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Child maintenance: how much and what should be covered

(68 Posts)
Eastfinchleydad Sat 13-Jan-18 22:24:21


Sorry if this is the wrong place for this, and I’m sure it’s been covered elsewhere, but I’d appreciate any help / honest opinions you can give me.

Second apology: the amounts of money I’m going to mention are considerably above the national average, and I can see why people may just say ‘get over yourself’.

My wife and I separated 7 months ago after 5 years of marriage. We have one daughter who is now 3 1/2. We earn similar amounts: I earn £74k; she earns £69k but with lower pension contributions. I left the family flat, and am renting a flat three stops away on the tube. I pay £1350 per month in rent which is very slightly more than the mortgage payments on the family flat. My daughter spends approximately 2 nights per week at ‘mine’ (I’d prefer more, but that’s a different topic). She is in nursery 3 days per week, with my wife taking her for one day and her mother for another. With our 30 hours, and before vouchers, we pay about £400 per month.

I don’t want to be unfair to my ex wife, and I certainly don’t wish to not contribute to my daughter’s needs. I also want to make sure the agreement is fair to me. I have, of course, been paying maintenance over the past 7 months, but the level is being questioned, and I just wanted to gauge opinion on a) what approximately would be a fair amount; b) what should be included (childcare, activities etc.); and c) how to account for childcare vouchers.

I’ll let you know what my current contribution is later, if you’re interested!


franktheskank Sat 13-Jan-18 22:26:58

Just use the calculator smile

Eastfinchleydad Sat 13-Jan-18 22:28:57

But the calculator doesn’t say what is included, and what responsibilities do I have for paying the mortgage etc.

Starlight2345 Sat 13-Jan-18 22:30:25

If you look up csa calculator it will tell you the legal minimum . It takes into account your overnights . This is the minimum you should pay

franktheskank Sat 13-Jan-18 22:31:04

Well maintenance is just for children not mortgage.

I put in your details and it said £131.00 a weeksmile

franktheskank Sat 13-Jan-18 22:32:26

Also just to add, it does t matter how much your wife earns. She is the main caster so you pay her maintenance regardless of if she earns more or less than you. Just thought I'd point that out as so many people don't seem to be aware of it.

franktheskank Sat 13-Jan-18 22:33:14

Sorry forgot to check my last list for errors! I'm sure you can work out what I mean

katmarie Sat 13-Jan-18 22:35:46

Things like the mortgage and other non child related finances should be sorted out in the financial part of the divorce settlement, and have no bearing on the amount you should be paying for child maintenance.

Eastfinchleydad Sat 13-Jan-18 22:37:01

We’re not divorced yet. And doesn’t child maintenance include contributions to keeping a roof over your child’s head.

Thanks for the replies, btw

Zampa Sat 13-Jan-18 22:37:59

Maintenance isn't "for" anything as in you can't dictate what the receiving parent spends it on. When you use the calculator make sure you deduct the allowed amounts (nights with you, pension contributions etc.). Many on Mumsnet see the calculator as the bare minimum an NRP should contribute but circumstances will dictate what's appropriate.

Mortgage payments for the former family home and spousal maintenance are a different kettle of fish and don't affect child maintenance. I would strongly recommend consulting a solicitor for this aspect.

RandomMess Sat 13-Jan-18 22:39:42

Well a share of the mortgage is a financial investment as well as providing a home for your child. Try and see the mortgage and share of the marital property entirely separate things.

VimFuego101 Sat 13-Jan-18 22:39:54

I would say the CMS calculator amount plus childcare, clothes and activities split between the two of you.

franktheskank Sat 13-Jan-18 22:40:37

Yes as pp said it's not for anything in particular other than what the resident parent needs it for. You don't really break it down into different sections, or at least I don't!it all comes out the same pot so to speak.

outofmydepth45 Sat 13-Jan-18 22:41:56

Why don't you work out how much it costs to keep you DD's status quo and pay half ?

Or go calculator and let everyone know how badly done to you are. (Bitter and receive £0 as exdp is self-employed)

Zampa Sat 13-Jan-18 22:43:00

it does t matter how much your wife earns

Not in relation to child maintenance but it will be relevant when calculating spousal maintenance and whether OP should continue paying towards the former family home.

Graphista Sat 13-Jan-18 22:46:34

Half childcare £200
Mortgage £200
Food £150

Then how much are your child's clothes, shoes, haircuts, toiletries and equipment, toys, any hobbies (eg swimming lessons), what were your utility bills? I'd say 1/4 of that would cover child's usage.

I reckon £1000 pcm - and that's allowed a reduction for you having wee one 2 nights a week.

You each are 50% responsible for your (joint) child regardless of earnings.

Cms calculator is absolute legal MINIMUM it's never anywhere near enough.

Even IF you consider the mortgage separate completely (which I disagree with because the child needs a home), that's still £800pcm.

If you end up paying less than that be appreciative and grateful.

Eastfinchleydad Sat 13-Jan-18 22:54:59

If I paid £1000 per month, I would nowhere near be able to rent a flat which could accommodate my daughter.

Ratinthehat Sat 13-Jan-18 23:00:25

My ex has gone exactly by the calculator and gives £200 a month for our 3 children and refuses to help with shoes, clubs etc as he thinks that's what is needed to pay for them. Obviously that just about cover food. I think as a previous poster said it need a to be much more than that.

ArnoldBee Sat 13-Jan-18 23:01:54

I got bored and did the cms calculator for you- £109 per week on their formula.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 13-Jan-18 23:06:57

as other have mortgage and spousal maintenance are separate to CMS. (for the reason that you also have to put a roof over your own head which your child will also stay at)

Eastfinchleydad Sat 13-Jan-18 23:06:58

Thanks. I got slightly more, but I still don’t know what it covers. Would it cover rent if there wasn’t the flat, for example?

I currently pay £450 pcm in payments, plus £128 in childcare vouchers, £70 in bills that are still in my name and about £150 in extras.

Ragusa Sat 13-Jan-18 23:12:39

So, what is your net income and what is your rent pcm?

What is your ex wife's income and mortgage pcm?

If you are paying 450pcm basic payments I take it you are not contributing to the housing costs of your ex and child?

Ratinthehat Sat 13-Jan-18 23:14:15

Their calculation is only to cover basics as I said what I get covers food.

Ragusa Sat 13-Jan-18 23:14:58

Childcare vouchers is an odd one...does your ex.also get these from her employer too? Don't forget she (+ her mum) are providing (??) free childcare for 2 days out of 5.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 13-Jan-18 23:15:03


3rd paragraph

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