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CMS Advice - Bluesintown - 07-30-2017

Hello All,

Recently I received letter from CMS asking me to pay my wife the Child Maintenance. I was surprised because wife is still living in the same house as mine and I have been paying all the bills (except after gap of 1 year my wife only pays half the rent, which started sometime back ). On top of it she brought her mum to live with us and she has been in house for last 5 months now. Recently, they started their own shopping but I still do some bits.

In terms of separation there has been no court intervention or anything, only my wife said she is divorcing but till date I have not received any documents except from CMS last week.Though at home we have been living in separate rooms and preparing separate food etc.

So please can you suggest what will be my options in such scenario? (a) Is it legally correct on her behalf to ask for CMS


RE: CMS Advice - MarkR - 07-30-2017

(07-30-2017, 09:52 AM)Bluesintown Wrote: Hello All,

Recently I received letter from CMS asking me to pay my wife the Child Maintenance. I was surprised because wife is still living in the same house as mine and I have been paying all the bills (except after gap of 1 year my wife only pays half the rent, which started sometime back ). On top of it she brought her mum to live with us and she has been in house for last 5 months now. Recently, they started their own shopping but I still do some bits.

In terms of separation there has been no court intervention or anything, only my wife said she is divorcing but till date I have not received any documents except from CMS last week.Though at home we have been living in separate rooms and preparing separate food etc.

So please can you suggest what will be my options in such scenario? (a) Is it legally correct on her behalf to ask for CMS

CMS are correct, and while your at the same house you have to pay the Zero Rate. You ex can claim as a Single person, and assuming she gets the Child Benefit, she also claims things like Tax Credits.

However, it might be that she can now claim some Housing Benefit or at the very least, her mother should be paying at least the going rate for your area, to rent a room if she has one.  On top of that, its normal in a House of Multiple Occupancy for there to be a charge of about £15 per week, as Electric, Gas, Water etc are now allowable in a Housing Benefit claim, so any other income she would that would be paid from.

In terms of the household bills, you only need to cover your share. Depending on how many children, it would be 30-35% if 2, 35-40% if 1 you should be paying. In this situation, that is after you considered the money her mum should be putting in.

Your ex can not expect you to pay anything for the children, if shes claiming for them, as your Child Support payment is all the law says you have to pay.

You should still pay half the rent, after her mums paid something.

I would get the down CAB if she or her mum is not paying her way, and look into if you can evict her mum, and get a None Molestation Order for Financial Abuse on your ex.


RE: CMS Advice - Drew65 - 07-30-2017

Where is the information that he pays at the nil rate coming from. Only certain people can get this rate and I am not certain he is one of them (see Child Support  Maintenance Calculations c2 & c45(1) para a - e )

By my reckoning, as he is still living in the same house, then he does not warrant paying the CMS charge at all as he does not qualify as an absent parent or even Non resident (See Child Support Act 1991 c3).
That doesn't make him the nil rate, simply that a mandatory reconsideration should be held as he is not NRP


RE: CMS Advice - MarkR - 07-30-2017

(07-30-2017, 01:27 PM)Drew65 Wrote: Where is the information that he pays at the nil rate coming from. Only certain people can get this rate and I am not certain he is one of them (see Child Support  Maintenance Calculations c2 & c45(1) para a - e )

By my reckoning, as he is still living in the same house, then he does not warrant paying the CMS charge at all as he does not qualify as an absent parent or even Non resident (See Child Support Act 1991 c3).
That doesn't make him the nil rate, simply that a mandatory reconsideration should be held as he is not NRP

Ill need to find it again when I have time, but I looked this up for one of the cases where I first joined this forum.

From memory its not the fact that hes an absent parent, its the fact that he does not have the costs of running his own seperate house for contact to take place in, and that contact is taking place where the person who gets the Child Benefit is living.

In terms of Welfare Benefits, you can be single and live in the same house, as long as not sharing the same bedroom.  If one of the parents is claiming for a child, they also need to show that its them who are paying the childs day to day costs. If the family are eating together, they need to DWP and/or Tax Credits that the NRP is contributing towards the food.

In this case, the NRP just needs to pay their own day to day costs, and there is not extra costs for contact, as it should already be in the house provided by his ex.
His only costs for contact, is if he takes the child out.


RE: CMS Advice - Drew65 - 07-30-2017

Child support act 1991

(1)A child is a “qualifying child” if—
(a)one of his parents is, in relation to him, an absent parent; or
(b)both of his parents are, in relation to him, absent parents.

(2)The parent of any child is an “absent parent”, in relation to him, if—
(a)that parent is not living in the same household with the child; and
(b)the child has his home with a person who is, in relation to him, a person with care.

So, I dont even think you can class him as an NRP or even absent thats my point.

If hes in the same house, just estranged, then in theory CMS cant even be claimed

(4)A person who applies to the Secretary of State under this section shall, so far as that person reasonably can, comply with such regulations as may be made by the Secretary of State with a view to the Secretary of State or the child support officer being provided with the information which is required to enable—
(a)the absent parent to be traced (where that is necessary);
(b)the amount of child support maintenance payable by the absent parent to be assessed; and
©that amount to be recovered from the absent parent.

Everything is geared to absentia. He cannot go on Nil rate as he doesnt meet criteria. His ex would likely not even get a case off the ground with CMS, IF she has given correct information. If not then mandatory reconsideration with appeal.

Thats my opinion as I read the regulations


RE: CMS Advice - MarkR - 07-30-2017

(07-30-2017, 07:49 PM)Drew65 Wrote: Child support act 1991

(1)A child is a “qualifying child” if—
(a)one of his parents is, in relation to him, an absent parent; or
(b)both of his parents are, in relation to him, absent parents.

(2)The parent of any child is an “absent parent”, in relation to him, if—
(a)that parent is not living in the same household with the child; and
(b)the child has his home with a person who is, in relation to him, a person with care.

So, I dont even think you can class him as an NRP or even absent thats my point.

If hes in the same house, just estranged, then in theory CMS cant even be claimed

(4)A person who applies to the Secretary of State under this section shall, so far as that person reasonably can, comply with such regulations as may be made by the Secretary of State with a view to the Secretary of State or the child support officer being provided with the information which is required to enable—
(a)the absent parent to be traced (where that is necessary);
(b)the amount of child support maintenance payable by the absent parent to be assessed; and
©that amount to be recovered from the absent parent.

Everything is geared to absentia. He cannot go on Nil rate as he doesnt meet criteria. His ex would likely not even get a case off the ground with CMS, IF she has given correct information. If not then mandatory reconsideration with appeal.

Thats my opinion as I read the regulations

The problem is that as far as the Welfare Benefits regulations are concerned, they are a seperate household, if is ex is claiming Benefits/Tax Credits as a single person.
Soon as this happens, finantaly they are seperate and just happen to live in the same house, the same as in a House of Multipul Occupancy where each person pays for their room, then either a share of the bills or a service charge, and then has to provide their own food etc.

In this members situation its down to the childs mother to be providing from her household income.

From what I have also just read on a Guild Linked to from the Dot Gov Website, this member would not qualify for reduction as hes not a Non Resident Parent, while in the same house.

There appears to be issues between the Benefit rules, and that of Child Support.


RE: CMS Advice - Drew65 - 07-30-2017

Well that doesnt surprise me MArk, 9 times out of 10 the left hand doesnt know what the right is doing in government agencies.

Personally I think the WBR will suit ok for him. If the CMS come hunting then in theory he can tell them to get stuffed as hes not an NRP nor an absent parent, and I believe should fight a decision