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low child maintenance calculations- a feminist issue- your experiences required

(17 Posts)
pushymum22 Tue 12-Jul-11 14:18:06

I am planning to see my MP next week after being fobbed off by the CSA and legal system in this country. Basically no one can explain to me how it is legally morally and financially OK that my ex is only expected to pay me £40 a week child maintenance for two children. I have asked my MP via email and the CSA what is this calculation supposed to cover, as clearly it does not cover school uniforms, school trips, haircuts, party gifts the list goes on...

It is the main carer who ends up filling the gap in funding which is usually a woman...the mother....I pay for EVERYTHING. When I ask my ex for help with the next school trip he laughs at me, as legally he's paid his dues in his £40.

Did a man calculate the CSA calculations??

It is pretty obvious to anyone who has had a child that £40 a week will just about cover school dinners but not shoes or PE kit.

My other female friends are being stiched up by the system and shameless exes too and I wondered how many others are out there......

yeknelle Tue 12-Jul-11 14:41:03

It will be interesting to hear others' experiences too. The laws differ across countries in the OECD nations, but within the UK, the average CSA is with the exception of Switzerland and the US, one of the highest in the world.

You might like reading this just for the heck of it

Of course, the information in the pdf won't help your individual situation--which can be caused by all sorts of things--from incomes, to where you live, to difficult court agreements, to miscalculations.

SparklyCloud Tue 12-Jul-11 14:44:32

You get more than my ex pays for my two, but yes, I agree with you. Also, what about the money knocked off for his new partners existing kids? 15% I believe, whereas new partner's wages not taken into account? Its a disgrace.

yeknelle Tue 12-Jul-11 14:51:33

So you're saying that the ex's wages are considered in the calculation, but not the new partner's? Is this regardless of the age of the children involved or amount of wages earned by all involved? Is it the same for men and for women?

droves Tue 12-Jul-11 14:54:01

Think the absent parters should pay for their own children , and not someone elses too <as in the new gf `s kids , whos dad already pay for them . ?

If each parent paid for their own then it would be fairer system... step-children shouldnt be included in calculations if new partners wages are discounted iykwim?


mumblechum2 Tue 12-Jul-11 14:58:10

I agree that it's a very blunt instrument, however basing it on a percentage of the father's income was the least unfair of all the other options imo.

Several of my clients receive in excess of £1,000 per month for two children, as their ex earns £5,000 per month after tax, ni and pensions.

It all boils down to the earnings of the father, not how much that particular child needs. Sometimes it's unfair to the mother, sometimes to the father, depending on their socio-economic status.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 12-Jul-11 15:01:58

The reason you only get £40 a week is because your ex doesn't earn enough to pay more.

He must be on a very low wage - this means the CSA calculation allows him to still have money to live.

Unless you're saying he's fiddling in some way? hmm

If he's not fiddling a far better question is why have 2 children with someone who cannot provide for them financially? surely you knew at some point when having them that you were choosing to make up the difference?

SparklyCloud Tue 12-Jul-11 17:38:52

yeknelle, yes, that is how it works. The new partner could be bringing in thousands a week, but its only his wage that is looked at.Then how many kids SHE has, living in the house with them. Ages of the kids, i think as long as they get child benefit , they are included in the calculation.

Its the same for men/women.

It pisses me right off!

pushymum22 Thu 14-Jul-11 12:32:00

thanks for the blogs they are very helpful...

however what I would LOVE for someone to explain to me (CSA, solictiors even my own MP) couldnt explain to me WHAT the CSA calculation constitutes...

back to my original point, regardless of how much he earns, additional kids etc etc, £40 does not cover enough for ALL that a child needs....My ex has the kids for a third of the time and this is why the amount is so low...because he has them so much of the time and so it covers cost of food, heating etc....but when the kids outgrow something, or want to go to a party...they have to come to me for the money because he says no as he's paid his takes my breath away that I have no legal recourse to get him to pay up...

basically if he has them a third of the time he should pay a third of total the average child costs £200,000 between 0-18 then his £40 isnt really going to get there....

