Daughter is in my care and I pay CMS – How can I get recognised as full-time parent?
April 10, 2017
My daughter is 12, i have been separated from her mum for over 10 years, during this time i have had always had full unrestricted access to my child, she has stayed with me at least 3 times a week and I have always and remain to be financially responsible for her (I work and earn more than decent money, her mother doesn’t so 10 times out 10 it is me who will purchase or pay for whatever is needed at the time, I am also the first and only person she asks if she needs anything).
My current partner and I have, in the past couple of years had two sons, my daughter’s mother has also had a new daughter, since this has happened the situation has escalated to the point where my daughter is only spending 1-2 nights a week at her mother’s house, hence in my eyes I am the main carer for my daughter.
The situation with the child maintenance service is as follows – as I said earlier I have always provided the very best I could for my daughter, she has never gone without anything she’s ever needed, which I have always provided for. Around 3 years ago I was contacted by the CMS stating that I had not been paying for my child and that they were beginning collection procedures against me, I refused to pay as I was already financially responsible for my child and as far as I was concerned she was in my full time care anyway, they stated that my child’s mum had said that I only see my daughter once a week, this obviously was not the truth, I stated as much but the CMS don’t seem believe me so again I refused to pay, I was willing to take the matter to court if need be, however months and plenty of lengthy phone calls with the CMS later, her mum stated that she was willing to negotiate a figure that i should pay, a family arrangement they call it, this figure was agreed, even though i really should have had to.
I have kept to this family arrangement even though I have always felt I shouldn’t need to pay anything to her mother as my daughter is in my care, however it has now got to the stage where she isn’t getting looked after off her mum, her mum isn’t in the house when she finished school, so I am having to finish work early most days, I pay for all her dinners, clothing, private spends, mobile phone, etc, etc.
The CSM have stated that I have to prove that I have the amount of contact I have by way of court order, which I do not have due to the fact I have never had to get legal access, I have always had access to her they have also stated that any monies I pay should be paid into my daughters mum’s bank account, however when I do this my daughter doesn’t see any of it and she still asks me for whatever it is that is needed at the time. Now I would like apply to be legally my daughters full time parent or at least have split parental responsibility, I don’t know how to achieve this as the solicitors I have spoken to have stated that there is no case to fight as I have access, however I no longer want to pay maintenance payments as the money isn’t being spent on my daughter.
I would like to be recognised by a court as my daughter’s full time parent.