; they get the expensive trainers, x-box x, live and game pass stuff etc. What I am sick of though is having an agreement and now being rattled for more.
Your advice is appreciated
if your private arrangement is not working, either she can open CMS case, or you can do it. maybe you can do a check on the CMS calculator site, and see are you better off with private arrangement or through CMS. What CMS will calculate you to pay will more or less be very similar to what the calculator generates. if she does go to CMS, she will be very disappointed if you end up paying less than what you are now. you could continue to pay what your paying now. if she goes to CMS, they will not make you do any back-dated payments prior to the date their case opens
Thanks for this Bill; Its not that it isnt working more that we agreed a figure that although may be less than the calculator is an agreement. I have always paid this but now she wants more. She gave me an "opportunity" to check myself and then pay what the calculator says albeit I am not prepared to do this. Years of being stuck in the middle travelling hours to see my kids and being held to ransom. To this extent I would rather CSA get involved to stop me from being a puppet and having to dance to her tune. i.e. being judged when I have a new pair of shoes, clothes, car or holiday etc.
Is it right that NO consideration at all is given to your mortgage payment etc and whether any increase would cause you hardship?
The whole thing is having a negative effect on my now wife who has put up with this alongside me for the last 10yrs. At this rate I will end up having two claiming ex wifes
@cashmachine that is very understandable. I ended up opening a CMS case for myself. after my marriage ended, her family started pestering me for money, asking for back-dated amounts. stressed me out a lot while I was going through courts for child arrangements. so I put a stop to that by going to CMS. now get peace and quiet. no need to discuss any money matters with ex and co.
with CMS; here's list of special expenses you can claim, if your entitled to them:
When a paying parent can apply for variation
If you are a paying parent you can ask for certain expenses, which reduce your gross income, to be taken into account. These are called 'special expenses' and are for:
- the cost of keeping in regular contact with the child or children you pay child maintenance for – for example, the cost of fuel to travel between your home and the child’s home
- costs to support children who live with you if they have a disability or a long-term illness
- repaying debts from the former relationship – for example, if you are paying a car loan for a car the receiving parent has kept
- some boarding school fees for the child or children you pay child maintenance for – but only the everyday living costs or ‘boarding’ part of the fees
- making payments on a mortgage, loan or insurance policy for the home you and the receiving parent used to share – the receiving parent and the child or children must still live in the home and you must have no legal or ‘equitable’ interest in it
- https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/other-financial-commitments-child-maintenance-cases#:~:text=These%20are%20called%2 0'special%20expenses,or%20a%20long%2Dterm%20illness
also if you tell CMS that you have 4 other children living with you, you should be able to get reductions on your maintenance payments. I don't think the CMS calculator site covers this aspect.
Thanks again @bill337 for me it would bring a sense of relief that I no longer have to worry about the kids being spies, not wanting pictures of my house being taken. Living in fear that I cant have nice things as I will be targeted again for more money. To be honest I could just pay what is asked and then live how I wish.
As it stands ex travels circa 25mins to meeting point she put forward & until moving I travelled similar. This has all triggered from me moving closer for my work but also the children. Nicer place for all of us.
In the past it was me who had to do all the driving. Travelling 100 miles each way every other weekend when she would travel 20-30.
Since moving she had asked could I meet her further towards her. i.e. she would then travel less as a result etc. Fact is it has always been to benefit her. I said I would not meet at the "new proposed location" and that we had a common agreement. I later said I would meet her at the proposed location on the return but she was to drop them at the agreed.
If the CMS get involved what is my responsibility in terms of meeting to collect kids etc. I.e. is there an expectation that I should have to collect from her door and pay more etc or other.
@cashmachine CMS are only interested in the maintenance side of things. you would be paying full amount if the kids do not spend at least 1 night a week with you. handover locations, child contact arrangements are between you and ex.
I would be very wary of CSA.
All I have is trouble with them and non of the people there actually know whats going on and always just tell me to just use the app.
They dont take anything into account apart from your wage and how many days you have them on a average throughout the year.
In my experience they are the worst service I have ever dealt with and your problem is if she lies then her word is gospel, no matter what is the truth and even if a court order was in place and she didn't agree then you have to go back to court again to get something in writing.
Thats my experience with them.
But I would truly count how many days you have them a year and use the calculator. And put in that you already live with children, which brings it down.
Then you can see if its worth the gamble of going through child maintence.
Aslong as your job pays the same every month and it wasn't higher the last tax year than what your getting now you should get an accurate reading off of the calculator.
Hope that helps.