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Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. Free legal advice is available from a Citizen's Advice Bureau, and the Law Society can supply a list of local solicitors. Child Benefit

(49 Posts)
WillCarden Wed 13-Jul-11 01:59:53

Hello Mumsnet

I am a Divorced father of 2, I have my boys 40% of the time and split costs 50/50 (uniforms, trips, holidays, medical etc) with my Ex. I am on low income but unable to access benefits to help me cope. I was wondering what the forums thoughts were on the splitting of Child Benefit (for two or more children) so that BOTH parents were able to access benefits. There is an article at . This situation affects both men and women who though loving, caring and supportive parents are deemed as "absentee" by HMRC and DWP. To be classed as childless by these organisations when you would give your life for your children is hurtful, inhumane and discriminatory. I welcome your comments.



CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 13-Jul-11 06:48:02

This is a private matter, not one for the state. Would suggest you come to a better, fairer financial arrangement with your exW so that you are contributing something more in line with what you can actually afford. Most responsible ex partners will agree a monthly payment - either voluntarily or through the CSA - and then leave the main costs of child raising (like clothing) to the main carer who also receives the CB and CTC award. In principle, I don't think governments should be more involved in family life than they already are.

loveme2 Wed 13-Jul-11 12:34:23

I understand what you are saying.
But is everything really split 50/50?I'm not just talking about things you have listed.I'm talking about every day things,food,bills to keep a roof over the childs head,the odd things children what/need while out shopping.
I would think the main carer, spends lots more then to other parent.Also the main carer may not be able to work more hours,because of being the main carer.While the "absentee" wouldn't have to work around child care,so could earn a better wage.
You say you have your DC 40% of the time.This works out to 2.8 days,so just over 2 and a half day.So they are with the main carer just under 4 and a half days.

WillCarden Wed 13-Jul-11 20:02:10

I hear you. Ex works full time as utilises after school clubs (for which she can get Childcare Element of WTC) On the 3week days per fortnight that I have the boys I stop work early and start late to fit in with school times as I cannot get Childcare Credits (another inequity). This has a negative effect on my income. I have the same housing requirement as the ex so I can accomodate my children but can only get LHA for a one bed place as opposed to a 2 bed as - youve guessed it - the council does not consider that I have children as I am not in receipt of CB. I pay 50% clothing, 40% food (ie all of it when thay are with me) as well as "incidentals.

I appreciate your reply



CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 14-Jul-11 07:06:20

I don't know what you're suggesting really. That the taxpayer subsidises two large homes so that children can shuttle between both? Or that the taxpayer pays both parents for a 1 bed property so that the children are equally cramped? If the childcare element of the WTC is split evenly then the same thing happens.... your ex would presumably have to give up her full time job if she couldn't afford childcare any more, and then the taxpayer would have to support another family. It's your choice alone to pay for 50% for clothing

I can see you have a bee in your bonnet about being classified as the 'absent parent' but I think creating total equality in this matter would lead to more problems (and cost) than it would solve

WillCarden Thu 14-Jul-11 18:43:02

Thank you for your reply. My Ex and myself "shuttle" our children around as we both believe that is is in their best interest to retain strong, close and loving ties with both parents.

The Childcare Element of WTC (as opposed to CTC) is on a "as spent" basis - you claim for (a %) of what you individually pay and as such is not split. One positive of the Childcare Element is that it allows my Ex to work full time, which increases her income, which reduces WTC and CTC payements.

Access to these benefits allow people to develop their personal situations (in our cases) so that there is in future hopefully less and less of a need for reliance on benefits.

Yes it is my choice to pay 50% of my childrens expenses - wouldn't you?



loveme2 Thu 14-Jul-11 23:39:12

But do you really pay 50% of everything?
Haircuts,clothes including the boring things like underwear,school meals/trips.Travel cost to doctors or denist appointment?The little bits and bobs,that add up that they want while out shopping .i.e.treats,magazines,pens ect for school.The things that they may not need but is nice for them to have.
If i was you i would check with your LHA again.
My DIL's exH is entitled to two bedrooms, because he has their two DD's over night for two nights every other weekend.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 15-Jul-11 08:01:08

"Yes it is my choice to pay 50% of my childrens expenses - wouldn't you?"

