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child maintenance, csa, private agreements, confused.com

(12 Posts)
IneedAgoldenNickname Mon 29-Oct-12 10:25:11

Hi I hope someone can offer some advice.

My ex moved out 3 years ago, we have 2 children together. Currently he gives me 20% of his wages every month, and I understand this is correct. This is done through a private agreement, whereby he tells me how much he earnt that month and I say ok

Well he has recently gone self employed and also moved in with his gf and her 2 children. As far as I know he is unaware that he could reduce his cm payments as a result.

When I mentioned to my Mum that I was surprised (a d more than a little annoyed) when I found put that he can reduce his payments as a result of living with someone elses dc, she basically started having a go at me telling me I should go through the csa. Now as I understand it, not only would the csa reduce my payments sure to the other children, but do they not also take some money in 'fees'? Meaning I would probably have less than I do now?

According to my Mum (who's experience of csa was 20 years ago) if I'm not prepared to go through the csa, then I can't complain that I hardly get any money from him, and seems to be under the impression that

IneedAgoldenNickname Mon 29-Oct-12 10:30:31

Sorry, hit post by mistake will continue...

She seems to be under the impression that going through the csa suddenly means I'll stop struggling. This is based on her friend who apparently pays his ex wife over £200 per week, but I would assume then that he earns more than my ex, who is lucky if he takes home that much!

So does anyone know if I would be better going through the csa? Obviously if I do, he won't be able to lie about his income (Mum is convinced he does, I'm not) but I don't think I'd be any better off?

NotaDisneyMum Mon 29-Oct-12 10:36:39

Maybe you should stop telling your mum about it wink

As far as I know, new CSA claims are now subject to new rules, which includes a fee on both sides - but the CSA will only take the case on if a private agreement cannot be reached between the two parents.

It sounds like you and your DCs dad are happy with what you've worked out, but your mum isn't - and it's not her case, so she doesn't get a say wink

IneedAgoldenNickname Mon 29-Oct-12 10:42:54

I know I shouldn't tell her, I don't know why I do!

STIDW Mon 29-Oct-12 12:36:51

There is evidence that arrangements agreed by separated parents tend to work better and are more likely to be adhered to.

An allowance is deducted from the non-resident parent's income for children that live in their household before the usual calculation is made. However, when the NRP is the only adult working in his household or he earns more than his new partner their families' Working Families Tax Credit is then added to his income. If the NRP and his new partner are both on the same income 50% of the WFTC is added. Therefore the NRP moving in with a new partner with children may not necessarily make a great deal of difference.

There are currently no charges for using the CSA. Draft Child Support Fees Regulations 2013 are out for consultation and won't be made or come into force until at least next year.

Meglet Mon 29-Oct-12 12:39:30

If he is paying now then you may as well let it carry on as it is.

The CSA is very good IME but I have to use it as I have an abusive XP.

IneedAgoldenNickname Mon 29-Oct-12 13:38:37

Thanks.

STIDW do you just mean the working tax part of tax credits? We never received working family tax credits when we were together, I didn't think they existed anymore? He got working tax credit and I got child tax credit?

nicky2012 Mon 29-Oct-12 14:19:16

50% of wtc could be taken in to account depending on who the higher earner is also ctc are taken into account so taking money off new partners children wich is unfair!
under the new rules due to be roled out a flat £20 fee is to be paid by the pwc, also 15-20% extra fee to be paid by the nrp AND 7-12% of the payment will be taken off b4 getting to u. my advice is if its not broken.....

STIDW Mon 29-Oct-12 17:26:16

The first thing is to check your eligibility for WFTC in your own right if you work. If you don't work it might be worth considering working the minimum hours required to qualify because it can make a big difference financially.

When the NRP or his family are in receipt of WFTC the following rules apply;

(1) .... payments by way of working families' tax credit …. , shall be treated as the income of the non-resident parent where he has qualified for them by his engagement in, and normal engagement in, remunerative work, at the rate payable at the effective date.

(2) Where working families' tax credit is payable and the amount which is payable has been calculated by reference to the weekly earnings of the non-resident parent and another person—

(a) where during the period which is used by the Inland Revenue to calculate his income the normal weekly earnings …. of that parent exceed those of the other person, the amount payable by way of working families' tax credit shall be treated as the income of that parent;

(b) where during that period the normal weekly earnings of that parent equal those of the other person, half of the amount payable by way of working families' tax credit shall be treated as the income of that parent; and

(c) where during that period the normal weekly earnings of that parent are less than those of that other person, the amount payable by way of working families' tax credit shall not be treated as the income of that parent.

Schedule PART IV Paragraph 11 Child Support (Maintenance Calculations and Special Cases) Regulations 2000

NotaDisneyMum Mon 29-Oct-12 21:04:38

I've just posted in Legal and Money - anyone who can help me out with a complex WTC/CSA assessment question - I'd really appreciate some advice, thanks!

niceguy2 Tue 30-Oct-12 10:04:21

For god sakes don't listen to your mother.

You are getting 20% of his albeit old net salary voluntarily. As you rightly point out, CSA struggle with the self employed whom have far more scope to hide/defer their earnings. In addition he will also have the fact he has a dependant child taken into account and his CM reduced.

So there's no upside for you, only downsides. Contrary to what your mum thinks, he's not giving you '...hardly any money' and instead it seems a fair amount. Way more than many parents get.

I accept a far reduced amount from my ex which hasn't gone up by a penny over the last ten years. As I learned very early on as a single parent, you can fight all you like over what is a fair amount out of the principle of the matter. But principles doesn't put food on the table or pay the gas bill. It's far better to get a reduced amount which he's happy to pay each month than an amount which you think is fair but rarely get.

purpleroses Tue 30-Oct-12 16:52:26

If you went through CSA you'd get less money. They'd knock some off for their fees, and also for the fact that he's (potentially at least) helping support step children, and then also some more if he has yours to stay at least 1 night a week.

Or the CSA might just be incompetant and fail to get you any at all.

Plus your ex might be a bit pissed off that you'd gone to the CSA, seeing as he's paying you without any fuss.

So you are much better off as you are.

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