Home > Ask Our Experts > Am I Entitled To Pay Less Child Support?

Am I Entitled To Pay Less Child Support?

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 8 Jan 2017 | 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.

** NEW** Separated Dads Chat Room & Forum

The Separated Dads Forum is a place where you can discuss relevant issues and concerns including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or just have a general chat with other dads.

Please help us launch it and make it a great resource for dads going through difficult times. We hope to see you on the Forum soon....

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Dave - Your Question:
Been trying to google an answer to this but not having much lookMy daughter is studying law and has told me when my ex partner gets married my legal obligation to pay child support endsWe dont have the csa involved its a mutual agreement My daughter is 13yrs old and maybe if this is true in a couple of years time I would prefer to pay it into my daughters bank account to get her used to managing money

Our Response:
If your daughter's mother gets re-married, this will not affect you having to pay child maintenance to her. You are considered responsible for supporting your daughter's day-to-day needs until she leaves full-time education regardless of her mother's marital status.
SeparatedDads - 9-Jan-17 @ 12:24 PM
Been trying to google an answer to this but not having much look My daughter is studying law and has told me when my ex partner gets married my legal obligation to pay child support ends We dont have the csa involved its a mutual agreement My daughter is 13yrs old and maybe if this is true in a couple of years time i would prefer to pay it into my daughters bank account to get her used to managing money
Dave - 8-Jan-17 @ 7:45 PM
Do I still have to pay csa to my ex partner if I currently live with my new partner and another child?
Hoe - 6-Jan-17 @ 11:31 AM
Davido - Your Question:
Hi do I still have to pay csa if my ex gets married

Our Response:
In a word, yes. Regardless of whether your ex re-marries, you are still considered to be financially responsible for the welfare of your biological child until your child finishes full-time education.
SeparatedDads - 4-Jan-17 @ 2:58 PM
Hi do I still have to pay csa if my ex gets married
Davido - 4-Jan-17 @ 8:25 AM
Hi.my husband I'd paying csa to his ex wife for his daughter.we found out over a yr ago that my husbands daughter has been living with her grandparents for the last 5 yrs! My husband has argued with csa telling them he doesn't want his ex wife having his money as his daughter isn't living with her mother.csa have phoned the grandparents but they say she only stays 2/3 nights a week.the grandma rang my husband and told him she doesn't want to be involved and it would affect her pension if she declares her living there permanent! Because my husbands ex wife claims child benefit we still have to pay her csa.our argument is we want the child to receive the money not his ex wife because clearly the child does not live with the mother.what can we do about this please.we are frustrated and feel its unfair that the child is getting nothing as the child has told us this plus surely what she is going is committing fraud!
tez - 20-Nov-16 @ 8:04 PM
Hi,I wonder if anyone can advise,I currently pay my ex wife £537 child support, for my 15 year old son. He has recently got himself into a bit of trouble ( typical teenage boys). His mother has said she can't do any more to help him so he is now living with me,I don't want any financial support from her but want to know if I can lower the amount of child support to her to the point of giving her nothing if he continues to stay with me. He needs lots of support and I feel I can offer this support and get him back on track.
Mallon - 20-Nov-16 @ 2:11 PM
Hi My ex and I split up and have an out of court / CSA arrangement for maintenance, however my ex has moved to New Zealand and told me it was for 3 months via her work but when they had an earthquake and I couldn't get an answer I called her work who advised that she resigned a while ago. My question is it seems as though this move is permanent and that there is very little I can do about it so am I still responsible for child maintenance. my ex has re married and they have a son together so I am not going to break a happy family home as that would adversely affect my daughter.
MKGuy73 - 19-Nov-16 @ 11:56 AM
Tomo - Your Question:
Do I have to still pay csa if my child has won over 1 million £ in a court case he's now 18 and lives with his mother and I have no cantact but I have been paying csa all his life, he won a negligence claim 4 years ago.

Our Response:
If your son is over 18 and not in full-time education up to A'Level standard, then it is unlikley you would have to continue to pay child maintenance regardless of his court win. Every parent has the basic responsibility to provide for their child up until the age of 16, when they are legally allowed to leave school and get a job. After this age, it depends what your child chooses to do. If they continue in full-time non-advanced education, not higher than A-level equivalent, for at least 12 hours a week, then your maintenance payments will continue until your child finishes or until they turn 20. However, if your son is in receipt of interest from his claim, this may be classed as an independent income. If you are paying via CSA/CMS they will tell you if his child benefit has stopped and if it has, so will your maintenance payments.
SeparatedDads - 18-Nov-16 @ 12:49 PM
Do I have to still pay csa if my child has won over 1 million £ in a court case he's now 18 and lives with his mother and I have no cantact but I have been paying csa all his life, he won a negligence claim 4 years ago.
Tomo - 17-Nov-16 @ 10:14 PM
Hitcdad - Your Question:
My 17 year old child is in non advanced education. When hes 18 & officially an adult I am still due to pay CMS direct to him, fine with that.As he's an adult can I pay it to him vs. paying it to my X? She spends CMS on herself & not all of it on him & his needs.

