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[Solved] CMS & Shared Care ( Equal )

 
 Yogi
(@Yogi)
Active Member Registered

Hi Everyone

I had a question.....Has anyone else had the unfortunate and unfair situation where they are summoned to pay child maintenance even though they have equal shared care?

2 children - 8 year old girl and 13 year old boy.

My time with the kids - Collect Sunday 10am all the way through to Wednesday school drop off / midday officially as the court has ordered.

I know my time only covers 3 nights but what am I supposed to do? The court couldn't order that the kids be collected at 2am to ensure a split of a night!

Any advice would be appreciated as I am ready to go into battle mode with this 😡

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Topic starter Posted : 16/03/2020 3:10 pm
 actd
(@actd)
Illustrious Member

Unfortunately, CMS has hard and fast fules on it being number of nights, so unnless your shared care order is for 50/50 care, there isn't a lot you can do about what you are assessed to pay.

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Posted : 16/03/2020 6:20 pm
(@bill337)
Illustrious Member

hi,

yes as other dads mentioned, if court order states that there is equal day-to-day care between both parents, then CMS will decide that there is no child maintenance to be paid. its very difficult to deal with CMS without a clear court order. i guess the best you can expect is to have CMS reduce your payments based on number of nights kids stay with you.

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Posted : 17/03/2020 1:13 am
(@Will99)
Estimable Member Registered

There is a LOT of confusion about Shared Care it seems. Please refer my post in another thread :-
https://www.dad.info/forum/child-maintenance/52216-child-maintenance-with-50-50-care#104787

If CM order is in place, then the amount payable will be reduced to account for the number of nights the child/children spend with the paying parent, This reduction is by sliding scale and is referred to as the Shared Care band applicable to the CM case.
However even if the number of nights is broadly equal (over 175 nights with the paying parent, called Shared Care band Equal), the amount payable will still not be reduced to zero - and this is why :-
The reduction is solely to recognise the fact that the paying parent has to provide and maintain suitable housing for the child/children and feed them when the child/children is/are staying with them.
As long as the paying parent makes the CM payments as directed by CMS then they are compliant - they are not compelled to pay for ANYTHING else outside the above-mentioned housing and feeding requirements. I.e. no clothing, school fees, school trips, mobile phone, etc etc not even pocket money. They may choose to do so of course but they are not compelled to by law.

However, in the other perhaps more general understanding of the term 'shared care', if the CMS are convinced (perhaps by way of court order) that each parent genuinely supports the children to an equal extent - meaning not only residence but also all other expense, then they will deem that no CM is payable by either parent.

So by making a CM claim - the claimant is effectively assuming complete financial responsibility for all of this (non-housing and feeding) expense, and the CM amount is the method by which the other parent subsidises this expense.

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Posted : 25/03/2020 9:22 pm
actd and actd reacted
 Yogi
(@Yogi)
Active Member Registered

Thanks for this appreciate it!

Here's where things get complicated...Brace yourselves!

I applied for equal shared care as my ex wasn't willing to give me any time with the kids, not even allowing me to take them on holiday. She went into full ownership of the kids mode like most self entitled ex's do 😆

So now to the finances - We have a joint mortgage and joint ownership of the FMH. The house was ordered to be sold and the equity to be split. The house has been on the market since Sept 19 and in the childrens order final hearing in Feb 2020 the court ordered that the mother should stay in the FMH till it's sold and I should find alternative temporary accommodation till it's sold - The justification for this is that kids need to get used to living elsewhere with me and now is a good time to start. To start with the court ordered the kids to stay put in the house and each parent comes and goes when it's their time with the children so the kids can have a stable home.

The ex is now living in the FMH and she has the kids for half the week.

Under the finance order I still have to keep up the mortgage and bills till it's sold.

BUT......The small print in the CMS says that any payment I make is to cover the kids housing, bills, clothing and food etc.

At the moment I am paying for half the costs of the FMH and CMS.

Legally I don't have to cover half the costs of the FMH as she has applied for CMS knowing full well what it's supposed to cover and I am in the process of writing to the court with all the evidence to get the financial order amended. The ex is obviously nice and cosy in the FMH and even ripped down the For Sale sign stating it as a security risk??

Fact is CMS heard all of the above and didn't care

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Topic starter Posted : 27/03/2020 6:36 pm
 actd
(@actd)
Illustrious Member

I would consider going back to court to get the amount you pay for the house to be reduced - if the CMS take into account half of the mortgage payment (I can't see them taking the full amount), then that amount would be taken off your income for the calculation, so it wouldn't reduce your payments by that amount, whereas getting the order amended might.

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Posted : 28/03/2020 6:20 pm
(@systemic-kid)
New Member Registered

My son has court ordered equal shared care but is being pursued for monthly payments. Despite the Gov website here making clear and explicit that equal shared care carries no financial responsibility (in this case to the father), CMS seem to be making up their own rules. My son has been asked to prove he takes the child to the doctors, dentist etc. Yet there is no mention of these extra conditions mentioned in the above gov document. CMS have also added other conditions based on what his ex has told them which they have taken at face value. My son has registered a complaint as well as an appeal but he has little faith in CMS who seem to be adding rules which are not explicit on their own website. Any advice welcome. 

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Posted : 06/06/2024 2:29 pm
(@bill337)
Illustrious Member

@systemic-kid yes CMS have odd rules, it's how they decide if there is equal day to care:

 

When deciding whether a person provides day to day care, you should consider the following questions: 

who does the child spend most of their time with when they are not at school / nursery / childcare? 

who pays for most of the child’s clothes and meals? 

who arranges and pays for any childcare costs? 

who is the usual contact for the child’s school / childminder etc.? 

whose GP / dentist is the child registered with and who arranges appointments / accompanies the child? 

who has the greatest involvement with the child’s recreational activities and is responsible for paying for them?

 

https://www.voiceofthechild.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Shared-Care.pdf

 

I recommend he joins this support group for paying parents

https://www.facebook.com/share/zeevDVQ51zDgF8FZ/

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Posted : 06/06/2024 10:25 pm
(@systemic-kid)
New Member Registered

@bill337 Thanks for that. Fortunately, my son has a court order that says 'the child shall live equally' which is about a unequivocal as it gets.

CMS have, to date, been treating my son's case as a variant of shared care for which the additional rules you mention apply.

However, in the CMS guidance section where equal care is described:

Q: What happens if the day-to-day care of a child is equal between a paying parent and a receiving parent?

A: In this situation, the paying parent does not have to pay any child maintenance for that child.

The problem is getting CMS to follow its own rules.

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Posted : 08/06/2024 8:36 am
 actd
(@actd)
Illustrious Member

I would raise a complaint against them, and ask for the reasons why they are not following their own rules.

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Posted : 10/06/2024 1:18 pm
(@systemic-kid)
New Member Registered

@actd thanks for that. My son has requested a mandatory review and has also made clear that he will take this to a tribunal hearing. Will post here to update on outcome.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 10/06/2024 8:12 pm
actd reacted
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