Child maintenance query

Hi there

My children stay with me for 6 nights across a 2 week period (156 nights per year). They are with my ex for the remaining time and I pay her child maintenance accordingly. It's an arrangement between us, we've never involved the CMS, but the amount I pay was worked out using their calculator.

I regularly get asked to pay for extra things for the children and indeed I do. Sometimes this is my ex asking me, other times its the children themselves asking me (sometimes I suspect my ex asks the children to ask me for stuff they need/ want). Over the last 6 months I've paid for things amounting to approximately £500 per month, which is more than double the monthly child maintenance I pay. It leaves me with very little money left over.

If my children didn't stay with me at all, my understanding is that the maintenance I pay should cover everything my children need. But because they stay with me for 3 nights per week, I feel it's far from straightforward.

Am I obliged to pay extra? Should I pay extra? Where should I draw the line?

Comments

  • marcia_
    marcia_ Posts: 1,826 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Photogenic Name Dropper
    Nrobc281274 said:
    Hi there

    My children stay with me for 6 nights across a 2 week period (156 nights per year). They are with my ex for the remaining time and I pay her child maintenance accordingly. It's an arrangement between us, we've never involved the CMS, but the amount I pay was worked out using their calculator.

    I regularly get asked to pay for extra things for the children and indeed I do. Sometimes this is my ex asking me, other times its the children themselves asking me (sometimes I suspect my ex asks the children to ask me for stuff they need/ want). Over the last 6 months I've paid for things amounting to approximately £500 per month, which is more than double the monthly child maintenance I pay. It leaves me with very little money left over.

    If my children didn't stay with me at all, my understanding is that the maintenance I pay should cover everything my children need. But because they stay with me for 3 nights per week, I feel it's far from straightforward.

    Am I obliged to pay extra? Should I pay extra? Where should I draw the line?
     No you are not obligated to pay for anything extra unless you want to. If you went via the CMS they would make you pay the same as you have worked out on the calculator and no more.
     Just explain you will only be making your regular payments.
     Doesn't mean you can't offer the kids presents or pay for odd things if and when you can afford it but you are not obliged to. 
  • smithwilfer1
    smithwilfer1 Posts: 8 Forumite
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     financial responsibilities in co-parenting can be challenging. child maintenance payments are  meant to cover the child's basic needs, additional expenses , especially with shared custody arrangements. It's commendable that you're supporting your children beyond the mandated payments. However, it's important to establish boundaries and communicate openly with your ex about shared expenses. Consider discussing a fair and reasonable approach to covering extra costs, taking into account both parents' financial situations. Ultimately, finding a balance that prioritizes your children's well-being while ensuring financial stability for both parents is key.
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