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£84K up to the age 11(28 Posts)
Average £84000 to bring up a child to age 11 yrs.
Whilst I realise there will be some distortions to the figures from either ends and people will shout I manage on a wing and a prayer , it does not detract from the actual issue.
What the hell do the CSA actually base their assessments on?
The NRPs income.
What is the £84000 made up of? What is "the actual issue"?
£84K between 2 = £42K per parent
£42K / 11 yrs -= £3818
£3818 per annum / 12 months - £318
How many RPs actually receive that in maintenance or even near to that?
This is an average - so when the CSA award £5 or £2.50 and refuse to take into account, the lifestyle of the NRP - regardless of tax returns - holidays, new cars etc - they really are screwing the children over.
I can well believe it I have been writing down out of interest how much ds costs who is still only 9 and it is over £600 a month that is everything included childcare food trips extras clothes school dinners the lot. He has cost me over that the past 2 months anyway as he has been constantly in need of new clothes and shoes recently!
I don't think the CSA's assessments or efforts reflect any opinion they have on cost of bringing up a child. It would be tempting to think that they hate women as so many women are let down by the service however it's purely a business decision/issue.
They recognise that chasing men who do not wish to pay is an expensive activity and currently the lack of joined up govt agencies like HMRC, DWP and courts means that the bureaucracy involved in achieving very little makes the CSA cost ineffective. So they've decided to deter women by making them (the mothers) assess likelihood of any success by making it payable by a fee to use them. Loads of women won't be able to afford it, won't have faith in the CSA and won't bother.
I use the gender women a lot in this post because 92% of lone parents are women according to Gingerbread
Of single parents receiving child maintenance through the CSA, 40 per cent receive less than £10 per week, 38 per cent receive between £10 and £50 per week and 22 per cent receive more than £50 per week The CSA is not working. Making it fee paying is not intended to make it work. It's intended to wash their hands of a problem.
All they can do is base maintenance on the NRP's income. They can't take money that isn't there.
lush I think I'd have a heart attack if I kept a tab on what I've spent on the dc's. They've both had new school shoes and trainers in the last month, so that's £140. New beavers and cubs tops plus trip fees, £75....<Hyperventilates>
Are you using this survey, OP?
Because if so,it puts over £41k as costs of childcare, which do not fall evenly over all the years to 11, and which do not split 50/50 between parents either (depending on residency arrangements, and whether any if the cost is defrayed by tax credits), and of course assumes paid childcare in the first place.
To rework the figures, excluding what has been allowed for childcare, it comes to £162.87 per parent month.
And of course, that's average not required amount.
If a parent does not have the money it cannot be paid. Some (two parent) families will find themselves spending well in excess of the average, others less.
Yep, childcare costs, and the bulk of those being heavy in the first 4-5 years.
But we do have a culture that if you don't reside with your child, you aren't responsible for the lions share of their costs. We don't have a culture of 50/50 time and costs being spilt between couples, it's expected that mothers will take on the bulk of the caring and the bulk of the costs. It isn't seen as shocking that a man will leave a family home then see his DCs only every other weekend and one night in the week, that's considered 'normal' and 'good' access arrangements. The idea that DCs should have 2 homes isn't considered 'normal'.
But then we also have a society where it's considered normal that woman are the ones to stop work after having DCs and if one parent is going to work part time or reduced hours, it'll be the mother.
The CSA is working within this social framework, one with a very developed benefit system to pick up the slack of parents not actually being able to run 2 households from their joint income and keep the DCs out of poverty. One were it's ok for men to walk away. Getting anything under those circumstances is impressive. Plus few woman would be prepared to sacrifice their position as the resident parent in order to have a higher standard of living. Sadly, it's considered ok for men to do that.
You can't make an argument with figures taken out of context and an NRP can't pay with money that they don't have. Obviously if the NRP has money and hides it or decides to earn less for the sole purpose of reducing maintenance then that's morally wrong IMO but it's the NRPS to blame, not the CMS.
I've been on both sides of the fence with the CSA and it doesn't seem fair in either position to be honest. They do a one size fits all calculation and that can never be fair really.
Good points Mary
I suspect there are many aggrieved fathers who don't see enough of their children because of a divorce. I know one and he was devastated. I'd rather be a mum struggling financially than a father without access
I do take issue with this though If a parent does not have the money it cannot be paid It's often a case of men hiding their earnings or not declaring and there does not appear to be a way of penalising or exposing this.
