Do I pay CSA for when my children stay with me?

February 11, 2013

My name is Chris i have 2 daughters aged 7 & 5, they stop at my house every other weekend and i see them twice through the week. I am paying child maintenance the correct amount and to do this i am skinting myself. My children are in Australia and their mum is ill in hospital, my children are coming home in 2 weeks but their mum has to stop.

My question is do i still pay the full child maintenance even though they will be with me for 2 weeks, or do i pay half the child maintenance so i can spend the other half on my children?

Also when i take them away for 2 weeks do i still pay full maintenance or half.


  • Sally says:

    Hi Christopher, I thought Alice might have replied to your post as she knows how the CSA ‘should’ work and the process/procedures to follow….

    From my experience and knowledge, you still have to pay the PWC child maintenance regardless…. so even if you have the kids for the entire school holidays, you will still need to pay child maintenance…. if however, your ex partner decides to return the money to you to help look after the kids while they are in your care, it is ok… the ball is in the PWC court…

    I appreciate your ex is in hospital so it may not be feasable to ask her to return/give you money for the kids… hopefully someone will give you more specific advice to help you…. in the meantime you could try your local citizens advice bureau… they really helped me!

    Good luck

  • Alice says:

    Had to read that a few times as the mention of Australia threw me slightly –

    My understanding is that the children are resident in UK but currently ‘on holiday’ with their mother who unfortunately is in hospital – the children will return to the UK in 2 weeks time without their mother and will stay with their father until such time as their mother is recovered enough to come back to the UK.

    Christopher – can you confirm that I have got that right? If so do you have any idea how long the children will be staying with you?

    In general (based on my interpretation) you will have a current MC in place which takes account of the 2 nights every 2nd weekend – this will place your Shared Care allowance into bandwidth 1 and as such your liability is reduced by 1/7th. You are liable to pay this 52 weeks per year – if your shared care increases then this should be reported to the agency by both the NRP and the PWC- say for example it was decided that the children would spend the full summer holidays with you and a further 1 night during the week regularly, this would take your shared care into bandwidth 2 and the new liability would be reduced by 2/7th.

    As the additional care involved in your current situation is not regular then in accordance with the legislation you should continue to pay your regular maintenance. Obviously having your children for the extra time will mean that you are paying their day to day living costs so it’s understandable that you are asking the question as to whether you should continue to pay.

    If the children are going to be in your care for a short period of time would your ex be agreeable to refunding you the maintenance for that period – if so this could be done privately (as in you pay via csa and she pays the money back to you) or your ex could declare (in writing) to the CSA an amount as being received from you in lieu of child maintenance and the account on the case could be adjusted once they have received her declaration. Alternatively if you ex agrees that as you are meeting the cost of the children whilst they are staying with you then you and your ex could contact the CSA and ask for the case to be made Maintenance Direct – this is where the case remains open but the payments are not collected via the agency, the case can then revert to agency collection once the children return to their mother – or if you are both happy for payments to be made privately then it can stay MD.

    If the children are going to be with you for a long period of time you would in essence be taking on the role of the PWC, you could agree with your ex that she closes the case for the time the children are with you. If you were to have the Child Benefit Claim transferred to your name this would entitle you to open a case and claim maintenance from your ex if you so wished – bear in mind that the agency would need to contact your ex (as the Alleged NRP) and the case would be assessed on her income at the time etc. If you simply wish to support the children yourself whilst they are staying with you and then revert back to paying maintenance to their mother when she returns to the UK and the children go back to live with her then she can re-apply via CSA at the time, or you can work out a private agreement between yourselves and pay her direct.

    Hope the above has helped, come back with more questions or details if you need further info

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