If that was my choice, I then wouldn't come onto a website whining about my decision. You make your bed... you lie in it. If you really can't afford to pay 50%, talk to your exW and come to a different arrangement rather than expecting the benefits system to be redrawn just for you.

WillCarden Sat 16-Jul-11 00:57:14

260,000 people who are excluded from a system that they have paid into for years in the belief that it was in place to help when needed. I an sorry if this topic seems to upset you - I hope that your situation is more resolved than mine. BTW, I do not understand why people hide behind pseudonyms on these posts - surely if someone has a point one wants to make then they should be honest enough to put their name to it?


Will Carden

LauraIngallsWilder Sat 16-Jul-11 01:20:05

Hi Will
Friends of mine had a sort of similar problem. They have four children -all 4 spend fairly equal time at mums and dads house, so the official version is that 2 live with mum and 2 with dad - which means dad continues to live in the family 3 bed home (housing association) and mum lives in a 3 bed home (council). This works because of the ages and gender of the kids and because they have worked out the situation amicably

I hope that makes sense - may or may not be useful to you.

We arent hiding behind pseudonyms btw - its just the way things are normally done on the internet smile
Googling your name for example gives a good indication of where you live and your occupation - perhaps you dont mind being so public about your identity but most people using the internet want to be more subtle smile

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 18-Jul-11 10:06:58

The topic doesn't upset me Will Carden. What annoys me, however, are men that come to MN and treat it as a soap-box, trying to convince the women here that dads are having a hard time. Statistics & experience show very clearly that in family break-up situations, women are far more likely to suffer financially. I then suspect these men - especially when making stupid statements like being 'excluded' from the system - of belonging to anti-women groups such as Fathers for Justice or 'Mens Rights' bodies. I have no sympathy with such people. The example above shows how with a little maturity and cooperation, divorced parents can run two households. Suggest you give it a try.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 18-Jul-11 11:25:39

In fact the 'Child Benefit for Two Campaign' you referenced in your original post is just that... a campaign. MNHQ may decide this thread is better in the 'Campaigns' section

MugglesandLuna Mon 18-Jul-11 11:31:42

To be classed as childless by these organisations when you would give your life for your children is hurtful, inhumane and discriminatory


WillCarden Tue 19-Jul-11 13:48:23

Dear CogitoErgoSometimes

I am in no way anti women. May I suggest that you actually read the manifesto of f4j (of which I am not a member). You will find that many women are supporters and are welcomed there as equally as men (as I believe Men are on here) F4J is NOT anti women, in fact it extols family values. Its core thrust is at the current legislation. If you are able to spend the time I suggest that you read the following You will find it enlightening and moreover, you will find not a single anti woman comment or sentiment - it is aimed directly at policies that HARM CHILDREN. However I imagine that you will NOT read this as it would challenge your pre-conceived ideas and require you to move out of your comfort zone (It is also quite long). I would like you to prove me wrong.

I thank all posters who have contributed and assisted me in developing a balanced perspective on this matter



CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 19-Jul-11 14:06:13

So your ex wife supports your campaign does she? Because, as you've explained it, the person who benefits from splitting the CB/CTC down the middle in your case would be you. The person who would be worse off financially would be your ex wife, the main carer of your children. She would probably have to quit her job because she couldn't afford the childcare any more and presumably you wouldn't be volunteering to give her more money to make up the difference. Don't see how that acheives 'balance' at all.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 19-Jul-11 14:08:27

hunger4justice IS Fathers for Justice ffs. You're a lobby group and I think you should be honest about it.

WillCarden Tue 19-Jul-11 15:20:17

Emily Pankhurst was a lobbyist! And I am NOT part of f4j there is not dishonesty here.

As previously explained, I suggested to my Ex that I elect to have my benefits paid into her account therefore she can make up any lost benefit on her side, pay the balance to me and therefore I can actually afford to live instead of sinking ever deeper into a spiral of debt.

I think that you are so blinkered to men that you cannot see what I am trying to achieve. There is no way on earth that I would want to see my ex with less money than she has already -HOW WOULD THAT BENEFIT OUR CHILDREN. All I am trying to do is somehow enable ME to provide a decent level of care for the children until such time as I am able to provide myself.

