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  • FIRST POST
    • TheLastOfBudge
    • By TheLastOfBudge 18th Oct 16, 12:20 PM
    • 2Posts
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    TheLastOfBudge
    CMS Payments - ex-wife demanding money for childcare
    • #1
    • 18th Oct 16, 12:20 PM
    CMS Payments - ex-wife demanding money for childcare 18th Oct 16 at 12:20 PM
    Hey alll

    So I'm currently in the process of divorcing my wife. As soon as it ended and we split, we made arrangements for CMS based on my pay and things went well. I also agreed to pay for clothes to keep at mine, as I had them once a fortnight from Friday to Monday, along with the odd Friday to Saturday in between, and I pay into their own bank accounts too.

    As I'm commissioned, my wage can flucatuate, so I base it on my last P60 which works out as £381 a month. Comfy with that. However, I'm now being hounded for childcare money by her. She decided at the time of our split (in fact it was one of the reasons, as she'd grown feelings towards her boss) to work and put the kids into childcare. She now realises she only gets 70% covered and wants me to pay half of the £650 that isn't covered on top of what I pay. Now I know she's no legal right to claim this but is there a chance a court could enforce I do.

    My view is that it's her choice to work, despite me not agreeing with the fact single mums are worse off. Is there any view/advice on here as to how to approach this? Could a legal approach be best? She's also restricting my times to Friday - Sunday now because I've moved about 48 miles away from where I lived and is worried about distance and totally taken away the Friday - Saturday.
Page 1
    • foolofbeans
    • By foolofbeans 18th Oct 16, 12:31 PM
    • 251 Posts
    • 334 Thanks
    foolofbeans
    • #2
    • 18th Oct 16, 12:31 PM
    • #2
    • 18th Oct 16, 12:31 PM
    Single mums are worse off? That was not my recollection!
    As a working, single mum I was much better off financially then we are now as a whole family unit with my husband. As well as 70% of childcare costs, your wife could receive tax credits on top of her wage and child maintenance payments are not taken into account for these calculations.
    Of course if your wife has a very high salaried job then any benefits from tax credits will be reduced.

    Have you agreed in writing your financial contribution? I would have thought this would be the best way to sort financial issues when divorcing. Bear in mind though that the government maintenance calculator is the MINIMUM payments you should contribute for your children. You both made them so you should both pay for them.
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 18th Oct 16, 12:32 PM
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    Guest101
    • #3
    • 18th Oct 16, 12:32 PM
    • #3
    • 18th Oct 16, 12:32 PM
    Divorce courts are strange beings.


    But not typically.


    As for the change of contact, did you agree? If not, have you included this in your divorce petition? Or submitted a child arrangement order?
    • TheLastOfBudge
    • By TheLastOfBudge 18th Oct 16, 12:36 PM
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    TheLastOfBudge
    • #4
    • 18th Oct 16, 12:36 PM
    • #4
    • 18th Oct 16, 12:36 PM
    No we haven't. I'm thinking of speaking to a solicitor to see if they can draft up a letter of sorts, advising of my commitments and asking if she agrees.

    I fully understand they're our kids and I always pay what I have to and more if I can. I could not afford an extra £325 childcare which is only dictated by her job. In theory if she stopped working I wouldn't pay anything (neither would she) but if it went up, I'd pay more. Had we split childcare before she decided to end it, I'd feel more inclined but it's almost as if I feel I'm being guilted into paying something that I can't affect.
    • Sambella
    • By Sambella 18th Oct 16, 12:50 PM
    • 147 Posts
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    Sambella
    • #5
    • 18th Oct 16, 12:50 PM
    • #5
    • 18th Oct 16, 12:50 PM
    No we haven't. I'm thinking of speaking to a solicitor to see if they can draft up a letter of sorts, advising of my commitments and asking if she agrees.

