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Various Questions

Eminent Member Registered


Didnt expect to end up here..

Got a CMS situation/claim beginning in the next few months and have some questions

1. How is the initial value calculated? Is it based upon your financial situation on the day/month of the CMS calculation or the previous entire tax year? I was self employed for some months, and employed for other months in the last year so it's a bit all over the place

2. I am now employed and have a company private pension with minimal contributions. If i increase it now will they base the calculation on the pension contributions on the day of the calculation or look back at the past few months. For example, if i paid 2% for the last 4 months and then increase to 10% on the month before the CMS calc what happens?

3. How long does it take for a CMS claim to be finalised from the start? When will i start paying it?

4. What is the evidence base they use?

5. I am going to have to travel hundreds of miles and use toll roads, pay for accommodation and incur various other costs to maintain regular contact. I understand that this can be taken into account as variation, however..

- how is it calculated. Do they deduct some or all of the gross expenses or how else do they deal with it?

- how long does it take to get resolved

- what is the evidence base required (hotel and fuel receipts etc?) 

6. How regularly do they revisit the figures is it annually or more regularly?

Thank you

Topic starter Posted : 28/09/2022 9:28 am
Illustrious Member


CMS usually will check your last tax year income. whatever figure they see from HMRC, they will base maintenance payments on that. if your present day income is atleast 25% different/lower then you can let them know and they should lower your payments.

you can claim expenses for child contact, has to be minimum £10 a week. they deduct these expenses from your gross income and reduce your payments that way. if your spending minimum of 1 night a week with kids, they can reduce payments. if you have other children you support, they can reduce payments again.

if your paying to private pension, you have to let CMS know, and send evidence. 

They do annual review, so check your income once a year to work out future payments. you pay more if you get bonuses, do overtime or get pay rise. can even pay more if you get a company car allowance showing up on your pay slip as income.

more info here:

also recommend you join this support group for paying parents:

Posted : 28/09/2022 2:13 pm
Eminent Member Registered

@bill337 Hi Bill. Thanks for replying to me.

On the initial calculation, specifically at Pension.

If my pension payment was 0% for the first 6 months of the last tax year, 2 % for the next 4 months, and then put up to 10% for the last 2 months before the CMS calculation what would they typically do?

My pension payments would be 10% at the point at which the CMS application is made

Will they use 10% or an average of pension paid across the whole tax year?

Talking initial calculation, not annual review

Topic starter Posted : 28/09/2022 2:22 pm
Illustrious Member

@parkside357 hi, am not sure on this. you could try asking that CMS support group link I posted above.

Posted : 28/09/2022 2:27 pm
Eminent Member Registered

An additional question.

When the CMS work out the calculation, what happens with actually paying the money?

Do they tell the paying parent this is the figure and you send it yourself by bank transfer or do they take the money themselves out of your wages?

Topic starter Posted : 28/09/2022 3:00 pm
Eminent Member Registered

Sorry, another

The annual review and the 25% rule

Are they saying that at the annual review, they will only make an adjustment if there is a 25% upwards or downwards adjustment in your gross income in the previous year?


So if your situation changes by 24% year on year you will pay the same as the initial calculation for the rest of your days?! 


Surely not right, or is it?!

Topic starter Posted : 29/09/2022 7:17 am
Estimable Member Registered

Hello Parkside. A couple of comments to your post, based on my experience. Yes, the 25% rule means 25% and if it is less(either way) it will not be considered. I assume this decision was made to reduce their workload, otherwise everyone would be submitting reassessment claims every time their pay moved up or down a little. It seems unfair and of course it generally is. It can work both ways though, can mean you do not need to pay more when you could be earning considerably more(but less than 25%).

I do not think that if you are intending to up your pension payment to 10% this will be an issue at all. It is below the threshold of what would be considered reasonable(12% as a rule of thumb) and therefore I do not think they will or need to consider where it was before.

If you had previously been at 10% and then upped it to 30% then they would likely see this as a deliberate diversion of income and too high a figure. There are some caveats to that however. But I suggest just changing your pension payments to 10% and it should not be an issue. In my opinion!


Posted : 30/09/2022 10:01 am

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