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jeckl and hyde
#1
Hi guys,

Was seeing partner for 8 years. 
Lived in her house since she bought it. She lived with me while the house was being decorated, then a few months later in moved in.
All sweet holidays etc slowly doing up the house ready for loft conversion and extention.

We plan to have a child which after 3 years of being together seemed awesome. Usual outside factors constan fall outside with the inlaws about the way they treated my partner.

8 years in and a 4 year old boy about to start school and I'm told to leave. 
I have to pay 200 pm and can only see him every other weekend. 
Promises of extra access changed when I get a place of my own as I'm at my mums at that time. 
I start mediation and then get a phone call from the ex with promises of better access if I stay private, which never happens. Because the mediation letter upset her.

Eventually increased to Friday to Monday week 1 and Thursday to Friday week 2.

Most recently i had him for an extra week due to school holidays so her maintenance was less as she wasn't incurring his costs for that week. 
So as a consequence she has not allowed me to see him this weekend at all. 

Back to mediation only this time I'm not backing down.

Ive had arrangements in the past like regular calls on a Wednesday evening forgotten about but I'm not allowed to complain about it. 

I have recorded the calls which show in the past similar things in go get me my money or he's not going with you.
That's my rant over
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#2
Hi John, and welcome,

As you're finding out, informal contact arrangements are very much at the whim of the parent who the child resides with, with regard to the financial side of things, I assume you've put all the relevant figures through the child maintenance calculator? This will give you a figure which you should be paying. Generally it's 15% of net earnings with a lower amount depending on the amount of overnight contacts you have. Obviously you can hand over more if you wish, but the mum can't demand you pay more.

If contact up til now has generally gone OK then maybe you've got a friend who might be prepared to help you regain your contact by having a few words with your ex? It might come to nothing, but it's the cheapest option for you at this moment.

You've already mentioned mediation, which would be the next step, and if that didn't work then getting a court order would be the only option. Bear in mind that mediation had no legal standing so any agreements reached could be ignored by either party. There is nothing to stop you getting a court order if you reach an agreement through mediation, and in some respects it might be beneficial. Though this will involve spending more money.

Standard contact is generally overnight contact every other weekend plus half of all holidays. Sometimes you'll also get one day in the week from after school until early evening. You might get more, but if you go to court expect the standard then you're unlikely to be disappointed.

Whilst I can see your point in what you said about reducing funds due to time with you, remember the money you give, whilst being for your son's benefit, also includes putting a roof over his head, clothes, and all the other stuff that's involved in providing a home for him.
Maybe if you worked out your funding for your son over the course of a year and divide by 52 would look better in your ex's eyes rather than paying 200 a month, then only handing over 150 if he's with you for a week?
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#3
(04-17-2016, 04:18 PM)Norfolk n Good Wrote: Hi John, and welcome,

As you're finding out, informal contact arrangements are very much at the whim of the parent who the child resides with, with regard to the financial side of things, I assume you've put all the relevant figures through the child maintenance calculator? This will give you a figure which you should be paying. Generally it's 15% of net earnings with a lower amount depending on the amount of overnight contacts you have. Obviously you can hand over more if you wish, but the mum can't demand you pay more.

If contact up til now has generally gone OK then maybe you've got a friend who might be prepared to help you regain your contact by having a few words with your ex? It might come to nothing, but it's the cheapest option for you at this moment.

You've already mentioned mediation, which would be the next step, and if that didn't work then getting a court order would be the only option. Bear in mind that mediation had no legal standing so any agreements reached could be ignored by either party. There is nothing to stop you getting a court order if you reach an agreement through mediation, and in some respects it might be beneficial. Though this will involve spending more money.

Standard contact is generally overnight contact every other weekend plus half of all holidays. Sometimes you'll also get one day in the week from after school until early evening. You might get more, but if you go to court expect the standard then you're unlikely to be disappointed.

Whilst I can see your point in what you said about reducing funds due to time with you, remember the money you give, whilst being for your son's benefit, also includes putting a roof over his head, clothes, and all the other stuff that's involved in providing a home for him.
Maybe if you worked out your funding for your son over the course of a year and divide by 52 would look better in your ex's eyes rather than paying 200 a month, then only handing over 150 if he's with you for a week?

