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Child support when care responsibilities are split

in Child support
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My friend has a son and daughter who have both lived with their mother since the divorce and his child maintenance payments were based on them staying with him for the weekend every other week and full weeks during school holidays. Recently the eldest started at college and moved in with him and he asked for a reassessment. They have assessed it but it doesn’t seem to have reduced much which doesn’t seem fair as his costs have greatly increased decreased from just under £500 a month to just under £400

My question is should he be applying for maintenance from his ex also? They have virtually the same care responsibilities eg one child full time and one weekends, every other week and school holidays, they earn almost the same so I would have assumed that it would more or less cancel each other out but as it stands one side is paying in excess of £300 plus the cost of having one of the children full time living with him. Is this because she claims for her child maintenance and he should also claim for his which would mean there may only be a small difference in what each is entitled to?

hopefully that makes sense
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  • edited 10 March at 10:35AM
    ZaSa1418ZaSa1418 Forumite
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    edited 10 March at 10:35AM
    Yes he should 100% claim child maintenance. 
    Does he get the child benefit for his son? if not he will have to apply for that and he needs to do it asap. 
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  • Dollymix12Dollymix12 Forumite
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    He has just had it changed and they have allowed him to claim it. It seems very odd that he should claim from her and she would claim from him, surely this should just be one claim 
  • edited 11 March at 12:00PM
    ZaSa1418ZaSa1418 Forumite
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    edited 11 March at 12:00PM
    He has just had it changed and they have allowed him to claim it. It seems very odd that he should claim from her and she would claim from him, surely this should just be one claim 
    It is ridiculous that they should claim against one another especially if they earn around the same but if they don't agree to not claim against each other then the only solution is for him to claim back. The CMS might suggest to them that they both to close their cases. 
    LBM Debt Total : £48,326.50

    Pay All Your Debt Off By Xmas 2022 - #9  £8,884.36 / £15,000.00
    Saving For Christmas 2022 - £1 a day challenge - #6 £636/£1095.00
  • ClearchemClearchem Forumite
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    The income % level is 12 for 1 child and 16 for 2. Therefore yes the payment is not going to halve for example,  the minimum is 12% of the income. Yes there can be a cross claim of 1 to the other. At similar income levels it will cancel each other out. It this is the case then maybe common sense can prevail and the cms case be closed. Rather than spend the next few years moving the same amount of money between each other while the taxpayer picks up the bill for assessing each others income annually.
  • finnan89finnan89 Forumite
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    Hi,

    I've just been following this thread and am trying to work out my own situation and if there's any similarities.

    Myself and my ex currently share the care of our 2 kids. I have them for 6 days and nights out of 14, she has 8 out of 14.

    She currently claims child support from me for the nights she has them.

    Am I correct in understanding that I can make a counter claim against her to support me for the nights I have them?

    Thanks.


  • tightauldgittightauldgit Forumite
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    No, your child support for the kids should be calculated based on the fact that you have them 6 nights out of 14 and reduced accordingly. Child support is paid to the resident parent (basically the one that has them the most time) only. 

    You should check on the CMS website and use their calculator to see that you are paying the right amount and the reduction for your 6 nights out of 14 is being applied.  
  • finnan89finnan89 Forumite
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    Thanks for the reply. My discount is being applied. 

    What I'm struggling with, is if I've understood things correctly, if childcare is split 50/50, and bills are split 50/50 then no child maintenance is due.

    However my ex is insisting on having them one extra night a fortnight to get child maintenance and keeping child benefit (which I believe she's entitled to do) and also wanting me to pay 50% of all bills (and as the children are young and still have wrap around care for school this is a very significant cost still) on top of this as well.

    I don't know if this is reasonable or not as a lot of the stuff I've read is either about child maintenance or shared care, whereas I feel like she's pushing for a hybrid of the two where she can take as much as she can. 
  • ZaSa1418ZaSa1418 Forumite
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    finnan89 said:
    Thanks for the reply. My discount is being applied. 

    What I'm struggling with, is if I've understood things correctly, if childcare is split 50/50, and bills are split 50/50 then no child maintenance is due.

    However my ex is insisting on having them one extra night a fortnight to get child maintenance and keeping child benefit (which I believe she's entitled to do) and also wanting me to pay 50% of all bills (and as the children are young and still have wrap around care for school this is a very significant cost still) on top of this as well.

    I don't know if this is reasonable or not as a lot of the stuff I've read is either about child maintenance or shared care, whereas I feel like she's pushing for a hybrid of the two where she can take as much as she can. 
    As she has them more then she is entitled to the child benefit and maintenance however, maintenance is all the money you have to give her. She can pay her own bills. 
    LBM Debt Total : £48,326.50

    Pay All Your Debt Off By Xmas 2022 - #9  £8,884.36 / £15,000.00
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  • tightauldgittightauldgit Forumite
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    finnan89 said:
    Thanks for the reply. My discount is being applied. 

    What I'm struggling with, is if I've understood things correctly, if childcare is split 50/50, and bills are split 50/50 then no child maintenance is due.

    However my ex is insisting on having them one extra night a fortnight to get child maintenance and keeping child benefit (which I believe she's entitled to do) and also wanting me to pay 50% of all bills (and as the children are young and still have wrap around care for school this is a very significant cost still) on top of this as well.

    I don't know if this is reasonable or not as a lot of the stuff I've read is either about child maintenance or shared care, whereas I feel like she's pushing for a hybrid of the two where she can take as much as she can. 
    Legally she is entitled to receive 100% of the child benefit as the resident parent, she is also entitled to receive whatever CMS calculate you owe in child support. She can spend both of these in whatever way she wants. She is not legally entitled to anything over and above this to pay for any other bills. These bills are what child benefit and child maintenance are there to cover. 

    Of course you are free to choose to pay more to her if you feel you want to.  
  • edited 24 May at 1:26PM
    finnan89finnan89 Forumite
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    edited 24 May at 1:26PM
    Thanks for the advice above. 

    I'm going to add a bit more detail - as my ex is again demanding extra money from me, and I just want to know where to draw the line.

    My current understanding is as I pay her child maintenance and she is the resident parent with primary care I don't need to pay her any extra money.

    I have them 6 nights a fortnight,, she has them 8.

    However, as I'm the one that lives closest to the kids school, and i can drive, I have the kids on the day my ex works. I also work on these days it's just logistically easier for me to have the kids so they can get to where they need to be. This does mean though technically, 'my days', as my ex refers to them as, are more expensive as the kids require before and after school club. She therefore wants me to contribute extra to cover these costs - even though I'm doing these days as I feel it's the right thing for the kids.

    I just wanted to double check that I shouldn't be paying any extra, as I just want to ensure I'm doing the right thing.

    I'm worried that if I don't pay the extra, she'll not pay the before or after school club fees, which then means I'm potentially stuck, and I feel she may then use this as leverage in an argument for her to have the kids more.

    I really hope the above makes some sort of sense - I've already put a referral in for mediation to try and resolve this with firmer legal support. There is also a history of me taking on credit card debt on her behalf in the past, so I've got debts from the relationship to pay off so I need to stop the demands for money, but equally I know I've got to do the right thing to provide for my kids.
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