New situation: need advice
I split up with the mother of my child some years ago. I calculated the CSA payments and paid these till I moved back to the town where they lived. We have always got on OK.
When I moved back the child was then with me the majority of the time (at least 4 days per week and most of the school hols) so I stopped paying as I was then the resident parent. She was OK with this. But I didn't ask for any maintainence payments from her then, or even some years later when she was cohabiting with another guy who said he'd pay for everything so she gave up work. I wanted to keep it simple and everyone happy, so I just got on with it.
Now circumstances have changed again, she is single again, and has now chosen to go back to work part-time on a very low grade job (she used to earn a lot more than I did) and my child is with her 4-5 nights a week during school time so she is asking me to resume paying.
I am annoyed that my generosity to date has been ignored. More to the point now she split up with this guy and has chosen to work part-time she is complaining she hasnt got enough money. Using her estimates of what the child costs her, after child benefit, it costs her about 2 hours on one of her shifts per week after the child benefits been paid.
In addition to the costs of a child staying with me 2-3 night per week I pay for all the out-of-school activities, which comes to over 50% of the total monthly costs.
My circumstances have also changed in that I am also paying for a dependant partner and her child at home, as well as her older child at University.
A quick look at the CSA calculator shows that the only thing that counts is the resident stepchild in my house. Nothing about dependents, mortgage etc. More to the point, going down the CSA route puts her in at over £100/month in profit over the costs she says she is incurring.
I think absent parents should pay up, which is why I religiously paid the CSA calculation even though it was really hard in the early years, but then maybe I was a fool for not going after her when the tables were turned?
I dont mind paying her some reasonable amount, but I do want a recognition of the thousands I shelled out in the last few years when I was the resident parent. Again it looks like the CSA isn't interested. But do I have other legal recourse to stand my ground?
Advice keenly requested.
Its a difficult situation, however CMS do not consider the history or what's been paid or not claimed for. They will only factor your step child and nothing else.
Whilst it may feel like your ex is in profit, costs vary and what you could do as she is in profit request that she covers more towards the cost of activities/clubs etc..
I would always advise for you to have asked for payments when you had more of the residence even if you just put the money to one side for the future.
We've all experienced these types of issues and my own approach is to accept and focusing on my relationship with kids as otherwise I know I'd get quite bitter and down about things..
All the best.
I would advise to still keep things amicable, use the CMS calculator to work out what you should pay. you get reductions based on number of nights child spends with you, and that you have another child living with you. taking CMS route will be much stricter, where you will have to pay more maintenance if you earn bonuses, pay rises or do over-time. I think you should feel happy with yourself that you strongly supported your child over the years.
Thanks for the replies.