As far as the money is concerned she gave me the figure and told me it was standard. I was still in the I want you back phase so just agreed. 
Ive checked with the child maintenance people and they have confirmed it should be lower now my access has gone up from one night to four night's over two weeks. 
Im wanting something set in stone to take the power trip away from her but could they reduce my access even though I've got proof she uses access as a weapon. 
The details from the child maintenance people reflect what you said food clothes etc but would then be my expenses. Ie if I have him for a whole month she recieves nothing that month.
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#4
To get something concrete you'll need a court order. It won't stop your ex blocking contact but it will give you some recourse if she does. At the moment she can block all access if she chose and there is nothing you can do about it apart from going through the right legal steps.

With regards to child maintenance, put in the relevant figures in the link below, this will give you a figure which should be paid every week whether the child is with you or not. It's not quite as simple as if he's with you for a month you don't pay for that month.

https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-child-maintenance/y
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#5
(04-17-2016, 10:58 PM)johnwtaylor1980 Wrote:
(04-17-2016, 04:18 PM)Norfolk n Good Wrote: Hi John, and welcome,

As you're finding out, informal contact arrangements are very much at the whim of the parent who the child resides with, with regard to the financial side of things, I assume you've put all the relevant figures through the child maintenance calculator? This will give you a figure which you should be paying. Generally it's 15% of net earnings with a lower amount depending on the amount of overnight contacts you have. Obviously you can hand over more if you wish, but the mum can't demand you pay more.

If contact up til now has generally gone OK then maybe you've got a friend who might be prepared to help you regain your contact by having a few words with your ex? It might come to nothing, but it's the cheapest option for you at this moment.

You've already mentioned mediation, which would be the next step, and if that didn't work then getting a court order would be the only option. Bear in mind that mediation had no legal standing so any agreements reached could be ignored by either party. There is nothing to stop you getting a court order if you reach an agreement through mediation, and in some respects it might be beneficial. Though this will involve spending more money.

Standard contact is generally overnight contact every other weekend plus half of all holidays. Sometimes you'll also get one day in the week from after school until early evening. You might get more, but if you go to court expect the standard then you're unlikely to be disappointed.

Whilst I can see your point in what you said about reducing funds due to time with you, remember the money you give, whilst being for your son's benefit, also includes putting a roof over his head, clothes, and all the other stuff that's involved in providing a home for him.
Maybe if you worked out your funding for your son over the course of a year and divide by 52 would look better in your ex's eyes rather than paying 200 a month, then only handing over 150 if he's with you for a week?

As far as the money is concerned she gave me the figure and told me it was standard. I was still in the I want you back phase so just agreed. 
Ive checked with the child maintenance people and they have confirmed it should be lower now my access has gone up from one night to four night's over two weeks. 
Im wanting something set in stone to take the power trip away from her but could they reduce my access even though I've got proof she uses access as a weapon. 
The details from the child maintenance people reflect what you said food clothes etc but would then be my expenses. Ie if I have him for a whole month she recieves nothing that month.
What you pay in support does not alter what conatct you should get.

You should check out the calculator Norfolk posted, as there is no standard amount to pay. It looks at your ability to pay, and makes allowances for time you are supporting the child during staying contact.

As you ex has the child benefit, this also means she can claim tax credits and that the childs occupancy is counted in any Housing Benefit claim.

Where I do not agree with Norfolk, as the resident partent you ex has to provide what they need (except for during staying contact with you), and if she does not have the ability to, she can claim benefits for herself and any children.

When on benefits, it just covers basic needs, what is why child support looks at if your able to contribute so that the children get over this basic amount.
Since the Welfre refoms started, child support is no longer considered as income for means tested benefits. Before this change, child support was helping to buy food, cloths and rent (as it used to reduce the amount of benefit the resident parent gets), but under the new system she is deamed to have all this in place.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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#6
(04-17-2016, 10:58 PM)johnwtaylor1980 Wrote: As far as the money is concerned she gave me the figure and told me it was standard. I was still in the I want you back phase so just agreed. 
Ive checked with the child maintenance people and they have confirmed it should be lower now my access has gone up from one night to four night's over two weeks. 
Im wanting something set in stone to take the power trip away from her but could they reduce my access even though I've got proof she uses access as a weapon. 
The details from the child maintenance people reflect what you said food clothes etc but would then be my expenses. Ie if I have him for a whole month she recieves nothing that month.

