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Benefits System and Shared Parenting

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 22 Feb 2018 |
 
Parliament Mp Parenting Child Early Day

Separated Dads' letter to the government has so far (4 weeks in) only received an acknowledgement from no.10, but an MP has raised a new early day motion which is partly relevant here.The early day motion (34) was raised in parliament by Adrian Sanders, Liberal Democrat MP on 25th May 2010. Here are the details:

Benefits System and Shared Parenting

"That this House notes that child benefit can only be paid to one parent; further notes that this unnecessarily discriminates against the other parent where parents are separated and maintain shared custody of children; further notes that this can further discriminate against one parent by preventing access to suitable housing and additional income to allow them to provide for children; further notes that this can lead to restricted access for one parent to see their children; and calls on the Government to take action to address these problems."

This motion has only 18 signatures at the moment:

  • Liberal Democrats: Lorely Burt , Mike Crockart, Andrew George, Mike Hancock, John Hemming, Simon Hughes, John Leech, Bob Russell, Adrian Sanders, Mark Williams
  • Democratic Unionist Party: Ian Paisley Jnr, Jim Shannon
  • Green Party: Caroline Lucas
  • Labour Party: Martin Caton, Fabian Hamilton, David Heyes, Grahame M Morris
  • Plaid Cymru: Hywel Williams

So if you want to write to your MP about this issue, now is the time...

What is an Early Day Motion?

Early day motions (EDMs) are formal motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons. Very few EDMs are actually debated in parliament however, but are used for reasons such as publicising the views of individual MPs, creating awareness of campaigns and demonstrating the extent of parliamentary support for a cause.

MPs can add their signatures to an EDM to show support. They can also submit amendments to an existing EDM. Although majority of EDMs are never debated, the group of EDMs known as 'prayers' may be debated. Prayers are motions to overturn Statutory Instruments (laws made by Ministers under powers deriving from Acts of Parliament).

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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[Add a Comment]
Db - Your Question:
Im 29 yo and im on esa because of past and I really need to step up and be a fulltime dad so the mother of my child can make her self strong enough again because im on esa will this effect me when I have full custoday please if you can answer this question for me I would be really grateful many thanks

Our Response:
You will be allowed to claim additional benefits if your child is living with you. You can see what you may be eligible to claim via the link here.
SeparatedDads - 23-Feb-18 @ 11:12 AM
Im 29 yo and im on esa because of past and i really need to step up and be a fulltime dad so the mother of my child can make her self strong enough again because im on esa will this effect me when i have full custoday please if you can answer this question for me i would be really grateful many thanks
Db - 22-Feb-18 @ 2:14 PM
Paul - Your Question:
Hi. I split from my ex 7 months ago. I have my 2 children 4 nights a week yet my ex claims all the benefits. She said if I try to claim benefits she will stop me seing the kids full stop. I can prove I have them 4 nights a week can I claim? I’ve just lost my job and have no way to pay my bills. Thanks

Our Response:
This is a tricky situation, as by claiming child benefit your ex is seen as being the primary carer. However, if you have your children four nights per week, in theory you are the primary carer (if you undertake most of the day-to-day care of your children). In cases such as this, your only recourse would be to try via mediation to resolve the situation, or if your ex refuses and stops you seeing the children, you would have to apply to court. However, court is always seen as the last resort and you would have to apply for a child arrangement order to determine where your children should live and which parent should be the official primary carer, please see link here . As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the children in question. The court will always put the children’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order.
SeparatedDads - 12-Feb-18 @ 9:46 AM
Hi. I split from my ex 7 months ago. I have my 2 children 4 nights a week yet my ex claims all the benefits. She said if I try to claim benefits she will stop me seing the kids full stop. I can prove I have them 4 nights a week can I claim? I’ve just lost my job and have no way to pay my bills. Thanks
Paul - 11-Feb-18 @ 8:24 AM
Jay - Your Question:
I have reasontley separated from my wife and had to move back in with my parents me and my wife want me to have shared custody of our 2 children would I be entitled for a council house I work but couldn’t afford private rented for me and my 2 children

