TOPIC: Shared custody 50/50

Shared custody 50/50 5 years 11 months ago #36289

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I have an informal agreement with my estranged wife for a 50/50 share of the kids. She has contacted me saying she is looking for maintenance and sending me a link to a govt calculator. The kids stay with me exactly 50% of the time and it does look as though I should be paying. What I don't understand is that iam already paying for school after school club/ clothes/other activities,equating to £400 pm, should this be taken into account in the amount I settle,I.e 50% of that should now be covered by the wife after my monthly payment to her? Welcome some advice because it doesn't seem right that I pay maintenance and pick up the existing monthly bills.
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Shared custody 50/50 5 years 11 months ago #36291

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Hi there,

If an amount is calculated by the CSA then that is all your are liable for, any extra above the amount that is calculated is discretionary.

If you check out the sticky at the top of this section called " how does the CSA calculate payments" you will find links to two CSA factsheets, the second one is the most current and it will go into a more detail about payments, how they are calculated and any reductions you as the paying parent might be entitled to.

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Mum and Grandmother, supporting my son who has residency of his son.
I want to see a much fairer system in place, where Dads and their children have a voice that can be heard.
There are many groups of people that have equal rights within our society and its about time Dads were given equal rights too.

Shared custody 50/50 5 years 11 months ago #36364

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Yep, I agree - if you start paying through the CSA (and I'd advise you to do so), then stop paying everything else unless you wish to pay for anything in particular.

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Shared custody 50/50 5 years 11 months ago #36465

i would ask your ex(if you can agree to meet) if she is willing to go to mediation with you, get a formal agreement drawn up that states you have shared 50/50 residency of your child. Then your maintenance payments will be cut by a big chunk which will still allow you to pay for the nice things you do for your child like the after school clubs and clothes etc. hope this helps.

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Shared custody 50/50 5 years 11 months ago #36704

Hi tom.mk

Thanks for your post. I am William the Child Maintenance Options consultant. With you and your children’s mum having a family-based arrangement in place, it is between you both to agree who provides what for your children.

There are no rules or formulas that you have to stick to when working out a payment figure. You can include money and other things, for example your shared care agreement. You may wish to speak to your children’s mum and try to renegotiate your arrangement to suit your both. Family-based arrangements are not legally binding. However, they are quick and easy to change as your children get older and their needs change, or if either you or their mum has a change in circumstances.

To help you and your children’s mum renegotiate you arrangement we have some tools and guides available to download from our website at www.cmoptions.org/en/toolbox/index.asp . There is our Talking about money guide and Discussion Guide, these can help you and your children’s mum work out together how much child maintenance your children needs. We also have a family-based arrangement form. You can complete this with your children’s mum and sign your names to show your commitment to this arrangement. Although this is not a legally enforceable document, it puts the agreement on a more formal basis.

If you would like an indication of how much maintenance may be payable, based on how the Child Maintenance Service calculates maintenance. There is a calculator available on our website at www.cmoptions.org/en/calculator/ . Some parents use the figure provided as a starting point to negotiate a family-based arrangement.

If you feel a family-based arrangement will not work for you, you still have the option of using the Governments statutory service, through the Child Maintenance Service. The parent who receives Child Benefit is classed as the receiving parent under the Child Maintenance Service.

The Child Maintenance Service takes shared care into account in different ways depending on the paying parent’s child maintenance rate. Shared care applies if the paying parent provides overnight care for at least 52 nights per year before a liability will be reduced. Shared care is then taken into account, based on the number of nights of shared care for each child. The amount of child maintenance to be paid is then reduced by up to 50 per cent plus a further £7 reduction, depending on the number of nights, as long as this is for more than 175 days or more a year.

If an application is made to the Child Maintenance Services they have two schemes Direct Pay and Collect and Pay. Direct Pay is when the Child Maintenance Service calculates maintenance and then leave you and children’s mum to decide together how your payments will be made. They will not contact you again unless either of you report a change in circumstances or if they are told that you have missed or stopped your payments.

Collect and Pay is when the Child Maintenance Service calculate and collect payments on your behalf, as some parents prefer the security and help of a third party managing their child maintenance. If an application is made with the Child Maintenance Service, your responsibility to pay will start from around the time that they contact you.

