I firmly believe you should support your children but the system is not fair

June 9, 2013

Let me start by saying I firmly believe you should pay for your children but I dont believe the system is fair.

Me ex, decided she had enough of our relationship and wanted to move back to Scotland from Colchester with our three kids. I went to court to stop her and of course lost because as the man I have no rights!

Had she stayed in Colchester with the children, I planned on having the kids two days per week, and the amount I would have to pay was £550; I offered her £600.

However, off to a little village in Scotland she goes (Banchory, nr Aberdeen)having convinced the judge it’s in the childrens best interests. The judge basically says to me, your a good father I know you will visit as often as you can..

I told her I would still continue to pay the £600 a month and she never disagreed it. Two months after moving, I get a phone call asking for more money as she is struggling to find a house she can afford and blames me for taking her to court as the one and only house she has seen in her range was gone! When we went to court I showed there was 1 available house in Banchory but 30+ in Colchester – Hey Ho!

So I agree to give her an aditional £70 for 1yr (£670 a month), until our 4yr old is in pre-school and then she can maybe work a little more.

Next thing I know I get a phone call from the CSA; she has opened a case without even discusing it first. Based upon their calculation I have to pay £770; which I knew, I offered £600 because I knew how much it would cost me to vist the children.

My costs are on average £200-£230 a month, just in travel (i travel every three weeks), so I apply for a variation.

The CSA work out my average weekly cost for travel is £52 which I agree with but they minus off £15 each week because thats the threshold! Threshold, WTF is that for – my expenses don’t contain any thresholds. So the net effect is a £37 a week variance which is deducted from my net salary, not the calculated maintenance, at 25% (3 kids), meaning my monthly payments are £730.

Please tell me if im wrong – but is that fair? They agree I’m paying £52 a week £225 a month to visit my kids but the difference to what I have to pay is £40, because it’s taken net from salary.

So the ex moves my kids 550 miles away, denying me the right to see them every week, and therefore meaning there can be no variation in payments because the distance means I cannot have my children stay over and spend time with me – more money for her.

I do the right thing and travel to see my kids as often as I can; and less than 20% of the cost is effectively taken into consideration against the payments. Funny thing is, if I can no longer afford to see the kids every third week because I’m having to find an additional £130 a month; I would have to pay her more because the variance would be calcuated as being less!! How is that ever in the best interests of the children???

I’ll pay what they tell me to, but I can understand why people quit their jobs. At 40 I’m moving back home with parents to clear my debts and in 12 months time I’ll move to Scotland on half the salary I’m on now probably and fight for a minimum of two days per week if I have to fight.

I’ll probably calm down but at the moment I’m consumed by utter rage as the system seems to punish you if you want to do the right thing!

I would appreciate others perspective as maybe it’s just the rage making me think of balance??


  • stuart says:

    Mate I empathise, who could dream up such a system if the childrens best interests were paramount. Really soul destroying being in the trap can not afford to see your kids and support them too. something is seriously seriously wrong with this country and the rule makers.

  • eddie says:

    who can blame you for being engulfed with rage…… if your ex was paying the same you (which she should be) for your child they would have an income better than the minimum wage…. WTF…. i agree that we should be pying for our children but £1400 per month families of four have to live on less………………… so very sorry for you its seriously wrong…………….hit the dole and cash in hand its what the government want…

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