If you agree that if you have them a third you should pay a third of total costs then reply to this thread!

reindeersledder Tue 10-Jan-12 14:37:15

regardless of how much he earns, additional kids etc etc, £40 does not cover enough for ALL that a child needs

But they will have calculated a minimum that your ex-DH needs to live on (taking into account rent/mortgage, a fair estimation of utility bills, commuting costs)... whether the amount left over is enough to pay for the cost of your children is a bit moot.

basically if he has them a third of the time he should pay a third of total costs

They can only work with what your ex earns. If that's fuck all, you still only get a portion of fuck all. 20% of peanuts is still just a small pile of peanuts. Your ex must be a very very low earner.

Two practical things to tackle is whether you think he's lying about his income level to the dept., and perhaps trying to work together so that you can work more to cover the costs, I guess (e.g. if they're at his a third of the time, that allows you to be fairly flexible about taking on a second job in the evenings or on a nightshift).

I'm not sure what else I can say... you said the average child costs £200,000 between 0-18 then his £40 isnt really going to get there.... - but it's not like there's money to give to you if it literally isn't there. Beyond his basic living costs, there's no more money to go around.

End of story.

Unless you want the government to top your income up, which is a much more contentious issue, and I would argue already happens (working tax credits, child benefit, and so on).

reindeersledder Tue 10-Jan-12 14:39:55

If you agree that if you have them a third you should pay a third of total costs then reply to this thread!

P.s. I also think the above statement is naive and childish.

If your ex earns £200 a week net, but pays out 75% of that on basic living costs (more than reasonable to assume on such shit wages), he already has no more to give.

Where do you propose his landlord gets their rent money from? Do you think British Gas should subsidise the cost of raising your children, and waive a bill or two?

Honestly, ill thought out comment all around, frankly.

ivykaty44 Tue 10-Jan-12 14:47:35

I am surprised that the Tory's haven't tried to put up the amount that NRP are due to pay towards the upkeep - to try to get parents to stay together as they value family life so much - <oh dear no cynical emotion on mn'snet>

supernannyisace Mon 05-Mar-12 19:49:55

No matter how child maintenance is calculated there will always be someone who feels slighted/cheated/whatever.

unfortunately - I don't see how it can ever be 'fair' to all.

My ex pays a small amount for our son - he has a quite low paid job - and two new children to support.
Whereas my husband pays his ex well - £ monthly and half of all other expenses - school uniform, trips and we take them on holidays.
So, in our house we have a lot of out-goings paying for the children, and very little coming in .. but hey!
Sometimes you just have to suck it up - and pay yourself. You aren't going to deprive your kids of treats or extras just because their absent parent isn't coughing up more money.

It does seem unfair - but I don't see how it can ever work perfectly .


faeriemoo Mon 05-Mar-12 19:53:42

My ex pays me less per week for my two than you get. But it is relative to his wage. I don't expect him to have a shitty standard of living just because I want a little bit more for the kids.
I don't think it would be at all productive for our kids to see Mummy screwing Daddy out of a roof over his head and food on the table (which also benefits them!)

MyNameIsntFUCKINGWarren Mon 05-Mar-12 20:02:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Dee03 Mon 05-Mar-12 20:19:10

I receive £12 a week for 2 the 10 years we've been divorced his payments have gone down, down, down,
When the Csa caught up with him over another child they split my money 3 really his payments stayed the samesad
My xp pays £25 a week for his he moved in with his now wife and she has 4 dc £100 out of monthly wage doesn't get included in the calculation as he has to support her dc, even tho she gets maintenance for unfair!!

AllShiney Mon 05-Mar-12 20:45:36

I get £7 a week for my son. He is self employed and his wife is a company director so sub contracts the jobs to him for minimum wage. Never heard of a quantity surveyor earning so little for full time work and neither had the CSA. They said they were certain he was fiddling the system but if I wanted to object I needed to prove it.

It was down to me to gather evidence but I couldn't get access to accounts, tax statements etc like they could...

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