Both parents should pay costs equally

October 2, 2010

I dont get it, this must surely be addressed.

Of course both parents must both contribute to looking after their children. The CSA reduce the contribution form the non resident parent by 1/7th for each day they have the child. It should be by 2/7th.

1/7th is the reduction of the non resident parents (NRP) contribution as they are meeting the daily cost directly as they have contact. Just as the NRP contributes to child costs when the child is with the parent with care (PWC) so it should work the other way too?

The parent with care (PWC) should make contribution to the costs of childcare when the child is with the non resident parent by way of the CSA award reducing a further 1/7th.

Clearly each parent meets their own childcare costs during respestive contact periods. If it is right that a NRP should contribute to the childcare costs borne by the PWC then the reverse must fair also. The current system relieves the NRP of contribution whilst they have contact but while it makes the NRP pay a contribution when the child is with the PWC, the PWC makes no contribution to care when the child is with NRP. Managing such a two-way flow of contribution would be nonsensical however reducing the award by 2/7th would be simple and fair.

Current system means that if care shared equally (50/50) PWC and NRP actual childcare costs are probably equal however NRP pays nearly half the full award despite PWC also being able to claim child Tax Credits, Child benefit….

If CSA award reduced by 2/7th the at 50/50 contact the award would quite rightly be £0

Why is this never taken up as an issue ? ?


  • Busylizzy says:

    OK make it fair why not have your child/ren for 3 1/2 days per week and the ex the same therefore proplem solved!!!! O forget whose going to have them on a weekend when both sets have been working all week. Fair I don”t think so. Yet another who wants their cake and eat it plus whinges on about the ex getting welfare yet doesn”t have a clue what its like to bring up and provide for a child on YOUR OWN……….TRY IT SOMETIME you might actually learn something

  • R Pottie says:

    I think you have missed the point. I would love the children 31/2 days a week and would then be supporting them half the time. It would solvenothing as regards the fairness of the system. Nothing to do with what particular days are involved. Even then I would be paying PWC half of a full assessment….despite costs being equal and her claiming other benefits as well. The system does not properly allow for shared care. I contribute to the costs of the children when they are with PWC, and that is quite right that I do. However PWC does not contribute to their costs when they are with me ?? All the system does is reduce my contribution proportionately so I am not paying a my contribution to her when the children are with me. That is inherently unfair.

  • Average Joe says:

    Actually, why not every other week if you live locally enough? Well that is where sitting down and discussing the matter to make sure an agreement is fair to all parties including the Child, not suprisingly! This to include maintenance and access.

    If you have the children half the time then you should pay nothing to each other…simple! You could make the system extremely complex by looking at all the variables but then what purpose will that serve?

    The current system is clearly unfair, it is biased in the first instance against the NRP in both Maintenance and Access. If the system started with all things being equal then a lot more co-operation would take place.

  • Busylizzy says:

    Joe great idea my point exactly SHARED CARE regardless would therefore no longer need for the CSA. However yours and others remarks concerning being “AGAINST” the NRP is not only biased,unfair and unjustified as it can not be quantified except in your own personal experience There are many PWC out their whose backs are actually up against the wall financially bringing up the “kids”. Me I get the great sum ,for my 2 beloved children, of £525.92 per cm for Child Tax Credit and Child Benefit, for which I am so gratefull as every penny counts, but rent is £1100.00, C.Tax £98.00, Water rates £28 and thats just the start so you work it out……………………..You and the rest of them don”t have a leg to stand on unless YOU”VE ACTUALLY DONE IT YOURSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!! Try it sum time

  • R Pottie says:

    busylizzy, I dont think anybody is saying it not tough for some PWCs but at least they can claim state support that takes account of they parenting costs,if their situation allows. Many NRPs are struggling and support children also much of the time but get no state support, unlike PWCs, and they still have to make contribution to the PWC.