    I fully understand they're our kids and I always pay what I have to and more if I can. I could not afford an extra £325 childcare which is only dictated by her job. In theory if she stopped working I wouldn't pay anything (neither would she) but if it went up, I'd pay more. Had we split childcare before she decided to end it, I'd feel more inclined but it's almost as if I feel I'm being guilted into paying something that I can't affect.
    Originally posted by TheLastOfBudge
    It is not up to her to dictate what you pay! £381 is a sizeable sum already which she gets ON top of any tax credits it actually covers this cost she is after.

    I never got ANY child maintenance from when my kids were aged 7 and 2. They are now grown up. I managed I was in fact better off as a single parent than as a couple.

    Only the courts can decide what you MUST pay

    If she has knocked two days off the time you have them she may look for more money bacause of that as the number of days you have them is taken into account. Some people know how to work the system.
    • jondav
    • By jondav 18th Oct 16, 1:03 PM
    • 300 Posts
    • 133 Thanks
    jondav
    • #6
    • 18th Oct 16, 1:03 PM
    • #6
    • 18th Oct 16, 1:03 PM
    Single mums are worse off? That was not my recollection!
    As a working, single mum I was much better off financially then we are now as a whole family unit with my husband. As well as 70% of childcare costs, your wife could receive tax credits on top of her wage and child maintenance payments are not taken into account for these calculations.
    Of course if your wife has a very high salaried job then any benefits from tax credits will be reduced.

    Have you agreed in writing your financial contribution? I would have thought this would be the best way to sort financial issues when divorcing. Bear in mind though that the government maintenance calculator is the MINIMUM payments you should contribute for your children. You both made them so you should both pay for them.
    Originally posted by foolofbeans
    You will see this a lot on here and whilst I agree, don't be guilt tripped into paying more than you should. As you said, it is her decision to work and she made that decision AFTER you separated, so IMO she has no justification to ask you to pay. The worst that will happen is that you will say no, she will involve the CSA (or CMS now) and they will tell you what you have to pay. When that happens, pay what you have to and no more unless you are wealthy enough to pay extra comfortably.
    • Caz3121
    • By Caz3121 18th Oct 16, 1:12 PM
    • 9,976 Posts
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    Caz3121
    • #7
    • 18th Oct 16, 1:12 PM
    • #7
    • 18th Oct 16, 1:12 PM
    She now realises she only gets 70% covered and wants me to pay half of the £650 that isn't covered on top of what I pay.
    Originally posted by TheLastOfBudge
    The maximum used for childcare calculations is £300 per week (2/3 children) it sounds like the costs are over £360 per week...is that correct?
    £300 * 30% to cover = £90 + £60 excess = £150 per week
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 18th Oct 16, 1:46 PM
    • 4,870 Posts
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    TBagpuss
    • #8
    • 18th Oct 16, 1:46 PM
    • #8
    • 18th Oct 16, 1:46 PM
    Are you in a position to provide alterntive child care?

    It's not surprising that she is looking to work, I would have thought most people would see it as commendable that she is seeking to be less dependent on benefits etc., and to ensure that she can become independent.

    A court would not explicitly order you to pay child care costs but they could determine that you should be paying an element of spousal maintenance as well as the child support, if they felt that, looking at the financial picture as a whole, it was reasonable.

    Sinc eyou are separated, you no longer get a say in whetheror not she choses to work. You are of course free to suggest that the children move to live with you, and to give up work to care for them, if you want

    In orderto asses whether paying moe than you curently do would be fair, you'd need to look at the whole picture , including your respective incomes, your outgoings and finacial needs, and how other assets such as savings, equity in any property, and pensions are being divided.

    In terms of contact, alternate weekends are fairly common. If you were living closer tgether then it might be parctical for the childnre to spend time with you in the week as well. It is not unreasonable for her to want them to spend the interim weekends with her so that she gets that extended, quality time with them as well.
    • Sambella
    • By Sambella 18th Oct 16, 3:02 PM
    • 147 Posts
    • 159 Thanks
    Sambella
    • #9
    • 18th Oct 16, 3:02 PM
    • #9
    • 18th Oct 16, 3:02 PM
    Are you in a position to provide alterntive child care?

