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CMS Equal Shared Care issues

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Would anyone be able to offer me some guidance on this please - me and my ex partner have had an equal shared care setup in place (nothing formal, just a longstanding routine that has been consistent for nearly 3 years now)


She has intermittently had urges throughout that time to raise a CMS claim and has suggested i've had both children for varying amounts of days over the years - it's currently in the system as me having them '3 days a week'; each time I call them and inform them of the actual situation and it has seemingly always gone away, or all parties ignore the decision knowing that there is nothing to be paid - in the past i've always informed CSA and just let it be as nothing is happening. - As a bit of background, we have them alternating weekends and weekdays are split equally.... basically, for every 14 day period, I have them 7 days and 7 nights - that is including equal school runs. That said; in the past 2 years i have had them 200+ nights per year. In terms of everything else, the children have a full wardrobe and everything they need with me, available and funded by me, appointments are shared for whoever has them on respective days - additional activities/clubs are fully funded by me, if they are sick in school, we each have them and take responsibility on our respective days etc..... it's very much equal in every area.


This time around shes pushing them and asking for collect and pay which has of course meant I have had to deal with it all formally - at the moment CMS are expecting me to pay the best part of £300 a month (and threatening collect and pay if I don't pay it).


I have informed them once again that the calculation is wrong. I have submitted a significant amount of evidence, from receipts, appointments, routine information etc - everything possible really, so i'm awaiting a decision on this; but in the meantime i'm relucant to be paying ~£300 a month when technically based on the CMS's own information i should not have to pay maintenance - but equally, i do not want to head down the click and collect route.


Any suggestions on what I can do while I wait for a CMS decision? Presumably if I make a payment and they agree that nothing is due I wont be seeing that money back - is it even likely they will agree that it is shared equal care when it clearly is; reading some posts on here it seems no matter how much evidence you provide, they can still decide they dont want to call it equal shared care?


Thanks in advance for any help!

Topic starter Posted : 20/02/2024 2:37 pm
Illustrious Member


could you ask them to freeze the case, payments while this dispute is being sorted out? it can be very difficult when you don't have a court order for child arrangements. If you disagree with their decision, they should give you option to appeal and apply to a tribunal. If your not claiming child benefit for 1 of the kids, I suggest you try claim for 1.

I recommend you join this CMS support group for paying parents:


Posted : 20/02/2024 8:35 pm
Active Member Registered

Thank you!


The MR was approved - which was positive, but they only updated it for one child not both.


Called them to correct this and they said they couldn't as second child was added to the case after the effectivity date of the MR.


Asked them to correct this for both children, and after a bit of a battle, both children are now showing as 'equal' but not day and night - just the 'equal' shared care band - i.e. more than 175 nights....


Going to call them to see if they can sort this out, but failing that looks like a tribunal is the only way.


I'm also debating applying for court to try and get a shared lives with order - but i'm not sure if its a set in stone requirement for mediation first ? can this be skipped - I just need to formalise the arrangement already in place so i'm hoping if I can apply directly to court it should be a relatively straight forward process.


Thanks again!



Topic starter Posted : 10/04/2024 7:40 am

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