Child maintenance and legal advice needed

February 24, 2012

Hi, My name is Gary. I split from my ex-partner about 6 months ago. we have 2 children, age 4yrs and 9yrs old. I’m writing to ask/seek advice as i feel i’m not getting treat fairly from my ex-partner and having my own children used against me. im 28, i work full time and have since i left school. i’m a dad who wants to see my children as much as possible and have always had an active role in their lives and still want to. Like i said im in full time employment and NOT on any benefits, i have no criminal record, dont take drugs and not an alcoholic. i have access to my children 2 nights per week in which they stay at my parents house with me which is where i live as had to leave the family home after the split. if this is enough information i would appreciate some help in where i stand with regards to my children? i have been paying maintenance by standing order but unsure if i’m overpaying as i’m struggling financially.

1) i earn £320 per week and have my children 2 nights per week and have them 2 days per week during school holidys aswell, how much should i be paying? and do they take my out goings into consideration?

2)when i left my family home i had spent a considerable amount of money on furniture, fixtures and fittings out of my own pocket and have loans to prove this. am i legally bound to recieve money for this?

3) if i have my children 50% of the time, do i still have to pay maintenance and/or am i entitled to any of my childrens tax credits or benefits as i feel hard done by having to pay alot in maintenence, ex partner gettin the extra financial help from tax credits and when i have my children having to pay alot of money to take them swimming/softplays/food/trips away etc

4) as ive mentioned earlier, i live at my parents as cant afford to rent by myself or get a deposit for a mortgage or pay for a mortgage. it’s crowded at my parents as they now live in a flat so when my children stay im having to sleep on the settee and my daughter by law when she reaches the age of 10 has to have her own bedroom so cant share a room with her brother.

would it be possible to have any of this in writing, ie how much i owe in maintenance and anything im legally entitled to, kind regards, Gary.

Comments

30 Responses to “Child maintenance and legal advice needed”

  1. bob on February 25th, 2012 10:37 am

    Visit dadtalk.co.uk under legal eagle

  2. D3ean000 on February 26th, 2012 1:36 pm

    i know exactly how you feel gary..fathers are really hard done by..i was in a very similar situation not long ago..i pay 150 a month and have my kids every wednesday and everry other weekend.it boils my piss that she gets extra help financially every month and i get absolutely nothing at all..i feel like i pay to see my kids
    i couldnt afford my own place either. i now life with my new partner and we are expecting our 1st kid in october….do i pay less money because of this??…yes i do about 20 a month…how i can pay only 20 a month less is ridiculous…i pay more for kids that dont live with me..its all wrong

    good luck gary and i wish you well…justice dor dads please….NOW!!!

  3. chall on February 27th, 2012 8:11 am

    Gary,

    1) On CS2 your CSA liability would be 20% of your income, less shared care (only the number of nights count, not daytime care) and you may possibly be able to have some of the debts from your previous relationship taken into consideration if you meet the criteria. Calculator here http://www.cmoptions.org/en/calculator/calculator.asp

    As per the calculator, as you earn £320pw, liability for both children, minus an average of 2 nights a week (104 per year) = £46 pw.

    2) You would need to apply to the CSA to have debts from the relationship taken into account and they would need to meet the CSA’s criteria. I can give a more detailed response to this if required.

    3) At present, yes you would still be required to make a contribution if you had your children 50% of the time. The calculation would be halved, plus a further reduction of £7.

    4) Have you considered help with rent via housing benefit? You may also be entitled to working tax credits.

    chall ~ afairercsaforall

  4. chall on February 27th, 2012 8:17 am

    D3ean000,

    Do you have any other children (your partners children) living with you at present?
    How many children do you have and how many parents with care?

    On CS2 the calculation can include reductions for relevant other children residing at the same address as the non resident parent at 15% for 1, 20% for 2 and 25% for 3, prior to the calculation for the qualifying child/ren been calculated.

    chall ~ afairercsaforall

  5. gary blythe on February 28th, 2012 6:05 pm

    Hi D3ean000,
    Thanks for your help and your kind words. You are right and us Dads are very hard done by, why is this!?!?!? it’s so frustrating when your just trying to be the best dad you can and you seem to get no help from government or any governing bodies. Women have far to much control over what happens in these situations. I’m not saying all women are nasty and use our own kids against us and bleed us dry financially and mentally but some know they have that control and its so unfair. “JUSTICE FOR DADS” PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!

