Child maintenance direct pay vs collect and pay

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  • #48999 Report


    Hi. My husband and I separated last year and we used the online child maintenance calculator to work out what my husband would have to pay. He only wanted to pay the absolute minimum even though our daughter has Autism and ADHD and would benefit from support for this which would incur a cost. He then set up a direct debit for this amount which comes directly into my account each month. This worked out fine and was never an issue until now. He does collect my 9 year old and drop her back to me so we do not share the travelling.  She stays with him ever other weekend. He said it was costing too much money in fuel and wanted me to contribute half of the fuel cost and said that would be £50 per month. However when I worked it out it was only £22 per month. I replied and offered to pay him directly £11 after each trip (usually twice a month) as this would not always be the same monthly figure as he sometimes has her for longer periods over school holidays and therefore travels less. He came back saying a new amount he wanted and that he would amend the child maintenance amount by £25 instead each month. I said that was not the figure I agreed to to contribute and nor did I agree to have it deducted but would be happy to pay separately. Anyway today my child maintenance payment came through and he had deducted the £25. He said he didn’t trust me to pay him after each trip (not that I have ever done anything to break his trust). I spoke to Child maintenance on the phone earlier and explained the situation and said I wanted to set up a ‘collect and pay’ as I was concerned that he can just deduct things if he wanted to and I needed reassurance that the agreed maintenance fee would be paid and not messed around with especially as I am currently on benefits and can’t afford to be without money to pay for my daughter. They said they thought the ‘direct pay’ option would be best however in my eyes this is just what we are doing anyway. I needed reassurance that I would get the money each month without fail. Has anyone else had them try and get you to stay away from the  collect and pay method? This would be a legal binding agreement unlike the direct pay. What experiences have you had with this? Thanks

    #49001 Report



    I think as soon as a CMS case is opened, your ex will start to take it seriously. they will calculate a fixed amount for him to pay every month. direct pay would be sensible. if he messes around, they can put him on collect and pay. It is harsh. they would take 4% from the money you get, and he will have to pay a 20% collection fee on top of each payment.

    #49003 Report


    Collect and pay wouldnt help you other than make sure you get your money. If  you for example get 600 a month this would be only about £576 . So would be easier maybe to agree on the £25 possibly for petrol. They charge you 4% i believe for collecting off your ex . Your ex would have to pay approx  if it was for example £600 ..£720 instead.

    I think they advised direct pay as you are not currently using them as you agreed the amount you pay between yourselves.  Also if your ex is self employed or even paye they would not be able to do collect and pay. They can only do it if you are paid by an employer into your bank as employer by law has to deduct it  regardless what your ex partner says. Hopefully you can come to an agreement with your ex

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