    Its tough for NRPs too, especially if they have to pay the PWC despite equally sharing the care costs, as the current system has it. If two parents share care (and actual costs) equally the current system allows the PWC to not only claim half the full CSA assessment from the NRP but also they collect all the child benefit, child tax credit going….

    You seem to agree that if care is properly shared then no parent should need to pay the other…. that’s what would be fair but is not the current system. When I call for the system to be amended to correct this unfairness you attack us for describing it as unfair ?? Are you not contradicting yourself ?

  • Average Joe says:


    I do like to think that I look at things objectively.

    It may well be true that some PWC’s suffer financially as a result of not receiving financial assistance from the NRP. My point was quite simply that the system is setup to the detriment of the NRP in the first instance, FACT, not my experience etc etc, the LAW. Enlighten yourself and read the laws affecting children, for maintenance, the Child Support Acts (as amended) before making comments like you have!

    My ex is single and on benefits (her choice, like you should actually have that!!!), she is definitely better off than I am! I’m liable to pay maintenance but the CSA have already cost me a well paid job by leaving me with very little money to live and telling me we might look at it at a future date!

    I don’t want to deal with the CSA in future, can I get off the CSA? NO, so it is biased against me… I want reasonable access to my son, should be able to get it without a problem, NO, got to go to court, so it is biased against me! I have shared care and half the costs so I shouldn’t pay maintenance, NO, so it is biased against me…. and so on…

    Rent of £1100??? Where do you live, what type of accommodation do you live in? I don’t actually know the ins and outs of your personal situation so really can’t comment on that any further.


  • A Man trying says:

    I fully support Average Joe. I have a “Shared Residency” order with my 2 children and have the children half the time (both weekdays and weekends). Due to the court order it works out my ex has the children around 9 nights a year more than me. My ex has an income, from her job alone, that is more than double mine. She claims all tax credits, child benefit etc. When the children are in my care I am responsible for the cost of school dinners, child care, clothing and every other costs of supporting the children. I have to pay CSA due to the facts of a few nights a year. It works out I pay her around £200 a night for the privalage. How can you call that fair when I am supporting two children on my income alone and have sometimes been in the situation where I have not been able to afford a decent meal for them?

  • Busylizzy says:

    Excellent just what I hoped for ( show a bull a red rag ). Now we can have an open frank discussion on the root of ALL our problems ie CSA/CMEC. It”s been shown that open retaliation and demonstration doesn”t work let alone, if you”ve seen article, going to the media resulted in a newspaper conducting the interview , taking photos then pulled the plug at the last minute ????? LOL So what next guys ( R.Pottie/Joe average ) need to get off our backsides and stop whinging. Any suggestions???????????????
    PS I”m on your side guys just fed up with the whole system……………in its entirety

  • John says:

    I have been on both sides as a PWC, I have raised one of my children on my own . He is doing well as as an adult and is a credit to society and me. His mother was ‘let off’ paying for two years, but set the CSA on to me instantly and I have been hounded ever since…and I have been paying what they wanted of me! I counter claimed for maintenance, as her demands were unreasonable. I am also an NRP for two other children (borne out of that marriage), but one is out of the system and I have one remaining.

    I got stung for £6400 arrears, because the CSA’s incompetence botched my case up. On top of this I have had to make so many complaints, because the CSA continually botched my case up over 10 years! This system has to be revamped, and the taboo subject of contact issues has to be looked at!

    There is no openess or transparency. I have not got a clue where the money that I have paid, and am paying, has gone or is going?

    In my view each set of parents should be allocated a case worker or a section of workers and a meeting should take place where parents can agree what the best financial arrangements are for their children, without government interference. As it is now, i am stuck with a ‘demanding’, ‘control feak’ ex, who has ruined the contact with the children, because she repeatedly broke the contact orders, that i went to court for. The judge did not even bother calling her to court to apologise and explain. I am picking up her benefits tab!

