Equal Care Concerns
I got divorced back in March and as part of the consent order, I agreed to pay my ex £450 a month as I assumed she'd be living alone and wanted to help her get a new property and settled in a new place despite agreeing 50/50 care of the kids. She is also in receipt of CB as due to my income, I can't claim it anyway. It's better someone got it than no-one. however, it appears that may now bite me in the [censored].
Throughout the last year, i've had the two kids 50/50 as we're alternating weeks, swapping every Sat evening. (I've probably actually had them around 55% of the time). This agreement isn't in the consent order as was agreed privately and has been working well to date.
Due to the cost of living crisis and a change in circumstances i'd like to lower/stop my payments after the 12 month rule kicks in. I spoke to the CMS this morning who confirmed I can just stop paying my ex as soon as 12 months and 1 day has elapsed from the date of the order.
My concern is if she then goes on to apply to the CMS for child maintenance and how I then prove 50/50 equal care when it's not mentioned on the consent order. My address is listed as the primary address for the kids at school and probably the Drs too, is this enough? I've kept receipts for school uniform etc. over the last year. However, I keep reading that the CMS default to the CB reciever if there is any form of conflict which has me very nervous as i'm sure she would just lie to the CMS to help her claim. Obviously, March is a little way off yet, is there anything I can start doing to help strengthen my case come March.
The kids are both 11+ would the CMS take what they say as evidence as they'd both say the truth at least!
I don't really want to be worrying about this every day until March 🙁 My finances are already having a huge impact on my mental health and i'd like a little glimmer of hope for the future but the more I read about CMS, the more nervous and worried I get!
Thanks in advance.
with CMS their rules on 50/50 are that if there is equal day to day care of kids (not just equal overnight stays) between both parents, then there is no maintenance to pay. I have seen their letters, where they asking for evidence of a parent if their paying for school uniforms, lunches, who takes them to doctors appointments, after school activities etc. I would suggest you keep receipts of these kinds of expenses, then when time to contact CMS, supply all this to them. they can be very difficult to deal with and like to ask to see a court order as well.