Our Response:
It is unlikely you would be awarded a property with more than one bedroom. Unfortunately, the council only takes on the primary carer's status. You can see more via the Shelter link here .
SeparatedDads - 5-Feb-18 @ 2:57 PM
I have reasontley separated from my wife and had to move back in with my parents me and my wife want me to have shared custody of our 2 children would I be entitled for a council house I work but couldn’t afford private rented for me and my 2 children
Jay - 3-Feb-18 @ 11:47 PM
The information I am seeking is on behalf of my partner: After 2 years of court proceedings my partner (mother) has been able to agree with her ex (father) terms for a shared residency. The order has been approved by the courts. The problem is he is homeless. He has went to housing executive thinking because he has a court order he should receive housing benefit and a 2 bedroom flat/house for when he has the kids. He has responded to my partner saying the housing executive will only give him a house if he is in receipt of benefits for one of his kids. Is there any other way around this? Thanks
DAD1 - 1-Feb-18 @ 5:57 PM
She’s offering me 3 days with our child, our paid nanny (her mum) has looked after her every week day for the past 16months. When I have our child do I have to keep taking our child there or am I able to put her in a nursery. Is there anything she can do to stop this?
Up and away - 27-Jan-18 @ 5:01 PM
My son stays with me every weekend and I recive CB as mother is illegal immigrant and has no recourse to public funds . I recived tax credits and CB but HB is saying that I can not claim . How many nights or days does it state for to be allowed to claim HB Thanks
Jay - 26-Jan-18 @ 11:44 PM
Up and away - Your Question:
Hi I have a 2yo and my partner cheated we are now separating. We both work full time and pay her mother to be our nanny. Who is classed as a primary carer? Also what is the likely hood of a 50/50 split?

Our Response:
You would have to negotiate this between you. Currently, no one is classed as the primary carer if you both have full-time jobs and share the day-to-day care of your child. Only if the matter gets to court, would a court decide on what it thinks is in the best interests of your child. Court is always seen as the last resort when mutual negotiation and mediation have failed. Hopefully, if you do separate, you can decide fairly between you both what you think works best.
SeparatedDads - 26-Jan-18 @ 2:11 PM
Hi I have a 2yo and my partner cheated we are now separating. We both work full time and pay her mother to be our nanny. Who is classed as a primary carer? Also what is the likely hood of a 50/50 split?
Up and away - 23-Jan-18 @ 12:03 PM
If my child lives with me 50 % of the time 3nights 4 days should I let housing people know that he doesn’t live with me full time and would this effect my claim ?
Blob - 28-Dec-17 @ 10:41 AM
Dickoson - Your Question:
Hi there I'm sure this has been covered but I have my 3yr old daughter 3 days/nights a week, I work full time 40hr but low wage Im I entitled to any help at all? Thanks in advance for any help

Our Response:
Only one person can officially receive benefits for their child and that is generally the 'primary carer'. You cannot claim bene fits for your child if you are the parent with access.
SeparatedDads - 28-Nov-17 @ 12:45 PM
Hi there I'm sure this has been covered but I have my 3yr old daughter 3 days/nights a week, I work full time 40hr but low wage Im I entitled to any help at all? Thanks in advance for any help
Dickoson - 27-Nov-17 @ 8:48 AM
Dad - Your Question:
My ex claims everything an taken me to csa I work 18 hrs a week with a take home from 500-600 I pick the kids up from school must days an have them till 7pm an every other weekend an I'm not allowed a penny sure this is wrong

