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To challenge the CMS calculation

(108 Posts)
UserWhatYouLike Sat 23-Jun-18 08:28:13

Dp has 2 dc (14 and almost 16)

He was paying for them through the CSA but the case was closed due to switching to the CMS.

He’s received a new calculation from the CMS which is (roughly £100 a month) higher than before. He queried this and his ex has told the CMS that the dc don’t stay over at our house anymore. This isn’t true. They’re supposed to be with him Friday night one week and Saturday night the next, but being teenagers they pop their heads in and go straight back out with their friends. 9/10 they are sleeping over one or other of their friends houses on one of the nights but he is still responsible for them those nights.
The older one also has a babysitting job so depending on if they have a job that weekend is whether or not they turn up.

He normally pays the amount the CSA suggests plus half of uniforms/trips, pays their phone contracts and gives them £10 a week each. we also take them clothes/shoe shopping twice a year and get the majority of what they need.

We are not well off and are just about breaking even each month. This £100 will mean we will struggle. I have 2 teen DC (who spend the weekends in a similar way) and we have 2 toddler dc together.

The contact is court ordered but we’ve allowed the dc to choose to go out/stay with friends if they like. DP is loathe to make them stick exactly to the script as we will then have unhappy DC, plus it will be treating them different to my own DC which we’re conscious of not doing.

We are lucky(?) enough to all live within 5 minutes of each other so his DC often come here straight from school to hang out with my DC, or for dinner a few times a week (depending on what we’re having😂) so we do actually see them a lot more than I’ve suggested.

How do we handle this?

Does DP suck it up and pay the extra or should he challenge it and explain that they should be staying over but choose not to? Or should we enforce the court order and make them stay at ours/not let them go for sleepovers or babysit?

Uncreative Sat 23-Jun-18 08:30:24

Challenge it.

In order for it to be an effective challenge, try inviting their friends to sleepover at your place once in a while.

UserWhatYouLike Sat 23-Jun-18 08:39:22

We do sometimes but we’re short on space. Plus they don’t like having to be quiet from 7pm when the toddlers go to bed 😂

Our dc all share rooms (luckily they’re all a similar age and get on brilliantly) but we are looking into converting the loft and/or garage to add in more space.

catsoup Sat 23-Jun-18 08:42:43

All you need to do is send the court order in to CMS and they will amend the calc whether the teens actually sleep over with you or not.

SendintheArdwolves Sat 23-Jun-18 08:43:56

You have six kids between you - that was always going to be expensive.

It sounds like all three of you (you, your partner, his ex) are strapped for cash. You can't afford a hundred quid extra a month, she clearly needs the extra income, the teenagers get ten quid a week and all have jobs to earn some cash, etc.

I'm not sure if there's a solution to this. You can complain to the government that you shouldn't pay so much for your kids and that the ex will have to magically find it, and she can say that she needs their father to contribute more, and you can say you don't have it - basically sounds like you have more kids than you can afford and I'm not sure there's a fix for that.

Snappedandfarted2018 Sat 23-Jun-18 08:45:25

But they aren’t staying over night so she’s not lying. The court order needs to be amended so it more practical for the dcs ages. Court will view the wishes of the dc due to their age. He’s only being paying the minimum which is only a guide and not a lot. Teenagers are extremely expensive.

Snappedandfarted2018 Sat 23-Jun-18 08:47:04

I also think it was maddness having 6 dc in total. God I just about manage with my 3 especially clothing the almost 10year old.

WellAndTrulyCurbed Sat 23-Jun-18 08:59:02

No I wouldn't challenge an extra £ 2 per day per kid? How petty.

And they are NOT staying with you the 4 nights a month they are supposed to not that I'm convinced that's going to affect the amount assessed that much

UserWhatYouLike Sat 23-Jun-18 09:01:36

It’s all circumstance. I was in a high paid job but was made redundant. Was 4 months pregnant with twins. What’s done is done, nothing I can do to change it. I don’t know about his ex’s finances, that’s none of my business.

Yes they’re not sleeping over but they’re not sleeping over at hers either so why should she get extra money for that? If there was an emergency or they needed picking up from somewhere they would call me or dp on those days (as happened when a child dsd was babysitting started vomiting- dp went and helped)

Hoped we could come to some sort of solution without having to go to court

Whatshallidonowpeople Sat 23-Jun-18 09:06:43

Why do they have to be quiet once the toddlers are in bed? That's how you create children who can't sleep through the slightest noise.

SendintheArdwolves Sat 23-Jun-18 09:10:36

So your argument is that your teenagers stay over at their friend's houses so often that that is effectively providing childcare that lets both their parents off the hook for their food/living costs??

She says they aren't at yours so your days have reduced, you say they aren't at hers so her costs can't have gone up - ever think of offering some of this hundred quid to the parents of the friends to cover their extra water/fiid/power costs for subsidising your teenagers??

UserWhatYouLike Sat 23-Jun-18 09:14:15

Obviously I don’t expect silence, but they like playing their music or guitar and want to do it without headphones.
Toddlers sleep through normal household noises but 4 teens either dancing around and singing at the top of their voices, or shouting out when playing call of duty in the next room would probably wake them up.