  6. gary blythe on February 28th, 2012 6:26 pm

    Hi Chall,

    Thank you for tour response and your time to give me the information you have, its much appreciated. In your response could i ask for a bit more information on my question number 2 regarding all the stuff i payed for and left in my ex-partners home. I still live at my parents house so dont have any other children to care for.

    1) what counts as having my children 50%??? 3 or 4 nights, just with there being 7 nights per week and that cant be exactly halved.

    2) Could i recieve help with housing rent even though i work full time? and could i recieve working tax credits.

    3) I have just recently found out my ex-partner has a new partner and is moving in to my old home so he will reap the rewards of all my hard work and money i put into it, she will now be getting help with all the bills in the house, recieving all the tax credits and benfits for my children and recieving my maintenance. Is it me or this system just all wrong!!! there is just no justice at all. I’m struggling financially and mentally, having to work full time, cant see my kids more because of work while she sits back and is reaping all the rewards having what once was my home, only working part time and financially much better off than me and i work more see my kids less and have to pay her for it. so so so wrong!!!

    If you could help me with my questions i would be most grateful, thanks Gary!

  7. chall on February 28th, 2012 8:03 pm

    Hi,
    The agency can take into account some types of prior debt resulting from the relationship. You would need to apply for a variation.
    Special expenses—prior debts
    12.—(1) Subject to the following paragraphs of this regulation and regulation 15, the repayment of debts to which paragraph (2) applies shall constitute expenses for the purposes of paragraph 2(2) of Schedule 4B to the Act where those debts were incurred—
    (a)before the non-resident parent became a non-resident parent in relation to the qualifying child; and
    (b)at the time when the non-resident parent and the person with care in relation to the child referred to in sub-paragraph (a) were a couple.
    (2) This paragraph applies to debts incurred—
    (a)for the joint benefit of the non-resident parent and the person with care;
    (b)for the benefit of the person with care where the non-resident parent remains legally liable to repay the whole or part of the debt;
    (c)for the benefit of any person who is not a child but who at the time the debt was incurred—
    (i)was a child;
    (ii)lived with the non-resident parent and the person with care; and
    (iii)of whom the non-resident parent or the person with care is the parent, or both are the parents;
    (d)for the benefit of the qualifying child referred to in paragraph (1); or
    (e)for the benefit of any child, other than the qualifying child referred to in paragraph (1), who, at the time the debt was incurred—
    (i)lived with the non-resident parent and the person with care; and
    (ii)of whom the person with care is the parent.

    1) You would be required to have your child/ren 175+ nights or more a year.

    2) Try http://www.turn2us.org.uk/benefits_search.aspx remember to enter rough amounts for council tax & rent etc so you get a rough idea of ant entitlement.

    3) There’s a lot wrong and unjust with this country, it’s not just confined to the CSA. Until we can ALL stand side by side and show our solidarity, instead of fighting/slating each other, we don’t stand a chance of being heard.

    chall ~ afairercsaforall

  8. gary blythe on February 29th, 2012 5:18 pm

    Hi Chall, Thanks again for your quick response.

    1) How do i apply for a variation?

    2) is 175 nights per year 3 nights per week and on the odd week 4 nights? if so how much maintenance would i have to pay per month based on your previous calculation? you mentioned halved plus a further reduction of £7!!!

    3) on the link you gave me to see if i would be entitled to working or child tax credits. i filled in everything correctly but didnt know what to say when it asked me on the 1st page regarding how many children do i have living with me. as ive said i have 2 children but if i have them 50% when i get my own place to rent it said i was entitled to a small amount of working tax credits and child tax credit, is this right?

    sorry if it seems like i’m being a nusence, i just need to start getting things sorted so i know where i stand for the future.

    thanks again, Gary!

  9. chall on February 29th, 2012 10:20 pm

    1) This link http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20060213205517/http://csa.gov.uk/pdf/english/leaflets/new/CSL108.pdf is to the variation leaflet for CS2 cases. I think a new one is due out soon, but it will still give you the information you require.

    2) Shared care is averaged out over a year, as long as the total number of nights spent with the other parent is 175+ the calculation should be adjusted accordingly. You would need to agree with your ex when you both would be able to accommodate your children.
    The calculation on CS2 with shared care of 175+ nights shared care over a year would still be based on 20% of you total income, the 20% would be halved and then reduced by a further £7.

