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50/50 childcare and child maintenance

(39 Posts)
Iceland22 Tue 06-Mar-18 13:57:00

Not started the divorce yet.

But, my soon to ex has said he wants 50/50 which I’m going to contest as the children need one stable environment.

He earns £50k and I earn £30k. Will he have to pay maintenance if the judge awards 50/50?

Also what is spousal maintenance and do I quality in this situation?

Married 10 years. Two children 6 and 5.

OP’s posts: |
RaspberryF00l Tue 06-Mar-18 14:21:00

Obviously you have to get specific legal advice but he will still need to pay child maintenance even if 50/50 care. There's a calculator on the Child Maintenance Service website where you can enter the number of days the higher earner has the children and their income and it will tell you the amount of CM due. This is usually what forms the basis of the legal agreement.

At the time of our divorce I was earning £47k and my now XH £63k. He has the children just under half of the time and he pays in excess of £500 child maintenance.

I don't think you will qualify for spousal maintenance - I believe it's if he supports you financially e.g. non-earning parent, spouse who's been a homemaker and not earned for many years. I applied for it as a 'bargaining chip' i.e. knowing we would drop it.

AllertonRoad Tue 06-Mar-18 14:35:03

I used to earn £50k until I had my 2nd child then had two years as a stay at home mum. I couldn’t go back to my former role as one of us needed to be at home to look after the children.

101trees Tue 06-Mar-18 14:49:50

That's not correct anymore. The law changed recently so that if there is 50:50 shared care the non-resident parent does not pay any child maintenance anymore if they can prove that they are doing an equal amount of the everyday care of the children. The CMS calculator still displays the amount but it's not enforceable if your ex can prove he is doing 50% if of the care (and therefore paying for 50% of the costs of the care).

You should agree spousal maintenance up until a certain age if you feel you will need it.

Definitely ask a lawyer for advice on this, don't take anyone else's (including mine!) word for it.

ThisLittleKitty Tue 06-Mar-18 15:05:20

I can't see why he should have to.

ALittleBitConfused1 Tue 06-Mar-18 16:22:26

I don't see why you would need him to. You both earn the same, you both intend on having equal time (which adds up to equal costs) for your dc. Why would you want or need him to pay spousal maintenance or child maintenance costs, surely you're able to support yourself with your salary and when your dc are with him 50% of the time he will be covering all related costs.

AllertonRoad Tue 06-Mar-18 17:00:30

He earns £20k more than I do.
I gave up my career when we had children and took a lower paid job so I could do the school run.

HotCrossBunFight Tue 06-Mar-18 17:03:29

Genuine question... I can see how woth even a 50/50 split one pare t would find themselves buying the majority of the school uniform, new shoes, etc, etc so although the child care is split 50/50 child costs are not.

ALittleBitConfused1 Tue 06-Mar-18 17:09:43

Soz read it as 50, I don't know about spousal maintenance then I'm not sure if it's means tested.
My ex had 50 50 he didn't pay any we fed and paid for things at ours, his mum did the same at hers, school uniform costs was split 50 50 and shared between houses, he had clothes and toys etc at both homes.

SillySallySingsSongs Tue 06-Mar-18 17:11:21

You need legal advice.

I doubt you will get any spousal maintenance on those salaries.

AllertonRoad Tue 06-Mar-18 18:20:33

It just seems so unfair as I gave up my salary and a decent job to have a flexible but lower paid one.

I’ve not agreed to 50/50 it’s just what he wants. I fear it what might be what the judge awards too.

namechangedtoday15 Tue 06-Mar-18 18:25:43

Go to a solicitor. The fact that your earning capacity is diminished as a result of the choices you made as a couple will definitely be considered.

brownmouse Tue 06-Mar-18 18:29:59

I earned 30% of ExH salary after 20 years but as it was 50:50 split I was not awarded any spousal or child maintenance by the judge. It took two years of hell that I won't get back but was pointless in the end.

Get legal advice.

Badhairday1001 Tue 06-Mar-18 18:42:43

As far as I know if childcare is 50:50 then no child maintainance is paid as costs are equally split. You could try to come up with an agreement with your ex husband maybe and avoid court.

Emboo19 Tue 06-Mar-18 18:45:39

If you do the school runs, what’s he planning on doing on his 50% of the week?

Definitely seek legal advice and work out everything, what would he pay 50% of if you were to do it? All school trips, activities, uniform, presents for birthday parties.

YellowMakesMeSmile Tue 06-Mar-18 18:53:44

50/50 can be great for the children, they aren't owned by either parent and deserve a decent relationship with both.

You won't get spousal maintenance, judges are awarding it less and less. Given you have your own income, then it's highly unlikely. Giving up a job and taking another was a choice when having children. Maybe 50/50 care would mean you could return to a similar job if you regret moving careers.

waterSpider Tue 06-Mar-18 21:37:39

Yes 50/50 and no child maintenance, agree 51/49 and suddenly there's a liability to pay. Lots of practical reasons why 50/50 is difficult, but far from impossible. Certainly means you and ex will both have to live close to schools (i.e close to each other).

101trees Tue 06-Mar-18 22:02:28

Here is the link to the update on child maintenance rules in 50: 50 shared care:

My ex used to pay a little CM before they amended the law last year. After then he stopped payments but now pays for more stuff (school trainers, half birthday parties, after school clubs etc) whereas before I paid it all.

The stuff about loss of earnings due to childcare is more of a spousal maintenance issue.

Definitely see a lawyer for proper info about your individual situation though.

For people who receive maintenance still on 50:50 shared care it is worth being aware that it's no longer a legal obligation to pay it, I only say this so that people can be aware that there might suddenly and unexpectedly be a reduction in household income. Not fun!

CherryMaDeary Tue 06-Mar-18 22:06:14

I hope he's not expecting you to have the kids after school on his days until he finishes work.

Minus2 Tue 06-Mar-18 22:10:57

Spousal maintenance is rare these days. It is only awarded in about 15% of cases as a clean break is preferred.

Pan1dora Thu 09-Jan-20 10:04:02

Just adding a child's perspective (seem not important, at least not as important as the money) - a stable environment is spending equal time with both parents, guess what kids actually need mum and dad
And the courts are lately more minded to regard the kids' interests first and not the mum
He will have to do school run etc. - just as you.

LannieDuck Thu 09-Jan-20 15:36:22

Is he going to start doing the school run? Will that hit his job too?

Could you put the kids in pre/after school club on your 50% days and apply for more highly paid jobs that don't need to be around the school run?

Booboostwo Thu 09-Jan-20 15:50:18

50:50 is quite common in other countries, e.g. it's the norm in France where I am and the majority of divorced parents manage it. I don't think it is fair for you to deprive the DCs of a meaningful relationship with their father given that he is willing to take on 50% of the parenting. And I say this as a SAHP who used to do everything but have my DCs every other week since my separation six months ago - my DCs were 8 and 4 at the time.

millymollymoomoo Thu 09-Jan-20 16:15:34

What assets are there ? You may get higher % to Comoensate lower earning but I think spousal is probably unlikely in this scenario

You need legal advice

FabbyChix Thu 09-Jan-20 16:41:25

Spousal lol when you earn 30k. The courts advocate 50/50 it’s not about you

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