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Threatened with Court for Child Maintenance Payments.

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Threatened with Court for Child Maintenance Payments.

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Child Support
15 replies 2.5K views
Quiet_Life_2Quiet_Life_2 Forumite
9 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Child Support
The Background....I have 2 children by my ex wife. Both my ex wife, children and I all live in SCOTLAND. My eldest (son) is 18 and lives in a hostel, my youngest is 12 and lives with her Mum. I have always paid the agreed amount of child maintenance to my ex wife, on time and in full (we had a private agreement). My son dropped out of school at 14 - he just refused to go! He got in trouble with the police, drugs were involved, social services...etc and eventually my ex wife threw him out of the house after he stole everything of value from her to pay off drug debts. He was 16 at the time, he has lived in a hostel since (apart from when he has been in the Young Offenders Institute!) I have always been there for him and have attended every social work meeting, Childs Panel hearing etc.... I stopped paying child maintenance for him on the August following his 16th birthday as by this time he wasn't in education or even living with my ex wife. Since then I have tried to keep in touch and have sent birthday and Christmas presents but get nothing back at all except for texts every few months asking for money. I did give him some money when he first moved out to help get food and essentials for his hostel, and I have lent him some money following that when he claimed he couldn't afford to eat (but he has never paid me back). He got a lot of support from social services and various organisations when he went off the rails and has been given two jobs (both of which he lost within a matter of weeks) a college placement (which he didn't turn up for) and 2 flats (which he lost due to a drugs fuelled parties) which is why he is in a hostel now. I have stopped giving him money now as I am concerned it is just going on drugs...

This brings us to now..... He asked for money for driving lessons which I refused as I could not see how even if he passed his driving test he would be able to afford to tax, run and insure a car. This did not go down well with him and he has now threatened to take me to court for child maintenance payments. Apparently he has just enrolled on a course at college that starts this August and is full time. We have seen no proof of this but my understanding is that if he is in fulltime education I have to pay maintenance until he is 20. I have no problem with this if he is definitely in FT education and have told him to go to the CMS and apply. However he seems to want to 'sue me' and 'take me to court' and claims to have already seen a solicitor.

So my questions are:

If I go to the CMS and ask them to make the arrangements will this stop any court action?
Can he gain more by going to court than the CMS would award?
How will I even know if he does start this course (assuming he has got onto one)? and will I be told if he drops out or gets kicked off it (his track record would indicate he won't see this course through)?
What are my options? I stress I have no problem making payments to aid his education but do not want to be funding his drug habit.
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Replies

  • Paul_DNAPPaul_DNAP Forumite
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    He magically enrolled back in education when you refused to pay for his driving lessons, I smell a whiff of BS there.


    I'd be tempted to call his bluff and just say "yep, see you in court then" and let him prove to the court if he truly is in full time education and let the judge decide if you need to pay anything to his mother for his upkeep. Also ask the judge for some sort of covenant to allow you to stop payments the second he drops out again.
    (Although I could be wrong, I often am.)
  • I think Social services are constantly working in the background so it is possible that they have got him onto a course.

    Presumably I wouldn't need to pay his mother as he is living on his own in a hostel so the money would go straight to him? I think if he went to the CMS they would probably award him £8 per week (according to the calculator) my concern is that a court might award him more - which as far as I can tell from past experience will just go on drugs, and drink. Also if he takes me to court to 'support him' through his education surely his mother should also 'support him' financially as he is not living with her now.
  • Paul_DNAP wrote: »
    Also ask the judge for some sort of covenant to allow you to stop payments the second he drops out again.

    How would I even find out if he drops out? The college presumably won't tell me and he definitely won't, and I assume his mother will be equally in the dark.
  • BAFEBAFE Forumite
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    How would I even find out if he drops out?

    Well when you attend his parents evenings or speak to the tutors about his progress you'll know then won't you.
  • JoxJox Forumite
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    He's 18, do they have parents evenings for 18 year olds at college?
    Debts July 2020: Barclaycard cc: £5339, Santander cc: £1245, Sainsburys cc: £1944, MBNA cc: £3651, Mortgage: £214,365
    Emergency fund: £5137
    Aiming to pay off credit cards by Dec 2021 or sooner!
  • BAFE wrote: »
    How would I even find out if he drops out?

    Well when you attend his parents evenings or speak to the tutors about his progress you'll know then won't you.

    Eh?? You don't have parents evenings for 18 year olds at college.
  • Jox wrote: »
    He's 18, do they have parents evenings for 18 year olds at college?

    Not that I have ever heard of!!
  • BAFEBAFE Forumite
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    oh sorry I mis-read I thought it said 16.

    I guess if he took you to court and CM was awarded to him you could ask the judge to make the payment dependant on him showing regular attendance records.

    Have to say though - most parents support their children to have driving lessons and their first car.
  • BAFE wrote: »
    oh sorry I mis-read I thought it said 16.

    I guess if he took you to court and CM was awarded to him you could ask the judge to make the payment dependant on him showing regular attendance records.

    Have to say though - most parents support their children to have driving lessons and their first car.

    I agree but when the child in question has dropped out of school at the age of 14. Gone completely off the rails. A string of convictions, time in a young offenders, a drink and drug habit (to the extent that he has been evicted from 2 flats), no job and is constantly asking for money - do you think the wisest thing is to help him get behind the wheel of a car. I am not assisting him to drive without insurance or in a poorly maintained car as he definitely can not afford to run one legally. I am however happy to support him throughout FT education.
  • JoxJox Forumite
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    Could you buy him a driving lesson to see if he actually wants to learn to drive rather than just giving him the money?

    He may have mental health issues and as his dad you may need to tread carefully in your dealings with him. He sounds like he's on a chaotic road with drugs and homelessness and could do with some guidance. It doesn't make sense to give him money that will be spent on drugs.

    I don't have any practical advice, I hope he can get into education and has someone in his life who can help him gain some stability and put him on the right path.
    Debts July 2020: Barclaycard cc: £5339, Santander cc: £1245, Sainsburys cc: £1944, MBNA cc: £3651, Mortgage: £214,365
    Emergency fund: £5137
    Aiming to pay off credit cards by Dec 2021 or sooner!
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