Our Response:
Every parent has the basic responsibility to provide for their child up until the age of 16, when they are legally allowed to leave school and get a job. After this age, it depends what your child chooses to do. If they continue in full-time non-advanced education, not higher than A-level equivalent, for at least 12 hours a week, then your maintenance payments will continue to your ex, until your child finishes the course or until they turn 20. Only if your ex agrees can you pay directly to your son. If your son decides he wants to go and get a job, or an apprenticeship, then your payments will stop. Child maintenance payments stop when child benefit payments do. 
SeparatedDads - 15-Nov-16 @ 11:31 AM
My 17 year old child is in non advanced education. When hes 18 & officially an adult I am still due to pay CMS direct to him, fine with that. As he's an adult can I pay it to him vs. paying it to my X? She spends CMS on herself & not all of it on him & his needs.
Hitcdad - 14-Nov-16 @ 3:31 PM
Does my csa go down if i move in with my girlfriend who as children of her own
Dog - 21-Oct-16 @ 12:55 PM
Ron - Your Question:
Please can you help ? I have been paying child maintenace for the past 5 yrs to my ex wife but we have 50/50 shared care, Am I right that I no longer have to pay because we have complete 50/50 shared care ? Do it make any difference that I earn more than she does ?Thank you so much for your response

Our Response:
Much depends upon the disparity of your incomes, please see CMS calculator here. Usually, if both parents are earning the same amount and you share the care of your child, this will be cancelled out generally by agreement of both parents. However, if your ex is not working, or is a stay-at-home mother, or only working part-time, then you would be seen to be part financially responsible for your child.
SeparatedDads - 26-Sep-16 @ 2:05 PM
Please can you help ? I have been paying child maintenace for the past 5 yrs to my ex wife but we have 50/50 shared care, Am I right that I no longer have to pay because we have complete 50/50 shared care ? Do it make any difference that I earn more than she does ? Thank you so much for your response
Ron - 26-Sep-16 @ 1:48 PM
My partner has three kids with his ex and a baby with me. His ex has stopped him from seeing the children for nearly three years since he met me. He had to pay over £18,000 In solicitor and court fees over the three year period to see his kids. He was paying £500 Csa every months during this time. 6 months ago the judge has finally allowed him to see his kids for 5 hours every Saturday, but he's not allowed to take them to our house or anyone else's house, so he has to spend these 5 hours out and about which cost a bomb, every Saturday he spends between £150 and £200 on cinema, fun fair, lunch, presents, ice cream, swimming parks and much more. From September Csa wants to increase his monthly payments from £500 to £860 for no apparent reason. Their youngest daughter is 7 years old and the oldest is 12. My question is, since all three kids are in full time education shouldn't she be sent to work? She claims all sorts of benefits, income support, child tax credit, housing benefit, council tax reduction, and she lives in a council house. She gets free school dinners for the kids and free after school club. Why doesn't she go to work ? She has no disability or illness that prevents her from working. My partner gets paid £2700 PCM and we pay £1500 in rent per month but apparently this doesn't matter to Csa. The £1500 that we pay in rent don't include the bills and the council tax. He had to pay petrol to go to work, food and so much more. What is he supposed to do to support his family and his other kids? We can't afford to get a solicitor. What can we do to reduce it? It seems like we would be better off if he left his job and joined the "benefit world".
Fedup - 15-Aug-16 @ 2:49 PM
John- Your Question:
Hi just wanted to know where I can advice from was paying my ex last 6years by standard order but know she going through child maintenance they want £600 a month my total income is £1030 a month I am ready loose my flat they said not there problem and don't pay there take legal action please any help am ready to get deeper in depression and loose will to live

Our Response:
You don't say whether you have fallen into arrears. If you have been paying your ex through a family-based arrangement, then it is up to you to decide between you what you pay. However, if you fall into arrears, whilst in this agreement your ex cannot claim. If you have fallen into arrears because you have not paid through the CMS/CSA this is a different matter and you will be liable to pay the money owed, please see CAB link here. If you feel you have been unfairly treated, you can complain, please see gov.uk link here. I'm afraid this is all I can suggest as there is no alternative way around the law.
SeparatedDads - 15-Aug-16 @ 12:04 PM
Hi just wanted to know where I can advice from was paying my ex last 6years by standard order but know she going through child maintenance they want £600 a month my total income is £1030 a month I am ready loose my flat they said not there problem and don't pay there take legal action please any help am ready to get deeper in depression and loose will to live
John - 14-Aug-16 @ 12:41 PM
My ex has now married will my payments go down. Am I entitled to ask this? I'm re married recently too and have 2 other kids to support.
Noidea - 12-Jul-16 @ 7:32 PM
danno - Your Question:
Does the cost of child maintainance go down after the child reaches the age of 16.i was told to inform the cms when he reached the age of 16 which I did but nothing has altered,any advice gratedul.

