Help - Partner does not know how much to pay

in Child support
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PerkPPerkP Forumite
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Newbie
Hi,

I have never got involved with my partner's maintenance arrangement with his ex but he's now asking for my opinion so I want to get my facts straight before taking a 'stance' so to speak. 

My partner has one child with his ex, who is 11 years old, they broke up around 4 years ago and he moved out of the family home and came off the mortgage voluntarily and started renting. He has paid just under £250 a month every month without argument. It is not court ordered. He earns about 1/3 of the mother. He is on £35k and her on £85k. He is in debt because of this arrangement. 

We have the daughter every weekend, so two nights a week minimum and random nights in the week if mother wants to go out etc which we're more than happy to do. We also have the child 50/50 spilt on school holidays. 

He is incredibly involved, we live 5 minutes away and he picks his daughter whenever he's asked from school, it used to be every day Mon-Fri and he'd sit in the mother's house until she came back from work and then she'd be with us at the weekend.

Since Covid it's just every Thursday after school he picks her up takes her to swimming lessons (which he pays for on top of maintenance) we feed her dinner then she's back at ours after school on Friday-Sunday evening. The mother has her Sunday evening-Thursday and takes her to school and does her packed lunches. He also pays for after school club on top of maintenance. 

Recently two things have happened. The mother admitted she puts the money straight in to savings for the daughter and doesn't need it. My partner who is overly kind has started wondering whether he can change the amount as he just can't afford it. He approached it, she said not to bother paying but is now demanding half at least.

We live in London, pay full whack rent, have her every weekend and pay for all entertainment food Thurs-Sun etc. We rent a two bed flat and she has her own room and we buy her clothes (willingly) if she needs, anything else on top. We are about to buy a 2 bed flat where one room is hers, it's also deliberately near her school etc and five minutes from the mothers and my partner wants to propose 50/50 childcare. 

From a woman's point of view I would not be with a man who would shirk his responsibilities, he wants to contribute and I totally understand. 

If any of this went through a more formal route would anyone know the procedure or the likelihood of outcome? I don't think either of them would want that necessarily but he feels the maintenance is a control mechanism on her part but also doesn't want to be in the 'deadbeat dad' category, which he never would in my opinion but heyho and she feels he should pay regardless as a matter of principle whether she needs it or not so it's a battle of wills I imagine. 

Thanks in advance for any comments.



Replies

  • marcia_marcia_ Forumite
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     There is a government calculator that shows what he should be paying.
    https://www.gov.uk/calculate-child-maintenance
  • tightauldgittightauldgit Forumite
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    As Marcia says run the details through the calculator - based on the numbers you gave £250 a month doesn't seem far off the mark at all. Remember that for CMS purposes your relative financial positions and outgoings are largely irrelevant
  • ZaSa1418ZaSa1418 Forumite
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    Check the calculator out and see what that says he should be paying. 
    If he is struggling with money then maybe he suggests he stop paying for the extra activities or they at least split the cost. I can't see why your OH should be paying for an after school club his daughter attends unless it is in his contact time. 
    How does the daughter feel about her time being split 50/50 between parents? 
    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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  • WYSPECIALWYSPECIAL Forumite
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    Given that it looks like approx 50:50 split of care has he spoken to the mother about him claiming Child Benefit? She wouldn’t be entitled on her salary and it is money that could be save s for their child.
  • TBagpussTBagpuss Forumite
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    As others have said, look at the calcualttor to see what the CMS requirement is.

    In terms of 50/50 shared care be aware that for CMS purposes what's relvant is where she spends the nights, so if you pick herup from school and provide tea etc, but she sleeps at mums, then it counts as mum's day/night for CMS purposes.

    From what you say, it sounds as thoug hshe is with you 3 nights a week - Thurs, Fri & SAt, but also extra times in the holidays. You mahu need to actually sit down with a calndear to see if she has been with you for 183 nights or more in the last year.

    Or if your partner and his ex agreed that she stayed with you until Mnday morning evey other week, so she was with you Thur-Sun one week and Thur-Mon the next, then it would be an equal split and neither would pay any maintenace. 

    If she were to stay Thur-Mon evey wek that would give him 4 nights and he would become the primary carer 
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • tightauldgittightauldgit Forumite
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    TBagpuss said:
    As others have said, look at the calcualttor to see what the CMS requirement is.

    In terms of 50/50 shared care be aware that for CMS purposes what's relvant is where she spends the nights, so if you pick herup from school and provide tea etc, but she sleeps at mums, then it counts as mum's day/night for CMS purposes.

    From what you say, it sounds as thoug hshe is with you 3 nights a week - Thurs, Fri & SAt, but also extra times in the holidays. You mahu need to actually sit down with a calndear to see if she has been with you for 183 nights or more in the last year.

    Or if your partner and his ex agreed that she stayed with you until Mnday morning evey other week, so she was with you Thur-Sun one week and Thur-Mon the next, then it would be an equal split and neither would pay any maintenace. 

