Im sorry if this has already been asked but what should child maintenance payments cover ?
My ex has used the government calculator and has said he has the children 2 nights a week, which he generally does. However, i feed them before he picks them up and they are back with me in the morning. I prepare all their packed lunches or make the payments for school lunches. When they need clothes or uniform I buy this as well, so I’m not sure why he should get a reduction for them staying with him for 2 nights.
Also, is it supposed to cover things like scout/cub subs, school trips, scout/cub trips, sports club subs or are these classed as extra?
Child maintenance can be a case of haggling for some.
At it’s crudest, it pays for anything and everything that you need to pay for to maintain the children.
Many negotiate that big other costs like school uniforms are shared between you both. Likewise clubs.
Your scenario obviously means that you further disadvantaged by the manner of how overnights are organised. And to be blunt given that the children obviously appear to only literally sleep at his Id query over the value of this setup as what quality time does this give them?
In an ideal world, if he’s having the children for midweek overnights then he should be responsible for the children from end of school upto returning to school the next day, thus including any cost of childcare if needed, feeding the children and providing either lunch or paying for school lunch the following day. IF he’s not willing or able to do so, then I’d suggest that actually an every other weekend contact arrangement could be preferable where as above he’s still responsible for the children from the end of school until Sunday evening. As that would in essence still reduce your additional costs by 2-3 evening meals, 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches.
The alternative is that you negotiate an additional “charge” for you collecting the children and paying for the meals and providing childcare for his contact.
Ultimately at the moment legally he’s right he will get a reduction! But that’s partly because he’s taking you for a ride in that you really are carrying majority of the costs of this contact! Win win for him!