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Sorting out maintenance payments without using CSA?

(8 Posts)
Inthepastlife34 Sat 09-May-15 19:47:49

My dh moved out a few weeks ago, he has been staying with a friend but is looking for permanent accommodation. He earns a low wage and already has to pay CSA for another child.

My dc's have sn's and it's important to me ( and him ) that he has regular contact and be able to have the dc's stay with him one night a week but this means paying more for somewhere suitable for the dc's to stay.

Today he phoned me to tell me he has found somewhere where the dc's will have room to sleep but if he has to pay me too much maintenance he will not be able to afford to take the accommodation, he wants to know how much I need him to pay or he wants me to agree that he will pay for school uniform, school trips etc rather than weekly payments.

Everyone keeps telling me he should pay the full amount of maintenance and live in a bed sit. At the moment it's more important to me that he can spend time with his dc's which will also provide me with respite and time to myself.

How can we agree on what he should pay? Should I just agree that he pays for things when the dc's need them and when he has money to do so as long as he agrees to weekly contact ( over night stays )?

We are on good terms, I do want what's best for everyone, I am the one who ended things and I want to keep things syvilised for the dc's. I want him to be a big part of their lives, I know if he was living in a bed sit this would not happen.

What do I do?

HeadDoctor Sat 09-May-15 19:57:23

Have you worked out how much he would need to pay you on the CMS calculator? He would have to pay a set amount and then this would be divided between the children so what he pays to his other child will decrease. It also reduces by 1 seventh for every regular overnight per week.

Inthepastlife34 Sat 09-May-15 20:15:40

According to the calculator it will be £40 a week this doesn't take in to consideration that he's paying for another child.he is only contracted to work 4 days a week and on a low wage, if I take £40 a week from him he won't have hardly anything left after paying his rent and he still has to pay bills and to feed himself ( and the dc's when they are with him ).

HeadDoctor Sat 09-May-15 20:21:07

Would he be entitled to any benefits if his income is so low? I can see your predicament but I honestly find it hard to believe unless he's also got huge debts. For 3 children I believe it's 19% of his gross income. I would probably call Child Maintenance Options and ask them to calculate a more accurate figure. It's not fair that your DC should miss out on what he should pay or with overnight contact. Get him to check his bills are as low as possible and that he's claiming everything he is entitled to.

ReallyNotMe Sat 09-May-15 20:36:18

No one can really tell you what to do, you need to decide that for yourself which is difficult when you are surrounded by (well meaning) people giving you a variety of opinions and instructions.

I personally accept less than the going rate of maintenance for my DD. 15% of her dad's wages is £185 per month. He currently pays £150, until 3 months ago paid £120, and for the first 8 months nothing.

Some of my friends think I am wrong for accepting less but the pluses for me are that we maintain a good relationship, I would hate him to be taking DD for contact and not have him text me halfway through to tell me what they are up to, or stop for a cuppa now and again so we can have a chat about schools or whatever.

I would recommend you work out exactly how much you need to live on and see how that compares. If you do accept less than the full amount make it clear that this can be re-negotiated at a later date.

Hope it works out well whatever you decide.

Inthepastlife34 Sat 09-May-15 21:15:59

Thank you,

We live in a area where rent is quite high so for him to live somewhere where he can have the girls to stay is going to take most of his wages, he said he will work extra hours when he can and give me money when he can. I have told him that at the moment the money isn't that important ( I have enough to support the dc's though it will be a bit tight) but if my situation changes and I need more money I will go to the CSA and get the correct amount from him. I don't want to fall out with him, for me it's not about the money, it's more important that he spends quality time with them and gives me a break from time to time.

STIDW Sat 09-May-15 22:23:02

If you use the calculator you need ensure it's the Child Maintenance Service one (not CSA) and key in the number of all his children, then divide the amount. For example if you have 2 children together + plus one from your husband's previous relationship you would key in three children. The calculated amount of child maintenance would then be divided by three. You would be entitled to two thirds minus any deductions for overnight stays your children spend with your ex.

However you can agree any amount of child maintenance between yourselves you want. The CM Options website has information and tools to help parents come to their own family based arrangement. As you on good terms there is a list of things you need to think about and it can be useful going through the figures together so you find a solution that can work for everyone. .

WatchaGonnaDo Sun 10-May-15 17:44:45

You do not have to claim and can state you have reached an agreement. He will still have to pay an agreed amount to his previous DC. My only word of caution would be, although you are being lovely and reasonable for the sake if the DCs, when you need that money for uniforms etc. do you think it will be forthcoming? If he is unable to afford to pay maintenance for your kids now as he is unable to afford suitable accommodation otherwise, then how will he be able to contribute? Are you happy for him to 'chip in' when he is able when you realistically are covering the day-to-day expenses which mount up as they get older? Very doom & gloom but I was in the same boat as you years ago so thought they may be questions to consider.

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