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Am I Entitled To Pay Less Child Support?

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 7 Aug 2020 | comments*Discuss
 
Child Support Child Support Act

Q.I am a divorcee living in London and my ex-wife resides in France with our 7-year-old daughter. I visit every 6 weeks and pay 15% of my monthly salary (the payment is £500). They visit London 3 times each year. I also have a 2-year-old daughter with my new partner.

My ex-wife remarried last week and her husband also has a 7-year-old-daughter. Does any of this affect my child support payments?

(T.C, 2 October 2008)

A.

Your seemingly simple question actually raises a lot of very interesting points. You pay the amount mandated by the Child Support Pensions and Social Security Act 2000, which amended the Child Support Act 1991 and 1995, which said the non-resident parent should pay 15% of net income as child support.

However, if the child and custodial parent are resident outside the UK, the 2000 Act doesn’t apply, according to some sources, which could leave you free to petition for a change in the amount of maintenance paid.

Also, if you have to travel long distances and spend a great deal in order to have regular contact, you might be able to petition to have the maintenance reduced.

Perhaps surprisingly, the one factor that doesn’t seem to have any influence on the proceedings is the remarriage of your ex-wife, although you might suppose that would be the one that would affect things most.

You do have a financial responsibility to your daughter until she’s 16 or until she’s 19 if she remains in full-time education; that’s very much the law.

Something you don’t say is how you and your ex arrived at the 15% of your income figure, whether it was agreed mutually, through mediation, or imposed by the courts, or whether her move to France occurred after the divorce.

It would seem that you’d like to reduce your child support payment, and that’s understandable when you’re paying £6,000 a year. However, before you start consulting a lawyer, consider a few things.

From the number of cross-Channel visits – both ways – it would seem that you and your ex are on good terms. Might it be possible for the two of you to talk and maybe arrive at a lower figure for child support? Something arrived at amicably is much better for all parties than going through a legal process.

Additionally, if you are on good terms, taking legal action to reduce child support payments could sour those good relations. Given that you have 10 more years of child support payments and visits, the goodwill might outweigh the money.

But, before you do anything, sit down and have a talk with your lawyer who can give you the proper advice in the situation. Find out more about child support payments in our guide, here.

Check out the Separated Dads Forum... It's a great resource where you can ask for advice on topics including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or simply to have a chat with other dads.