Child maintenance is a contribution towards the cost of bringing up a child and this includes not only such items as food and clothing but also it is a contribution towards the home that the child lives in and the associated costs of running that home. You would only be required to pay the amount they calculate, any extra payments would be paid at your own discretion.

If the paying parent can prove that they carry out an equal amount of day-to-day care as well as having equal shared care then the Child Maintenance Service regards neither parent to be the paying parent so their child maintenance would be set as nil even if one parent receives Child Benefit or tax credits as the child’s parent. Where there is equal day to day care, and there is no paying parent means that there cannot be a statutory case and the Child maintenance Service would not being able to process the application as there is no identifiable paying parent.

To find out more about how Child Maintenance Options can help you visit cmoptions.org or call us free on 0800 988 0988 between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday or 9am and 4pm on Saturday.

Thanks
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

Shared custody 50/50 5 years 10 months ago #37893

Hi

If you have exact equal shared care, the new rules under the new CMS state that you don't need to pay any money. It's written in their guide- I can point you to the page it's hidden on page 29 www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/upl...hild-maintenance.pdf

It's a new rule, and comes in for new cases the end of 2013. You'll need to fight to get it tho as the so called experts on the end of the phone do not seem to know what we are talking about! Spread the word.
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Shared custody 50/50 5 years 10 months ago #37972

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Interesting calculation on page 29

There is nothing else that affects Stephen’s income, so we convert Stephen’s gross annual income figure of £27,000 to a weekly
amount. (We divide £27,000 by 365, and then multiply the result by 7.)

Stephen’s gross weekly income is £717.81.


Er, no it isn't - Stephen's gross weekly income is £517.81 - if they can't get their calculation correct in their example in the literature the are putting out, that doesn't exactly bode well for their service :boohoo:

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Shared custody 50/50 5 years 10 months ago #38074

Hi,

Sadly idontlikemondays is wrong, under the new scheme even if you have shard custody of the children you still have to pay!!! Totally ridiculous. They halve the amount you pay compared to someone who doesn't have their children at all.........very interesting as they say they dont treat the Dad like a cash machine. The ONLY way round this is down to who receives the child benefit. If its in your name, she has to pay you, if it is in hers you have to pay her. If you have 2 children though and claim for 1 each i think this gets round the system

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Shared custody 50/50 5 years 10 months ago #38106

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Ah, just checked, and you are correct - they cut the cost by 50% and knock of £7 per child on top of that reduction.

Avoiding the CMS only works if your ex is prepared to take less than the calculated amount - otherwise it doesn't really make a difference whether you do the calculation or whether they do it for you.

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Shared custody 50/50 5 years 4 months ago #46398

idontlikemondays is right chaps! After 6 months of arguing with CMS I present the following.............

I wrote to my MP to complain about the rules relating to maintenance calculated by the CMS where equal care and custody is in place yet one parent is in receipt of child benefit the other has to pay maintenance.

The below is from a letter directly from Steve Webb MP Minister of State for Work and Pensions to me:

"However, if and only if, care is shared equally (this is a different test form the number of nights' test), neither parent will have a maintenance liability. An assumption that the parent receiving Child Benefit is the main carer will continue to be applied, but if that is not the case the other parent can bring evidence to rebut the assumption."

I spoke to CMS this week to let them know about this and the source of my information, they have not offered me this nugget of information once in six months and my numerous assertions about shared care and the unfairness of it. They have looked into my case again and admitted I am right and they have been wrong. I have provided said rebuttal evidence and have been told that I no longer have a maintenance liability and to stop all payments with immediate effect!
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Shared custody 50/50 5 years 4 months ago #46399

DONT GIVE IN IF YOU REALLY HAVE 50% IT IS POSSIBLE - I HAVE WON!

CMS is not aware of the correct legislation posted in my previous comment - what I want to know is who will pay me back the ££££'s I have incorrectly parted with thus far. I shall be speaking to my solicitors on how I can get the money back. As far as I am concerned CMS in my case are guilty of gross negligence and I shall be chasing them for the money. I will post back when I have more info!
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Shared custody 50/50 5 years 4 months ago #46401

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Could I ask what rebuttal evidence you used...this might help others

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Mum and Grandmother, supporting my son who has residency of his son.
I want to see a much fairer system in place, where Dads and their children have a voice that can be heard.
There are many groups of people that have equal rights within our society and its about time Dads were given equal rights too.
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