UserWhatYouLike Sat 23-Jun-18 09:15:17

They eat here on the days they’re here or we give them money for McDonald’s etc if that’s where they’re going

Yokatsu Sat 23-Jun-18 09:15:47

The reduction is for the nights they are spending with you, not for the nights they aren't spending with her. She's not the one paying maintenance.

They aren't staying with you. They are sticking their head in and heading back out. You could insist they follow the letter of the law . I suspect it would cost you more that £100 a month though

worridmum Sat 23-Jun-18 09:24:15

You can easily challange the CMS so do that she does not simply get more money because the teenagers decide they want to stay out go out while you are responsible for them.

Just like the NRP cannot reduce their CM because the RP ships off their children for weeks on end to their grandparents house.

cochineal7 Sat 23-Jun-18 09:40:36

To those saying that they aren’t staying with you, no, but they aren’t staying with exW either. They are, however, your responsibility those days - as in you agree to their sleepovers and babysitting jobs.

WellAndTrulyCurbed Sat 23-Jun-18 09:51:03

I hate threads like this.
OP, your 'circumstances' or choices should have no bearing on the teenagers your husband helps support. They are NOT spending the time with you so their mother is correct. You either need to enforce the court order and ask for a recalculation or suck it up.
Yes they’re not sleeping over but they’re not sleeping over at hers either so why should she get extra money for that?
Not how it works confused

Or go back to court and risk a further increase.

Summerisdone Sat 23-Jun-18 09:52:51

People seem to be missing the part where OP's DH is paying for the kid's mobile phone contracts, pays half towards uniforms and trips, and also buys them clothes etc. All this shows that he hasn't just been paying the minimum for them.

OP I don't know if you would have a valid argument as to why they should reduce the maintenance amount each month, but your DH has to talk to the ex and explain that he will do all he can, however if he is going to have to up the monthly cash amount then he won't be able to afford some of the extras, so perhaps she will have to take over paying for the mobile phones for example.
I don't know how reasonable the ex is or what kind of relationship you have with her, but if things are OK between you both then surely she will understand this.

Honestly, if my ex did even half of the extras your DH does, as well as pay the maintenance amount set out by CMS I'd be very happy, instead I just have him arguing the amount whilst even refusing to buy DS a pair of socks

worridmum Sat 23-Jun-18 09:55:31

Ignore the others the NRP maintance does not increase because the children have sleep overs at friends during there time just like the RP does not decrease because she ships her children off long term to her parents.

Appeal the CMS you will win it because you are responsible for the children.

SendintheArdwolves Sat 23-Jun-18 10:10:01

Hi @Summerisdone, sorry to hear your ex is such a crap father.

But I think it's a bad idea to tell women they should be bowled over with gratitude if the father of their children does even slightly more than the bare minimum for them. Saying "she doesn't know she's born, having an ex that pays for their phones! She shouldn't rock the boat asking for him to be an equal parent - my ex won't even buy nappies unless I provide them, etc. SHE'S SO LUCKY, he's basically a Saint and father of the year, etc" just normalises the idea that men should be let off the hook of providing for their own children. We treat the ones that occasionally buy socks off their own bat like superheroes, and tell women not to expect much and be grateful for what scraps they get.

(not saying in this instance that the OP's partner is not doing his half, but just that generally the "she shouldn't ask for more, it could be worse" isn't a helpful model)

UserWhatYouLike Sat 23-Jun-18 10:11:25

OP, your 'circumstances' or choices should have no bearing on the teenagers your husband helps support

See I don’t agree. If they were with us full time our circumstances would affect them so what’s the difference? All the dc in our family home have had to have changes due to what is basically a normal life occurrence that could happen to anyone. We could afford to have another baby, was I supposed to abort the other cos we couldn’t afford it? Or as a family, make adjustments to try and make it work. It’s sucks that I lost my job (company went into liquidation) but once the twins are in school I can get a full time job instead of trying to fit my p/t hours around dp so we save on childcare.

Snappedandfarted2018 Sat 23-Jun-18 10:16:17

Most people op wouldn’t have any more dc than they could afford you already had two teenagers your dp had two dc who he was finically responsible for and you decided to extend your family further and utilmately ended up with twins and limited space. It sounds like your dsc (both of them) are happy to pop in but utilmately don’t wish to stay overnight maybe due to the space and restrictions it follows therefore your dc is responsible for paying the increase in cm due to the fact they aren’t having over nights and it’s not one of occasions but a regular occurrence. As someone said it’s an extra 2 per day per child.

UserWhatYouLike Sat 23-Jun-18 10:21:51

As I said, we could afford it at the time. Then I was made redundant. The older dc have always shared rooms, they’re really close. the twins bedroom was storage before.
I don’t think it’s a case of not wanting to be here at all - they come round multiple times a week for dinner or to do homework together or just to hang out watching hollyoaks with me. Plus my dc are the same always out with their friends (we live near a big Westfield so they mostly go there or to town)

Thehop Sat 23-Jun-18 10:22:26

It’s not fair that your maintenance goes up because they choose to stay out sometimes. You’re still responsible for them on those days.

I would send a copy of court order for contact to cms they will change it accordingly, with no regard to sleepovers.

Snappedandfarted2018 Sat 23-Jun-18 10:23:15

They most not like sharing op if they never stay over. The mother is right in this case there is no over nights

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