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I have been paying cms without any problem. I started a university course in September 2019. My income went down by over 50% because I am working only part time as a student.I provided payslips, student letter from the university, and a letter from SFC as evidence that I am no longer working full time. CMS refused to adjust my paymentsand they want me to remain on the payment plan that I have been before I started my studies. I appealled and the tribunal judge dismissed my appeal saying there was not enough evidence that I don't work full time. I am thinking of appealing again because I can not afford to pay what they want me to pay. Is there anyone who can help me please. I have been pay 12% of my earning from my part-time work. I don't know what I should do.I failed some ofthe modules due to pressure from these people.
tiri - 7-Aug-20 @ 9:46 PM
I wonder if anyone could help with my question, might be a complicated one... I have a family based arrangement with my ex-wife for the last 10 years. The children were staying with me in the UK 6 days out of 7 as she wouldn't let me have them the 7 nights. 3 years ago I transferred with my company to Canada and continued to pay the same amount each month, plus fund the kids coming out to visit for the Summer. She has just had her long-term partner move into her house in the UK, one of the kids has just left school and is due to start a BTEC course at college, the other is 14. My question is firstly, do I need to continue paying now that she's co-habiting? I will obviously fund what they need directly as I have a relationship with them not her and continue to pay for their flights and visits once able to do so again.
worried dad - 8-Apr-20 @ 3:54 PM
My wife left me in Dec 2018 after a long marriage. We have three children, aged 26, 24 and 14. The older two work full-time. My wife applied for and was granted child support for £1000 pm in Jan 2019, to be reviewed annually. I also pay £3200 to my wife, separately, as provision for her financial support and for her to pay her lawyers through the divorce. I earn money through PAYE employment plus taxable profits from my self-employed work. So far, Child Maintenance Service have just used my Self Assessment Tax Return (SATR) to calculate my 14 year old child's monthly payments. Should they deduct the £3200 per month from my SATR to arrive at my net income (pre-tax but after expenses to her) to calculate payments to my 14 year old?
Upset father - 24-Mar-20 @ 3:27 PM
Evening everyonequick question just gone bankrupt my wife and I are on benefits only income except my wife gets maintenance for her child from the ex every month just been told by official recieverthat this money can be used to pay my ipa is this allowed? ? Doesn't seem right that her money will go towards my debt manythanks
Hugh 1209 - 4-Mar-20 @ 9:19 PM
@bethleight.i new (nothing about fathers rights or child support back then gods truth ).like I said she left to be with her boyfriend and blocked me changed number and then called the police on me for messaging her .i got in (trouble )then had no contact which was a (good thing) .so I don’t no about (child support) the child grown up now .i haven’t seen her in (11 years) I don’t know about this (stuff) .i (honestly )thought back then I had (no rights) gods truth from (everyone telling me )to leave her alone and let her and her boyfriend raise the child .and told me that I am (no one) it’s up to the (mother and boyfriend now) .so I just did (nothing )plus I didn’t want to get in any more (trouble) and in reality (back then )if the mother wanted to get (rid )off you all they had to do is call the police and once you have a (order) on you .you can’t see the child anyway so it’s (bloody pointless )it’s was in my best interest to walk away and start a fresh and try and forget about the child .how I am the bad guy ?
Benny - 10-Feb-20 @ 11:44 PM
@bethleight.i new (nothing about fathers rights or child support back then gods truth ).like I said she left to be with her boyfriend and blocked me changed number and then called the police on me for messaging her .i got in (trouble )then had no contact which was a (good thing) .so I don’t no about (child support) the child grown up now .i haven’t seen her in (11 years) I don’t know about this (stuff) .i (honestly )thought back then I had (no rights) gods truth from (everyone telling me )to leave her alone and let her and her boyfriend raise the child .and told me that I am (no one) it’s up to the (mother and boyfriend now) .so I just did (nothing )plus I didn’t want to get in any more (trouble) and in reality (back then )if the mother wanted to get (rid )off you all they had to do is call the police and once you have a (order) on you .you can’t see the child anyway so it’s (bloody pointless )it’s was in my best interest to walk away and start a fresh and try and forget about the child .how I am the bad guy ?
Benny - 10-Feb-20 @ 11:34 PM
@bethleigh.no I don’t have a (wife or a child)but yeah I am unemployed (atm)I do have a 16 daughter from when I was a (young fella )I have (never had any responsibility’s off her) she left with her (mother at a very young age) and I haven’t seen her what I’am supposed to do ?.i didn’t no anything about (rights back then) i just thought that’s it she moved moved miles away to be with her boyfriend and she blocked me changed number .i said back then oh well that it .how I am in the wrong ?
Benny - 10-Feb-20 @ 7:53 PM