    It's not surprising that she is looking to work, I would have thought most people would see it as commendable that she is seeking to be less dependent on benefits etc., and to ensure that she can become independent.

    A court would not explicitly order you to pay child care costs but they could determine that you should be paying an element of spousal maintenance as well as the child support, if they felt that, looking at the financial picture as a whole, it was reasonable.

    Sinc eyou are separated, you no longer get a say in whetheror not she choses to work. You are of course free to suggest that the children move to live with you, and to give up work to care for them, if you want

    In orderto asses whether paying moe than you curently do would be fair, you'd need to look at the whole picture , including your respective incomes, your outgoings and finacial needs, and how other assets such as savings, equity in any property, and pensions are being divided.

    In terms of contact, alternate weekends are fairly common. If you were living closer tgether then it might be parctical for the childnre to spend time with you in the week as well. It is not unreasonable for her to want them to spend the interim weekends with her so that she gets that extended, quality time with them as well.
    Originally posted by TBagpuss
    Let's look at it another way.

    She is getting family allowance for 2 kids, child tax credit for two kids , £381 maintenance for two kids and 70 percent of the childcare costs met by the government. She wants him to pay 15%. Which will mean 85% of her childcare costs are met. she then only pays 15% This seems wholly unfair when you look at it this way.

    it is good that she is working not totally reliant on benefits but some women take things too far. She is lucky that she has an ex who pays what I think is a sizeable sum of £381 per month.

    Perhaps the guy can't affford this 15%. Presumably he has his own bills to pay, mortgage/rent?
    • nannytone
    • By nannytone 18th Oct 16, 8:53 PM
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    nannytone
    [B]she isn't telling the truth somewhere.
    either in the amount her childcare is or the amount that her 30% adds unto.

    if 30% of the childcare is £650, then the total monthly cost would be almost £2,200!
    that would mean tax credits would be paying over £1,500 a month for her childcare.

    the loimit per week that can be claimed is £300 for 2 or more children.
    70% of that would be £210 per week
    https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/help-with-childcare-costs/B]

    im all for absent parent paying their share, but can't stand people that (try to_ take the pi$$
    • NotSuchASmugMarriedNow
    • By NotSuchASmugMarriedNow 19th Oct 16, 7:06 PM
    • 499 Posts
    • 1,066 Thanks
    NotSuchASmugMarriedNow
    The fairest way is for you to both have 50/50 shared care with no maintenance payments either way.
    Overactively underachieving for almost half a century
    • elsien
    • By elsien 19th Oct 16, 7:12 PM
    • 13,691 Posts
    • 33,252 Thanks
    elsien
    Shared care isn't going to work when the parents live 50 odd miles apart.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • nannytone
    • By nannytone 19th Oct 16, 7:30 PM
    • 11,556 Posts
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    nannytone
    also shared care doesn't automatically mean that no child maintenance is payable.

    even with shared care, if one parent earns a lot more than the other, maintenance can still be required
    • duchy
    • By duchy 19th Oct 16, 7:54 PM
    • 17,898 Posts
    • 45,259 Thanks
    duchy
    Are you in a position to provide alterntive child care?



    A court would not explicitly order you to pay child care costs but they could determine that you should be paying an element of spousal maintenance as well as the child support, if they felt that, looking at the financial picture as a whole, it was reasonable.

    Sinc eyou are separated, you no longer get a say in whetheror not she choses to work. You are of course free to suggest that the children move to live with you, and to give up work to care for them, if you want


    In orderto asses whether paying moe than you curently do would be fair, you'd need to look at the whole picture , including your respective incomes, your outgoings and finacial needs, and how other assets such as savings, equity in any property, and pensions are being divided.

    In terms of contact, alternate weekends are fairly common. If you were living closer tgether then it might be parctical for the childnre to spend time with you in the week as well. It is not unreasonable for her to want them to spend the interim weekends with her so that she gets that extended, quality time with them as well.
    Originally posted by TBagpuss
    Spousal support is uncommon especially for women of working age and a woman who already works with a soon to be ex husband who is a normal earner rather than very well paid is unlikely to get support ordered by the court. If she did it would be for a set period to enable her to retool to join the workforce. As the OPs wife has a boss she has feelings for and is already planning on increasing her hours your scenario is hardly applicable. The OP certainly needs a good solicitor for sure but spousal support is not likely to be a serious problem.