    3) Only one household can receive CTC for a child. If you and your ex both claim CTC, the Tax Credit Office will decide for you.
    I assume it would also depend who receives the child benefit, which if you were caring for them 50% + of the time, you could make an application to the child benefit office for such, they would then have to decide if you or your ex were the main carer. If your claim was successful your ex would then be deemed as the non resident parent, you could apply for CSA and be in a better position to apply for CTC .

    chall ~ afairercsaforall

  10. John on March 1st, 2012 10:18 am

    Gary. Go to your M.P. with all of your information and ask your M.P. to take your case up with the CSA!

    I don’t understand why some people actually embroil themselves in CSA rules and regs, when the whole system is flawed and not fir for purpose!

    The Guardian! ………Amyas Morse, the head of the NAO, says the report has found that the commission is relying heavily on the introduction of fees to parents, and a new IT system.

    “This is a high-risk approach with no contingencies if it goes awry. I do not believe the commission can achieve value for money without developing a realistic plan for controlling and reducing its costs and this will involve making genuine efficiencies in how it delivers its services,” he says in a statement.

    The existing child maintenance schemes were problematic and large backlogs of work built up, the report says. Efficiency has improved since 2006 and the cost of administering child maintenance has reduced, but costs remain high. The commission spends approximately 56p for each £1 it collects for parents, while an equivalent body in Australia spends 35p.

    ……..What happens between parents and children is their business, and has nothing to do with a run for profit company, Executives and bonus seeking, incompetent staff at the CSA!

    £ 3.8 billion uncollected. People over-paying, people under-paying and people not paying at all!

    It’s a complete shambles!

  11. chall on March 1st, 2012 12:49 pm

    Quote John; …….. and has nothing to do with a run for profit company…

    So have you actually managed to obtain proof of this yet OR are you expecting everybody to take your word for it?

    chall

  12. gary blythe on March 1st, 2012 2:17 pm

    Chall,

    So based on me earning £320 per week and me having my 2 children currently 2 nights per week i should owe £46 per week (£184) per month, when i start having them 175 nights over the year (50%) whar would my calculation roughly be?

    thanks Gary!

  13. chall on March 1st, 2012 5:09 pm

    Gary,

    You should be aware that if you receive WTC it would also deemed as income by the CSA.

    Using the info in your last post (not including any WTC you may receive) and as per the CSA calculator at http://www.cmoptions.org/en/calculator/calculator.asp

    You told us:

    Number of children maintenance will be paid for: 2

    Number of other children living in the household of the parent without the main day-to-day care: 0

    Number of nights, on average, the parent without the main day-to-day care has the child: 175 or more

    The net weekly income of the parent without the main day-to-day care: £320

    The parent without the main day-to-day care isn’t receiving any benefits.

    Based on the information you gave us, the amount of child maintenance payable would be approximately: £18 per week

    Hope this helps.

    chall ~ afairercsaforall

  14. gary blythe on March 2nd, 2012 11:23 am

    Hi Chall, Thanks for all your help and information over the last week or so, its much appreciated!

  15. chall on March 2nd, 2012 5:48 pm

    Your welcome Gary.

    chall ~ afairercsaforall

  16. Adrian Clarke on March 7th, 2012 10:28 pm

    Hi, Gary, i’ve just found myself in a similar situation to you. My relationship broke up 2 weeks ago and i have a 2 & half year old daughter. i am hoping to have 50/50 care of my daughter and have been reading as much info on the subject of single parenting as i can. Although i cant answer any of your questions, it beggers belief that my ex claims family allowance/tax credits and i CANT. To rub my face in it more,even though i will have her a week on/off I HAVE TO STILL PAY HER MONIES (half of normal amount -£7 per week.) Even though i will have the SAME costs for my daughter and SAME time with her, i have to pay and the ex does not…I dont understand the logic behind that. Why does either of us have to pay?…neither are at an advantage or disadvantage by the arrangement.

  17. gary blythe on March 12th, 2012 4:58 pm

    Adrian,

    I totally agree with what you said, it’s a crazy sytem and even though we have our chil/children the same as the ex, we stil have to pay them and they get the tax credits and benefits. We might aswell not b called “Dad” anymore as us dads who want to have an active role in our childrens lives seem to get punished mentally and financially so may aswell change to a “guardian”. Hope everything goes well!

