[Solved] Maintenance Assistance
Hi, I’m new to this but keen to gain some advice, if you can help? I have a daughter who is 12 & a half. Throughout her life I’ve been treated like absolute dirt from her mother since she was born, almost like she resents I’ve moved on in life & she has the power to punish/use child as a weapon. From when she was born this has been ongoing. I won’t bore you with all the details as to what she’s done! Ultimately I’m sick of it & wont put up with it any longer, I’m concerned, as I went almost 3 years not seeing my daughter due to her mother. I’ve paid maintenance (it irks me I had to pay whilst not seeing her, how women get away with it I’ll never know!) & have proof of all payments bar first 2-3 years. I want to understand as I am NOT on birth certificate, don’t share surname with my daughter. If I were to be told no you can’t see her for whatever idiot reason she may potentially give in the future, can I withhold payments? Legally not on birth certificate, I’ve always paid previously as I wanted to make sure my daughter was okay but it was infuriating having to do this during non visitation. I know she’s mine as you can tell just by looking at her! Things were agreed between mother & I as per maintenance calculator but never legally, never been through CSA at any stage. Can CSA hunt me down for any missed payments? If I were to withhold payment if I can’t see my daughter now can CSA hunt me for this period? I’d rather create a savings account for daughter than give to her mother if I can’t see my daughter. Sorry for long read but would be much obliged for any help/advice. I’ve read some horror stories of CSA demanding x amount etc. Please not Scottish as unsure if any difference between Scotland & English law on this topic.
Unfortunately, whether you’re named on the birth certificate or not, you are still responsible to maintain your child financially.
Contact and maintenance are two entirely separate concerns and one is not reliant on the other, so again contact or not, you are still liable to make payments.
As you had a private arrangement, you can choose to stop payments. The CSA/CMS can’t chase you for arrears unless a claim was opened with them at the time of any missed payments.
If you stopped payments and she opened a case with them, they could only collect payment from that point.
Thanks Mojo, I’m sure many others are in a similar situation. I’ve been to lawyers around it but ultimately they cannot assist & advised - I can spend thousands and be no further forward. They were pretty blunt which aided my decision to keep paying & accept it as it is. It’s so irritating in the age of equality there’s little shown to fathers. Anyway thanks,
Are you talking about contact? If you are, I’m going to disagree with the lawyers, it’s always worth trying to improve your and your child’s situation. We have many members here that have had much success through the courts, without the services of a solicitor, self representing is doable and would only cost the £215 application fee.
Yes around contact, I had went to Ross & Connell sols around 6-7 years ago, asking them to write a letter to my ex partner around organising access. This had worked initially but since it’s been irratic at best & had a period of non contact as mentioned. I will need to look into things further but from an untrained, less knowledgeable person such as myself I feel potentially withdrawing payments if I get to a place of non contact again may be the best approach or a bargaining chip if you will. I would rather not go down that route but thank you for your assistance & I will look into what you have advised. Thanks
I would try and keep a private arrangement in place, if you withhold payments, I don’t see how that would give you any bargaining power, as she is likely to open a case with the CMS.
Once she realises that the less you have your child, the more money she is entitled to, that will just compound the non contact issue.
You complain that she uses contact with your child as a weapon, but surely by withholding maintenance you are doing the same thing... don’t get me wrong, I understand your frustration, I just question whether stopping financial support is the right answer.
In my opinion, your best defence would be to get a firm schedule of contact in place that would allow you and your daughter to have a meaningful relationship and be able to spend quality weekend time together.
All the best
I agree entirely with mojo. I think withdrawing financial support will go against you in the long run, firstly because CMS will become involved, which removes any flexibility you may have with payments, and secondly, because if it goes to court, you ex can tell the court that you don't have your child's best interests as a priority as you are prepared to cut off financial support. On the other hand, if you continue to provide financial support, then she is the one who is on the back foot if it goes to court.