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Help! Ex husband made claim for child benefit

(12 Posts)
Serafyn Thu 17-Jan-13 01:33:17

I wondered if anyone could help me?

My ex husband and I had shared care of our two children .... However the arrangement fell apart dec 4th and I have taken full care of the children since. I think to avoid paying full maintenance, as opposed to paying half maintenance my ex then put in a claim for child benefit around about 14th dec. hmrc then asked me for details of doctors and school under my address which I have supplied them with. Do you think I will get to keep the child benefit? My ex has asked to see the children but they do not want to go they are tired of being left with other people in his care. So he hasn't had them overnight since dec 4th.

I am sick with fear that the benefits agency will award him one child and me the other sad I cannot afford to do this as I have to claim housing benefit due to low income. How will they judge this? I'm really stressed trying to keep two children with no child benefit as the case is suspended until a conclusion is reached.

Thanks for reading x I'm one stressed out mum x

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 17-Jan-13 07:16:45

If the Child Benefit payment is made to you at the moment and you have supplied details to HMRC showing that you are primarily responsible for them at your address I can't imagine why they would switch the award now. Do keep calling them rather than waiting for a decision.

More generally I think you need to get the access & primary carer arrangement established legally and, for that, you will need to talk to either your solicitor or CAB. Unless there is evidence of actual neglect or harm courts are reluctant to deny a parent access completely and, if there is already an access agreement in place, you can't change things unilaterally. However, you could get supervised access in place which would mean he couldn't dump them on others.

Serafyn Thu 17-Jan-13 07:23:31

Thanks for your swift reply. Is primary responsibility ie drs, school dentist registration the over riding factor in making a decision? Btw there is no access agreement in place.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 17-Jan-13 08:01:11

I think the reason HMRC were asking you those questions was precisely to determine which address is the child's main 'home'. If a child is registered for school and doctors from a particular address which they share with you and spends more than 50% of their time there normally, that would support your claim that you are the parent with main responsibility and your ex is the NRP - non-resident parent.

Most couples can organise shared parenting amicably and in the best interests of the children but if there are any problems then you should talk to a solicitor and get the agreement formalised. This prevents a lot of problems. Once formalised, you can't go back on it without a revision to the agreement.

Serafyn Thu 17-Jan-13 08:35:33

Hi it used to be shared care and there were no solicitors involved, this is what he's put on the form, however in reality he hasn't had them since 4th dec. he made his application 14th dec I think to avoid paying full maintenance. I have written a letter stating all this with my primary care evidence?

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 17-Jan-13 09:29:06

You really do need legal advice on this. CAB or a solicitor. Many solicitors will offer a free half-hour and you can track down your nearest specialising in family law via the Law Society website. Is the maintenance agreed via the CSA or is that all a bit casual as well?

Serafyn Thu 17-Jan-13 10:44:28

Hi maintenance is organised by Csa however he only pays for half care as he says it's shared care. I cannot get full maintenance because I need child benefit and well I'm currently fighting to keep that as mentioned earlier. So it's imperative I keep the child benefit.

Thanks for the help btw x

Serafyn Thu 17-Jan-13 11:16:31

Thinking about it I did sign an agreement as part of our divorce that it would be shared care but as I say my name is on all the registers etc. I have no doubt the ex will bring this up sad

MonkeyABC Sat 19-Jan-13 23:20:04

My friend had a similar issue. In shared care arrangement where there is no court ordered arrangement and there are two children then HMRC will automatically give one of the CB payments to the other parent with shared care/ Both children's schools, doctors, dentists, pre school and EVERYTHING for the children were registered to her but as it was shared care they awarded her ex one of the CB then simply wrote to her informing her that is had been changed as of XYZ date.

You need to be able to prove it is no longer shared care in order to retain both CB's. Can you do that?

Without the CB you will not be able to claim maintenance for that child, and it may affect the amount of housing benefit you receive if the number of bedrooms you have is dependent on that child living with you primarily. Ie if you have a 3 bed house and one boy and one girl but the CB for one of them is with their father then you will only receive housing benefit based on the one child who's CB you have actually having primary residence with you.

Serafyn Mon 21-Jan-13 17:50:57

I know I'm in a very tight and precarious situation sad However he hasnt had them overnight since 4th Dec sad

Serafyn Wed 23-Jan-13 09:21:10


I have called the cb office today and have just been awarded back the child benefit... waht a journey of hell and potential homelessness. I would like to say to any future readers of this thread do not give up your child benefit to your ex... it means much more than the money for e.g. if you lose your job you will not be elligible for housing benefit or other benefits, plus it contributes to your state pension, also your ex can claim csa against you if he is in reciept of it! Be sure of what you're doing. I wish I had got it written into our financial agreement as part of the divorce but then I didnt even know he could claim it!

Be careful.....

Thank you all for your support here x Here's to Justice!

Dreamfairy Wed 27-Mar-13 22:39:59

I live in Republic of Ireland but my Ex husband lives in the UK. When we parted 4 years ago I discovered that her long birth cert was missing. Is it possible that he could be claiming childrens allowance for her even though she lives and has always lived here with me in Ireland. Does anybody know how I'd find out?

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