Our Response:
I don't quite understand what you mean when you say you are not allowed a penny. Child maintenance is based on how much you earn and how many times per week you have your children overnight. By law, every non-resident parent is eligible to help support their children financially. If you are finding things difficult, you may wish to join our Separated Dads forum, where other dads who have been through similar experiences can offer some helpful advice.
SeparatedDads - 17-Oct-17 @ 11:26 AM
My ex claims everything an taken me to csa I work 18 hrs a week with a take home from 500-600 I pick the kids up from school must days an have them till 7pm an every other weekend an I'm not allowed a penny sure this is wrong
Dad - 16-Oct-17 @ 2:46 PM
Sabrina93 - Your Question:
My ex wants to get a council house and claim housing benefit, he has the children two/three times a week if that, would him claiming housing benefit effect my housing benefit claim?

Our Response:
If you are the primary carer of your children i.e you receive child benefit for your children etc, then your ex would not be allowed to claim housing benefit via your children. Only the primary carer/resident parent can do this.
SeparatedDads - 19-Sep-17 @ 10:48 AM
My ex wants to get a council house and claim housing benefit, he has the children two/three times a week if that, would him claiming housing benefit effect my housing benefit claim?
Sabrina93 - 18-Sep-17 @ 6:23 PM
@Ben - only the primary carer (the person who recieves child benefit for your kids) is entitled to claim other benefits. I know as I've been trying to get the same myself!
Si74 - 31-Aug-17 @ 2:14 PM
Sup guys n girls! I'm a single dad working full time although not on a great income my question is at the moment I'm living in my parents house but soon to move out and privately rent I have my son 3 days a week am I entitled to any benefits like housing etc cheers
Ben - 30-Aug-17 @ 6:36 PM
Gaz - Your Question:
Hi I have 2 sons who live with their monther.i have them weekends.1 work 30hrs a week and pat maintanance in line with goverment child tax calculator.Plus other for school uniforms and trianers so forth wen needed.I get council tax single person subsidy and workin tax.anything else I can claim.Also if I got full custody of my boys and work parttime wot thing cpuld I claim.Thanks.

Our Response:
You can find out more via the here which will help you further.
SeparatedDads - 21-Aug-17 @ 1:58 PM
Hi i have 2 sons who live with their monther..i have them weekends.1 work 30hrs a week and pat maintanance in line with goverment child tax calculator. Plus other for school uniforms and trianers so forth wen needed. I get council tax single person subsidy and workin tax.anything else i can claim. Also if i got full custody of my boys and work parttime wot thing cpuld i claim. Thanks.
Gaz - 20-Aug-17 @ 12:42 PM
if you have kids for 4 days a week your entitledto the child tax legally.anybody who looks after them for half the week.4 days definitely is due the child tax.from there i would trick an admission somehow thats been the case,backdate the claim with legal help and then apply for full custody and do an extra daygiving mother weekends and thenclaim housing benefit and suitable housing
kidsoo - 1-Aug-17 @ 10:34 AM
Me and my partner share care of our daughter 50/50.Am I entitled to any benefit as I do not work?
dave - 22-Jun-17 @ 8:32 PM
Hi I'm currently on ESA due to health problems,i currently have my boy about 3or4,times a week ,his mum and me are split upand she currently works partime,so what am entitled to if anything, because i feel i should get halve of the children benefit , after all the boy is at mine more than he is at hers .
Peck - 29-Mar-17 @ 8:00 AM
A little advice/ direction would be much appreciated My ex and I are amicable and have a shared care parenting agreement (self drafted, not a court order) nights are 50/50 and care is considered by both parties to be shared care. We have 2 children and receive the child benefit for 1 each My ex currently receives Housing Benefit but the local council have now reconsidered the Housing benefit claim and determined that the original payment was incorrect due to my ex only claiming Child Benefit for 1 child resulting in a reduction and a bill for overpaid Benefit. The council have advised my ex to make a claim for the CB for the 2nd child to increase HB to previous levels I would prefer not to release the CB for the 2nd child as this may present difficulties for myself in the future. I understand that CB is a gateway benefit for HB but My question is, can the council use any other evidence when evaluating HB in such a case ? if so their any text to support this ?
Stonecastle - 23-Mar-17 @ 10:06 AM
dad-of-r - Your Question:
Hi,I have a number of questions to this forum (not sure if they belong into different sections?)1) My Ex has 'declared' that she has taken 'full custody' of our son, after I have mentioned the possibility (which has not come to fruition) of me moving abroad. I will now only move 2 hours drive away from where my son lives. Is that a legal statement she has made and how does it affect my rights as a Dad?2) Based on the above she also has refused to work out when my son can spend time with me regularly (he previously spent Friday night to Sunday morning together at my place, 3 out of 4 weekends).This had an effect on the amount of maintenance I am paying as I am now paying for him spending all his time at his mothers instead of 2-3 days at mine.3) My ex is continuing to home educate our son, but refuses to give me any indication beyond a very basic outline, but from talking to my son I know he does not do much more than play computer games and have 2 musical instrument lessons a week. This does not in my view constitute age appropriate education/schooling for a 15 year old.Who can determine if that is 'age appropriate' and can I threaten stopping paying child maintainance, if I believe this education is not taking place (and he therefore is NOT in full-time education).Thank you for your thoughts.Dad of r

