Our consent order was put in place last September whereby I pay £800 a month in maintenance (no CMS involvement and above CMS calculations anyway), gave away my equity in the house and signed over the life insurance policy.
My ex is a self employed vet and is now struggling to get shift work due to the virus and also the whole IR situation making her usual employers reluctant to use her.
This morning she's said that I'll have to start paying her more money as she is working less and that should be £1300 a month (what she's always wanted and asked for in all the court hearings). She followed up with 'there is provision in the papers to do this and let's not start another court battle'.
What is the position on this legally? Forget about whether I can find £500 a month or not...just could she actually force me to do this?
if your consent order states £800 a month, i would stick to this. from what i quickly looked up, after 12 months from start of your order, you can register with CMS and let them assess you. Tell her your struggling yourself in these difficult times. if she wants more money from you, let her make the court application.
Even with the £1 nominal maintenance clause in the order, she would need to apply to the courts to have it varied. I would stick to what you are currently paying, the government has confirmed they will be providing financial assistance to the self employed.
Probably not best to rock the boat under the current circumstances so I would continue to pay the £800 per month. However, as mentioned by Bill, the CMS route is something you should definitely explore once we are out of the current climate.
I can imagine there will be a lot of this going on with the current situation, both people needing to pay less and people needing more. I wonder how the legal system and courts will handle it as I've read the courts are closing their doors, would this be considered a high priority 'case' and be dealt with swiftly if it came to it? I wouldn't think so?
I will stick to my guns as suggested. I work from home anyway and have offered to have the children whenever she gets work so I'm trying to support that way...hopefully my business stays afloat!
Another worry I have is that if I did agree to pay her more, that would then set a precedent for the future. I always feel I have to be so careful around my ex (hoping that's in my head).
yep if your in a situation where your ex keeps asking for more money, the only real way to stop that is by going through CMS. better to wait till september to look into that. main drawback of CMS is every year they will re-assess your income, so the more you earn, the more you pay.
I'm more concerned about the nominal maintenance part and her being able to use that to force me to pay more now or in the future...Covid 19 is a strange situation to be in, would that count at all or as a temporary thing etc? All unchartered waters.
I would hope that a mortgage holiday and government support for her (hope it's not needed) solves the issue.
Until today, I didn't even consider this effect of the virus on society, there has to be many more people than me asking this question right now, just another stress you could really do without.
It is not a simple case of her applying to the courts with a view of upping the amount of maintenance being paid. The courts have to take into account not only the needs of your ex but also your ability to pay. Given the current uncertainty, I would ignore the ex for now as there is not much she can do.
I agree with that. Right now work is ok (so I have the ability but most certainly not the desire!) and hopefully it stays that way.
I would hope with mortgage breaks, government bail out etc that she is fine in the absolute worst case scenario of no work...and that any court would expect her to have tried all that first and those be valid options before me.
Hopefully her work continues though, although she's saying she needs £1300 regardless...a figure just plucked from back when we were in court and her statement of expenditure was completely fabricated
Sorry to continue on this topic and also that it's in the wrong section
After telling the ex that I won't be changing what I pay her, she's gone quiet (only been 1 day), but I'm slightly concerned she's looking into going to court...
I've been trying to look into how this would work, what it might cost and how likely she is to be successful given that hopefully we're only talking a few months of disruption?
My solicitor said when we signed this last year that he'd only ever seen 1 nominal maintenance order get varied and that was where the ex wife fell off a horse and was paralysed, so needed financial help!
from what i read she would need to pay about £240 to make application to vary the order. i think her argument will be weak. i have been self-employed for around 5 years. its becoming more and more difficult so i dumped it and now going into a regular permanent job. so she can do the same
from what i read, she would only suceed if court was convinced that she is in a very bad situation and unable to meet her basic living costs with the amount your paying her. if you don't have a solicitor at present, theres some out there that offer free consultation sessions.
I would hope that to be the case too about her argument being weak. It's a sorry state of affairs that whenever I'm asked anything by her, I instantly go on the defensive because of our history...that then leads to gas lighting by her and going to the absolute extreme in approach, which makes me even more defensive.
I'm thinking as this is hopefully only a very temporary thing (she never struggled for work before), it would not be worth the effort and also if she's working even 2 days a week (I would hope more than that), that's £2k a month before my £800.
I had a solicitor and a barrister for all the FDR etc and the £10k it cost me achieved absolutely nothing...apart from making them money. I would not use a solicitor again, certainly not for this sort of thing as a) I can't afford that cost, b) the value was 0.