Child maintenance payments have stopped as dad said he's now a stay at home dad and his wife worksso he now has mo money to pay . Is that it ? He just stops his responsibilities and thats it?
Bethleigh - 10-Feb-20 @ 5:35 PM
I am a single dad. I have two young children, one is disabled, who live with me. I also have three children who live with my ex. I earn only £130 a week and am on benefits to support myself and the two children who live with me. My ex took me to court for CMA and I have to pay 40% of my income to her. This has put me into poverty and I cannot afford the oil for my heating or hot water. Are there any grounds for reducing the payments given my circumstances? Thank you Raddish
Raddish - 19-Dec-19 @ 4:43 PM
Hi, My ex-partner and I have 3 children together. When we separated. my eldest (who was 14 at the time decided to stay with me) the other 2 children moved with the mum. All three children visit my home after school every day and the two younstest were picked up thier mum at 6pm. My ex decided to go via the CMA. I asked for payments for my eldest and my ex made a total of 4 payments. which I asked the CMA to investigate on numerous occasions. My eldest is now away at university and I am still supporting him financially. I have been paying money directly into my ex-partner bank account for anything that the other two might need for the last 3 years, above what the CMA have asked that I am entitled to pay. Earlier this year, after an argument my ex went back to the CMA and claimed that I had missed payments. I was then put into a plan and had to pay them directly even after I had provided proof that I had paid more then I had meant to.Whilst I was on the plan, I still paid directly into my ex account and I believe that I have overpaid. I am now being asked to attend a meeting with the CMA. My question is what is, Can I stop paying CMA and pay directly into my ex-partner account as I know that the CMA take a cut. and also am I able to claim any money directly from my ex partners account.
TOSH1 - 24-Nov-19 @ 10:24 AM
I have 1 child who I pay csa for, I have just moved out of my parents and bought my first home with my gf, she also has a daughter, as I now have mortgage payments to contribute to and household Bill's, if I earn more money to be able to afford these do I have to a copy my csa payments will also have to increase? Thanks
Chris - 29-Oct-19 @ 2:04 PM
Hi, I have had a recent letter from the csa to say now I should be paying nearly 400 a month from the usualy 250 I’ve been paying. Its because last year, we had a big job on andI did quite abit of overtime to pay off some debts and they looked into my annual income for last years. But for the last 6 months I have been back on basic money and no overtime. My basic money is 1800 a month, around 2300 before tax and national insurance. I worked this out on the csa calculator and it’s says I should be paying around £230 a month, which seems plenty fair to me. I am on nowhere near the money I earntlast year and paying 400 would completely cripple me. I have heard that if I can show them my last 3 payslips of my 1800 a month, they can change that stupid high amount back to the £230. Does anyone no if this is right? Thanks.
Steve.s.d - 18-Aug-19 @ 5:16 PM
I have 4 kids I pay child maintenance to 3 is through csa when I phoned to say about my daughter to see if it would be cheaper they said sorry we can't take your daughter into consideration why is this.
Rabb - 8-Aug-19 @ 2:35 PM
I have had a family based arrangement since 2007 for two children. I divorced in 2008 and part of the settlement I received 33% of the equity our marital home property the ex because she had the children too 67%. Due to a last minute conversation that she could not move due to debts I forfeited another £6,000. I then paid maintenance to her and has regular access to the children and had 50/50 access. 13 years later my oldest is now 18 and I have refused to pay as by law I don't have to she is not happy with the proposed payments to the youngest now 13 1/2 years old. She has taken me to the CMS. The question is surely the equity in the house and extra £6,000 payment is taken into account when this CMS calculation is made as I have provided monies then that has benefited her and the children.
DannyG - 5-Jul-19 @ 5:24 PM
Hi, if I have 1 child and my ex and son live mortgage free in a house I paid for do I still have to pay child support?
Munter - 3-Jul-19 @ 11:00 PM
My ex wife has been living with her new partner for quite some time now with our two children.I see have and see my children every other weekend.I have been paying an agreed monthly based amount to her every month which we have agreed (not through the CSA).I am understood to believe that my ex wife has now remarried.Will this affect what I have to pay to her each month?Any advice would be much appreciated.Regards
SRL - 30-May-19 @ 3:34 PM
Hi, if I was to leave my job and travel for 6 months or a year would I still have to pay maintenance?
Raft - 19-Mar-19 @ 4:12 PM
CSA want me to pay 429 a month for my son with my ex wife. What I dont understand is my partner has 3 kids with different dads not one pays a penny how can I afford to keep these and pay that CSA should look at individual situations. I'm struggling to pay the bills.
Pete - 24-Feb-19 @ 9:51 PM
Hi my husband pays £400 a month for his two children. We recently heard that because I have 2 children and we are married, my children are classed as his independent children to. Will this reduce his child maintenance payments?