  18. Cathie on March 13th, 2012 12:54 am

    Talking about caring for the children, most mothers do much more than fathers, even when parents have 50/50 care of their children, don’t they? From shopping, cooking, cleaning, to children’s education, mothers do a lot more than fathers. Plus women cannot work while looking after their children when they are small, that means they won’t be able to pay national insuarance, which will sebsequently affect their future pension. Why do you guys care about the tax credit/ child benefit so much? Women deserve it as they contribute more. Of course it is true some women use the money on drugs, alcohol, etc. But if your ex does not and looks after your children well, why do you care about those things even though you take your children 3 nights a week? I am sick of stingy men.

  19. Brett on May 31st, 2012 6:28 pm

    @cathie what a completed bias view ? Why should the woman be granted more than the man in a society which screams for equality?? Shocking

  20. Kevin on July 2nd, 2012 6:17 pm

    @Cathie your uneducated, narrow minded views are disgusting.

    Who determines a woman is a better parent because of her sex.

    Women can work – (Childcare)

    I am a father and do all shopping, cooking, cleaning, childs education and we have 50/50 custody.

    I take and pick up my daughter from school, not her mother.

  21. Sally on July 3rd, 2012 1:49 pm

    Hi Chall

    You say in one of responses “Until we can ALL stand side by side and show our solidarity, instead of fighting/slating each other, we don’t stand a chance of being heard”….

    who is ‘we’?? the reason I ask is that I feel that the people who matter (the people who are being abused/victamised/hurt by the CSA and its ‘rules’) are standing together… what we don’t have is someone to represent us??

    There 1,000s of people, if not, 100,000 of people writing into this particular forum because this is the issue (CSA) that is destroying our lives…. why can’t someone (a recognised figure/company) challenge the CSA legally?? It seems that lots have tried (and failed) individually so why can’t someone collect ALL the complaints/issues etc and take them to the European Union??

    Thanks

  22. chall on July 3rd, 2012 4:23 pm

    Sally,

    Your right, everybody, NRP’s, PWC and all their partners and children who are ‘ being abused/victamised/hurt by the CSA and its ‘rules’’

    Sadly, quite often posts on forums, facebook etc turn into slanging match between NRP’s & PWC and/or their partners regarding who has it worse – not so much so on here of late :). There are also sites that will only deal with NRP issues and others for the PWC – ALL need to unite, have an unbiased approach and be tolerant of each others issues.

    I’m sure there are 1000’s on here, plus nearly 3000 members on my forum and we are starting to get numbers large enough NOT to be ignored.

    chall ~ afairercsaforall

  23. YourHavingA Laugh! on October 26th, 2012 10:41 am

    D3an000, £150 a month for 2 children? If that’s all you pay and you are whinging about it then you need a good hiding!
    Do you take these things in to consideration:

    Breakfast
    Snack
    Lunch
    Tea
    (at school, a hot dinner cost £2.20 per day, that is if 2 children had a hot dinner £22 a week, that’s over £100 a month when the month has 23 school days like this month! and that is Just Dinner, it does NOT include breakfast, Snack, Lunch and Tea,School Trips, Uniform, New Clothes for outside of school, Shoes, Ice cream Van/sweets, Clubs, (my kids go swimming which cost £61.75 each for from september til december, The play rugby £45, Karate twice a week which is £5 every week per child, they use hot water when they have a wash, the watch Tv which also cost money, they need their hair cut every 6-8 weeks, shower gel, toothbrush/paste every few weeks, their Mum is the one that looks after them when they are sick, might need to buy medicine, take them to the doctors which might cost a bus fare or fuel, takes them and picks them up from school, pocket money maybe? Loads more I havent listed but she is there for them all through the day and you whinge about paying a lousy £150 for 2 kids, you sound like a right stingy, selfish d!ckh3ad! I couldn’t live without seeing my kids all the time and If I had to pay, I would make sure they had enough money so they could have what they want, the thing I hate is Dads saying they pay too much and maybe the mum is spending it… Unless your child is under fed, under dressed and looks as if he hasnt had a bath in weeks, I doubt very much that you would have any money left and a good Mum puts her childrens need first, my Husband earns 33 grand a year. I earn about £450 a month and its just enough, we have 3 kids so dont whinge about £150 a month (LOL) that is a joke. really! you should feels so guilty for being so tight when it comes to your kids! Unless you live with them full time, know what they eat and need you won’t have a clue anyway so if you ever meet a woman and the poor girl wants to have a baby with you, be prepared to spend a lot more than what you are now on one kid than what you are on 2! that goes to all of the dads complaining, £250 for the first child and £180 – £200 for the 2nd should be what you have to pay, unless your on benefits but lets not go there..!