Our Response:
Every parent has the basic responsibility to provide for their child up until the age of 16, when they are legally allowed to leave school and get a job. After this age, it depends what your child chooses to do. If they continue in full-time non-advanced education for at least 12 hours a week, then your maintenance payments will continue until your child finishes the course. If your daughter changes her mind and decides that she wants to get a job and not continue in full-time education - which includes studying for 12 hours or more a week - then your payments would end in the September after her final school term.
SeparatedDads - 14-Apr-16 @ 2:16 PM
does the cost of child maintainance go down after the child reaches the age of 16.i was told to inform the cms when he reached the age of 16 which I did but nothing has altered,any advice gratedul.
danno - 13-Apr-16 @ 9:22 PM
Hi I pay csa to my ex for our daughter. It's a long story but I don't see my daughter at the moment I am going though Leagl routes. But my current partner and I have a daughter together she's a year old and in Januarywe are putting her into preschool at the age of 2. It's expensive but we want to learn and get use to it before school. I was wondering if my csa payments go down to help cover this for my child that lives with me not that I love the other any less. Thank you
Dave - 8-Apr-16 @ 11:41 PM
cooper153 - Your Question:
Hi I like to know how much maintenance I should be paying I earn 1400 per month but I have to travel from Southampton to Birmingham so does fuel get taken into account.

Our Response:
You can see how much you should be paying via the CMS link here . Also, you can apply for a 'special expenses variation' see CAB link here. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 6-Apr-16 @ 10:58 AM
Hi I like to know how much maintenanceI should be paying I earn 1400 per month but I have to travel from Southampton to Birmingham so does fuel get taken into account.
cooper153 - 5-Apr-16 @ 10:16 AM
G - Your Question:
My ex and I have a family based arrangement where he pays maintenance weekly. He he has without warning told me he will now start paying a month in arrears. A whole month of no money from him means I will need to miss paying bills to provide the children with what they need. Can he expect me to get into debt when he is the one changing our private arrangement.

Our Response:
If you wish the arrangement to become more formal, then you can apply through the CMS, please see link here. However, the CMS will take into account periods he is not earning and if your ex can't pay you, for instance because he is ill and not being paid from work, then you may (if it's a family-based arrangement) prefer to come to an agreed compromise.
SeparatedDads - 24-Mar-16 @ 2:20 PM
My ex and i have a family based arrangement where he pays maintenance weekly. He he has without warning told me he will now start paying a month in arrears. A whole month of no money from him means i will need to miss paying bills to provide the children with what they need. Can he expect me to get into debt when he is the one changing our private arrangement.
G - 23-Mar-16 @ 10:56 PM
My ex partner gives to our son, born last October, £ 250,00 per month saying that he cannot afford to give him more because he has to pay the maintenance for his ex wife (300 £) and her daughter (500£). Is it possible to ask to reduce these figures in order to get a fairer maintenance for my son? I live in Italy and he lives in the UK and I am unemployed at the moment. He never comes to Italy to visit his son neither he asks about him.
PALLINAA3 - 26-Feb-16 @ 8:54 PM
There are two boys.One who is 16 and his mother is receiving child support payments.The other boy has now turned 19 and is living with his father.he is working but as a casual as he is having 2 operations in the next 6 weeks. One a foot so he cannot stand. The 19 y/o is completely supported by his father for accommodation, food and petrol. The father earns about 75,000 P.A ?The son will not be able to work at all for the next 3 to4 months. As the father is supportingthe 19 y/ocan he have his support reduced for the 16 y/oThe father is now paying $220per fortnight.plus a $350 rental.the father has no financialfuture and will never own a home. Does the income and circumstances of the wife have any bearing on the payments. She owns a $1.5 million home and has declared $70,000 income p.aAlso Millions of dollars in real estate with rentals.It is all under a company name.She has received large amounts of government support over the years, owned her own business ,and rented out the bottom of her apartment for 300.00 p/wHow do this happen.
lisa - 26-Feb-16 @ 5:35 AM
Apple- Your Question:
Hi my partner of 7 years has 2 children by his ex partner which he has always provided for and has regular contact with. They stay fri to sun ever fortnight and have regular holidays each year.Recently his ex has withdrawn 4 weeks from him plus the annual holiday with no warning! She's contacted CSA and told them he falls into band A I believe.After many exchange of email she won't offer anything or give him any real reason but says he is just worrying because he has to now pay more! Which is completely untrue.Anyway I'm really worried as im now disabled due to a tumour I had removed from crushing my spinal cord just over a year ago. So I'm now disabled and can't work. Are income has dramatically dropped and my partner is trying his best to support me. If his ex gets the extra money im not sure how we will cope and I'm worrying if we don't start paying it before mediation goes through we will end up back dated. Can anyone offer advice ?

Our Response:
I would speak to the CSA/CMS directly to see whether any financial concessions can be made due to your disability, especially if your partner is caring for you and/or he has had a drop in income as a result.
SeparatedDads - 24-Feb-16 @ 12:28 PM
Adam - Your Question:
Hello,I have to travel from Lincoln to Derby to collect and return my daughter on a Friday and a Sunday.Will petrol costs ( £40) effect my payments ?

Our Response:
Certain expenses can be taken into account under a 'special expenses variation' and your gross income figure can be reduced, if you pay through the CSA/CMS and if you qualify, please see link here. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 24-Feb-16 @ 10:58 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the SeparatedDads website. Please read our Disclaimer.