X posted. I agree that often, neither side will think it is fair.
"Often a case of men hiding their earnings" - is this an evidence based statement? I'm sure there are NRPs (not just men) that do it but I'm not sure about "often".
"I do take issue with this though If a parent does not have the money it cannot be paid It's often a case of men hiding their earnings or not declaring and there does not appear to be a way of penalising or exposing this."
Well, if hiding income they do have the money.
Why do we have to exclude child care from the equation, someone ends up paying for it, if the RP and NRP work, but why does the RP have to bear all the costs, but we do not count it because...........
I pay for all the childcare, so that I can work to pay for my DCs. That also includes the child care that their father does not provide for them but allows him to go out to work and provide adequately for his new family.
I understand your pain, DC1 went from a size 13 to a size 4 in the last 9 months, school shoes, trainers and one other pair of shoes - has cost a fortune!
My selfish stbxh walked out on me and my two girls and he wont pay his fair share. He's financially abusive. My mum and dad are helping me buy my children winter clothes. He turns up in new clothes and shoes when he sees the children and acts like he's gods gift.
He has the money but appears to be able to spend it on himself.
He even asked why my little one was going out in her school coat - well he wont pay for her winter one and I've got to save up. How's that fair?
Based on scaevola's figure (as I don't pay childcare fees), my ex pays me more than this in maintenance. Not all men shy away from financially supporting their children. Obs I am lucky there and sadly the same can't be said of all.
The thing about childcare costs is that they are far greater in the early years. Depending on the age of your DC at the time of the split, this could be a major confounder. Surely you can't amortise the (fiendishly expensive) costs over the whole 0-11 period.
Not completely sure that other costs fall evenly over the whole period either (eg initial equipment/layette costs, which you have to bear alone if single throughout but are irrelevant if you previous had a parent but separated when your DC were age 4/5+)
I currently spend £8500 per annum give or take a few quid, on childcare.
MY ex pays £247 pcm ergo £2964 per annum in maintenance for 2 kids!
I need this much to work, so that I can clothe, feed and care for our DCs, if he did, even a fraction of the caring and looking after his own DCs - this bill would reduce!
So why do we have to ignore childcare?
Before anyone says - if he has not got it, he can not pay it - he earns £80K per annum, went on holiday to Barbados this year ............
Before my stbxh left me I had no idea how hard it is for single mums. We don't appear to have any rights. How can the ex's have such a high standard of living when we have to struggle. How's that fair?
I wouldn't swap my kids for any amount of money so I would always want to be the main carer but I do believe the ex's should be made to pay their fair share not just what they can get away with.
Because I am completely anal i have a programme in which i log all finance details and have done so since DC were born, so...
They will each have cost me approximately £80,000 from birth to 18 years. this includes anything paid purely for them - swimming lessons, brownies, dance lessons, clothing etc, and also private day school fees for senior school. It does not include childcare (SAHM) and food, heating etc
(it also tells me how much i used to spend on fags )
Costs certainly fluctuate. For that reason there have been plenty of months where ex's £280 didn't cover much, and plenty where it was too much. The annoying thing in my opinion is that they just pay a set amount each month which isn't the reality of parenting. But unless you have a relationship where you can split everything with your ex it's the only way.
If an average salary is 24k, that's 300 a month which roughly covers half of that 85k. I think CSA calculations are pretty fair. Apart from where childcare costs are concerned.
When my dd was small her childcare cost 1200 a month. I got 800 in tax credits and we split the 400 between us. He paid that on top of maintenance as we both benefitted from the childcare. I now have a fab childminder for after school who knows which days ex and I have dd and issues us with a separate bill each for our own days
Bobs i wish id done that.
My x has STOLEN so much of my money by not paying half the cost. It is theft and shiuld be more widely recognised and understood to be theft.
Haha Smukogrig it makes no difference who pays for what while you are married. Stbx paid virtually nothing individually for the dc - phone contract for one of them, joint 18th birthday party, driving lessons and a tiny bit of pocket money....this is from birth. He only paid late on as even the DC cottoned on so he thought he ought to at that point. I used to put budget after budget in front of him showing income and expenses on both out sides, and showing how much disposable income he was left with, whereas I was left with a minus amount...made no difference!
Whatever - why is he paying so little? Unless he has them overnight a lot he can't possibly be paying the right amount. My DH earns less than half of that figure and pays over double that amount through the CSA
What HeadDoctor says. 60K gross earnings £500 per month (very approx)
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