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TOPIC: My never ending story ....

My never ending story .... 3 months 2 weeks ago #99901

Advice please
I have a consent order with my ex. We have noted in the recitals (not the main body) that I pay 350 monthly. It also states that in case my working conditions change, the amount will be subject to re-negotiation.
If I stop paying this agreed amount can she enforce it through the court (although it is only mentioned in the recitals)? And if so who has to pay the court fees?
Or would she have to open a case with the CSA agency and have it taken directly from my salary?
Can CSA overrule the child maintenance agreement in the consent order?

I have a new partner now and we are expecting our child beginning of next year and I need to provide and care for it and will be taking unpaid leave for three months were I won’t have a salary and therefore won’t be able to pay the agreed amount.
Can that be accounted for the way it is mentioned in the consent order (that my working conditions change)?
Can I be made liable to still pay child maintenance during the months I take unpaid parental leave and thus have no salary?
How do I go about letting the other party know and how will that be enforced?

Thanks for reading.

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Last Edit: by Happynow.

My never ending story .... 3 months 2 weeks ago #99909

  • Bill337
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Hi happy,

All the stuff thats under recitals can not be enforced. If you stick with that £350 a month, then you are getting a bad deal e.g in future if you get a lower paying job, then still paying £350.

I paid £20 and registered myself to CMS. You will be better off under them, as they will give you discounts based on number of nights you have kids stay with you, and due to the other child living with you.

Under CMS, not paying because your off work is a bad idea. Because as soon as you start working again, CMS will make you pay backdated payments for the length of time you were out of work.

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My never ending story .... 3 months 2 weeks ago #99920

  • Mojo
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Hi there

As Bill has said, recitals aren’t legally binding, they are more about guidance.

Payments made through the CMS (CSA) are only taken directly from a persons salary if they are non payers.

If a court order for maintenance is over 12 months old, it can be overridden by opening a claim with CMS. Either parent can open a claim and there is an admin fee of £20 to do so.

I’m not too sure about the unpaid leave aspect, my gut feeling tells me that the CMS would say that you are still in employment and therefore still liable, but That’s an educated guess so I’d check it out with them to confirm.

Here’s a link to the child maintenance calculator, it might be useful to check the amount the CMS say you should pay.


If possible, it might be worth just talking to her about it first, you never know, she might agree to a reduced amount for a short period, that would work if the calculated amount were less than the £350 you’ve been paying.

Best of luck

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DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

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