Can I apply for child support from overseas?

| 02/07/2019
Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian status

I met a man in the UK in 2010. He took advantage of my vulnerability. He saw that I was vulnerable and wanted marriage. I wasn’t interested in marrying him. Our friendship developed and I had a son for him. He has never seen his son and now our son is 8 years old.

My son asks for him all the time. Yesterday he asked why his dad doesn’t love him. Whenever he asks to speak to his dad. I let him call him. When he does, all he does his build up his hopes, with false and empty promises. He gave him £150 once for his birthday.

When I was pregnant, he tried to fight me and he was so verbally abusive. He is originally from Jamaica. He claims that he is no longer living in the UK and that he is now back in the Cayman Islands. It’s not easy. My son was a premature baby. So I had to stop working full-time and I now work part-time to look after him. My question is, how do I go about getting child support for my son? I live in the UK.

Auntie’s answer: Without meaning any disrespect, I feel that based on the distressing details you provided, the chances of getting any money out of this man are slim at best after all this time, and anyway it seems that you are better off without him. You and your son have been in this situation for eight years, and while I am sure your life has not been easy, you have made it this far on your own.

Having said that, you do not indicate whether you have applied for assistance in the UK. This government website offers a range of services you and your son may be eligible for. I recommend you take a look if you have not already done so.

If you are intent on seeking child maintenance, since you and the child are in the UK you would have to first obtain a maintenance order there, which you may be able to enforce here. The Cayman Islands Judicial Administration website has a section on applying for child and spouse maintenance, including the enforcement of an overseas order against a parent resident here. However, you would have to hire a lawyer here to help you and they’re not cheap, so you should think carefully about whether this is financially worthwhile.

If you cannot afford a solicitor in the UK to advise you on all this, your local Citizens Advice website office is probably your best bet, and could also offer advice on child maintenance, child benefits, and help with health and school costs.

As I started out by saying, while I am sympathetic to your difficult plight, I think the way forward is to seek whatever help is available to you in the UK. You clearly are devoted to your son and from your description of his father it seems best that he is out of your life.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why is the process so complicated? The process seems to favour deadbeat fathers who know the mothers don’t have either the time or financial resources to fight and secure adequate maintenance.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why are Immigration even allowing characters like this guy to even come and stay here?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Can amendments be made from overseas? The original order was made in the Cayman Islands. The child and I live overseas. The father lives in the Cayman Islands. Money has been inconsistent if at all. Can maintenance be enforced while overseas? If so, how? Can an increase be made in the monthly amount to include backpay plus the increase in the cost of living? Or do we have to fly to the Cayman Islands to have this taken care of?

    Auntie: I’m afraid you really need a lawyer in Cayman to do anything. They will be able to tell you if you need to fly here.