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Wigan Family Law Blog

What happens if a maintenance agreement can't be made?

Couples with children in the Greater Manchester area who divorce or separate may be aware that both parents still have a financial obligation towards their children. In situations where the parents are unable to agree on the terms of the child maintenance payments, the statutory Child Maintenance Service can help.

Although financial support for a child is compulsory, there is no law that states how this arrangement must be made. Parents can agree the terms informally between themselves or through a family-based maintenance agreement. However, when these options are not possible, the statutory Child Maintenance Service provides an alternative method.

Child maintenance exceptions

Parents will usually have financial responsibility for their children until they reach the age of 16. Divorced or separated couples in the Manchester area may find it informative to understand some of the exceptions to this rule.

Child maintenance is the financial support that the paying parent provides to the main carer of their child for the daily living costs of the child. Usually these payments will stop when the child reaches 16. While the child is in full-time education at or below A-level standard, then child maintenance will need to be paid until the age of 20. If the child is over 16 and is studying at a higher standard than A-levels, or if he receives certain types of state benefits such as Income Support, then the payments will stop.

What courts value in prenuptial agreements

Financial agreements defining property ownership may be signed before a Greater Manchester couple marry or formalize a civil partnership. Post-nuptial agreements have similar content but are written during marriage or a civil partnership. In both cases, parties agree to divide property – and sometimes other terms – in case of divorce or civil partnership dissolution.

While prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements are permitted in the United Kingdom, they are technically not enforceable. To clarify, a court may consider the prewritten agreement during an asset dispute, but it is not bound to the contract's terms. Nevertheless, pre-nups can have a bearing on court decisions about marital property, which is why many couples find them attractive.

How do I get an injunction?

Getting an injunction due to your spouse committing domestic violence is not difficult, as long as you know what it is and the steps to getting one to protect you and your family in England. An injunction is a court order that requires someone to either do something or to desist from doing something. There are two basic types: a non-molestation order and an occupation order.

A non-molestation order prevents your partner from threatening you with violence. It also keeps him or her from intimidating you or harassing you. This can be a protective order for your children as well. They need protection just like you do.

In child custody matters, being a Skype dad may not work

Getting a divorce can be so hard on children. They tend to blame themselves and no one wants that to happen. Many times, custody is granted to the mother. Being a dad in this case means you have to be creative if you are going to stay in touch with your kids. Being able to tell them that you and your ex-wife had a difference of opinion and just couldn't get along together is a message that can be delivered by being a "Skype Dad."

Often, our mates can be from another country which adds a layer of difficulty when trying to stay in touch. Four in 10 marriages break up and the mother of the kids goes back home to be with her family.

Jeremy Renner finalises custody agreement

Residents of Manchester who are fans of Jeremy Renner may have heard that he is getting divorced. The Oscar-nominated actor has starred in movies such as The Hurt Locker, The Town and the Avengers: Age of Ultron. In a statement, his attorney said that the custody agreement of their 2-year old daughter, finalised in April, would form part of the terms of their divorce.

A court hearing over the custody dispute was postponed while the couple negotiated the terms of the custody of their child. As part of the settlement, which was approved by a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge, Renner agreed to pay $13,000 each month in child support. The couple, who will share custody, have agreed to consult with a therapist in order to create a parenting plan and pledged not to make derogatory remarks about each other in the presence of their daughter. The agreement also took into consideration Renner's future movie commitments and detailed flexible visitation arrangements.

Wife awarded 80 per cent of family property

Residents in the Greater Manchester area may have heard of the recent divorce case where a husband was instructed to hand over 80 per cent of the family property to his former wife. He was representing himself in an appeal against the ruling but was told that he had no prospect of success.

The London-based executive, who ran a construction company, had property valued at over £2 million. Reports say that his assets included a 5-bedroom family residence in Ruislip, London, valued at £1 million, a Spanish villa worth over £500,000 and a yacht that his former wife claimed was worth £100,000. After their 15-year marriage ended in 2011, he was ordered to hand over 80 per cent of the property to his former partner. She justified the ruling, maintaining that the success of the business was due, in part, to her hard work and that she had gone through hurtful times.

Child maintenance without courts or CMS

Couples with children who have agreed to separate or divorce need to consider making arrangements for child support as soon as possible, since having effective financial arrangements in place is important for the welfare of the children. Residents of Manchester who are in this situation may wish to read about a way to make child maintenance arrangements without involving Child Maintenance Service.

Family-based child maintenance is fast and easy to set up and is free for both parents. It is important to note, however, that the terms of this type of child support is usually not legally enforceable and that child maintenance will need to be paid until the children have reached the age of 20 or have left full-time non-advanced education, whichever occurs first. Paying child maintenance can be arranged by standing order for regular amounts or by a money transfer service, such as PayPal or MoneyGram, for lump sum payments. Whichever method is chosen, parents should keep a record of the monies paid and received.

Male domestic abuse victim speaks out

Male victims of domestic abuse in Greater Manchester may be interested to learn that a man in Peterborough agreed to speak about his abuse in order to tackle the embarrassment associated with male domestic abuse. He had received burns to 14 percent of his body after his wife poured boiling water over him.

The man, aged 65, met his wife seven years ago at a ballroom dancing event after the death of his first wife. The Peterborough Crown Court was told that, in March 2014, he had intended to visit the grave of his late wife on what would have been her birthday. The couple argued bitterly that day and had agreed to divorce. However, after the argument, his wife had gone to the kitchen to make tea, returned with the jug of boiling water and, approaching him from behind, poured the scalding water over his head. As a result, the man suffered first and second degree burns to his head and shoulders and still has scars from the assault a year later.

Multi-million divorce hearing ends in huge payout

Manchester residents following the divorce battle of a multi-millionaire finance executive recently learned the outcome of the proceedings. After a hearing lasting two weeks at London's High Court, the former executive of a U.S. private equity firm was ordered to pay half of his fortune to his wife. He was told to pay the first instalment of 60 million U.S. dollars within 28 days, and the remaining 40 million to 60 million U.S. dollars within 90 days.

Their marriage broke down in 2013 after his wife began an extramarital affair with their physiotherapist. The executive defended his claim that she was only entitled to a settlement of 5 million pounds. He said that, although she had been a good wife and mother during most of their 18-year marriage and would have been entitled to at least 70 million pounds, under the terms of their post-nuptial agreement, by seeking better settlement terms in court, she had forfeited her right to any settlement beyond the 5 million pounds that belonged to her personally.