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To not want to pay child maintenance?

(36 Posts)
WearingaHardHat Mon 12-Jan-15 09:49:30

Ok, donning a hard hat for this, as I know it can be an emotive topic.

XP and I split a couple of years ago. Since then I've been paying child maintenance, at a rate in excess of the CSA calculated amount. I've never argued about or questioned paying it, always paid on time, never been difficult about the amount to be paid.

The children spend their time 50/50 between me & XP, and when they're with me everything is my responsibility (school pickup / taking a day off if they're sick etc). Not saying that to get a gold star; just to clarify that it's a "true" 50/50 split.

Here's the thing: Whenever they come to me, they're always dressed innapropriately; thin coat in winter, DD (who's 5 & has coordination difficulties) wearing big clumpy boots that she can barely walk in without tripping over etc. So much so, that they no longer bring clothes with them when they come here, and they just have a full wardrobe at mine instead. I'm still paying for them to eat; for their school uniforms & shoes; they've got their own rooms here. I take them shopping to buy presents for birthday parties that they go to, I pay for the after school clubs that they do when they're with me. (Am trying to think of other examples, but you get the jist - there's nothing that's XP's "responsibility" to pay for.)

As a result, I feel like I'm effectively paying twice; once for child maintenance, and again for the things that child maintenance should be paying for.

So, is it unreasonable of me to wonder why it is that I'm still required to pay child maintenance, and to think that if I could stop, I'd be able to spend more on buying the children the things that they actually need.

Points to note (in an attempt to avoid a flaming):
1. I wouldn't actually stop paying unless there was a formal agreement in place to that effect.
2. This isn't a "what about the poor menz" thread. I appreciate that many men fail to contribute sufficiently (DSS's dad for one; even a christmas card might have been nice - but that's a separate thread).

(Namechanging regular, as this + previous posts would out me)

NorwaySpruce Mon 12-Jan-15 09:51:33

I didn't think parents were required to pay maintenance in the case of a 50/50 split?

Who said you have to?

SnowWhiteAteTheApple Mon 12-Jan-15 09:52:22

I agree, in a true 50/50 split where both parties pay for the child's needs whilst they have them there should be no need for additional child support. Both parties share the costs fairer this way and its a true cost.

justjuanmorebeer Mon 12-Jan-15 09:53:01

You say you have been paying over the CSA amount, but if care truly is 50/50 then the amount required would be zero wouldn't it.

What are your ex's living circs? Did you own property together? Who lives where?

How much have you been paying per month?

iwantgin Mon 12-Jan-15 09:54:31

I always thought that in the case of a 50/50 split there was no money paid out by/to either party?

ApignamedJasper Mon 12-Jan-15 09:54:41

I also thought that you didn't have to pay child support if you were 50% RP. It's normally NRP pays RP I think.

BathtimeFunkster Mon 12-Jan-15 09:54:41

I love that you wrote a totally gender neutral post and then gave it away at the end grin

YANBU

Why are you paying CM when you have 50-50 care and pay all their costs when they are with you?

WearingaHardHat Mon 12-Jan-15 09:55:19

Norway I've been working from the child maintenance calculator on the government website - it calculates that I still have to pay (as XP is classed as the resident parent). We went through mediation, but don't have a formal agreement re: 50/50 split.

SlicedAndDiced Mon 12-Jan-15 09:55:43

I didn't think you had to pay maintenance at all in a 50/50 split? I would look into it if I were you.

No flaming op, I can't see any reason why you should pay it at all?

PurpleWithRed Mon 12-Jan-15 09:58:16

I had no maintenance with a 50:50 split (and xdh earned substantially more than me). This was a private agreement though. I certainly don't think you should be paying more than whatever the CSA calculation is.

WearingaHardHat Mon 12-Jan-15 10:00:13

just we're both renting, XP moved out to a property of similar size. I won't say how much I'm paying, but enough to cover the rent.

wheresthebeach Mon 12-Jan-15 10:01:32

My DH did this - we had them 40% of the time and paid ex full wack.

Madness.

You are being unreasonable to do this as it sets a precedent that may come back to bite you in the future. Get it sorted.

