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Am I Entitled To Pay Less Child Support?

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 18 Aug 2019 | 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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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
Hi, I currently pay my ex £290 a month. She lives with her new partner and their new baby. I also have a new baby with my new partner now and I’m struggling. Does my payments to my ex partner go down at all now I have a new baby to provide for as well?
Dave - 5-Sep-18 @ 7:52 PM
lee - Your Question:
Can I ask my daughter is now 17 still living at home with her mother and is at collage she is doing a very basic course just enough to be classed as full time 12 hours as advised to do by her mother is it true I have to keep paying full support for her until she is 20

Our Response:
You will be expected to continue to pay while the mother is still deemed eligible to claim child benefit, as child benefit and child maintenance run hand-in-hand. Please see link here, which includes the list of the courses that are considered government approved.
SeparatedDads - 23-Jul-18 @ 3:42 PM
can I ask my daughter is now 17 still living at home with her mother and is at collage she is doing a very basic course just enough to be classed as full time 12 hours as advised to do by her mother is it true I have to keep paying full support for her until she is 20
lee - 23-Jul-18 @ 3:39 PM
Davidddd - Your Question:
Hi all I currently pay 325 csa I'm looking into moving in with my new partner she has 2 children 1 being disabled just wondering will my csa go down when I move? I wouldn't mind paying it if it went on my kids but it doesn't

Our Response:
You are not financially obligated to helping support your new partner's children (that is the proviso of their own father). Therefore, your child maintenance payments will not change.
SeparatedDads - 28-Jun-18 @ 11:27 AM
Hi all I currently pay 325 csa I'm looking into moving in with my new partner she has 2 children 1 being disabled just wondering will my csa go down when I move? I wouldn't mind paying it if it went on my kids but it doesn't
Davidddd - 27-Jun-18 @ 11:12 AM
HiteshP74 - Your Question:
Hi All,I would like to find out if I still need to pay or reduce the amount I give for Child Maintenance to my ex wife if she is now in a new relationship?As we couldn't come to an agreement on how much I should pay to my two children, we decided to use CSA to work it out for us. I do also pay additional costs to the children's other activities (School clothes, swimming, tennis, trust fund etc) which is not covered by CSA and that I'm still willing to continue to pay, but as she now has a second income do I still need to pay it?It just feels like I'll be paying for him as well as the ex wife and kids.Any advice is greatly appreciatedHitesh.

Our Response:
Your ex's new partner is not financially responsible for supporting your children. Therefore, you would continue to pay child maintenance. Child maintenance is not based on your ex's income, but yours.
SeparatedDads - 19-Jun-18 @ 3:12 PM
Hi All, I would like to find out if I still need to pay or reduce the amount I give for Child Maintenance to my ex wife if she is now in a new relationship? As we couldn't come to an agreement on how much I should pay to my two children, we decided to use CSA to work it out for us.I do also pay additional costs to the children's other activities (School clothes, swimming, tennis, trust fund etc) which is not covered by CSA and that I'm still willing to continue to pay, but as she now has a second income do I still need to pay it? It just feels like I'll be paying for him as well as the ex wife and kids. Any advice is greatly appreciated Hitesh.
HiteshP74 - 19-Jun-18 @ 11:25 AM
Hi, My ex-partner and I had four children together but when the relationship broke down she moved the Children 390 miles away without my consent. We were not married but I have found it very difficult to raise the money to take her to court as she completely cut contact with me leaving no number or address. She was very abusive toward me physically, mentally and financially and left me with many fraudulent debts which also has had an impact on my income. I would like to see my children but am unsure how I would go about this and whether I could get a reduction in my £400 a month maintenance payments if I travel to see them.
James - 7-Jun-18 @ 2:32 PM
Rob - Your Question:
Just need some advice I have an agreement with my ex to pay £230 a month but I drive 220 miles each way to see my little girl can I claim fuel again my child maintence payment or not?Thanks in advance

Our Response:
You can see more about child maintenance variations via the link here , which will explain all you need to know.
SeparatedDads - 13-Apr-18 @ 10:53 AM
Just need some advice I have an agreement with my ex to pay £230 a month but I drive 220 miles each way to see my little girl can I claim fuel again my child maintence payment or not? Thanks in advance
Rob - 12-Apr-18 @ 12:33 AM
Can anyone help please. I have not seen my son since August 2015 his second birthday. I have no idea where he lives or how he is and the last photo I received was Christmas day 2015. I was paying maintenance directly through the bank into his mother’s account around 1000 a month and due to no contact decided to reduce this to £600.00 in a bid for contact to be made through the email I sent up when he was born; this is still set up. After 8 months with still no contact I reduced payments further to £300.00 – I took a call from the CSA advising my case was with them and asked for £619.00 a month; I declined to pay stating I want to know where my son lives. They were simply not interested and I was treated like a scum. To cut to the chase they now directly take from my wages £769 a month and yet I still have no idea where my son is living, if he is actually receiving this money and if he is ok. I want to know my son is ok – can anyone suggest anything please.
Richard - 9-Apr-18 @ 5:41 PM
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