Main carer is higher earner
I split and subsequently divorced from my ex around 4 years ago now and we started off sharing the 2 kids 50/50 (week at mine, week at hers) with no child maintenance being paid by either of us to each other. We just decided to fund each child when they were at each of our houses to keep it easy and not bring money into the situation.
This has worked well so far, however, circumstances have now changed and child 1 has decided to stay with her Mum more (due to some personal issues she's going through and not through anything I've done) and now her Mum is asking me to pay some child maintenance to compensate her having child 1 more. Child 2 will still be with me 50/50 though.
Problem is, she earns double what I earn so (for arguments sake, £100k vs £50k) so I don't see why I would need to pay out hundreds of pounds each month for child 1 when I also have child 2 50% of the time and receive nothing from her for this? I've done the Government calculator but it's only got the option for one salary in there, so I did it from her point of view too, guessing her current salary. Taking my calc away from her calc seems to be saying I just need to pay her £20/month!
Is that the right way to work things like this out?
Unfortunately it does not matter how much the mother earns. If you still have one child 50/50 then you will not have to pay. What is the reduction in time spent with the other child now? I would imagine it wouldn't be a huge amount, but maybe see if you can come to some sort of arrangement privately first?
yes you can use the CMS calculator to work out what to pay. its better to keep things amicable and keep Child Maintenance Service out of it. If one child is no longer in 50/50 arrangement and staying more with mum, then you would have to pay some maintenance.
@fer17 So, I guess we've gone from 50/50 down to child 1 staying with me very much on an ad-hoc basis so in terms of the gov calculation, I selected the 1 to 2 nights a week (52 to 103 a year) option as there may be times she stays for a few days at a time.
I would suggest discussing a personal arrangement with your ex in that case. Hopefully things will change in the future and your other child will return to 50/50 again.
@fer17 - Yeah, considering she sends me comments like "I have zero life because I am committed to [child 1's] care. I can’t see friends, I can’t date, I can do nothing.", I would have thought she'd relish the opportunity for me to have child 1 more again... 🤔
The receiving parent's income is not taken into account when calculating child maintenance. Your ex wife could win 150 million on the Euro lottery and it would not make any difference to what you will pay.
On a 50K salary, the weekly payment for 1 child without any shared care is 110 per week. However, this is reduced for shared care.
If there is no agreement on shared care the CMS will assume 1 night per week with yourself. This would reduce the weekly payment to 94.
For information, I too receive similar comments from my ex in that she provides all the child care whilst I play with new GF and sports car. However, I remind her that she applied to CMS to change the payments to reflect that there is no shared care. So, if maintenance is calculated on 365 days per year, then ex should look after child 365 days per year.
I have also suggested that child lives with his grandparents 100% of the time in which case she will have zero child care or costs. Initially she considered this, but then changed her mind when I advised that; child tax credits, child benefit and child maintenance (which totals 1120 per month) would have to be paid to the grandparents as they would be considered the guardians.