I believe this is why CM is worked out over the course of the year, it's the amount you should be paying per week, every week, not every week except for the weeks when he's with you. It takes into account the amount of time he's with you over the year. If you didn't pay when he was with you then they wouldn't be able to take the number of overnights into account.
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#7
(04-18-2016, 08:54 AM)Norfolk n Good Wrote:
(04-17-2016, 10:58 PM)johnwtaylor1980 Wrote: As far as the money is concerned she gave me the figure and told me it was standard. I was still in the I want you back phase so just agreed. 
Ive checked with the child maintenance people and they have confirmed it should be lower now my access has gone up from one night to four night's over two weeks. 
Im wanting something set in stone to take the power trip away from her but could they reduce my access even though I've got proof she uses access as a weapon. 
The details from the child maintenance people reflect what you said food clothes etc but would then be my expenses. Ie if I have him for a whole month she recieves nothing that month.

I believe this is why CM is worked out over the course of the year, it's the amount you should be paying per week, every week, not every week except for the weeks when he's with you. It takes into account the amount of time he's with you over the year. If you didn't pay when he was with you then they wouldn't be able to take the number of overnights into account.
It is a set amount you pay every week, even when you have the children.

You need to check the calculator, to see what it should be.

Assuming you do not have any children living with you, the amount your paying is what you would if your income was £400 per week, and there was no staying contact. There is no point going over what you should of paid to date, but I am sure you lost out. Check what you should be paying, and pay that either weekly, or on your pay day (but in advance to cover the weeks till you next get paid), unless any formal agreement or court order exists (if it does, post if its court or just agreed between you both, and we can advise on how to get it changed).
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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#8
Hi guys, cheers for the advice so far.

I think I've confused people a bit.

I've spoken to the child maintenance and the confirmed to me that I pay x amount each month depending upon access however the only time I am to pay her a lesser amount is if I have my son for an additional week/weeks in a given month so therefore I incure his living costs.


As for the access I'm starting the process with mediation tomorrow and will push to court if needs be.

The payments I've been making so far have been over the odds but I can take that on the chin. Ive received the payment details from the cm people to confirm this but I'll wait until the dust settles from the access first.

I'll keep you posted.
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#9
(04-18-2016, 09:37 PM)johnwtaylor1980 Wrote: Hi guys, cheers for the advice so far.

I think I've confused people a bit.

I've spoken to the child maintenance and the confirmed to me that I pay x amount each month depending upon access however the only time I am to pay her a lesser amount is if I have my son for an additional week/weeks in a given month so therefore I incure his living costs.


As for the access I'm starting the process with mediation tomorrow and will push to court if needs be.  

The payments I've been making so far have been over the odds but I can take that on the chin. Ive received the payment details from the cm people to confirm this but I'll wait until the dust settles from the access first.

I'll keep you posted.
If your child support has not changed when the contact arrangments has, regardless of how it set up, you can change it.

If its being handled by an outside agency (for example CSA), you need to contact them for it to be looked at again. If its on court order, you need to apply to vary it.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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#10
hi guys,

latest update is that i paid for the mediation, she declined to attend as she wasn't entitled to legal aid and couldn't afford it otherwise.
ive got my rubber stamp to go to the next step but to be honest felt a bit let down by that service.

anyway now its off to court and once again my midweek phone call goes unanswered and ill probably be told that she forgot.
its gonna cost me £215 to get her to court but then im looking at dealing with the child maintenance people because it will at least stop her from trying to get more money out of me.
also even if i get the same access i have now it'll stop her denying access when shes in a bad mood.

its sort of like a control thing with her.

has anyone been through the court and got better access as im getting 1 night in the week and every other weekend depending what mood shes in.

id just like to the court doesnt just use this as the default access.
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