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child maintenance and improper use of my personal info

Posted by talldad 
child maintenance and improper use of my personal info
August 11, 2020 09:05AM
Sorry for the long post. Please advise. Thank you.

My ex-wife and I were divorced several months ago in the UK (decree absolute). I left the UK and am now living in Asia with our only son while she lives alone in the family home in England. There is not yet any agreement on how the family asset should be split or childcare arrangement. We have been to the FDA (i.e., first hearing) late last year. My ex-wife proposed a private FDR after the FDA. I agreed as I was under the impression that a private FDR can lead to quicker settlement as the court-based FDR may have a long waiting time. However, it is actually taking more time as my ex-wife always wants to reschedule the private FDR. So far she has already rescheduled it twice and we are not even close to a private FDR. The judge at the central family court also made no decision on the future direction for the last 4 months. I think the court is short of staff due to the Covid-19. The long waiting time has put me into significant financial difficulty. I am wondering what my options will be.

1. My ex-wife has not paid a single penny towards the child maintenance for half a year. I wrote several emails to her and her solicitor, but they chose to be silent on the topic. My understanding is that the court has no jurisdiction to make an order for child maintenance unless the parties have reached an agreement. But clearly my ex-wife does not want to engage in discussion on child maintenance, hence no agreement can ever be reached. What will be my options? Shall I get in touch with the Child Maintenance Service? Will they be able to do something about it?

2. Funding my son exclusively while settling in a new country has put me into significant financial difficulty. My question is how I can protect my son’s best interest and my best interest. While all my income has been exhausted (rents, my son’s education, etc all cost money), she has all her income at her disposal for the solicitor (She is working full-time and has a very similar income as me). She even refused to contribute to the mortgage of the family home though she is living inside it alone. I am worried I may be disadvantaged in the financial settlement as I am not getting enough help from solicitor due to the financial constraint. What will be my options?

3. The third issue is regarding how to protect my privacy and to prevent my ex-wife and her solicitor from breaching my personal data. My ex-wife’s solicitor has written to me, claiming my ex-wife has obtained confidential documents of mine from the common area of the family home and those documents are now safely stored in her solicitor’s office. They did not tell me what those documents are. They are now applying for court’s order on how to deal with those documents under Imerman Act. I have replied to my ex-wife’s solicitor, asking them to send those documents unopened to me, which they refused. Her solicitor said that an independent solicitor will decide whether those documents need to be disclosed. But I did not leave any documents in the so-called common area of the family home. All my documents/personal belongs are stored in my personal space in the family home. My understanding is that my ex-wife has no right to dig into my personal documents and send them to her solicitors, and her solicitor should also not deal with those documents after knowing those documents are confidential to me. How should I handle the matter?

It also comes to my attention that my ex-wife is contacting third-parties to obtain my personal information by claiming she was me. She knows me very well and is capable of bypassing the security check set by the third parties, such as confirming my date of birth, registered address or telephone number. How can I prevent her and her solicitor from improper use of my personal information?

Thank you.
Re: child maintenance and improper use of my personal info
August 11, 2020 10:07AM
1. You can always contact the child maintenance service and ask whether they will take jurisdiction. I can't say I am sufficiently familiar with their rules to know whether they have jurisdiction or not because your wife lives in the UK and you do not. I suspect they will shuffle off responsibility but you need to ask. If they refuse jurisdiction then you have no choice other than to seek child maintenance through the courts if it will not be paid voluntarily. The courts certainly will have jurisdiction if the CMS does not. I should say in passing though that it seems odd that the child lives with you in Asia whereas your wife continues to live in the former matrimonial home. I take it that you had your wife's permission to take your son to live permanently in Asia?

2. Well, the fact is that if your lack of funds means that you will be unable to fully engage with the process and/or have proper advice there is no doubt that you will be disadvantaged. That is a financial rather than a legal problem.

3. Your documents are your documents. You should request them formally in writing from your wife's solicitor and say that in due course you intend to rely upon this letter on the subject of costs. You should keep a copy of the letter. The situation you describe does not really add up. If they are undoubtedly your documents your wife's solicitor has no business keeping them.
Re: child maintenance and improper use of my personal info
August 11, 2020 04:05PM
Dear Terry, many thanks for your advice.

1. I would like very much to sell the family home so the money from the sale can be split between my ex-wife and me. The complexity is that the family home was purchased with a loan from my parents. My ex-wife and me signed a loan note with my parents. But my ex-wife now says she was not aware of that the loan ever needs to be repaid. She of course knows what the loan note means as she works in the legal department of a company. She claims that the loan was an absolute gift which is non-sense. The court at the first hearing asked each party, including my parents to give a written statement. So far my parents and me have provided individual statements on the loan, but she is finding all sorts of excuses not to provide her statement.

I do have a consent form from my ex-wife when I took our son to the Asia from the UK. It says on the consent form that my ex-wife would collect our son and take him back to the UK when the school restarts and when the covid-19 issue is getting better. I would like my son to go back to the UK so his education can be continued. But my ex-wife claims she could not afford a flight ticket and I should be responsbile for taking our son back to the UK under my cost. When I referred to the exact wording in the consent form, she then claimed that the signed consent form did not represent her view. My son's primary school will restart in early September. If she is not picking up our son, I will need to find a local school for our son. But it needs money for the education.


2. I understand the child and finance are separate matters. But it seems that I will suffer in the financial settlement because I give priority to my son's need. It feels very unfair. She is very unreasonable. She is now basically i) not paying any child maintenance ii) not paying for her own accomodation as she is living in the family home alone and not contributing anything towards the mortgage. So far I have been relying on the mortgage payment holiday to keep the property. Once the payment holiday is over, my credit score will be hit hard as I cannot meet the mortgage cost.

3. I don't know what documents her solicitors have. I have indeed asked her solicitors to send the documents UNOPEND to me or return them to where they were in the family home. I have also asked her solicitor to confirm 'the contents of my personal documents have not been disclosed or discussed with her solicitors by her'. But her solicitor only said they had not opened the documents which are not stored in their office. Is this a breach of my personal data and privacy?

In terms of third parties she contacted, she told the local council that I am still living in the family home in the UK which is not the case. She also contacted my insurance company so she could use my insurance information on her insurance policy to get a cheaper rate. But I am not driving in the UK at all as I am not physically in the UK. She obtained the information by pretending she was me. I wrote to her and her solicitor asking an immediate stop of breaching my personal information. But they chose to be slient on the issue and offered no response.

Please advise. Thank you.
Re: child maintenance and improper use of my personal info
August 11, 2020 05:45PM
>>My ex-wife and me signed a loan note with my parents. But my ex-wife now says she was not aware of that the loan ever needs to be repaid.

Well, if she signed a loan note that note should say when and if it should be repaid. If it didn't then it didn't amount to much.

>>If she is not picking up our son, I will need to find a local school for our son. But it needs money for the education.

That doesn't make much sense because the cost of returning him to the UK is no doubt a lot less than the cost of educating him privately outside the UK.

>>But I am not driving in the UK at all as I am not physically in the UK. She obtained the information by pretending she was me. I wrote to her and her solicitor asking an immediate stop of breaching my personal information. But they chose to be silent on the issue and offered no response.

I don't think they were obliged to answer. So far as I can see this has nothing to do either with divorce, resolving the financial issues arising from the marriage or anything to do with child maintenance or custody which I imagine are the only things they can possibly be instructed upon. They do not have to enter into communication with you about just any subject you want to raise.

Reading between the lines of your posts I doubt that your wife is being quite as unreasonable as you say. After all, you took the child to Asia and you are keeping him there.
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