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Mon 12-Jan-15 10:02:32

I'd need to know more about each household's income/earning potential/work hours etc. to decide if it was reasonable for you to contribute to your DC's other household to the extent you state you do. Do you both work full time? Earn the same? Both rent or both have a mortgage of roughly the same value? Or is there a disparity in earnings & earning potential? Who took time off when DC were born? Whose career took a hit for that time off & whose career continued unaffected by the birth of your DC?

Ill wait for that info & then give my considered opinion on the paying of maintenance in this scenario.

Bluecarrot Mon 12-Jan-15 10:03:49

You shouldn't be paying maintenance. Unless you have a court order stating payments, stop paying now and if she kicks up a fuss you can suggest mediation. They will side with you.

Do you think she is neglecting the kids or only sending them with inappropriate clothing to you? (Or are they dressed in appropriately all the time?)

CleanLinesSharpEdges Mon 12-Jan-15 10:03:56

I would think that a 50/50 split would see no maintenance being paid.

if your standard of living is significantly higher than your ex (and therefore your children for half the week) then I can see why there would be an argument for you to pay.

Quitelikely Mon 12-Jan-15 10:04:27

If you have checked the calculator then adjust your payment accordingly. Give some notice.

BuggerLumpsAnnoyed Mon 12-Jan-15 10:06:03

Its a shitter but sadly it could be one of those situations where if you question paying and 50/50 custody your access time could be reduced in a bit to keep hold of maintenance.

No advice really then keep doing what you're doing. Your kids will thank you for it in the end smile

Hamiltoes Mon 12-Jan-15 10:06:50

Is this not to do with the CSA / CMS thinking that although NRP has kids 50% of the time, RP is the one providing clothing, after school clubs, nappies, shoes, haircuts etc.

I think if this is the case then CM gets paid. I don't think this sounds like your situation though, maybe call them and see what they say.

Also start to think about the talk with DCs parent.. Does she rely on this money? How will she take the change?

Good luck op

Viviennemary Mon 12-Jan-15 10:08:09

You probably shouldn't be paying any maintenance at all if the care is split 50/50. But if you have a lot more money than your ex then I think you should be buying the children's clothes. Really you have to do your best for your child and not see this as a you v ex thing.

WearingaHardHat Mon 12-Jan-15 10:08:25

Tension XP was not working when we met, and didn't work while we were together (pre- or post-DC's) although she has qualifications that allow her to earn a similar hourly rate (though on a self employed basis). She does a bit of it now, though not much. (No medical reason for her not to - it just isn't what she wants to do).

TwitterWooooo Mon 12-Jan-15 10:11:22

I knew someone in this situ, she was the rp and cut access to the ex in order to keep the maintenance payments. This needs carefully talking through with your ex.

campingfilth Mon 12-Jan-15 10:13:55

Formally go through the CSA and show that your children spend 50% of their time with you and also keep receipts for what you pay out in kids clubs etc.

WearingaHardHat Mon 12-Jan-15 10:14:47

Blue No, it's not neglect - just thoughtlessness iyswim.

Vivien it's not a me v ex thing - definitely about the kids. Just really grated last week that I had to say no to something they really want to do because we can't afford it, when if I wasn't paying CM they would be able to do it.

tiggytape Mon 12-Jan-15 10:16:56

In fairness if she hasn't worked in the time that she's had 2 children she may not have the same earning potential regardless of qualifications. Current experience counts for a lot and years out to have children (rightly or wrongly) is a big negative mark to many employers. That's not necessarily your problem but equally it may not be a case of her deciding not to earn money just because she feels like it.

Also if the resources aren't shared, she will still be buying just as much clothing as she would if you bought nothing. If you have a wardrobe of suitable clothing but keep it all at your house, she has to buy duplicates. There's no cost saving to either of you from the children having 2 coats, 2 lots of shoes, 2 winter wardrobes etc. It hasn't reduced her costs at all (or yours).

Saying that though, a 50/50 split if it is permanent and involves all costs as you say, should not mean you paying the CSA rate if she had them 100% of the time let alone above that.

WearingaHardHat Mon 12-Jan-15 10:18:26

Bugger, Twitter when we went through mediation XP was very reluctant to allow too much access - it took a couple of months to convince that I would still pay CM before it got up to 50/50. I'm certainly wary of wanting to get into any legal battle over access - as far as the kids are concerned we get along great.

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