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Child maintenance

(26 Posts)
Starwars7 Sat 16-Jan-16 10:19:53

My ex pays through the cms. He has a new job and increase but failed to inform them last september. I have recently done so.
I have asked for additional payments for drum lessons and trips as I believe that maintenance doesn't cover these extras. I also pay for school fees for both children. He doesn't contribute and I am on a teachers salary and he is on a lawyers salary. I don't think I'm being unreasonable.

AutumnLeavesArePretty Sat 16-Jan-16 10:26:04

Maintainence is a set percentage and covers everything. It's nice if they want to help with extras but are under no obligation too. The PWC tends to control hobbies so should evaluate if they can afford the, before letting children proceed.

Normal school trips the PWC should cover as they get the CB etc but for holiday type pnes then surely both sit down and decide if they agree on the trip and are happy to split costs before the child is informed or the school of a decision. Some prefer trips to be with parents so it's not just a cost issue.

Communication is they key, if the split was amicable then there's more scope to discuss costs etc.

Osolea Sat 16-Jan-16 10:29:58

YANBU to have informed the CMS of a change in your ex's income, and YANBU to ask for extra for extra curricular activities.

But maintenance is to cover all of those things, assuming you get a fair amount, which you probably do if he's a lawyer and you can afford private school. As a parent your ex has as much right to say he doesn't want to pay for drum lessons as you have to say that you do want to pay for drum lessons. You can't just sign your dc up for whatever you want and assume your ex should have to pay, it doesn't work like that.

Andrewofgg Sat 16-Jan-16 11:47:32

If you go through CMS you get CMS rates - whether they are fair or unfair. You can expect more if he pays more and if he is late in telling them about the increase you may get some arrears - but you can't ask for more, and you are BU to incur cost which you expect him to meet without getting his agreement - not just telling him - first.

HermioneJeanGranger Sat 16-Jan-16 11:57:31

YANBU to inform them of a change in income, or to ask for extras occasionally.

But I'm undecided re. private school. Is that your choice, or his? If you chose to send them there and he disagreed, I think you should fork out for the fees, as he would obviously be equally happy sending them to state school. However, if he wanted to send them private, then he needs to be contributing half.

CantWaitforWarmWeather Sat 16-Jan-16 12:14:14

you are BU to incur cost which you expect him to meet without getting his agreement

I agree with this. If you arrange hobbies without running it by him first, then don't be surprised if you have to pay for all of it, including equipment expenses. People probably won't agree with this, but I think whichever parent arranges the hobby should do the taking and picking up as well.
My dsd's mum arranged for her to do dancing lessons a couple of years ago, expected DP to pay towards it and all it entails, and expected him to take her on his days. A lot of the time it ended up being me having to take her instead, incurring an extra cost to me for bus fare, and then having to plan my Saturdays (and my children's Saturdays) around a hobby which she arranged. I had to put my foot down in the end.

It's just not nice to arrange something and just expect everyone else to fall in line with it.

SirBoobAlot Sat 16-Jan-16 12:20:29

Did you discuss in advance with him the activities and trips, and how costs would be split? If not, you're BU I'm afraid.

As for the fact you are paying the school fees, again, was private school your decision or a joint decision?

Starwars7 Sat 16-Jan-16 17:07:22

He had agreed to pay for extras but to no avail.
School frees are mates rates as I work there but still v.expensive and eh enjoys all the benefits like watching sports fixtures, concerts etc.

witsender Sat 16-Jan-16 17:08:54

Could your child change schools?

witsender Sat 16-Jan-16 17:09:53

Sports fixtures and concerts etc take place at state school so he could still enjoy them there.

AutumnLeavesArePretty Sat 16-Jan-16 17:25:22

Sports and concerts happen at state schools too hmm

If you want a private educatiom for your child, presumably as it suits you work wise to not have to pay childcare or do a school run then you have to accept you may not have enough to finance lots of trips or activities. Private school trips are usually more frequent and expensive than state.

Starwars7 Sat 16-Jan-16 17:27:27

Very true. Both are approaching the end of primary so it will be a different story soon. I am happy to pay for small trips but this one is 200 and I think bigger trips should not come out of maintenance payments. He pays just over 300 for 2 children pm.

