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TOPIC: advice needed, please help

advice needed, please help 6 years 2 weeks ago #26996

  • madass
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hello, i am a dad of 2 that has been split from my childrens mother for 3 years, they live in sheffield and i live in stoke, i pay £300 voluntry maintenance a month as well as school uniforms and other clothes+expencise, i have my kids every weekend and i drive to pick them up and drop them off every time (£250 a month deisel cost), i also have them as much as i can through the school holidays. i work full time as does my partner(which the kids adore). my partner also has a child that i support as my own as her dad has no interest, contact or provides any financial support (he does not work and refuses to make any payments on the grounds that he doesnt want anything to do with his daughter).
my issue is that over the last few months we have arranged holidays and i have taken time off work to have the kids only to have stops put on them by the ex with rubbish reasons when she knows i have booked time and paid deposits. this has caused recent rows between us and after refusing to transfer this months £300 ( not due till 5/4/2013 ) she says she will involve CSA and that she will get 75% of my wage. i only earn £300 a week after tax and i have to pay rent/bills/food.
she is doing this out of spite as she doesnt work and does nothing with the kids apart from using the money to buy them unlimited games for the playstation/wii which i cant afford to do.
i want to know if i am being massively taken for a financial ride and how i would stand regards going for full custody and having the kids living with us full time.
i also know that the ex is on benifits including housing and she does not declare the money that i pay, i have full records of everything i have paid from day1 as it has all been dont by direct bank transfers and i have hundreds of reciepts.

i am fed up of being a muppet and dont want to feel down anymore over it, i never wanted it to come to this but feel i have been pushed as far as i can take,
please help.

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Re: advice needed, please help 6 years 2 weeks ago #27011

Hi There,

You seem like a great dad that goes out of his way to see and spend as much time with your children as you can.

You pay £300 a month plus school uniforms and pay the full cost of travel to collect them, if your ex goes to CSA you will be MUCH better off as she will be awarded MUCH less and you would be able to apply for travel expenses to be taken into account.

Search CSA calculator in google and fill it out, you will get reductions for the number of nights your children stay over and also for you step child that lives at your address. Have a payslip or 2 at hand as this will help with the information you need.

the amount you are liable for will be a % of your take home pay but is more like 25-30% rather than the 75% she has said, the 25-30% is also before the reductions I have mentioned above.

Darren

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Re: advice needed, please help 6 years 2 weeks ago #27047

  • actd
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I think you are being pessimistic Darren with the calculation :)

For 2 children, you would pay 20% of your takehome pay, less 15% because you care for another child - so that brings it down to 17%, at 300 per week, that works out at 1300 per month as the basic figure for calculation. You are expected to pay the first 15 per week of travel expenses, or 65 per month, and since you pay 250 per month (keep receipts and mileage record), you are that leaves 185 per month that is taken into account - take this off the 1300, and that leaves you with 1115 per month as the base calculation - take 17% of this and you will be assessed at about 190 per month I reckon.

Personally, I think if your ex doesn't go the the CSA, you should do it yourself - pay the 195 that they assess you for, and then if you want to pay extra, that's entirely up to you, but you could put the extra into a savings account for your children for when they are older instead of your ex getting it, or to spend on your children when they are with you.

While you are at it, you could ask them to open a case for your partners ex - let them chase him and any money they collect can go into an account for your partners child in later life.

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Last Edit: by actd.

Re: advice needed, please help 6 years 6 days ago #27424

Dear Madass

I am William Child Maintenance Options consultant. Thank you for your post. With you and your ex-partner already having a family-based arrangement in place, this is when you sort out maintenance between yourselves and decide together who will provide what for your children. There are no strict rules or formulas that you have to stick to when calculating your payments. Family-based arrangements are not legally binding, however, they are quick, easy and flexible to change if your circumstances do.

They are also completely private, meaning no-one else needs to get involved in your family arrangement. However, both you and your ex-partner may want to try and discuss any issues surrounding your arrangement to get it back on track. This can be done without involving anyone else, or with the help of friends, family, Child Maintenance Options' guides or a professional mediator.

If either you or your ex-partner has a change in circumstances, negotiation also plays a big part in ensuring that payments continue. Remember to review together and update your arrangement. If you feel that mediation may help, the following organisations are experts in that area:

National Family Mediation
Website: www.nfm.org.uk

Resolution
Website: www.resolution.org.uk
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If the Child Support Agency (CSA) were to calculate your maintenance it would be around 20% of your net income after tax and deductions have been taken away. With you living with your new partner and their daughter, this would also be taken into consideration when calculating your maintenance payments.

To help you with your family-based arrangement, we have useful tools, guides and our online calculator on our website at www.cmoptions.org .

If you find that you cannot renegotiate your family-based arrangement, you still have other options available for you. There is the option of the CSA who have two methods of how they calculate maintenance called Direct Pay and Collect and Pay. Direct Pay is where the CSA calculates child maintenance and then leaves you and your ex-partner to agree together how your payments will be made. Once they have calculated the maintenance amount, the CSA will not contact you or your ex-partner again unless circumstances change or if they are told that you have has missed or fallen behind with your payments. Collect and Pay is where they calculate, collect and enforce payments on your ex-partner's behalf. If an application is made with the CSA, your responsibility to pay will start from around the time the CSA contacts you. You can find more information about their service online at www.gov.uk/child-maintenance .

If this arrangement is not appropriate or does not work for you, you may wish to consider a Consent Order. This is an official ruling made by a court. You and your ex-partner agree together how much maintenance needs to be paid and how often before going to court. This type of arrangement usually happens when parents are going to court for other reason, such as arranging a divorce or dividing assets. Consent Orders can be costly as fees for solicitors and court costs may apply. Legal Aid will not cover these costs if you are only going to court to obtain a Consent Order for maintenance.

You have mentioned that your ex-partner is claiming benefits. However, she is not disclosing that she is receiving maintenance for the children from you. In the past if the receiving parent or their partner, was receiving Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance and in receipt of child maintenance, their benefits were reduced accordingly. However, on the 12 April 2010 the law on child maintenance changed. This change means that receiving parents who are on benefits can now keep all of the child maintenance they receive and it will not affect their benefits. In addition, receiving maintenance does not affect Council Tax Benefit, Housing Benefit or tax credits regardless of the amount. Any child maintenance received should still be declared to Jobcentre Plus, even though it should not affect the benefits your ex-partner receive.

In regards to gaining full custody of your children, you may wish to seek legal advice to see where you stand on this. Community Legal Advice is a Government-funded confidential legal service offering free advice to those eligible for Legal Aid in England and Wales. You can find more information about them via the following website: www.direct.gov/legaladvice

If you would prefer a confidential chat with one of our agents, please feel free to contact us on our freephone number 0800 988 0988. We are open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and Saturday 9am to 4pm.

I hope this helps.

William

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This information which Child Maintenance Options has provided is not a substitute for independent professional advice and users should obtain professional advice relevant to their particular circumstances.

Please note: the Child Maintenance Options team cannot answer any questions relating to a specific CSA or Child Maintenance Service case
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