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Is this true? WARNING DM link "Fathers to be hit by rise in maintenance..."

(219 Posts)
TotalBummer Fri 07-Dec-12 14:24:43

If it is, we are going to be in the sh!t AGAIN. Merry Christmas to all those Fathers who actually pay through the nose and can't afford to look after the family they have living with them AND we have our Child Tax credits taken off us to give to his ex who never let him see his DD in the first place.

I know there will be Mums out there who are shafted by their exes but it is ones like my DP and my kids who are being destroyed by the CSA. Bankruptcy looms.

Sorry - It just never ends. Money, money, money. They will take our house and our kids will be on the street and they DON'T CARE!

Arisbottle Wed 12-Dec-12 18:12:10

I agree is has to work both ways , it may be that someone has to start the ball rolling though.

RabbitsMakeGOLDBaubles Wed 12-Dec-12 19:06:13

Be nice to see some money at all. Extra would be lovely.

rosabud Wed 12-Dec-12 20:14:59

Children are very expensive, a lot more expensive than the "average" amount of CSA provision. The other thing to take into account about the amounts quoted upthread is that they do not take into account the age of a child. What is "basic" and "necessary" for an 8 year old with a small appetite at the local primary school will soon become hopelessly inadequate when the child becomes a hungry teenager wearing adult-sized shoes, needing an expensive high school uniform and travelling on the bus each day. However, the CSA amounts do not take the age of the child into consideration. Had the NRP stayed in the first marriage, they would not presumably have had more children without taking such increasing costs for the existing children into consideration.

What is blatantly unfair about the system is that the NRP is allowed to have more children regardless of whether or not they can afford to support the first lot of children. The system agrees that this is "OK" as it reduces the amount the NRP has to pay for the existing children as a matter of course. How can this be fair to the existing children? Are they suddenly eating less or needing less heating because new children have come along? Of course not!

The attitude of the OP really annoys me as it is so selfish and disregards the needs of the first children. As the NRP, it's likely her DP will already be paying far less than is realistically necessary to support his first children and then he will have been allowed to prioritise his second lot of children over his first - yet she still complains that "too much money" is going to his first children. Unbelievably selfish!

allnewtaketwo Wed 12-Dec-12 20:37:13

While its related to income rather than cost, there are always going to be some cases where the amount is too low, and other cases there the amount is much higher than is required (bearing in mind that BOTH patents should be financially supporting the child, and that the Pwc receives state support for basic provision already, and potentially tax credits in top). Ime it tends to be the latter cases posting on this forum about increases to maintenance.

Arisbottle Wed 12-Dec-12 20:40:21

I think that if the absent parent can afford to fully support the child that is much better than relying on the state. Beyond child benefit my husband's ex never had to rely on the state , even when she was at home for a number of years.

allnewtaketwo Wed 12-Dec-12 20:59:59

The problem is though that whether or not the Pwc "needs to rely on the state", the cm disregard means that they receive that support regardless. This means DH's ex for example can quit her job, reproduce as she wishes, funded by DH and the state combined. The children haven't benefitted, their standard of living has reduced as she stays at home with the younger children and earns nothing

allnewtaketwo Wed 12-Dec-12 21:01:32

And "absent" is a very pergorative term to apply to a whole group of parents, many of whom would live to spend more time with their children

RogueEmployee Wed 12-Dec-12 21:17:39

For the first time ever I agree with Xenia.

Why would you go out of your way to start another family if you are struggling to support the first family you created? It's unfair on everyone if you can't afford to sustain two households.

Granted that doesn't help the children who are already here though...

allnewtaketwo Wed 12-Dec-12 21:21:57

Any increase to cm will only impact NRPs who are already paying though, so there's no pint banging on here about those that don't. An extra 20% or whatever of £0 is £0. I personally think that increasing the amount compliant NRPs have to pay will only reduce the compliance rate

Arisbottle Wed 12-Dec-12 22:52:55

I agree that I should not have used the term absent parent, I am sorry. I was trying to avoid using the term father. Even more stupid as actually have shared care now and we have DSS almost 50% of the time.

My husband has always taken the line that if he and his ex had stayed together there would have been no need for state support and therefore that should not change because he chose to leave his family. He also knew that if they had stayed together that my DSS could have benefited from having a stay at home parent so he footed the bill for such a luxury rather than expecting the state to pay. I remember finding it very difficult when we first got together as despite having a very good salary money was very tight indeed and I had to pay for holidays and meals out etc. But looking back now I can see that was the right thing to do.

niceguy2 Wed 12-Dec-12 23:01:39

The attitude of the OP really annoys me as it is so selfish and disregards the needs of the first children.

