[Solved] CMS and 50/50
I'm new to this so forgive any mistakes!
Hi all, thank you in advance for any advice.
Having recently separated from my partner (actually agreed to split over a year ago but didn't move apart until recently) She hit me with a maintenance application last month.
We share custody 50/50 (private agreement that I have documents to prove she agreed to)
I cover all costs for my time and vice versa. We share costs for uniform and anything school related. Basically we share responsibility exactly 50/50 for everything,
After a conversation with me and then with her they found in her favour and ordered that I pay her. I've managed to get to the point where its gone to reconsideration (after many many phone calls to cms which mostly consisted of them telling me how to pay and that I have to pay)
In the most recent communication they're asking for further proof from myself to support my claim. Does anyone know if they ask the same of the Mother (Because she won't be able to prove some of what she claimed because its lies)
From my side I have no idea of what proof I can send to support my claims. I'll send the details confirming she agrees to 50/50. (Which IMO really should be enough but I know it won't be) But how do I prove I've taken the kids to every single Doctors appointment they've ever had because she can't cope with watching them being jabbed?
Is it also worth sending in bank statements showing payments to the children's schools for extra activities? What on earth else can I send in? I find it really frustrating that in 3 phones calls I was given 3 different reasons why they found in her favour (2 out of 3 were lies) It'll be strait forwardish if shes also asked to provide proof, but if she's not i'm fighting a massive uphill battle!
Also does anyone have any experience dealing with child benefits? I have requested that we share the benefits (1 child each) as that is fair due to the shared costs. Am I wasting my time here?
This whole thing seems so weighted in the Mothers favour I feel like I'm wasting my time. But I'm adamant that I will not pay for her to sit on her ass and work her 16 hours a week while I slave away for 40 hours a week just so she can have the same quality of life as me.
Unfortunately, it does seem weighted in the mothers favour, and I'm afraid it will be an uphill struggle, but the mandatory reconsideration is the right direction. I don't think showing the bank statements of you paying for uniforms etc will make any difference (though won't do any harm to do so) as they will just say that it's up to you to pay those extras on top of maintenance.
If you can each claim child benefit for one child, that would help immensely (also, you'd both get the first child rate, which is more than one person claiming for two children - perfectly legal to do so), and you'd then open a claim against her so you'd be paying maintenance to her based on your income, and she'd be paying maintenance to you based on hers, both of you for one child. CMS are concerned with the number of nights that the children stay with you (doctors appointments etc are irrelevant as far as they are concerned).
If they do continue to expect you to pay maintenance, then stop paying for anything else - the maintenance covers everything, and anything you pay for will be considered to be voluntarily on your part over and above maintenance.
CMS state that they consider formal and informal evidence. So I would have thought that if you messaged them with your document about your 50/50 arrangement, that would be good enough. if you have any letter, emails or screenshots of phone messages about the agreement, can send to them to...
if reconsideration fails, then as a last resort you may want to think about getting an actual court/consent order, and sending that to CMS as proof.