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Costs being sought by the applicant. Does this sound right?

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Hi! First post so I am hoping I have put this in the right area. Apologies if I haven't!

A brief background:

-I separated from my wife in early 2012.

-At that point we had 3 shared children.

-My wife had been having an affair for 5.5 years and in 2013 I was presented with DNA results which show that I am not the biological parent of the youngest child. I was only told of this 2 months after the DNA tests came back. I was still at that point paying Child Support for the child. I had also raised that child as my own from mid 2009.

-In preparation for settling our finances I was told by my lawyer that the legally drawn up loan agreement that I had with my father (which existed 3 years before I met my wife) was legally binding as an interest only loan and would be considered as a debt not a contribution to the marriage. The solicitor who originally drew this up drew it up as a 'principal only'. I had only paid back interest on this loan. However my current lawyer missed the 'principal only' part and assured me that this wouldn't be included in financial settlement. If the lawyer had picked up that this was a 'principal loan' I would have offered my wife a settlement figure way before it went to a hearing.  6 weeks out from court my lawyer, who had gone over the contract, emailed to ask if the loan was definitely an 'interest only loan'. I called her and went to see her which is when she stated it was a 'principal only loan' not an 'interest only loan'. My lawyer recommended that we proceed as if it was an interest only loan. When it did go to hearing my barrister at the end of the hearing told me that 'my lawyer should have picked this error up and even a junior would have picked up this mistake'.

-I have now received a letter from my lawyer stating that the other party are applying for costs and that they have a good chance of getting it as I did not accept a proposal in May 2013. I did not accept that proposal as I was going on the advice of my lawyer which was based on this loan being interest only not principal. In addition, my wife's affidavit also stated that she thought this was an interest only loan.

-I have now lost any trust I have in my lawyer.

My questions are:

-What are the chances the other party will get costs?

-Is there anything I can do about my lawyer making a basic error and the barrister not making a stronger rebuttal about a few other things?

-Can I get back child support that I have paid for a child that is not biologically mine? Is there a chance of any compensation for this?  [I ask this as I have full time care of our 2nd child and her and I need as much money as possible to get us somewhere to live. The mother in this instance has moved in with her boyfriend who is the bio father of the child and is financially stable. We are not. Obviously I am emotionally wrecked by this all].



Any help would be appreciated.
noelrainey said
Can I get back child support that I have paid for a child that is not biologically mine?

In theory you should be able to. However, the CSA have a track record of not considering overpayments of CS with any importance. It doesn't help that you knew of the situation back in 2013. If the CSA aren't helpful then I'd suggest getting your local Federal MP involved and also the Federal MP who has the DHS portfolio and perhaps also letting the Ombudsman know.
I have heard of cases where people who have overpaid CS have made a letter of demand to the payee and then taken them to court for the overpayment. I have also heard that CSA don't generally chase overpayments, and they advise people to pursue them civilly.
This is definitely 2 issues.

1. is your ex hitting you up for costs over the loan issue? Was she a signatory to the loan? If her affidavit states she believed it to be interest only, and your own affidavit says the same then it could be argued that you were both mistaken and she is therefore responsible for her own misunderstanding, as are you. If she claims her understanding is based on your own selling of it to her the proof will be in the documents rather than the say so of one vs the other.

2. The DNA issue is a path well trodden. Lodge an objection with CSA citing all the necessary facts minus all emotion. Then, a few days later, send a letter to your local member again advising the facts and that you have submitted an objection to CSA and are seeking "full reimbursement of Child support paid" for the child "as soon as is possible" . CSA will respond with greater care & vigor when it comes from an MP rather than a punter, however you have to get it on their radar first in order for the MP to push it along. Next step is to send the same letter to the minister. This can be less effective as often CSA (and all public servants like me) will respond to the minister on policy & procedure grounds rather than factual reasoning as they are required to with general MP inquiries.

Last edit: by Willfred


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