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How do I make him give me the child benefit?

(23 Posts)
solveproblem Sat 08-Feb-14 15:59:55

I've recently started a thread in relationships but no replies yet so I'm trying here as well.

My husband receives the child benefit for our two dcs. We are heading towards separation/divorce and I've spent the last hour looking at benefits to see how I'll survive this financially.

It looks as if you have to be in receipt of child benefit to get your benefits based on having children? I am hoping to be the resident parent, but how will this be affected by me not receiving child benefit?

We are both working full time if that makes a difference, I would not be able to afford rent and childcare out of my wages only though.

Is there any way I can get HMRC to start paying it to me instead? Or even half of it?

Mishmashfamily Sat 08-Feb-14 16:02:53

He has to leave or you do.

Who ever the kids are with the benefit goes to.

YoureInMySystemBaby Sat 08-Feb-14 16:17:51

If you are the resident parent after the split, then you ring HMRC and you tell them your husband currently receives the child benefit, but after recently splitting, you are the resident parent. It's that simple. He can't 'refuse' to give it to you, he needs to contact them or they will contact him to clarify the situation/stop paying the benefit - if he continues to claim and is the non resident parent, it's essentially benefit fraud. On top of relinquishing the CB, the non-resident parent also need to start making regular child maintenance payments - there's a website where a recommended amount can be worked out based on wage and it takes into account days/nights where the non-resident parent has his or her children - the maintenance will be for the days where the children are NOT with him or her.

solveproblem Sat 08-Feb-14 16:23:57

Thanks for replies. We will both want the boys as much as possible. I'm guessing I'm going to settle with having them 50% of the time. What happens then?

Or am I more likely to get more than 50% as I am he mother? I really do not know how this works!

ilovepowerhoop Sat 08-Feb-14 16:33:59

he is not committing benefit fraud by claiming it if the kids dont live with him as the hmrc website says this:

You can get Child Benefit even if your child doesn't live with you, as long as:
*you pay towards their upkeep
*what you pay is at least the same as the amount of Child Benefit
the person your child lives with is not getting Child Benefit for them
*If you and another person both claim Child Benefit for the same child, only one of you can get it.

In theory he could keep claiming it but would have to give you the same amount of money back as what he receives as child benefit.

YoureInMySystemBaby Sat 08-Feb-14 16:47:27

Apologies for the mis-information regarding child benefit. As I have always been the claimant for CB, I naievly presumed the resident parent claimed it (as it kind of makes sense!).

How you come to an agreement regarding child maintenance payments is up to you -

I have a private arrangement with my eldest son's father as he is on a very substantial wage, however, if I were to ask for the recommended amount it would seem 'too much' and I am not out to fleece him or looking for extra money every time he has a wage increase - so we sat down and worked out what is an agreeable amount based on realistic costs and taking into account how often he has him - afterall, he has a wage rise it's down to his work related performance and hard work and he should feel the benefit of that without fear that I'll be expecting anything extra!

With my ex-husband - father to my two youngest - HE wanted to go by the recommended amount based on his wage and how long he has the children, putting it up or down as a reflection of his income - though I take a reduced a payment to take into account debt that he had taken out in his name, but that we both had agreed to service within the relationship..

You are both going to sit down and have a discussion about it until you both reach an agreeable decision about how best to proceed. I feel it's best to come to your own agreement if at all possible, as it goes a long way to easing friction for the children and of course, they are always the main priority..

solveproblem Sat 08-Feb-14 16:52:33

If we could sit down and discuss things like two grown ups we probably wouldn't be getting a divorce. I was t to sort this as amicable as possible but doubt it will happen.

I won't be asking for maintenance as I earn more than him. Neither of us earn a lot though which is why I need to make sure I've got enough to cover rent and childcare.

ilovepowerhoop Sat 08-Feb-14 16:56:22

will he not have to cover childcare charges too if you want to both have the children for 50% of the time i.e. you shouldnt be covering 100% of childcare costs if he needs to use them too

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 08-Feb-14 16:58:00

Maintenance, if you were to be determined the resident parent, would not be for you but for your children. Have you had legal advice yet? Because, even though it is better/cheaper to approach this amicably rather than scrapping it out in a court, you have to start your discussions from a position of good information about what is fair according to legal conventions. Otherwise you can find you have conceded far too much and are left with an unfair settlement.

solveproblem Sat 08-Feb-14 16:59:48

Maybe but he is not very good at paying for things!

He'd "forget" and then I'd worry about nursery not taking DS on my weeks either.

CouthyMow Sat 08-Feb-14 17:01:52

You cover Childcare costs when you have your 'days' with them, he covers Childcare costs when it's 'his' days with them. Leave HIM to arrange Childcare for those days. Make it plain that if he wants those days as contact days, or as 'his' 50% of the time, HE will be responsible for arranging and financing Childcare for those days.

It means having a very strict routine to denote whose days are whose, but you should NOT be responsible for either arranging OR financing Childcare if he is responsible for the DC's that day...

I insist upon this with DS2 & DS3's Dad...

CouthyMow Sat 08-Feb-14 17:05:34

Don't split the time by 'weeks'. Do half a week each, or set days. Then he has no choice but to arrange and finance Childcare on those days.

So if 'your' days are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, then you pay for and arrange Childcare those days, and your Ex HAS to arrange alternative Childcare, at the same Nursery OR a different one, signing his own, separate contract with the Nursery, therefore him becoming financially responsible for those costs, on a Wednesday, Friday and Sunday...

