Not posted in awhile. Could do with a bit of advise re child maintenance.
Basically, my son lives around 350 miles away down south (around 5/6 hour drive). Due to the distance I have to normally stay in a hotel when I travel down depending on cost ( they get expensive in the summer). I have a court order in place that the mother has to bring him up to me once a once (her family live up here, she moved away when she left me) and I go down there once a month however the mother rarely kept to this and is now pregnant again with her new partner so has stopped all together.
I’ve put in for a variation due to the cost of going down and staying in hotels. It’s taken so far around 3 months and I’ve still not had a reduction. Apparently she is disputing because I have a company fuel card. ( I have to pay personal mileage)
Where do I stand on this? One CMS rep on the phone said it had been worked out that it costs me around £2,300 a year to travel down.
I'm not sure if the CMS work in the same way as the CSA, but assuming they do, I think they would allow any reasonable costs incurred in maintaining contact with your son, and with such a long commute, I would say it's an easy argument that an overnight stay is reasonable. I'd also get a letter from your employer confirming that you pay for your personal mileage. Keep all receipts for hotels and fuel as the CMS may want evidence. However, assuming that the CMS allow expenses in the same way as CSA, they will knock the £2300 off your gross income before calculating the maintenance - if that's the case, then the reduction on maintenance will work out as 9% of £2300, so about £17 per month. It might be worth looking to see if their is a local B&B that you can stay at on a regular basis - you may get a good deal on that to keep your costs down.