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Maintenance

(20 Posts)
Ilovesparkle Sun 21-Aug-16 23:35:16

First time poster so hopefully this is in the right place. My ex has always had a good job until recently and his income has dropped. Because of his income level, we had agreed a level of maintenance through our solicitors which was 10% of his income for each of our children. We have two. Now that his income has dropped he has decided to calculate the maintenance payments using the csa calculator which works out at less than 20% of his salary. AIBU in expecting him to continue paying 20%. I actually thought that once you had an agreement through your solicitors that the csa weren't interested in looking at your case. I already work full time and struggle to meet childcare costs as he spends a limited amount of time with the children, so doesn't help out. Not sure where to go from here. Any advice appreciated 🙂

cannotlogin Sun 21-Aug-16 23:52:26

Agreement or actual court order?

Ilovesparkle Sun 21-Aug-16 23:57:29

Agreement through the solicitor

Welshrainbow Mon 22-Aug-16 06:13:42

Probably going against the grain here but I think you are being a bit unreasonable. 20% of something like 4K a month still leaves enough for ex to live, 20% of say 1k a month doesn't and at the end of the day he still needs to pay rent and bills etc. The CSA level of maintenance seems pretty good to me, he can't claim additional benefits based in salary after maintenance but no matter how much he pays you of you are entitled to claim benefits the amount of maintenance you receive is not included in your income calculations. Maintenance payments may change several times over the years if your DC are still young for example if he has another child etc. Accept the lower payments because if he stops paying and you have to chase him CS the CSA now charge for this I believe and you will still only get their calculated rate.

whatyouseeiswhatyouget Mon 22-Aug-16 06:32:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zoobeedoo Mon 22-Aug-16 06:34:54

I am under the impression that a CSA/CMS organised claim trumps a lawyers' agreement, but you could check this with your lawyer. I also would accept the lower payments as I would view it that child maintenance needs to be flexible to reflect circumstances.

Welshrainbow Mon 22-Aug-16 06:36:56

There would be no point in paying the feed and using them though as he is already offering what they would reccomend confused

SillySongsWithLarry Mon 22-Aug-16 07:46:42

CSA payments are not 'pretty good'. They are the absolute bare minimum an absent parent can pay for their children. And to say that it is ok to pay the minimum because benefits will top it up is the same as employers paying minimum wage to their counties knowing that benefits would top it up. It's what got this country into this mess.

Marmalade85 Mon 22-Aug-16 07:50:53

I get £64 per week and childcare costs £70 per day and I work full time.

NNChangeAgain Mon 22-Aug-16 07:59:57

It depends how much he's earning really.

If his income has dropped from say, £40k to minimum wage, like my DH did, then he'll be struggling to make ends meet and if you expect him to pay the same % then he may end up losing his home, for instance.
That may not be an issue if your DCs have very little contact and don't consider their Dads home part of their lives, but if they do, and his household is already parred to the bone, it's up to you whether you are prepared to accept a change in your quality of life too or whether your DCs relationship with their dad takes the hit.

RubbleBubble00 Mon 22-Aug-16 08:08:48

You can want him to pay 20% but he only has to pay the csa level, nothing you can do about it.

RubbleBubble00 Mon 22-Aug-16 08:10:08

Are you using tax credits or childcare vouchers to help with childcare costs?

Careforadrink Mon 22-Aug-16 09:13:19

Csa payments are not pretty good. They are the bare minimum and come nowhere near the actual cost of raising a child.
Personally I think it's a national scandal that they are so low.
If the RP only provided to the same amount then that would be negligent.

Were you married? Can you claim spousal maintenance on top of child support?

Ilovesparkle Mon 22-Aug-16 09:16:43

To be fair, he's actually left with quite a lot. He has two houses in different countries, he sees the children so little so he doesn't have to pay tax on this country. He does nothing for the children other than babysit for them one week out of eight. He has never had to take to doctors appointment, dentist, deal with the school. He insisted on having the children the last two weeks of the holidays so I said that that would mean he was responsible for getting new school shoes/uniform etc. He decided the day before school goes back that he wasn't going to do that. I'm exhausted and exasperated. Thanks for the advice though 😊

Ilovesparkle Mon 22-Aug-16 09:20:35

The agreement we had was 20% of his salary, which was above the level of the CSA amount.seems a bit unfair that he can just chop & change when it suits him. I do get some help with childcare from tax credits but reluctant to rely on them as I work shifts and it's difficult to work out how much to ask for. I'd hate to be overpaid & then have a lump sum to pay back.

TheGruffaloMother Mon 22-Aug-16 09:32:29

YANBU. The CMS amounts are bloody pitiful. But sadly, that isn't what matters. I don't think he can be made to pay a fairer amount. The most you can have enforced is the legal minimum.

LineyReborn Mon 22-Aug-16 09:36:34

Two children is 20% under CSA rules though? Or is he distinguishing between gross and net?

c3pu Mon 22-Aug-16 09:40:53

CMS payments are only a pittance if the paying parent doesn't earn much.

If they are on a high salary, CMS payments are likely to be a lot higher.

LemonSqueezy0 Tue 23-Aug-16 04:56:17

Sorry to throw another possible spanner in the works, but cms don't have jurisdiction over someone who is not based in the UK. Not clear from your post if this is the case or not for him? If he's non-UK might he then use this as leverage to offer even less?

Ilovesparkle Tue 23-Aug-16 07:43:10

He's not based in the UK, hasn't been for nearly 5 years. I think the best thing to do is speak to my solicitor. thanks for your help

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