You seem to think that because I want to get benefits for myself, I want to take them from someone else. Well you are wrong - you have obviously been treated badly by someone and I am sorry for that. Do NOT tar everyone with the same brush. All I want is what is best for my children - depriving their mother of money would not achieve that. Suggest you think before replying



CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 19-Jul-11 15:41:38

You started by saying that you were hard up because your wife, as main carer, got all the CB and CTC and that you wanted CB/CTC split down the middle 50/50 - linking to article - so that it was fairer. You said nothing whatsoever about paying your benefits into her account, in fact you said you didn't qualify for any benefits

For you to receive more someone else gets less and, when it comes to households, you can't honestly expect the state to fully finance two when the rest of us have to manage best we can with just one. Sorry, but that's how the world works. For the record, I have never been treated badly by anyone. I pay my own way 100%

I get the feeling that you believe paying out money you don't have on your children somehow makes you a better dad. It really doesn't....

WillCarden Tue 19-Jul-11 15:47:03

There is no point me discussing this with you - you do not read what is in front of you.

I am not eligible for benefits at present however have said that I would be prepared to ensure that Ex was not worse off by paying future bens into her account.

Well done you on being able to support your children 100% - you are in a great position.

Do not presume to know what I consider to make someone a good parent



CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 19-Jul-11 16:03:12

No you're not getting away with that. You said you 'welcome your comments' but you don't appear to be welcoming any that don't chime with your own opinion. And of the responses you've had to date, not one is agreeing with you.

So the benefits get split down the middle and then you generously donate your half back into your ex's account? This makes no difference whatsoever to your circumstances and the only material change would be your exW would be reliant on you transferring the money to her.. .something that you might handle honourably but which the vast majority would exploit. Many main carers -and it is usually women, sadly - come to rely on their CB and CTC precisely because the absent parent tries to get away with paying nothing whatsoever. That's the reality... not some Fathers for Justice fairyland.

GypsyMoth Tue 19-Jul-11 17:25:41

so you want the benefits for yourself? to live off? but they are meant for the children....

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 19-Jul-11 17:28:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WillCarden Tue 19-Jul-11 18:07:34

Not one of you has followed this. Benefits are not for me, they are for children. I am not paying bills so I can feed children, I am short on my rent each month so I can cloth them, I am not trying to be any sort of hero here - just looking after my kids as I am sure you all are - only with no help from government. If one does not need CTC/WTC then you shouldn't get it - if you do need it, then you should.

Benefits not spl;it in half - if anyone actually bothered to look into this they would see that I (for my children) would benefit to the tune of £7800, my Ex would have benefits cut by £3250. I suggested that benefits paid straight into Exes account, NOT BY ME but direct from HMRC - she could then pay me the balance. No risk to her (more of a risk to ME in fact), she would have same income - in fact I would be in a position to contribute further.

I asked for comments and still welcome them. I did not ask for a attack and accusations of trying to reduce Ex'x income etc. This is simply not the case - I am merely looking for advice.

If you read through the thread you will see that the only constructive advice I have had has been from LauraIngallsWilder . The rest are knee jerk reactions from people who have not even looked at the system (so it would seem from the "splitting down the middle" comment). I think we would see some different reactions if the situations were reversed, your CTC/WTC/CB/LHA stopped COMPLETELY and given to your Ex. That would be plain wrong and not something I would ever suggest, neither would I suggest my Ex get any less.

While you say "no one is agreeing with me" I am simply looking for advice rather than an opinion as to my motives as I said but seem to have come to the wrong place.

I do not want to be reliant on benefits but for the moment it is a necessity (the first time in 32 years - can you say the same!!!)

Please, if you are going to reply to me, do so with ADVICE and in knowledge of the system and legal standpoint. I have not asked for emotional viewpoints, nor social commentary - merely ADVICE based on THE LAW and benefits system.

I live in hope


giyadas Tue 19-Jul-11 18:27:33

I don't understand - how would she have the same income if her benefits were cut by £3250?

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 19-Jul-11 18:30:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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