    The fact is his wife has problems understanding that as a single women with her children living with her that she needs to be financially reliant and that her ex is no longer responsible for funding her lifestyle but she is. His responsibilities extend to their children but not her once marital assets are split.
    I Would Rather Climb A Mountain Than Crawl Into A Hole

    Apparently having a "Quirky and Hipster" wedding
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 20th Oct 16, 1:53 PM
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    Guest101
    also shared care doesn't automatically mean that no child maintenance is payable.

    even with shared care, if one parent earns a lot more than the other, maintenance can still be required
    Originally posted by nannytone


    Salary has absolutely no impact on who pays child maintenance........
    • MataNui
    • By MataNui 20th Oct 16, 2:34 PM
    • 689 Posts
    • 307 Thanks
    MataNui
    What you are legally required to pay has nothing at all to do with her situation. You can take that as either a good or bad thing i guess but in this case it really doesnt matter that she considers herself at a disadvantage because she is the one required to pay the childcare costs.

    The way it works is simple. CMS look at your income and tell you that you need to pay her x per week. You pay that. ALL costs associated with the kids are then down to her, 100%. You can pay for extras if you want or not if you dont. Forget about the comment saying a court might require you to pay an element of Spousal support. Its rare in any case and even when it is used its only if there is a huge difference in incomes. It used to be the norm, now its the exception. From what you have said you are nowhere near being in that situation.

    Go to the CMS website and work out what you would need to pay. If its less than you pay now then show her the calculations, tell her she is lucky to be getting what she does and to sod off. If its more then you are probably best agreeing to a compromise with her. You wont lose out either way is its what you are legally required to pay anyway.
    • nannytone
    • By nannytone 20th Oct 16, 8:11 PM
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    nannytone
    Salary has absolutely no impact on who pays child maintenance........
    Originally posted by Guest101
    not directly.
    but if 1 parent is working 16 hours a week on NLW and the other is earning 60k ...
    the chances are that the higher earner will be required to pay something even if it is shred custody.

    especially when the low earning parent will probably be receiving state benefit
    • fabforty
    • By fabforty 21st Oct 16, 8:51 PM
    • 696 Posts
    • 2,953 Thanks
    fabforty
    The days where single mothers could stay on benefits until their youngest child turned 18, are long gone. Your ex may well be better off on benefits in the short term, but long term this is less likely. Depending on the age of your children, her job and other factors, working now (even if it is inconvenient) might make her better off and far less dependent on you in the medium to long term. And even though her income won't affect your maintenance contributions, it will be in everybody's interests - especially your childrens', if she can earn a decent living. Childcare costs are a relatively short term problem - the impact of being out of the workforce for a considerable length of time, can last for years.
    • Gpod
    • By Gpod 23rd Oct 16, 1:01 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    Gpod
    Use the Child Maintenance Calculator which will tell you how much you are liable to pay if your ex opens a case with the Child Maintenance Service. It will also give you a guide figure as to what you should be paying. The amount is calculated as X% of taxable gross income, after occupational or personal pension scheme contributions are deducted, depending on how many children you have and how much you earn.
    You may also receive a reduction depending on how many nights your children spend with you throughout the year.

    https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-child-maintenance

    Also, you could read through this:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/325219/how-we-work-out-child-maintenance.pdf

    I would suggest that any money you pay for child support is made through a bank account and labelled Child Maintenance, as if your ex opens a claim with CMS, you could end up with an overlapping period where you end up paying child support twice.
    Last edited by Gpod; 23-10-2016 at 1:09 PM.
    • clearingout
    • By clearingout 26th Oct 16, 7:43 PM
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    clearingout
    Jesus wept. Really have seen it all now. Damned if you do and damned if you don't, eh?
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