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TOPIC: Maintenance and extra payments

Maintenance and extra payments 3 weeks 2 days ago #97085

  • Jaysaac
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Hi everyone!
This is my first post on any forum since my divorce seven years ago.
Firstly just like to say that I feel I'm one of the lucky ones as after seven years of battling to see me two boys 50/50 I finally succeeded in court last week and got them one night short of that. It's been the hardest time of my life but with determination and a lot of help we've finally got there.
My boys are seven and eight and I've always paid maintenance, I've played by the rules throughout, it's killed me at times but I knew that was the right way to play it !
So my question is; now that I have my boys 156 days a year, I get a £34 pound drop in maintenance payments per month which doesn't really seem fair, my ex wife is now demanding that I pay extra towards school costs e.g uniform, trips, lunches, tutors etc this so far amounts to £130 per month.
Am I legally obliged to pay this?
Financially I'm living on a very tight budget with no extra money whilst she is living in £3/4 million pound house raking in 140k a year! ....I know I'm bitter but this is just punishment for winning in court!
What's your advice?
Many thanks

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Maintenance and extra payments 3 weeks 2 days ago #97086

  • Yoda
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Hi, I know it often doesn't seem fair when it comes to maintenance.

I assume you've worked out what you are legally obliged to pay?

Anything over that, is up to you.

I usually take the view point that if the kids will miss out if you're unwilling to help with extras, then go for it. However, it doesn't sound like this is the case here.....

It really is up to you what extras you choose to pay for.

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I have several years experience supporting parents in family proceedings as a McKenzie Friend. I am, however, not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.

Maintenance and extra payments 3 weeks 2 days ago #97088

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Cheers Yoda
Tbh I'd love to not have them miss out but she now telling the boys that they have to miss out because I haven't paid for things. She gets £270 per month and that should adequately cover my share of everything. Thing is she is very money orientated and just looking to put the squeeze on me more. She's now emotionally manipulating the boys into feeling guilty for wanting to see more of me.
School have contacted me today to say that the ex is now only paying for school lunches on the days she has contact with them. ..... I'm a gnats willy off 50/50 yet I'm financially in the worst position I've been in seven years.

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Maintenance and extra payments 3 weeks 2 days ago #97089

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And yes maintence has been worked out six years ago. Paid on time and in full.

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Maintenance and extra payments 3 weeks 2 days ago #97091

Hi there,

Sorry if I'm missing something, but this sounds very odd. You have 50/50 custody which is great. The strange bit is that you pay child maintenance to her, but she does not pay child maintenance to you!

You have every right to make a counter claim against her for child maintenance. I think you need to get in touch with child maintenance asap and explain your circumstances and open a case to receive maintenance from her. Just as you (quite rightly) have to pay HER a proportion of your income, in a case where there's 50/50 shared custody, she (quite rightly) should be paying YOU a proportion of her income. The system works identically both ways!

This is exactly what my former boss did a few years back. I'd urge you to speak to child maintenance about this asap.

Thanks.

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Maintenance and extra payments 3 weeks 2 days ago #97093

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Spring555
I'm one night short of 50/50 . The compromise at court was that she picks up before bedtime on a Sunday . I have them six nights on a two week rota. That equates to 156 to 174 nights for csa calculation. 174 and above is deemed as 50/50 only then could maintence cancel itself out. .. My point is I'm already paying for my share of their upkeep and I think she sees this as her paying bog all contributions towards them. She's loaded and I'm their meal ticket who's having to look at paying twice for them. I want to know if I can legally say no to her demands and tell her my maintenance is there to cover my share of contributions.

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Maintenance and extra payments 3 weeks 2 days ago #97095

Hi there,

You only have a legal obligation to pay what the CMS have deemed you should pay. You are under no legal obligation to pay any further voluntary amounts.

Regarding being slightly under 50/50 custody, I'd still recommend you have a conversation with child maintenance to be absolutely certain regarding your rights to counter claim. I appreciate their rules are generalised, but in your circumstances in doesn't seem fair at all that you're the only paying maintenance given your split is fractionally below 50/50. I struggle to believe the legislation doesn't provide some flexibility on this.

Thanks and best of luck! :-)

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Maintenance and extra payments 3 weeks 1 day ago #97096

Hello Jaysaac

You have been provided with some good information from Yoda. Paying parents are legally responsible only for the amount worked out by the Child Maintenance Service, and are not obliged to pay for anything extra.

As Yoda has suggested, if you do wish to contribute to any extra expenses your boys may have, that would be on a voluntarily basis only. You are not legally required to pay for anything further than your maintenance payment.

It does sound like your maintenance payments have been calculated and arranged via the Child Maintenance Service. If this is the case, it is your responsibility to keep them updated with any changes to your circumstances that may affect your payments.

You have been well informed by the Child Maintenance Service regarding 50/50 equal shared care. The parent with the most overnight stays of the children would be deemed the main carer and in turn the receiving parent. This parent is entitled to receive Child Benefit for the children and also child maintenance from the other parent.

If you do have another kind of agreement in place, or you would like some further information about an alternative arrangement, Child Maintenance Options can help you.

They are an information service designed to help parents by providing them with details about all their options. You can find all this information on their website at www.cmoptions.org .

You may also be interested to know the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have a website, 'Sorting out Separation'. It aims to make it much easier for separating and separated parents (and childless couples) to find the support they need, when and where they need it, and encourages them to collaborate on a range of issues. The link is www.sortingoutseparation.org.uk/

For more information and for a more personalised service, you may wish to contact Child Maintenance Options yourself.

Regards

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

Maintenance and extra payments 3 weeks 1 day ago #97109

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I've spoke to the cms and they only go by nights stayed apparently. Really unfair tbh!!

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Maintenance and extra payments 3 weeks 1 day ago #97112

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Thanks William for your response.
ATM the ex is trying to guilt me into paying extra as she's telling the boys they can't have these things because of me. She's also manipulating them into feeling guilty for wanting to see me more hence going to court in the first place. I'm in a position where I don't want to alienate the lads but also I need to think of my finances.
Thanks guys for your input.

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Maintenance and extra payments 3 weeks 18 hours ago #97116

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I seem to recall that if the NRP can prove equal day to day care under special cases., they wouldn’t be expected to pay maintenance

There are some previous threads about this

www.dad.info/forum/child-maintenance/391...ion-shared-residence

I’ll try and find more.

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I'm not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.

I may not be legally trained... but I have plenty of experience and common sense!

Maintenance and extra payments 3 weeks 18 hours ago #97118

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Here’s a thread about it, quite long but worth reading through.

www.dad.info/forum/child-maintenance/36289-shared-custody-50-50

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DadTalk Moderator...

I'm not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.

I may not be legally trained... but I have plenty of experience and common sense!

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