Hi, Any experiences similar to this ? Any advice please.
Been divorced 10 years plus, been quite happily paying CM via a family based arrangement calculated via the CMA calculator and reviewed annually. Children are 14 & 16(nearly). Nights staying over annually has always been in the 104-155 range, however last few months they have been staying less due to no reason other than being teenagers and expressing their (apparent) wishes. Communication to try and resolve this has been largely ignored by ex-wife and no constructive actions to return to the agreed and the previously long term successful arrangement, I have been trying to resolve this for months via the ex and direct with children, with problematic and often ignored communication. Possibly a case of manipulation to intentionally raise CM payments Recently received notification of CSA direct involvement and prospects of monthly CM payments increasing substantially as calculated on the much lower current (not mutually agreed) number of nights staying over.
This increase will push my finances to the edge. Will the CMA accept that the number of nights is 'in dispute' as it's not been mutually agreed ? How can I resolve the general situation? It's not my wish for the children to stay less, I would like them to stay more but it has always been denied/ignored. Difficult situation as whatever I try to do works to my disadvantage. Any help suggestions would be appreciated.
Others may have more experience than me, but my feeling is that you have nowhere to go. There are many examples where the resident parent is lying to say the number of nights is less than reality to gain higher CM payments, but in your case it seems it is the reality. So you would not have the evidence needed to convince CMS the situation is different. It is normal that teenagers at that age make decisions to spend less time with their non resident father, they have other things to do. Same is happening to me, its life unfortunately......
My understanding is the CMS will believe the resident parents statement(they do not have resource or time to further investigate who is telling the truth) and then in the event of a dispute they will rule and calculate based on you having the minimum 1 night per week.
Sorry cannot be more positive for you, others may know differently.
Thank you for the reply. I am make enquiries directly with CSA however I am inclined to agree with your suggested likely outcome.
The system unfortunately backs up the resident parent all too often. Undoubtably this is required on lots of occasions and as you say they are physically staying over less but this has not been jointly agreed as it should have been. But I suspect that will count for nothing.
I am continuing to try and communicate with kids and ex but not getting very far at the moment. I do think there is manipulation involved here but very difficult to deal with this as it's so subjective.
Does anybody have any suggestions ? Or simply advice on how to deal with the refusal to communicate and be constructive and actually encourage the routine returning to normal.
I do find it very frustrating how the calculations actually can encourage this type of behaviour and it's difficult to know how to tackle it.
I agree with the above that the CMS won't care if it's in dispute. I think your only chance is to see if you can get a child arrangement order to get your contact back, and then go back to the CMS - you'll need to try mediation first, and after that you can self represent.
if its going through court, then no doubt cafcass will get ordered to do a section 7 report. then they will interview you, and talk to your kids. when i went through the process last year, cafcass spoke to my 5 year old daughter. asked her if she likes going to daddy's house and what she does there.
CMS wise, its ideal to get a court order that states how many nights the kids are with you. then your ex can't lie and dispute it.