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Also, yes it is an option regarding maintenance.

Unfortunately the way maintenance is laid out it is not means tested in a linear scale.  So premiership footballers for example earning millions will have to pay the same amount of maintenance as someone earning a tiny fraction of that amount that happens to be at the higher end of the CMS specified threshold.

In my case for example the amount of maintenance calculated does not equate to the amount necessary to make sufficient contribution to my son, so the amount agreed between myself and his mother was higher to compensate.  Every situation will be different, and it may be the case even that upon paying the maintenance that there are other costs relating to your situation that she may need to pay you to offset this amount.  Sit down, go through the figures and determine what is fair for you both – if you can’t then get a mediator to help, if this doesn’t’ work then it will be for courts to decide but then a lot of the money you are trying to dispute will be lost in legal fees and increase your debt so it’s in everyone’s interests to avoid the latter as it’s money deducted from that which would go to support your child, and also your own living situation (accommodation/sustenance etc).

Maintenance is a compensatory amount paid to the other parent, not to the child and the amount calculated is not a reflection of how much is needed to support the child so as you said above as long as maintenance is paid and agreed between you then nobody else gets involved.  The only time CMS get involved is if there is a dispute by the parent who should be in receipt of payment saying that moneys are not being paid.  Ideally this should be sorted between yourselves if you are amicable.

Definitely for your own records cover your back by doing a standing order to her account labeled “maintenance” for example, so that if this is ever disputed in future you have a record of payments you’ve made.  But in terms of how much you pay this is something that you should really discuss between yourselves as the amount calculated may not be sufficient or may upon payment (with the minimum required being paid to demonstrate for records sake that you are compliant), this may need to be increased or offset depending on your individual circumstances but keep records of both.

Bottom line.  Comply with the amount specified by CMS – and prove that this is being done, but think about what your child needs depending on the individual circumstances.