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TOPIC: Child maintenance and contact time

Child maintenance and contact time 2 weeks 9 hours ago #98138

I have very recently separated. My wife moved out 3 weeks ago to her mum's with our one year old son. I have calculated the child maintenance payments using the GOV.UK's calculator.
I get paid on the 19th of every month so I said to my ex that I will pay this 19th (in two weeks' time) a month in advance. Now my ex is saying that she also wants back dated payment from the moment she moved out to the 19th, when I will make the 1st payment. That will be 5 weeks' worth.
My 1st question is: is this right? can she ask for backdated payments on an informal arrangement?
I am fairly sure that I have read that backdated payments only apply on cases raised to CMS, not to informal arrangements. I was willing to do it as a gesture of good will but the way my ex is going, my good will is evaporating...

My 2nd question: at the moment she is allowing me to go her place every Tuesday and Thursday for about 1h to 1h:30m each day to give him dinner and put him to sleep. Then, one day of the week-end I get to stay with him from 9 am to 6 pm. Does this sound fair? She insists on not letting me having him staying over as he is too small. What do you think? Is there any stipulated contact time guidance/information anywhere? I can't seem to find any reliable source regarding this matter...

Any advice will be much appreciated! :)

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Last Edit: by TheVarix.

Child maintenance and contact time 1 week 6 days ago #98142

Hello TheVarix

You are correct in your assumption that there is no legal requirement for back-dated payments when setting up a family-based arrangement. If a case was raised with the Child Maintenance Service, your responsibility to pay would start from around the time they contact you.

With regards to the issue of contact, this is a separate consideration from any maintenance arrangement. If you are in dispute with your wife about contact issues, you may wish to seek some mediation, www.nfm.org.uk , or legal advice, www.gov.uk/civil-legal-advice .

If you require any information about the different ways in which child maintenance arrangements can be set up, you can contact Child Maintenance Options directly, www.cmoptions.org

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/

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

Child maintenance and contact time 1 week 5 days ago #98150

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Hi there

I can’t add to what William has advised on the child maintenance situation, he’s the expert!

As far as contact, am I right in assuming that this all takes place at her mums? If so, that’s not ideal, as it doesn’t really offer you any quality time between you and your son, without you being supervised.

To be honest there isn’t any guidance about what age a child can start to stay over with the non resident parent. As a general rule of thumb, by the time a child is about 18 months old, overnights could be part of the schedule, but this isn’t set in stone and can vary a lot.

It can depend on the amount of time you spent with your child prior to the split, the mothers wishes, and practical things like the type of accommodation and facilities available to you to care for your child away from their maternal home.

It might be helpful if you both completed a parenting plan, to help you decide when these types of milestones are reached, it can also help you both if you have a firm plan in place.

The next option would be to attend mediation to try and reach agreement, if this also fails the mediator would sign the forms to enable you to make an application to,court for a Child Arrangements Order. This is a big step and should really only be taken as a last resort, but sometimes there is no other option.

In my opinion, the split is still really fresh, I would give it some time to settle down, try and reach a good compromise about the financial situation and that might help to stabilise your situation.

If you can show that you still want what is best for them both, and accept that getting where you want to be might take some time and patience, the final outcome may be a better one in the long run.

All the best

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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!

Last Edit: by Mojo.

Child maintenance and contact time 3 days 18 hours ago #98300

Thanks both for your replies. Thanks Mojo for the advice!
The Saturday visits are at my home and the two shorter visits during he week are at her mum's. She refuses to write a parenting plan as her mum thinks it's legally binding (the old witch) and now my ex is against the idea (despite her being the one that suggested it in the first place).
I have a bigger place than her and my son has his own room and cot. The house is baby proofed with furniture attached to walls, etc...
I have requested mediation info but I think I'm going to follow our advice and wait until he is about 18 months old to ask for him to stay over.
Yesterday it was really heartbreaking. I had such a lovely day with him and when my ex came to pick him up, he started to moan and tried to reach with his arms so I could hold him... I told him that I would be seeing him soon and waved good bye to him but it was really terrible and made me feel really sad.

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Child maintenance and contact time 3 days 9 hours ago #98308

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I think you’re right to take the patient approach, keep the suggestion of a parenting plan on the table, and reassure her that it’s purely as a guideline that is reached by mutual agreement and isn’t legally binding.

It’s painful, but it’s only been four weeks since you split, it’s really early days for you and your little one...once the dust has settled, she may be more amenable to increasing your time together. Be kind to yourself, and when things get hard going, keep busy, lots of guys find a good workout at the gym helps.

All the best

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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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