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Child maintenance and university?!
Hi all.

My son is 18 this year and is off to uni away from home. I usually pay an agreed cash agreement to my ex every month and we deal with things in an amicable way. I have done it this way for years and years since he was 3. 

I'm just wondering do I still pay for him even though he will get it all paid for as his mum doesn't work and step dad is on a low wage? 

Thanks. I have tried to look online etc but it's a mine field and before I speak to the ex I need to be certain. It's all rosy at the minute but I've got a feeling it won't be should this income stop.

If hes in Uni, its my belief he does not warrant Child Benefit therefore no Child Maintenance.
If you want to pay them money then thats a family based arrangement and out of the realms of the CMS. You can do what you like but I dont think legally you have to pay as University courses are not classed as approved

Approved education
Education must be full-time (more than an average of 12 hours a week supervised study or course-related work experience) and can include:

A levels or similar - eg Pre-U, International Baccalaureate
Scottish Highers
NVQs and other vocational qualifications up to level 3
home education - if started before your child turned 16
traineeships in England
Courses are not approved if paid for by an employer or ‘advanced’, eg a university degree or BTEC Higher National Certificate.

Also see Child Benefit (general) regulations 2006 Part 2 Regulation 3
Great thanks a lot. Should I get in touch with CAB then to see when my last payment is? I mean I'll support him when he needs it still of course..... would last proper payment be Aug 31st then maybe.
(01-21-2017, 06:41 PM)PeterD Wrote: Great thanks a lot. Should I get in touch with CAB then to see when my last payment is? I mean I'll support him when he needs it still of course..... would last proper payment be Aug 31st then maybe.

Drew is right on this, the deciding factor on Child Support UNLESS a Court Order exists, is if Child Benefit is in payment. See link

In a CMS/CSA case, phone them and state you are concerned that Child Benefit might no longer be in payment, due to the type of Education your Child is in, and ask them to check the claim is still valid. Also put this in writing to them, sent by Recorded Delivery, so if you end up making payments for months you should not of, you can sue them, as the law required you to pay what they said.

In a none CMS case, where no court order exists, write to her, asking for prove she still gets Child Benefit for the child. In your letter, give her 14 days notice to provide this, or you will stop payments, pending a decision by CMS if she puts them in.

If you do end up stopping payments, keep the cash available for up to 6 months, perhaps open a savings account to put it in.

If Child Benefit is in place, it might run as far as 31st August after the 19th birthday, but the law requires your ex to inform them in under 30 days, if any of the deciding facts change.

I am not advising you not to support you child while in Further Education, just pointing out the law and the benefit regulations on this.

Only Child Support and Child Benefit are not considered as income for State Benefits. This means while in payment, she has what what the law says she needs coming in, plus your support amount.

If no Child Benefit is in payment, then as far as benefits are concerned they are treated as a none dependent adult.  Therefore, in a Housing Benefit situation the young person would need to evidence their income as part of a claim, or they assume you have £40,000 a year coming in, unless you can prove Nil Income. Income of up to £100 per week would not normally affect their mums claims significantly (might be about £5 per week reduction).

As such, any cash you want to give you child needs to be direct to them, or it would reduce any means tested benefits your ex might get. To be clear on it, its an income even if she only gets Working and/or Child Tax Credits, Housing Benefit or things like ESA or JSA.

Once the law does not require you to pay, its on your terms. You might want to be kept informed on progress etc.
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.
Have PM you Mark cheers

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