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Contact issues- any help greatly appreciated.
#1
I am divorced 10 years and have 1 child who was moved 250 miles away from me around 5 years ago. I took out a court injunction to prevent this and as part of the agreement to remove this injunction and allow my ex to move, we mutually agreed via a court order that she would bring him at her own expense to a midway point between the two of us at her own expense. In the last three years, this has been superceded by an arrangement where he flies fortnightly between the two us and we both bear the cost of one flight each plus chaperone costs(the cost of this more or less equates with the cost of the journey by car). This has worked without any problems for the full three years.

She has long been resentful of this arrangement and just after Christmas, she announced that is no longer prepared to pay for her flight but would still make my son available for contact if I paid the return flight she is responsible for.

To further complicate matters, she is currently threatening to take me to court re a best endeavours clause to remove her name from the mortgage for the FMH. This has never been an issue until last summer when she found herself in her new property on a Standard Variable Rate after the expiry of a long-term fixed deal. Despite being able to secure a new mortgage first time around, she is being prevented second time around due to her name being on the former marital home.  It is in both our interests for this situation to be resolved as there are considerable cost benefits for us both. 

On this basis, I applied for a mortgage last summer and was marginally unsuccessful but told by the broker that it would be highly likely I would succeed next time around on completion of the second year of accounts for my business. I am currently self-employed but was only able to submit one years of accounts. I will be in a position to submit another year of accounts at the end of March.

I have explained to my Wife that I cannot simply take on the cost of her flights as it will severely jeopardise the mortgage application. I have suggested that we appoint a mediator and do a mutual financial disclosure in order to reach a resolution. She has completely ignored all suggestions and requests to find a resolution, therefore, forcing me to take legal action the cost of which will once again have a detrimental effect on the mortgage.

I have written to her and advised that if she is not prepared to discuss a resolution or consent to mediation then the only option I have to keep the mortgage application on track is to book the cost of the flights and deduct this from her maintenance, providing her with the receipts. This will basically mean she is not any worse off than she is currently but I maintain contact with my Son and keep the mortgage application on track. I have informed her twice of my intention to do this and it once again been ignored. 

Can anyone please advise on the likely implications for me if I take this approach. All payments are fully up to date and there are no arrears.
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#2
It sounds like a difficult situation. I take it you don't want to sell this house. So the upshot is she wants to be off the mortgage so she can get another mortgage, meaning you have to buy her out and have a bigger mortgage, and at the same time she is no longer paying for flights.

Cheapest solution would probably be to sell up and move nearer child - but that may not be possible for you. You'd still need a house and a mortgage but it would break a tie and you wouldn't have the cost of flights.

With regards to the maintenance. Is it spousal or child maintenance or both and is it court ordered? If it's child maintenance and you pay less than you're assessed at (you can check this on CMS calculator), then they could make you pay it or bill you for the underpayments.

I think if you're thinking of deducting the air fares from maintenance you'd need legal advice first.
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#3
(01-16-2018, 06:30 PM)Charlie7000 Wrote: It sounds like a difficult situation.  I take it you don't want to sell this house.  So the upshot is she wants to be off the mortgage so she can get another mortgage, meaning you have to buy her out and have a bigger mortgage, and at the same time she is no longer paying for flights.

Cheapest solution would probably be to sell up and move nearer child - but that may not be possible for you. You'd still need a house and a mortgage but it would break a tie and you wouldn't have the cost of flights.

With regards to the maintenance.  Is it spousal or child maintenance or both and is it court ordered?  If it's child maintenance and you pay less than you're assessed at (you can check this on CMS calculator), then they could make you pay it or bill you for the underpayments.

I think if you're thinking of deducting the air fares from maintenance you'd need legal advice first.

Thanks for the advice Charlie. She is only on the mortgage in name she is not responsible for any liability nor increase in equity of the property and has not rights to it- this is not uncommon. It is a best endeavours clause that requires me to do this and I am confident that I will be able to demonstrate to a Court that I am (via the mortgage application last Summer and my intention to re-apply) that I am using my best endeavours and she is actually working against me.

As regards the maintenance it is actually child maintenance.
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#4
Ok. If there is no difference to your mortgage payments then, it's a case of being allowed to take on the whole mortgage in your name, is that right? ie being financial assessed?

Child Maintenance calculator below. If you're paying more than assessed, then it could be an option to email her and tell her that, and say you are reducing it to the assessed amount to cover the cost of the air fares she normally pays.

Although - this may create a backlash and she may be difficult about you seeing child then. Is your court order enforceable?
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#5
(01-16-2018, 06:42 PM)Charlie7000 Wrote: Ok.  If there is no difference to your mortgage payments then, it's a case of being allowed to take on the whole mortgage in your name, is that right?  ie being financial assessed?

Child Maintenance calculator below.  If you're paying more than assessed, then it could be an option to email her and tell her that, and say you are reducing it to the assessed amount to cover the cost of the air fares she normally pays.

Although - this may create a backlash and she may be difficult about you seeing child then. Is your court order enforceable?

Yes, I just need to re-mortgage and her name is off. Unfortunately, she lacks the foresight to see that causing this situation right now could have a detrimental effect on the mortgage outcome when it is so close to being resolved.

By the calculator reckoning I am paying under, however it doesn't take into account the flight cost and I am led to understand that the courts do. Yes, the court order is fully enforceable- I am not sure how it could be? It is by order of a Court?
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#6
She could go to Child Maintenance Options and say you should pay more, so reducing the air fare out of child maintenance probably isn't a good idea. Is the difference as much as the air fares she's not paying? If they balance out you might just need to either accept it, or enforce the order that says she pays half the fares. But if she then pays her half of the fares and you then have to pay more CM as assessed and it works out the same, it may not be worth enforcing for.

So suggest let sleeping dogs lie with the Child Maintenance. There might be an another option to get her to pay her half of the air fares - someone mentioned small claims court on another thread, but I don't know about that - someone else might.
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