Debz - 22-Feb-19 @ 7:46 PM
@raju.it depends on your( income )just because she (remarried means nothing) if you are the bio father you have to pay sucks balls I know but its the rule .i never had to but my relationship with the mother off my child was (open )on her side but I was no angel myself I just (covered myself better) .anyway that’s ancient history now .i made a choice not to see my daughter because in reality I wanted to (go bad )I was sick to death off been a (goody two shoes )and cut loose drugs ,fighting whores ,and no responsible off looking after children i am older now and tried to change my ways but I can’t it’s ingrained in me to be this way people need to come to terms with it or except it if not leave me alone because I will not change for anyone .
Chris - 21-Jan-19 @ 1:01 AM
Hi there, I have 2 kids 8 and 9 with my ex-wife. She has remarried and now lives together with her new husband. Am I entitled to any change in child maintenance payments?
Raju - 20-Jan-19 @ 10:45 PM
I have two children with an ex wife. My daughter is ten and my son is six. I am paying just over £300 a month. She is getting married and had a new child with her partner. My question is as my wife has refused me access to see or have my children. Should this affect my CSA. Not to mention that the new partner lives with the ex and also works. Any assistance would be great. Thanks in advance
Kenny - 6-Dec-18 @ 12:44 PM
I have split up with my wife who I have 2 kids to I have my kids through the week. Feed themand school etc.. I also have them the weekends to stay over sometimes both no nights but not all time both nights.. I problem have the kids just a bit more than my partner She is also getting money from my parentsfor the kids and help towards her rent.. would I still owe csa.. My partner is saying £90
Stevo - 30-Nov-18 @ 10:44 AM
I have a recent case arisen where i have been asked for child maintenance for my 11 year old. since then i have remarried with 2 children under the new home. the terms of the separation after a previous lost job 6 years ago came to a court agreement of 1 pound per year but ex still maintains all assets handed over. the new claim i feel is a result as my mother passed away 2 months ago however there is no inheritance to claim for. under my current salary i am asked to pay 9,000 per annum but the real issue i have is that i am aware that ex is living in an 1.05 m (as per zoopla) house, and child from previous marriage is going to a private school of at least 18,000 gbp per year excluding additional costs that private shools have. Where this money comes from could have been from a previous relationship (unmarriad now seperated) or her family wealth which is well established as being very high. what are my rights here as the current claim would make my current family incredible hard to maintain and of course we cannot afford private school or indeed to purchase a house. pleased to hear what actions i can do . kindest
confused - 12-Nov-18 @ 12:38 PM
So i HAVE 8 year old daughter with my ex but now have a son 7 months old how muxh would they be looking to take a week
Duffin - 30-Oct-18 @ 6:20 PM
Hi. My bf has 2 children one age 6 and one age 3. He pays child maintaince for them both. Me and him have moved in to our new home. He is self employed and i will be on maternity leave as we are expecting a baby. Can I ask if the amount of money he pays towards his other two children will reduce?
Sar - 21-Oct-18 @ 12:07 AM
I have 3 kids I pay child maintenance for if I move in with my partner will my payments for my 3 children come down as my partner has 3 children herself from her previous relationship I.e when it’s says other children you live with do I include them or not as they aren’t mine?
Nikkijean - 16-Oct-18 @ 10:25 PM
Hi I Currently pay £180 a month for my child who lives with her mother and her three siblings, as well as her new partner not the farther of the other children or someone who is employed id just like to point out. The mother creates a abusive relationship with my child and it effects her attitude and causes a lot of arguments she has started to spend more and more time with me. What right do I have to allow her to stay with me full time and stop paying maintenance or reduce payment if she spends more time with me? There is currently no court involvement and my name is on the birth certificate. So I believe its 50/50 custody?
SorryRonnie - 23-Sep-18 @ 10:35 AM
Shaz - Your Question:
Hi I have two children with my ex wife she has moved to wales with her new partner I also have got married and have a child to support I have to pay 475 every month towards csa but I’m struggling financially due to her putting me in debt aswell and leaving it all to me I will be paying that off also Iv been bankrupt and need to pay more than 10.000 back is there no way my child maintenance can get reduced

Our Response:
Your only recourse is to appeal if you think you have been treated unfairly, please see the link here.
SeparatedDads - 21-Sep-18 @ 11:42 AM
Hi I have two children with my ex wife she has moved to wales with her new partner I also have got married and have a child to support I have to pay 475 every month towards csa but I’m struggling financially due to her putting me in debt aswell and leaving it all to me I will be paying that off also Iv been bankrupt and need to pay more than 10.000 back is there no way my child maintenance can get reduced
Shaz - 20-Sep-18 @ 9:50 AM
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