Child Maintenance Avoidance
5 August 2021 at 9:28 am #57215
My ex partner who works full time in a well paid job, shares 2 children with me (2 & 4 yrs old).
To avoid paying any maintenance he has worked out he needs to have them 4 overnight stays a week. I have them 3 nights per week however I have them all day Mon-Fri. Is it right he’s not expected to pay any maintenance at all?
Myself and my children are in receipt of Universal Credit and are struggling a bit.
It’s a shame when parents work out how to get away with financially doing the minimum for their children instead of what they can manage and afford.5 August 2021 at 11:22 am #57228
have you had a private arrangement to pay maintenance? If using the Child Maintenance service, their rules are if both parents have equal day to day care of children (50/50), then there is no maintenance to pay. and they also calculate payments based on over night stays, so a parent will not get reduction in payment if they keep child only for the day.5 August 2021 at 11:47 am #57229
Hello thank you for your reply.
He picks up the children about 5.20pm Wednesdays and drops them back at 8.10am the Thursday morning. He then picks them up again on Fridays at 5.20pm and drops them off Monday morning 8.10am. He has 2 full days with them on the Saturday and Sunday and I have 5 full days with them Mon – Friday. He has them for dinner and bedtime Wednesday night and Sunday night to make up the 4 nights a week.5 August 2021 at 11:49 am #57230
And I forgot to add I’m receiving no child maintenance whatsoever as he says he doesn’t have to as he has them 4 nights a week therefore classed as 50/50 because of the hours he has them, even though a lot of the hours he has them for they are asleep.5 August 2021 at 6:34 pm #57246
you could check on the CMS calculator, and enter number of nights, and see what is comes up with: https://www.gov.uk/calculate-child-maintenance5 August 2021 at 6:40 pm #57247
steve is entirely right. It doesn’t matter how many hours day care you provide, according to CMS rules, the overnight stays are their only focus. So taking this into consideration with an child arrangement (formal or non formal) you having only 3 overnights weekly puts you in a vulnerable position of your ex partner actually placing a claim with CMS against you!5 August 2021 at 6:58 pm #57248
Thank you both for your input. It’s so frustrating that the extra overnight stays just for the bedtime are being used to avoid contributing at all, when I have them all week. I did think it would be likely a case of I’m not entitled to anything for them, but thought I’d check as it is still me that’s doing the most of the looking after of them both. One of those things I suppose!6 August 2021 at 5:46 pm #57300
Unfortunately if the paying parent is of the mindset that they don’t wish to financially support their children through the CSA there are ways around it. My ex has another ploy using pension contributions to keep his payments towards our children limited and I know of others playing the system in other ways.
My current partner is also divorced but paid maintenance and went halves on significant costs eg sports clubs etc. My experience is that there’s no middle ground when it comes to payments but your children are young, your split may be relatively raw still (?) and over time things may improve.6 August 2021 at 6:04 pm #57302
personally money comes second to me. if both parents are having equal time with kids, then they are shouldering all the costs that come with it, which makes things fairer.6 August 2021 at 6:23 pm #57303
<h1 style=”box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; font-family: LubalinGraphStd-Demi; font-weight: 400; color: #1a1919; word-break: break-word; font-size: 2rem; line-height: 2.5rem; padding-top: 1.875rem; padding-bottom: 1.25rem; caret-color: #1a1919; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto;”>Absolutely, time with parents is the most important thing which is why I haven’t chased for anything. It just seems strange that as a Father who is earning good money, knowing full well things are very tight this end, you wouldn’t want to contribute. All the costs of nappies add up, 2 days of nappies is a lot less than 5. He doesn’t do any of their washing, I do most of their food and snacks, I get their clothes and shoes etc. I personally wouldn’t understand how you wouldn’t want to contribute to your children if you had the means to. And it’s the fact an extra overnight stay purely for bedtime then dropped off first thing in the morning is being done to avoid payment, it’s things like that I don’t think are fair. Time with parents is far more valuable than any money could be, my point was when one parent is well off it would surely make sense to help in some way financially with the parent who has them most of the time.</h1>6 August 2021 at 6:49 pm #57304
you mention the overnight stays he is having, but during that time isn’t he paying to feed the kids dinner, then breakfast in the morning? don’t know how far school is from him, but if he is driving then fuel costs to consider also.7 August 2021 at 11:58 am #57316
I’m still doing breakfast and he doesn’t have to pay for any fuel as it’s covered by his work. Oldest child hasn’t started school yet and even when they do it will be me taking them to and from school each day. There’s also regular occasions I have the children extra days/nights so he can have his own plans too. As I say I’m not interested in getting into tit for tat, just seemed a bit strange that he has the children at weekends, and one overnight stay in the week, yet no maintenance is paid. I followed that link you sent and it advises I should be getting just under £140 per month due to his wage. I’m leaving it for now but just wanted to check as it didn’t seem right he can afford to help financially, but won’t, and the fact he wants the overnight stay in the week to work out so he doesn’t have to pay anything (his words). He doesn’t make up any of the days or nights he has off either.7 September 2021 at 12:38 pm #58839
The pension contribution loop hole needs to be closed by the goverment – surely parents have a responsibility to their children first. My Daughters Dad pays £700.00 a month into his pension (within what he is allowed) and is self employed so we now no loger receive a penny 🙁
7 September 2021 at 12:39 pm #588409 September 2021 at 11:07 am #58953
- This reply was modified 1 week, 6 days ago by Primmy. Reason: error
I would recommend that you contact our single parent helpline who should be able to help you to explore this situation further. Child maintenance is an issue that we are passionate about and we campaign for improvements within this service.
• Gingerbread Single Parent Helpline – Freephone 0808 802 0925
Opening hours: Mon 10 – 6, Tues 10- 4, Wed 10 – 1 & 5 – 7, Thurs 10 – 4, Fri 10 – 4 They can be busy so callers can expect to wait up to 20 minutes before the call is answered
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Kind regards, Justine