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50:50 live with order

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I am a mother but I got myself into a situation of most of you, dads. Basically went to live  with my partner when our daughter (3 years old)was born, we are not married, I moved into his house. He owns it, doesn't pay mortgage. I naively put the child benefit on his name, I did not know the consequences, I was very naive. Also put him on birth certificate without realising he can restrict me and my daughter ever moving back to my home country. So I ended up as an expat mum, isolated from my family abroad. I recently had to leave the family home, the situation was not bearable anymore, he is claiming he is the primary care giver as the child benefit, daughters school, doctors -its all on his name and address and he was taking care of her while I was escaping unbearable domestic situation by taking full time job from February. 

My question is. If the court decides there is 50:50 live with order, would it be possible to add and extra special requirement for judge to decide to split the universal child credit element? I am struggling financially as I had to move into rented accommodation without any benefits, and I am currently on minimum wage. Is there any way for court to split the benefits 50:50 between us? Or with the court order she lives 50 percent of the time, could I then apply to housing benefit? I am lost here.


Many thanks



Topic starter Posted : 11/11/2023 4:19 pm
Illustrious Member


with family court, child arrangements and finances are treated separately. so with issues like 50/50 child arrangements, they will have no interest in discussing any impact on benefits. I came across a dad who was involved with courts, and the mother was supported by local social services, where they recommended she have 50/50 child arrangements so she would be entitled to council housing.

with my experience with Universal credit system, they are only interested in knowing who the primary carer of the children are, and that parent gets the full childcare element of UC. and I have never heard of benefit entitlements to be increased/split due to 50/50 child care.  Also with the CMS (Child maintenance Service), they decide who is the primary carer of the children based on which parent is claiming child benefit.

some info:

Shared custody

If you share custody of a child it is the person with 'main responsibility' who is normally eligible to claim Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit or the Universal Credit child element for that child.

When deciding who has main responsibility for a child, the number of days the child lives with you is important (the 'normally living with' test). However this is not the only factor considered. For Child Tax Credit the 'normally living with' test can be considered on a more flexible basis than for Child Benefit. See HMRC advice on shared responsibility:

Posted : 11/11/2023 9:35 pm

Honorable Member

I recommend that you seek support from a domestic abuse service in your area.  If you google 'domestic abuse' any local service will come up.  You could also call your council and ask what services are available.  You might be entitled to housing benefit now so talk to the council about that too.

Posted : 15/11/2023 9:12 am

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