Our Response:
Firstly, if you are registered with the CMS, if you stop paying child maintenance you will accrue arrrears - so it is advisable not to. Your ex cannot take 'full custody' of your son, unless authorised by the courts. She can try to restrict access, but your option would be to suggest mediation in order to try to resolve the issue, see link here. Before any matters go to court, they have to be explored through mediation. Only if your ex refuses mediation, can you apply to court. A court will then make a judgement based upon what it thinks is in the best interests of your child. If you have been a hands-on dad to date - then in all likelihood this will be allowed to continue and once a court order is in place, your ex will have to stick to this. Alternatively, you may wish to seek advice from a solicitor who can write a letter outlining your parental responsibility rights, and demand access is re-instated or mediation is explored in order to come to a resolution. This may do the trick - if not, then I'm afraid you'll have to apply to court for a C100 contact order. With regards to the issue of your son's education, then please see link here. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 21-Mar-17 @ 10:51 AM
Hi, I have a number of questions to this forum (not sure if they belong into different sections?) 1) My Ex has 'declared' that she has taken 'full custody' of our son, after I have mentioned the possibility (which has not come to fruition) of me moving abroad. I will now only move 2 hours drive away from where my son lives. Is that a legal statement she has made and how does it affect my rights as a Dad? 2) Based on the above she also has refused to work out when my son can spend time with me regularly (he previously spent Friday night to Sunday morning together at my place, 3 out of 4 weekends). This had an effect on the amount of maintenance I am paying as I am now paying for him spending all his time at his mothers instead of 2-3 days at mine. 3) My ex is continuing to home educate our son, but refuses to give me any indication beyond a very basic outline, but from talking to my son I know he does not do much more than play computer games and have 2 musical instrument lessons a week. This does not in my view constitute age appropriate education/schooling for a 15 year old. Who can determine if that is 'age appropriate' and can I threaten stopping paying child maintainance, if I believe this education is not taking place (and he therefore is NOT in full-time education). Thank you for your thoughts. Dad of r
dad-of-r - 20-Mar-17 @ 11:08 AM
Dad - Your Question:
I have my 3 kids 3 nights a week I privately rent and give her maintenance money I work full time but it is a real struggle are there any benefits or any ways of easing the financial struggle

Our Response:
You would have to check via the Turn2Us site here for more information.
SeparatedDads - 14-Mar-17 @ 12:55 PM
I have my 3 kids 3 nights a week I privately rent and give her maintenance money I work full time but it is a real struggle are there any benefits or any ways of easing the financial struggle
Dad - 13-Mar-17 @ 9:10 PM
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