  24. Sally on October 26th, 2012 3:03 pm

    @ YourHavingA Laugh! – can I ask what you would pay from the £450 you work for and earn WITHOUT the WTC, CTC, CB and child maintenance you claim? Would you use your earnings to pay your rent/mortgage or pay for your kids to go to karate, rugby or swimming???

    I wish that some NRP’s and PWC’s should change roles to see how difficult it is for the other to survive based on their income/expenditure!

    working PWCs are subsidised by £100’s of pounds each month the NRP’s don’t get any help at all!!!

    I realise bringing up a child is expensive but some NRP’s genuinely cannot afford to pay what the CSA dictate and while 15% of a salary does not sound like much, its sometimes more than the NRP has after they pay the essentials (house, bills, food)…. they too need to make sure the child has a safe/warm environement when they come and stay over!!!

  25. Isaac on November 18th, 2012 11:14 am

    I think the women on this post are disgusting, the mans asking for advice, he obv doesn’t know if he’s right or wrong so to just slag him off is disgusting. And 75 quid a month for each child is done. I give 100 for one child even though I have her half the time, I’m do and always have done just as much for her as her mother. Apart from the fact that I don’t scream at my child to get her too do stuff, in my eyes if you have her 50 percent of the time you shouldn’t have to pay a thing. My kids mom doesn’t buy her clothes or toys I buy everything on both sides, her mum would rather go on a night out with her friends,

  26. Eloise on November 29th, 2012 10:02 pm

    Well said YourHavingALaugh!!!! What a tight man. £150 a month for two kids!!?? He really shouldn’t be on the CSA website moaning about how much he has to pay, he might be shooting himself in the foot! I have two kids a boy who is 8 and a girl who is 2. The 8 year old has school dinners, clarinet lessons, computer clubs, pocket money, after school clubs, eats me out of house and home, the list is endless. my 2 year olds nursery fees are £450 a month ALONE! This is all so I can go to work so I don’t get called a scrounger! We can’t win!! I agree some mothers are useless, but the majority are doing their best with what we get and I think it’s disgusting that there are people moaning about having to pay for their kids, my ex earns a lot of money and I get a measly amount. This is morally wrong, if you can’t afford the kids, don’t have them!!

  27. Sally on November 30th, 2012 9:26 am

    Eloise – both PWC and NRPs know how expensive it is to raise a child but the point you seem to be missing is the the CSA calculations do NOT include essential expenditure of the NRP and as a result most struggle with the amount dictated by the CSA!!!!

    PWC’s (as I said to YourHavingALaugh) are subsidised…. NRP’s are not… so i’ll ask you the same question… “what would you pay for first from the money you work for and earn WITHOUT the WTC, CTC, CB and child maintenance you claim? Would you use your earnings to pay your rent/mortgage or pay for your kids to go to karate, rugby or swimming???

    The CSA system is 100% wrong and if the PWCs were to survive without any assistance, they would soon realise how difficult it was for the NRP’s too….

  28. JJ on May 30th, 2013 11:27 pm

    Gary, you probably know this by now but you wouldn’t be entitled to Working Tax Credit. Your income is too high.

    regards,

    JJ

  29. P on June 20th, 2013 10:39 pm

    Dear All,
    I am in the same situation regarding paying CSA, of which I don’t mind when it is fair, and caring for my son 6 days out of 14 but still do not receive any tax cedits etc. My question would be what would happen if a gay couple whom adopted a child was to seperate who would take the ‘automatic’ responsibility and receive the credits?

    P

  30. Shar B on January 9th, 2014 5:57 pm

    OMG what pathetic individuals you are , we single mothers DO NOT have it easy & the help is minimal , my ex & I split , he’s pays £0 but drives an A5 convertible , weekend beaks & holidays abroad !! It’s hard as a single parent & I’m sick to death of listening to fathers complain about paying maintenance , they’re yr kids too !! Try living in America , look it up ….the percentage of maintenance is considerably higher & if not paid ….jail !! You guys have it easy , move on & have other kids DONT HAVE ANYMORE IF YOU CANT AFFORD IT , SIMPLE

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