It's the only way to force an Ex partner to pay their fair share of Childcare costs...

As for the Child Benefit, contact them now and request a change to your name, whilst you are still together...

ilovepowerhoop Sat 08-Feb-14 17:15:05

you could do your own child benefit claim and then if your ex does not agree to stop receiving it the child benefit office will decide who gets the money.

solveproblem Sat 08-Feb-14 17:16:23

Thanks Couthy, that sounds like a good way of splitting it. thanks

ilovepowerhoop Sat 08-Feb-14 17:17:31

p.s. you will not be able to change the name on the current child benefit payment and will have to do your own claim. Your ex would have to notify the child benefit office that he wants to stop getting the payment in order for you to be able to get the money.

solveproblem Sat 08-Feb-14 17:23:17

Thank you powerhoop.

YoureInMySystemBaby Sat 08-Feb-14 17:25:19

Ok.. I'll re-phrase.. You are both going to have to sit down and argue about it, until an agreeable decision has been made - my "discussions" with my ex-husband were far from amicable, though I can see how I may have given the impression that they were.

It's undeniably hard to think with a clear head when there is bitterness and raw feelings and emotion kicking around - but this is actually not about you both, make sure it's known that this is PURELY for the benefit of your children.. When you are making a request for maintenance, it's not about him giving you money, it should be viewed as money for his children.

Who earns the most is neither here nor there, you are both financially responsible for your children 100% of the time, regardless of where the children are residing. Even if your husband the children Wed/Fri/Sun - he's STILL financially responsible for them Mon/Tue/Thu/Sat? It took my ex-husband a long time to understand that and accept that...

On the website, there is a calculator for working out maintenance payments based on income and the days that he sees his children.

1) Ring up and get CB paid to you
2) Agree a maintenance payment
3) Claim whatever tax credit/child tax credits you are eligible for based on your hours and when you'd usually use them.

Having one pays childcare for their days and the other for theirs, potentially could get very confusing. Having a young child (assuming they are of nursery age) going to two child care placements could be detrimental - kids need stability and mucking about with child care provisions as well as dealing with mum and dad splitting up is NOT going to be helpful for them, and the children are always paramount in these situations..

Things need to be kept as simple as possible and as stable as possible and it needs to be sorted out as quickly as possible so a new routine and order is established ASAP. SO do you know what OP? Be a bit bull-headed about this, I would and I was and it was genuinely for the sake of the children and so I knew I could keep a roof over their head, pay my utility bills and not get into any sort of financial dire straits - because it often happens after a split and once you start unravelling your entwined finances...

solveproblem Sat 08-Feb-14 17:44:10

Thank you soon much Systembaby, I'm actually in tears after reading that.

Of course it's about the boys. I want the best for them and it breaks my heart that they are going to have to go though this with us.

Joules68 Sat 08-Feb-14 17:56:28

I don't understand why you feel you should have it though?

you cant/wont share it
you earn the most
you are having dc with you 50% of the time

what gives you the 'edge' here over him?

solveproblem Sat 08-Feb-14 18:20:16

joules, I would share it, I did say that in the OP, but I didn't know it was possible.

But yes I think I should receive it, I pay for all their clothes, activities, nappies etc even though he currently receives the cb.

The main reason I need it though is that it would make me eligible for benefits for rent and childcare.

If my H would receive it he would probably still not pay for the childcare as he does not like paying for anything, even if he has received money for it.

However, now that I've found out that we can claim cb for one child each I'm happy.

LauraBridges Sun 09-Feb-14 10:20:25

Like me you earn more than your ex. in our case he received 60% of our assets not 50% instead of maintenance for life from me to him. That is one issue for you - he might want you to pay him maintenance if you earn more as many women get from husbands who earn more.
Also my ex does not have to pay for the children as I earn more. Higher earning women are not in the same position as women who earn less than their man.
I would pay for an hour's advice with a solicitor if I were you.
I also paid for all childcare and school and university fees. Not much fun if you earn more than your spouse on divorce, is it?

solveproblem Sun 09-Feb-14 12:35:08

The reason he earns less is because he is lazy and like throwing sickies. He has in no way sacrificed his career in order to bring up our children, so why should I have to pay maintenance? I've taken all the maternity leave plus more time off when they were little. I'm the one who has made sacrifices career wise to bring up the children but still manage to earn more as I've got this thing called work ethic.

I thought that when maintenance was paid when a parent had taken years off work to bring up children and therefore sacrificed their future earning potentials?

LauraBridges Sun 09-Feb-14 19:54:13

Not in our case. I earned 10x what he did so he was entitled to be kept to the standard to which he was accustomed. he wanted maintenance for life so he got more than half the assets to buy out that legitimate claim,. he had not given up work and worked full time but at less than I did. No career sacrifice.

It is very common,. Even cases in the press like Paul McC - they work out what the standard of living was before - in his wife's case they found she needed £700k a year (even though she had full time earnings she could live on) and worked back from there - what lump sum would give her an income amounting to that.

Also you often get say a male doctor and female nurse who are married - one on 5x the salary of the other. When the divorce comes they don't say okay you can live on a nurse earnings. They say no you were used to £2k ski holidays etc so the higher earner doctor tops up the nurse salary and it's gender neutral.

This may be why most women instead marry men who earn a lot more! Those of us who did not pay the price on divorce by having to keep men. It is feminism in a way.

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