    It is for parents to take financial and moral responsibilty for their children and not pen-pushing office staff, creaming off bonuses and impoversiing decent, honest people!

    In amongst all of this the ‘spineless’ politicians chose to ignore the plights of mothers and fathers, as it appears to be too much trouble for our elected representatives, paid for by the taxpayer, to overhaul family law. However, they will overhaul the benefits system, in order that they can fill the expenses pot up for themselves….was there any mention of M.P.’s expenses in the chancellors speech…a big fat NO!

  • PUN says:

    Family law UK is mainly designed to benefit lawyers because of its arbitrary application by whimisical judges and allows and encourages gross abuses of basic human rights . The CSA is an extension of this corrupt and evil system – it perpetuates and sustains this inaccurate and artificial concept of the parent with care and the non-resident parent. There is an assumption that the non- resident parent is a non-resident by choice and is an ‘absent’ parent and ‘evading’ their responsibilities. There are parents who have residence but actually do minimal care because for the majority of the time the child is at a state school , so actually its the state that is providing the care or get left with relatives. On top of that they also get tax credits and sole child benefit. The non resident parent gets nothing to spend for their child. The implication it that the non-resident parent does not provide any care for the child. Who pays for the shelter , food , clothing when the child is not with the resident parent? Not the resident parent but the non resident parent whose contribution has not been formally recognised.
    The potential for abuse is huge and it happens with the help of exploitative lawyers Now you have parents who as soon as they feel the relationship is not going their way , put in their claim for residence as advised by the high street lawyer not neccessarily because of preserving the relationship with the child but because they know that the parent with the child gets the house , the benefits and CSA cheques and the law on their side.

  • R Pottie says:

    I agree with your view about the contribution of NRPs and this needs to be changed. There is no recognition of the contribution of NRPs. NRPs who share care have the same housing costs, transport costs etc often just as much as PWCs and despite getting no state recognition in the benefits system and paying unfairly weighted (see my earlier posts) contributions to the CSA, still have to fight tooth and nail to get proper contact.

    Such as shame that politicans and others who lambast about NRP, the effects of family break-up and the difficulties of single parents dont realise that the system penalises and is biased against a NRP who wants to play a role in their childs life. The presumption that care is best given by the mother, making fathers often have to fight so hard for proper contact and making them pay more than is due just pushes fathers away. In my case, if I didnt have to spend so much money with solicitors fighting just sort out contact, it would be so much easier to pay more contribution.

    My ex is not short of money at all and I would rather spend money enhancing my contact time than lining her pockets. My children arrive with me in rags and with no soles in their shoes, so I spend as much clothing them as her, yet I pay for her share too !!! The CSA should be clearer that if an NRP parent is making their contribution the PWC must not abuse their position.

  • Helen Rattray says:

    if the CSA award to reflect your views of equal payment by both parents then the NRP would have to pay considerably more than most do now, with out without contact..the cost per year of bringing up a child is around £9k to£13k per child. If you have 50/50 contact then this means everything needs to be equally shared from holidays and leisure to the last sock, and is unworkable. Yes the CSA system is unfair for both parties but NRP's do need to contribute just as they would be if the parents were still together.

  • John says:


    I agree. It does appear that the PWC are allowed, to abuse their position. Some chose to do that, however, there are those that do not.

    I would like to see more transparency. I want to know where the money (that is being scammed from me) is going. A meeting of advisors and representatives should be arranged at a local M.P.’s office, with full disclosure of all material by the CSA. What have they got to hide? Why are financial documents blanked out?

    Then the M.P. can see for themselves the ‘shananaghans’ of the CSA and PWC!

  • R Pottie says:

    thanks John

    I agree with you wholeheartedly. A case worker should be appointed to each couple and ideally all parties should meet face to face together or separatedly with them. They should have the role to assess each situation from both PWC and NRP and look at incomes, contact, obstructions to contact, who pays for what, ability to pay, etc. They should bave the ability to make decisions that depart from the standard to account for situations such as when the NRP has to cloth children despite contributing to the PWC, hardship issues for all parties, etc

    Provided the CSA case worker was a fairminded individual, this would definitely be a better system.

