CSA - variation on grounds of travel. Advice please.(8 Posts)
Does anyone have any experience of this?
Had a letter today saying that ex would like to pay less due to the travelling costs he incurs. We live about 500 miles apart so I did expect this - or for him to ask me to do half the journey etc.
DS is 3. ex showed no interest in contact until this summer and has only seen him 5 times so far. No overnight stays and it's not likely for a while. We have no formal agreement for contact and so far, DS has been slotted in during visits to local family. The visits they have done have not been solely for the purpose of seeing DS.
He is claiming for the costs for petrol and the cost of the hotel. He comes with his wife and DC so they require a family room. I understand the petrol costs but the hotel thing is perplexing me. If he came alone to see his son it would be much cheaper so should DS get less CSA because he chooses to bring the entire family? And also, if they were planning these visits anyway is this fair?
He has stated that he will be doing these visits every 2 months although this has not been discussed with me at all. If I have asked I've been told it's an as and when thing. I know they are planning their summer holiday here but have no idea of other visits before this.
The CSA are asking for my input but I don't know what to say. The situation is pretty fragile anyway and I am worried my questioning this will cause him just to stop visiting which isn't what I want for DS's sake.
The travel variation will cover the cheapest method of him traveling and cost for a single room for him to stay in.
You need to tell the csa how many times he has visited - there has b a number of visits over the year so they can work out the variation. The variation is then deducted from the money u are recieving and u are under no obligation to pay any more for travel.
And if the visits do not happen then inform the csa so they can do another travel variation.
My tight arse ex did this to his first wife as she moved to NI. She replied with stuff like...
I can not afford a drop in maintenance, he provides no other financial help towards extra curricular activities, school trips or holidays.
That there was no need to stay in a hotel as flights are cheap and he could fly in and out the same day. You could put that it should not be your DS that goes without because your ex decides to bring his new family and stay in a hotel with them. Find the cheapest hotel you can within your area and put the price down plus cheapest train travel and flights and this would be much cheaper than petrol. E.g. I just travelled to scotland by car and it cost me £240 in petrol would have cost me £69 on a plane!! If you can print off proof of cost of these things.
Also put that his previous visits have been because he has travelled for other reasons and name those reasons. Also put that he can not possibly state that he needs the money for travel when he is bringing his new family as general day to day costs would be more than if it was just him.
My ex got £8 knocked off a month LOL.
Don't let him and his new family take money that is rightfully your DS.
Thanks for the replies.
I'm quite conflicted with this one as I don't want the costs to be an issue but I do think he could do it much cheaper by himself and only occasionally bring DS's half siblings.
I think I probably will add in the suggestions above. I just don't know if it's worth arguing over.
I have emailed ex and he confirms that he will aim to visit every 2 months.
However, he has also stated that his wife funds these visits. I guess because she earns more but now I'm even more confused.
I honestly think that since they devote more time to visiting her family that DS shouldn't get money deducted for this. If it was his father coming down as cheaply as possible and paying it by himself fair enough but this doesn't make sense.
At the very least he should share the costs with his wife and ask for half the costs to be taken into consideration for the variation?
I don't know why I'm so worried about this but it all feels a bit penny pinching from both sides tbh.
I would just be honest with CSA and tell them what you have put on here. They are asking you what the situation is, just stick to the facts. Keep a diary of when he does and doesn't turn up in case it needs to be reviewed.
I understand you don't want to rock the boat. But if it was you that wasn't living with your son, wouldn't you do anything to see him? No matter how difficult the situation with the other parent, how little money you had? If he's committed to having a relationship with your ds no amount of mucking about with CSA amounts would put him off visiting.
Maybe ask ex for a more formal agreement? It will be reassuring for your ds when he is older to know when he is supposed to see his dad, not just be fitted in around other plans. Have you suggested phone or Skype contact (obviously will be very brief at this age).
Thanks for the reply DoubleYew.
We have tried Skype but it may take DS a while to get the hang of it! We'll keep trying though as I do feel it's important for them to keep in touch.
I'm just going to state the facts and let the CSA work it out. I said from the start I don't want to discuss the money side of things as I saw the hostility it caused between my parents. I really don't want to end up bitter over a few pounds but I feel like he has let his son down in many ways and this just adds to that. I shouldn't have been surprised really. It really will amount to under £20 per month from what I can work out. Not worth it financially but it feels like a principal thing.
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