And it's stupid statements like that which really annoy me. OP has a family. Her priorities are naturally with her family unit. Just like the ex's priority will be with his/hers. Why is it selfish to want to put her own children first? Surely that is natural human instinct?

What is blatantly unfair about the system is that the NRP is allowed to have more children regardless of whether or not they can afford to support the first lot of children.

What's the alternative? Prove to the government that you are able to support more children before being allowed to? And what if they get a future GF/wife pregnant without the ability to support more children? Forced abortion? Forced adoption? Stick them in prison?

If you look at it logically a reduction is the only fair solution if NRP goes on to have more kids. Because they have a responsibility to their new family as well as old. So the same pot of money now must be spread thinner meaning the old family get less.

Arisbottle Wed 12-Dec-12 23:16:26

I could not live with myself if my stepson went without because I chose to ha e more children. Particularly when my children have the security of knowing that their father never chose to leave and they get to live with both biological parents full time.

You are right that the law can't really govern here, but it comes down to basic morality

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Wed 12-Dec-12 23:32:09

"While its related to income rather than cost, there are always going to be some cases where the amount is too low, and other cases there the amount is much higher than is required "

which is why i think (and said upthread) that i think there should be a way of working out a minimum amount necessary to raise a child per week or month and that figure should be split equally between both parents. the NRP should be legally obliged to pay it to the account that CB is paid into and the PWC must provide the other half. and none of this £5 a week rubbish. i mean an actual fugure worked out based on real costs and averaged across the UK. the same way they are able to work out what the living wage should be. and nor should it be reduced for each additional child. so if the figure is say £25 a week (this is based on nothing but the fact that it's a rounded number that came into my head) from each parent. then it's £25 per week for each child even if you have children living in different houses and with you. i think this might go some way to making people think twice about moving on and having second or third families if they know they legally have to pay for children they already have and are on a low income.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Wed 12-Dec-12 23:37:08

sorry, ignore that bit about moving on, of course people should be able to move on. i meant it as a whole thing 'moving on and having second familes'. moving on is fine, having second families to the detriment of your first isn't.

rosabud Thu 13-Dec-12 00:39:37

Why is it selfish to want to put her own children first? Surely that is natural human instinct?

Because she has selfishly chosen too bring her own children into a situation where other children already existed but is not prepared to give them due consideration. There's a story about new step-parents who indulge in this kind of selfishness, isn't there?? Oh, what is it called? Cin.....Cinder something?? hmm

Also, those who are saying that the resident parent should also be paying half towards the children, that is true to an extent, but in order to be able to pay half, the RP will have to go out and get a job, which may mean footing a large childcare bill. The RP will also then have 2 jobs - one in the home and one out of the home, both probably quite demanding. As the NRP is having his/her children looked after for free by the RP, going "halves" is not quite fair.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Thu 13-Dec-12 00:55:21

"Also, those who are saying that the resident parent should also be paying half towards the children, that is true to an extent, but in order to be able to pay half, the RP will have to go out and get a job, "

well many will be already working anyway and paying more than half of the amount towards the keep of their children. however, there are still state benefits for those who cant work for whatever reason. CTC provide an amount of money to be used to raise your children and the PWC's half should come out of this money. much the same as they are expected to do now, except if the NRP were legally forced to pay a fair amount it might make things a little easier for some PWC.

also, if there were to be this hypothetical amount decided upon, it should absoloutely include the cost of childcare. it should be expected that childcare is a necessary cost of having children.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Thu 13-Dec-12 01:03:17

i think the whole thing needs to be overhauled to make it a default position of both parents caring and paying equally for their children. obviously there are many different family situations and scenarios where equal care and pay wont be possible or suitable but it should not be a case of one parent (usually the mother) being mostly responsible for day to day care and financial responsibility of the children when a relationship ends. i do believe there will be a time when we are much closer to this but we are far from it yet. it's still far too easy for a NRP to absolve themselves of all responsibility if they choose to.

allnewtaketwo Thu 13-Dec-12 07:16:01

If the Pwc gets a job they will have 2 jobs?!

I work full time and have children. I can assure you though that I only have one job!

Xenia Thu 13-Dec-12 09:13:36

As rosabud says where both parents work full time as many many of us do with children the biggest cost if childcare. One nursery place for one child about £14k a year full time. Or a full time nanny or places at a childminder for 4 children full time or whatever. If you are a family who pays school fees then that is another cost - our court order says I pay 5 sets of school and university fees no matter with whom the children live.

I do think now women in their 20s earn more than men and are better educated we are giong to see changes which mean more parents will have the children half the time and simply split everything down the midle including doing the child's washing and cooking and the child benefit and tax credits for those lucky enough to get them.