    If she were to stay Thur-Mon evey wek that would give him 4 nights and he would become the primary carer 
    Presumably there is no court order here for child arrangements as CMS would work from what that says. In terms of these kind of ad-hoc arrangements it might be difficult to get CMS to accept what is being claimed if the mother is disputing it. The advice I got from CMS on the phone is basically that in the absence of a court order they accept whatever the resident parent says with regards to nights spent where. I'm sure it might be possible to prove the arrangements but it would be up to the NRP to provide sufficient proof of the arrangements that CMS would accept it. 
  • jefaz07jefaz07 Forumite
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    TBagpuss said:
    As others have said, look at the calcualttor to see what the CMS requirement is.

    In terms of 50/50 shared care be aware that for CMS purposes what's relvant is where she spends the nights, so if you pick herup from school and provide tea etc, but she sleeps at mums, then it counts as mum's day/night for CMS purposes.

    From what you say, it sounds as thoug hshe is with you 3 nights a week - Thurs, Fri & SAt, but also extra times in the holidays. You mahu need to actually sit down with a calndear to see if she has been with you for 183 nights or more in the last year.

    Or if your partner and his ex agreed that she stayed with you until Mnday morning evey other week, so she was with you Thur-Sun one week and Thur-Mon the next, then it would be an equal split and neither would pay any maintenace. 

    If she were to stay Thur-Mon evey wek that would give him 4 nights and he would become the primary carer 
    Presumably there is no court order here for child arrangements as CMS would work from what that says. In terms of these kind of ad-hoc arrangements it might be difficult to get CMS to accept what is being claimed if the mother is disputing it. The advice I got from CMS on the phone is basically that in the absence of a court order they accept whatever the resident parent says with regards to nights spent where. I'm sure it might be possible to prove the arrangements but it would be up to the NRP to provide sufficient proof of the arrangements that CMS would accept it. 
    Exactly this. The CMS said to me RP had disputed the amount of nights and they will believe her. Only a court order will be sufficient evidence to change it. 
    So you have to spend £1000’s to get that. Appalling system. 
  • tightauldgittightauldgit Forumite
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    jefaz07 said:
    TBagpuss said:
    As others have said, look at the calcualttor to see what the CMS requirement is.

    In terms of 50/50 shared care be aware that for CMS purposes what's relvant is where she spends the nights, so if you pick herup from school and provide tea etc, but she sleeps at mums, then it counts as mum's day/night for CMS purposes.

    From what you say, it sounds as thoug hshe is with you 3 nights a week - Thurs, Fri & SAt, but also extra times in the holidays. You mahu need to actually sit down with a calndear to see if she has been with you for 183 nights or more in the last year.

    Or if your partner and his ex agreed that she stayed with you until Mnday morning evey other week, so she was with you Thur-Sun one week and Thur-Mon the next, then it would be an equal split and neither would pay any maintenace. 

    If she were to stay Thur-Mon evey wek that would give him 4 nights and he would become the primary carer 
    Presumably there is no court order here for child arrangements as CMS would work from what that says. In terms of these kind of ad-hoc arrangements it might be difficult to get CMS to accept what is being claimed if the mother is disputing it. The advice I got from CMS on the phone is basically that in the absence of a court order they accept whatever the resident parent says with regards to nights spent where. I'm sure it might be possible to prove the arrangements but it would be up to the NRP to provide sufficient proof of the arrangements that CMS would accept it. 
    Exactly this. The CMS said to me RP had disputed the amount of nights and they will believe her. Only a court order will be sufficient evidence to change it. 
    So you have to spend £1000’s to get that. Appalling system. 
    You don't have to spend 1000s to get a court order. The application fee is £200 plus whatever you have to spend to get a MIAM (maybe £100). There's really no need to involve solicitors in the process of a child arrangements order - especially if it's just formalising an existing working arrangement. 


  • Twixty3Twixty3 Forumite
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    It is time for CMS  and DWP law to change to reflect modern parenting and accept that both parents may need help with costs even if it is just help with the childcare in their time so they can work whilst taking their incomes into account. 

    Care shared less than 50/50 of the time needs to be properly reflected.  It’s too blunt when it imposes 50/50.  It’s all supposed to be about the children after all.  So I don’t see the issue of assisting an NRP who is effectively a part time single parent in their time on a pro rata basis where needed. 

    New Zealand helps both parents.  

    UK law is outdated and CMS is unaffordable  for many because it has not had income bands uprated  since 1998.   Even the NAO as raised affordability issues and conflict with the benefit system  all that points to CMS/DWP being cruel to NRP’s by not being fair to them.  

    At some stage things will become so bad if nothing is done that something will HAVE to be done especially now that more people are noticing affordability issues and such like.  

    Politics of course, gets in the way, but it’s the politicians who wrote and passed these  laws and so they should fix it. 







     
  • BAFEBAFE Forumite
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    If he's in debt paying £250 a month and the mother has said she'll accept half, why don't you just do that?  £125 is a very small amount of maintenance to pay for a child and obviously the other £125 could go towards paying off his debt.

    How did you manage to get a mortgage offer with him being in debt?  Didn't they query this?
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