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Csa help 2 months 2 weeks ago #97232

  • gpb1985
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Hiya,
I was hoping for some advice. I have two kids. Both of them spend 4 nights of the week with myself and 3 nights with their mum. They have done since we split up about 2 years ago. However she is trying to claim maintenance from me. I spoke to someone at the csa who said that as she is the one who receives the child benefit, that I need to pay her. Otherwise I will need a court order to prove otherwise. My solicitor doesn’t think I should pursue a court order due to the cost involved and the potential for my ex to try and reduce my access. Does anyone know of any other way I can prove to the csa that I actually have my children for the majority of the week?

Thank you

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Csa help 2 months 2 weeks ago #97234

Hello gpb1985

All parents do have the responsibility to provide child maintenance for their children. It is widely recognised that when both parents take an active financial role in the child's life, it can have a positive impact on the well being of the child.

Generally, the parent who has the most overnight care of the children would be classed as the receiving parent. If your children are currently spending 4 nights per week, every week, with you, you would be classed as the receiving parent. This parent is entitled to receive the Child Benefit, and other related benefits. In addition to receiving financial support from the other parent, in the form of a child maintenance payment.

As your children's main carer, but depending on your income, you may be entitled to receive the Child Benefit. You may benefit from speaking to the Child Benefit office at HM Revenue and Customer (HMRC) yourself. You can find their contact details on the Government website at www.hmrc.gov.uk .

As your children's mum is receiving the Child Benefit at the moment, she could be seen as the children's main carer. If she did make an application with the Child Maintenance Service, you would be able to inform them of the shared care that you have. In your children's mum continues to receive the Child Benefit, they may ask you to produce evidence of the level of care that you have

If evidence, such as a Court Order, is not available, the Child Maintenance Service may attempt to determine who has the main responsibility for the children based on a number of other factors. These may include for example, who is the main school contact, who buys school uniforms or who arranges, and accompanies, the children to medical appointments.

Each application is dealt with individually and you would need to speak to them directly if an application was made. The Child Maintenance Service do have a leaflet available to view online which explains how they calculate child maintenance. This link will direct you to it www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/upl...hild-maintenance.pdf

As you are currently your children's main carer, you are the parent who is entitled to receive child maintenance from your children's mum. Child Maintenance Options is an organisation that can help parents by providing information about all their options, for setting up a new maintenance arrangement. If you do wish to receive child maintenance from your children’s mum, you may benefit from contacting their organisation.

Many parents do now choose to sort out their maintenance between themselves as it can be the quickest and easiest way of setting up a maintenance agreement. Although family-based arrangements are not legally binding, they are very flexible and can be easily changed.

There are different ways you can negotiate your agreement with your children's mum. Child Maintenance Options do have some supporting tools on their website at www.cmoptions.org that might help you both come to an agreement.

If you feel unable to negotiate with your children's mum and come to an amicable agreement, you do also have the option of making an application with the Child Maintenance Service. This is the current Government scheme which has now replaced the Child Support Agency (CSA).

If you decide to ask the Child Maintenance Service to arrange your child maintenance for you in the future, your children's mum's responsibility to pay will start from around the point that she is contacted by them. For further information about putting in place a statutory arrangement and the fees involved with this, you will need to contact Child Maintenance Options yourself. All their contact details can be found on their website, which I have previously mentioned.

Another choice you have for arranging child maintenance is through the courts in the form of a Consent Order in England and Wales and Minute of Agreement in Scotland. This is an agreement where you and your children's mum, with the support of a solicitor, would need to agree what to include in your agreement. This is then presented in court and is ratified.

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 visit the Child Maintenance Options website yourself at www.cmoptions.org

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

Csa help 2 months 2 weeks ago #97236

  • Mojo
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Hi there

William has given you some great advice.

You may be able to sort this out as a special case through the CMS, if you can show, as William has said, that you have equal and daily responsibility for your children.

Is there a case actually open with the CMS, if not it would be better to try and sort this out between you. Perhaps you could agree t claim child benefit for one child each?

Best of luck

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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!

Csa help 2 months 2 weeks ago #97267

Can anyone tell me, if a C S A claim has been made, and the pension contributions are subsequently increased, is a new C S A assessment made, or does the claim remain unchanged until the next assessment?

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