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cockatiel | 14:53 Sat 21st Sep 2013 | Law
17 Answers
Can a C of E bishop rent out rooms in the Bishop's Palace to his son to evade paying maintenance for his child in the USA? The bishop's son is known to be suicidal and violent


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Your friend needs to read this very carefully especially section 6. A British court may very well refuse to enforce a judgement made in the USA against a person with mental health issues ( violent suicidal) as they consider it to be 'against natural...
16:07 Sun 22nd Sep 2013
Depends which Palace, but he's only in residence, he doesn't own the Palace - it would depend on his occupancy T&Cs.
im not really sure how doing this is evading really...?

is the son paying rent?
if so then its just a normal tenant landlord situation, so how is he evading anything?

if not, then he is giving free accommodation - something the son would have to pay for elsewhere ... again not really evading

im confused. can you explain a bit please
Question Author
The son is trying to avoid paying maintenance by paying £600 a month to his father and therefore saying he can't afford maintenance,although he regularly expects contact with his son via daily skype
If the grandfather is a C of E bishop, I think he should sit his son down and tell him that his grandson deserves to have a decent father.
If he was renting anywhere else it'd cost him more than £600. I can see with his issues it makes sense for the son to be near his dad.
Whether the bishop can accept money depends on his occupancy Ts and Cs
Surely the son would have to pay rent whetever he lived so I can't seehow paying rent is seen as trying to avoid maintenance as it is a usual living expense. As to whether the bishop is allowed to sub let, the first snswer has it. It will depend on his contract
Snap factor
ah i see, you weren't very clear in your op.

as said, i don't see that paying rent is evading anything - everyone must pay for somewhere to live in one form or another - the fact that it is his dad and he's a bishop is irrelevant

why do you consider paying rent to be evasion?

unless you are saying he doesn't live there and they have faked an arrangement?

regardless of his circumstances he should be paying something to his son - how much needs to worked out in a court

Nothing to do with the father being a Bishop I don't see why you mention it.
The son is paying rent and getting it cheap he should still pay for his son.
If this was in the UK the son would have the maintenance deducted from his wages or benefits if he refused to pay voluntarily. Not sure if the same applies in the USA, there it will be different depending on which state it was in.
Question Author
There will be a court case in USA. Our friend has spent a lot of money going there to support his daughter in trying to get maintenance.The lawyer involved has not been reliable and keeps cancelling appointments,no doubt to get more money for her services by making things drag on and knowing that our friend can only stay in USA for a limited time.I wonder if our friend can somehow get compensation for the hassle he's had.He's now found a new lawyer but a more expensive one.He will be a witness in the case against his son-in-law on grounds of mental and physical cruelty
Forget compensation there is no case , the lawyer has just been lacking in efficiency. Are we talking about a USA lawyer here?
The vast majority of this should be able to be done by email no need to keep going to the USA.
I am wondering that even if a judgement is made in the USA it will be enforceable here. That must be sorted out first or the entire exercise will be a useless waste of money.
Does the son work or have any income? you say he is suicidal and violent? if the son has only benefit income or a small/ irregular income again the case will not be worth the effort, you can't get money out of someone who has none no matter what a court says, the father is not liable for his son's debts so he can't be made to pay.
Your friend needs to do a lot of homework on this or I can see a huge waste of money.
Another possibility is that the' violent suicidal' son could end up being sectioned or detained under the mental health act in which case no one will ever get any money out of him.
Your friend needs to read this very carefully especially section 6.
A British court may very well refuse to enforce a judgement made in the USA against a person with mental health issues ( violent suicidal) as they consider it to be 'against natural justice' In any case the friend will need to start another court case in the UK after getting a judgement in the USA in order for it to be enforced here.
I have to say that unless the son has a lot of money to pay any judgement made this is going to be a very expensive waste of time , there is no way to reclaim costs either in USA or UK in a case like this so your friend needs to have several tens of thousands of £s that they can afford to lose.
Sorry to be so negative, but a lawyer especially a US one, is not going to tell you that you are almost certainly throwing away money.
Please ! get some sensible advice from a solicitor with international experience before spending any more cash on this.
Question Author
Thanks everyone for your help.Have printed out document from the link you gave me EDDIES1. The son-in-law is self employed.Income variable.Gets help from rich relations when necessary and would like custody of his child and has full support from his family as they do not acknowledge the problems he has.He would even put our friend's daughter's life at risk to get access to his child and visits USA without prior warning.It is a difficult situation.
has the son in law got any criminal convictions? If so a word with the US embassy may make sure he can not travel to the USA again without applying for a visa.
Question Author
No criminal convictions that I know of.His problems are more mental,maybe bipolar.
As previously said then but from what you say it seems even more likely that a British court would refuse to enforce a USA judgement as his lawyer would argue that the defendant was 'not of sound mind' and therefore unable to adequately present his case to the court.

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