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  • FIRST POST
    • Quiet_Life
    • By Quiet_Life 30th Apr 19, 3:25 PM
    • 9Posts
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    Quiet_Life
    Threatened with Court for Child Maintenance Payments.
    • #1
    • 30th Apr 19, 3:25 PM
    Threatened with Court for Child Maintenance Payments. 30th Apr 19 at 3:25 PM
    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.
Page 1
    • Paul_DNAP
    • By Paul_DNAP 30th Apr 19, 3:55 PM
    • 698 Posts
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    Paul_DNAP
    • #2
    • 30th Apr 19, 3:55 PM
    • #2
    • 30th Apr 19, 3:55 PM
    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.)
    • Quiet_Life
    • By Quiet_Life 30th Apr 19, 4:05 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Quiet_Life
    • #3
    • 30th Apr 19, 4:05 PM
    • #3
    • 30th Apr 19, 4:05 PM
    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.
    • Quiet_Life
    • By Quiet_Life 30th Apr 19, 4:07 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Quiet_Life
    • #4
    • 30th Apr 19, 4:07 PM
    • #4
    • 30th Apr 19, 4:07 PM
    Also ask the judge for some sort of covenant to allow you to stop payments the second he drops out again.
    Originally posted by Paul_DNAP
    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.
    • BAFE
    • By BAFE 30th Apr 19, 4:49 PM
    • 195 Posts
    • 185 Thanks
    BAFE
    • #5
    • 30th Apr 19, 4:49 PM
    • #5
    • 30th Apr 19, 4:49 PM
    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.
    • Jox
    • By Jox 30th Apr 19, 4:55 PM
    • 1,470 Posts
    • 2,984 Thanks
    Jox
    • #6
    • 30th Apr 19, 4:55 PM
    • #6
    • 30th Apr 19, 4:55 PM
    He's 18, do they have parents evenings for 18 year olds at college?
    • Quiet_Life
    • By Quiet_Life 30th Apr 19, 5:03 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Quiet_Life
    • #7
    • 30th Apr 19, 5:03 PM
    • #7
    • 30th Apr 19, 5:03 PM
    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.
    Originally posted by BAFE
    Eh?? You don't have parents evenings for 18 year olds at college.
    • Quiet_Life
    • By Quiet_Life 30th Apr 19, 5:05 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Quiet_Life
    • #8
    • 30th Apr 19, 5:05 PM
    • #8
    • 30th Apr 19, 5:05 PM
    He's 18, do they have parents evenings for 18 year olds at college?
    Originally posted by Jox
    Not that I have ever heard of!!
    • BAFE
    • By BAFE 30th Apr 19, 5:06 PM
    • 195 Posts
    • 185 Thanks
    BAFE
    • #9
    • 30th Apr 19, 5:06 PM
    • #9
    • 30th Apr 19, 5:06 PM
    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.
    • Quiet_Life
    • By Quiet_Life 30th Apr 19, 5:11 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Quiet_Life
    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.
    Originally posted by BAFE
    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.
    • Jox
    • By Jox 30th Apr 19, 5:19 PM
    • 1,470 Posts
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    Jox
    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.
    • Quiet_Life
    • By Quiet_Life 30th Apr 19, 5:39 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Quiet_Life
    Could you buy him a driving lesson to see if he actually wants to learn to drive rather than just giving him the money?
    Originally posted by Jox
    In theory yes I could, but if I'm honest I don't see the point as he can not afford to run, tax and insure a car. he doesn't need a car. He lives in a town where buses come every 5 mins. His lack of car is not hampering him at all. I am concerned that he would be driving uninsured, high on drugs...etc. He has no where he has to be - no job, and the college (if he is indeed going) is walking distance. If I thought getting a driving license would assist then I would consider it but I think it will just increase his options to break the law.

    I am happy to help support him with a course at college but with him threatening court (even after I have told him to put an application in to the CMS) I am unsure how to proceed.
    • Jox
    • By Jox 30th Apr 19, 5:45 PM
    • 1,470 Posts
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    Jox
    I learned to drive when I was 17 cos my granny gave me the money but I didn't get a car til I was 25, maybe the driving lessons will teach him to focus and stick to something and maybe the driving instructor will have some life lessons to teach him! I remember my driving instructor from more than 20 years ago. You never know, it might show him that you believe in him and are willing to support him in this mature thing to do. One step at a time.
    • Quiet_Life
    • By Quiet_Life 30th Apr 19, 6:32 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Quiet_Life
    I learned to drive when I was 17 cos my granny gave me the money but I didn't get a car til I was 25, maybe the driving lessons will teach him to focus and stick to something and maybe the driving instructor will have some life lessons to teach him! I remember my driving instructor from more than 20 years ago. You never know, it might show him that you believe in him and are willing to support him in this mature thing to do. One step at a time.
    Originally posted by Jox

    I take your point and I would love to buy into your theory. However just this morning I was talking to my ex wife and she was moaning that a 40+ year old 'junkie' that has just been released from prison for stabbing a police officer, was banging on her door yesterday asking for my son (and it was something to do with drugs) so I don't think he is ready to turn the corner yet and I am uninclined to assist him with driving lessons so that he can deal drugs to a wider area. The company he is keeping is not telling me that he is ready to turn his life around. I am willing to support his education in the hope that he will meet new 'friends' at college and better his prospects and realise he wants out of the life he currently has, but until I see evidence of that I am uninclined to pay out for 'extras'.
    • Socajam
    • By Socajam 30th Apr 19, 8:21 PM
    • 635 Posts
    • 898 Thanks
    Socajam
    In theory yes I could, but if I'm honest I don't see the point as he can not afford to run, tax and insure a car. he doesn't need a car. He lives in a town where buses come every 5 mins. His lack of car is not hampering him at all. I am concerned that he would be driving uninsured, high on drugs...etc. He has no where he has to be - no job, and the college (if he is indeed going) is walking distance. If I thought getting a driving license would assist then I would consider it but I think it will just increase his options to break the law.

    I am happy to help support him with a course at college but with him threatening court (even after I have told him to put an application in to the CMS) I am unsure how to proceed.
    Originally posted by Quiet_Life
    I totally agree with you about not giving him money for driving lessons with his history which hen needs to clean up before getting behind any vehicle.
    I wonder if he were to get behind a vehicle and kill a relative/friend of those who are encouraging you to give this irresponsible person driving lessons, would they blame you? You bet.
    What folks don't seem to understand is that driving is a privilege, not a right. Your son needs to earn that privilege, something he does not understand.
    Also think of your conscience if he were to drive and kill something - could you live with that?
    I would let him take me to court, present my case before the judge and what is decided go with that.
    Last edited by Socajam; 30-04-2019 at 8:23 PM.
    • Quiet_Life
    • By Quiet_Life 2nd Sep 19, 10:11 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Quiet_Life
    For those of you kind enough to post your views / suggestions on my problem back in April I thought I would post a quick update.....


    My Son has just entered his 3rd month of a 4 month sentence in a Young Offenders institute. He still has a number of court cases pending coming up in the next few months (as the police build a case) including Possession of Drugs with intent to supply, Breaking and entering and carrying an offensive weapon.


    I think it's safe to say that I am glad I did not give him money for driving lessons and it looks like he has lost any college place he may or may not have had so the chances of me being sued for money to support his education are slim.


    I am still 'here' for him when he is ready to turn his life around but I am comfortable in the decision I made back in April as he obviously wasn't ready back then.
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