MultishirkingAgain Sat 16-Jan-16 17:35:07

So he's on a lawyer's salary and pays less than £40 per week for each of his children? And doesn't contribute to extras? Either he or the CMS is taking the pee.

I am getting sick of these so-called fathers who shirk responsibility for their children. I don't suppose anyone forces them at gun point to have sex.

Lurkedforever1 Sat 16-Jan-16 17:40:15

Yanbu re income increase. Also Yanbu to think maintenance levels are a joke, or that a nrp should want their children to have things they can afford, above and beyond cms levels. But Yabu if you think the cms will chase up levels above and beyond their low legal obligation

browneyedgirl1974 Sat 16-Jan-16 18:30:52

300 pm for 2dc on a lawyers salary can't be right.

HermioneJeanGranger Sat 16-Jan-16 18:33:14

Only 300 a month? DP pays slightly more than that and only earns just under 15k. Either CMS have gotten it wrong, he's lying about his salary or he earns FAR less than you think.

If CMS have genuinely decided he can only afford £300/month, he can't afford to contribute to private school fees!

tootiredtoknow Sun 17-Jan-16 08:27:46

I also pay for school fees for both children

No you don't though do you.

He tops up your salary with £300 extra and it comes out of that joint pot. Additionally if he's only paying £40 a week there is either something seriously wrong or he earns far less than you believe he does.

Why are CMS involved? Why don't you allow him to direct pay?

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 17-Jan-16 08:39:02

By lawyer do you mean solicitor, or paralegal? If the latter he could easily be earning only about 15k-17k

tootiredtoknow Sun 17-Jan-16 08:42:06

Or they have joint custody of the children and they are spending several nights a week at their fathers.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Starwars7 Sun 17-Jan-16 15:14:26

Yes, he is a solicitor. I am the primary carer. He has them once a week, every other weekend and half school holidays. Apporox 165 nights a yr. wrong assumption re salary in independent sector. Many of my friends work in state sector and are paid more. The demands in both sectors are different and this wasn't what the original post was about. I struggle to comprehend why , when agreed, these extras haven't been paid for and I do not agree hat school fees, big school trips ( agreed) should come under regular maintenance. Is there somewhere in the cms which clearly states what maintenance entails?

Katenka Sun 17-Jan-16 16:05:27

As far as I am aware CMS do a set percentage of his salary. Taking into account how much the NRP has the children.

They don't deduct extras like trips, hobbies. It's all included in that monthly payment.

cannotlogin Sun 17-Jan-16 16:13:47

are you divorced? it is possible to get court orders for school fees, although I've only ever heard of them in the context of divorce. It might be something to look into, however.

As for trips etc. I am afraid that legally, he doesn't have to pay more than the CSA calculation. It does sound like he's paying less than he should - it would be worth looking at the paperwork and seeing if his weekly income (which is what they put on the paperwork) adds up to the salary you think he should be getting. However, if he's a partner or in some way self-employed, he will be able to manipulate his earnings - if this is the case, you can expect £5 or less at the point he realises he can achieve that.

As to why he does it even if you have agreed it between you, it's a very simple control mechanism. You will find life easier if you stop relying on him to do the decent thing or what he has said he will do. Cut your cloth accordingly and accept this may mean the children don't do activities you would prefer they did as a result. If you are able to manage without having to fall back on him, you take away his control. You will also find it easier if you can accept that what is moral in terms of children, separation and divorce isn't necessarily legal.

littleleftie Sun 17-Jan-16 16:22:24

£300 doesn't sound right at all.

Do you mean £300 for each child OP? Otherwise you are saying he is a solicitor who earns approx £22k salary. Or has he now been downgraded from Lawyer, to solicitor, to legal assistant?

Average salary for UK solicitor is £34k

Either way, child maintenance is supposed to cover all expenses, so although YANBU in asking for him, nicely, to pay half for school trips etc, there is bugger all you can do if he says no.

HermioneJeanGranger Sun 17-Jan-16 16:24:47

CMS payments are supposed to cover everything. He only has to pay extra when he has the children (clothes, bedding etc. for his house, plus trips he takes them on).

If you can't afford private school, then you need to send them to state school. I think you can only demand half of school fees in a divorce settlement-type situation.

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