  • Allan Morrell says:

    Why am I not surprised at the response made by Helen… obviously.. I suspect Helen to be a PWC….WHY?…. well here is my reasonable suspicion…..;It's about the money and not a mention of reationship with child and NRP… PWC and CSA share 1 similar interest in 1 word and it has 5 letters, beginning with M ending with Y and central letter N =MONEY… Clear and simple… PWC wants money not a parent providing for the child..The balance goes into Government's kitty box… Your child is stealth taxed by the CSA after CSA take deductions from NRP and you support that? How about whats right for the Child?

  • Allan Morrell says:

    1st the amount deducted should be for the child not the government, anyone earning is paying Income tax to support those who are not working… then taxed again by CSA as they provide PWC a percentage in accordance to PWC's income…. basically.. PWC's want the NRP to support their additional entitlements of benefits as according to income for PWC's property and household… as a guaranteed income as advised by CSA…. not in the interest of the child… anyone can be a free money bet… how about a parent and child relationship with NRP's… In the interest for the welfare of the child. but as we all know… the PWC's objective is always about money… not the support for the child by NRP even when the objective for the NRP is to see their child gets a better deal than the child gets from the CSA.

  • Allan Morrell says:

    Your children deserve the better deal providable by NRP… not the CSA.. be fair in accordance to affordability, allow NRP to take child out to buy clothes for the Child… be fair to the NRP… let NRP be a parent for goodness sakes!!!!!! WAKE UP!!!!!!!!! Are you prepared to allow your child to be taxed of the money they deserve when NRP provides clothing and footwear and shared cost of school uniforms? PWC's would getter a better deal if they closed their CSA cases… FACT!!!!!

  • Allan Morrell says:

    In fact, my son of 13 agrees as that is how I do it as a disabled Father NRP…. He prefers me to buy his clothes….. He asks… I provide!!!!

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  • Tim Gray says:

    Something HAS to give here..

    How can it be that our democracy is so flaccid and ineffectual, that it cannot sweep away these self serving crooks? They just cause misery and perpetuate disagreement amongst those who could not sustain their marriages.

    If the CSA were clamping cars, I bet we’d have done something about them by now – but let me assure you that they are far less principalled than that.

    Does this happen in France? – I bet it doesn’t.

  • Glenn says:

    It’s an excellent and valid point Mr Pottie. How can a NRP who has his kids 175 nights or more a year only get a half reduction in his maintenance payments under the new rules? Clearly he should be making no payments at all to the PWC if he has them half of the time.

    The shared care percentages are flawed and I’m taking it up with my MP. Will let you know what her says.

  • Lee says:

    I am a dad with two beutiful girls,I have a shared residency which in my case means both girls reside with me in the family home for 1 night a week and every friday and Sat till Sun morning. I am the NRP I still pay all the running cost for our home plus all the joint mortgage and of course everything connected with bringing up two girls financially which is fine! however can someone explain to me why I should pay my EX CM who is the PWC and who recieves CB and TC, and earns more than I do! Surely when the girls are in her care she has her costs and when they are in my care I have my cost which are very similar so why am I expected to pay extra!

  • NIGuy says:

    All this talk about fairness with overnights and such…
    I have a contact order stating that I have 1 overnight with two of my three sons (Social say the third is too young to stay away from his mother… Nonsense), but anyway, mother decides to ignore the court order and the CSA treat me as absent father and hit me full whack…
    I point out to them that as far as I’m concerned, a government department is financially rewarding someone who is breaking the law, yet they state that is their conditions and I should go back to court…
    Am I missing something here, or is there an incentive to ignore a court order which is being backed by the CSA???

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