Xenia, you keep saying "those lucky enough" to get tax credits.

Tell you what, I will live on your salary for a year and you can live on my "lucky to have tax credits" one and we shall see if you feel lucky.

Tax credits are not an added bonus. They are a band aid over the fact that wages in the uk are not meeting living costs. They are a subsidy to businesses so they can get away with paying a pittance.

However, I do agree with you that the nrp should put the first children first and shouldnt have more if they cannot afford too. Sadly though, I dont see this changing greatly. There are too many men who just do not see children as their joint responsibility.

niceguy2 Thu 13-Dec-12 10:26:53

Rosa, your position is very rather naive.

Families are complex nowadays and gone are the days of virtually all families being the nuclear type. Unfortunately families split up all too often and people move on to form blended families. Sometimes yes they have new kids. Other times the kids are already there. There is no simple solution anymore. It simply isn't something the government can legislate for. We cant stop NRP's from having more children anymore than we can stop unemployed people from getting pregnant. Both I find morally repugnant.

The whole idea of the RP looking after the kids 'for free' is very misguided and totally the wrong way to look at it. RP's are not babysitters or childcare. It's not a job! You are the parent. It's a responsibility. Using your argument then the NRP is also looking after their kids for free for the RP.

Lastly for those who are arguing that maintenance should take into account x,y,z, just remember that when the CSA first started up they did have a formula which took all sorts into account. It failed and was shown to be vastly unfair. It took too long to work out and often left the NRP unable to buy his own food, let alone move on.

The 'fairest' solution is what we've got at the moment which is in general a straight percentage. Both families then cut their cloths accordingly. And I say 'fairest' in the context that there really isn't a truly fair solution for all.

rosabud Thu 13-Dec-12 11:33:22

When exactly is the NRP looking after the children for the RP? They don't, that's the point. Of course children are a responsibility rather than a job but the responsibility is not "halved" in the case of an NRP. Thus the NRP has much more freedom and choice when it comes to applying for jobs or having free time. Therefore this needs to be reflected in maintenance. The RP may be limited to part-time postions, term-time only positions, may not be able to do as much over-time as the NRP etc. If they do work as much as the NRP is able to, they will have a higher childcare bill that the NRP does not have, they will have less time to themselves as they are doing a full-time job and taking on the main responsibility of looking after children. If the NRP had been widowed but wished to continue working long hours or having a lot of free time then he/she would have to pay childcare, in a divorce situation they get all that for free from the RP. Thus, "halves" on financial commitment to the children is unfair as the financial outgoings for the children are not "halved" but weighted heavily in favour of the NRP

Xenia Thu 13-Dec-12 11:41:34

Okay, yes people who get tax credits are not lucky enough to have them and those who earn too much to get them are better off. It's a bit off topic anyway.

If we forced men whether they liked it or not to have children half the day they would be having to do what many single mothers do who work full time such as find nannies, child minders, nursery places, fix child care if they are doing weekend worki, pay for child care when they have a 6am flight the sort of thing some mothers who work full time and have their children 365 days a year have. They would also see the true cost of 3 under 5s in full time childcare plus when you do over time and have to pay accordingly.

At the moment the non resident parent can chose never to see or help with the children but can use the courts to gain contact. It is not a fair mutual system the child cannot apply to force their father to do half their washing or have them 200 nights a year. Sunny Jim can simply walk away and say won't see you and often can say won't pay.

When many full time working parents who are together spend half their net income on childcare it is a bit strange that a CSA payment might be 15% of a father's income. It does not reflect the cost of that childcare which I suppose is why court orders for parents who both work fulltime and are in the school fees league etc tend to have special provisions in them to reflect that but even if you both worked for £25k a year and spent £25k on childcare to preserve careers until the children were at school rather than shoot the non working parents' career prospects to pieces by staying at home ou still have those massive costs rather than a mere 15%for one child.

allnewtaketwo Thu 13-Dec-12 12:04:06

It us my experience that most often, women are the ones who WANT to give up work, reduce their hours and work part time after having children. Of course yes it sometimes comes down to economics. But I know so many professionally qualified women - doctors, lawyers etc., many earning more than their partners, yet they choose to quit their job or work part time child friendly hours because they WANT to. Of course a lit if women aren't in this position financially, but I do think it is interesting that women claim they HAVE to be the ones to reduce hours etc, yet when a position to choose they still do exactly that.

And how many pwcs actually WANT an NRP to do 50 50 care. Not many I'd say

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Thu 13-Dec-12 13:05:57

i do allnew.

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