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Separating but wife refusing all child maintenance payments
I have been married to my wife for six years and together for eight years, we have four sons 6,3,2,1. I am the father of all four, our eldest was born outside of marriage and the youngest three born inside marriage, I am listed on the birth certificates for all of them.
Back in February the wife announced the marriage was over and we tried to be admicable for the kids but within a week things had gone downhill. I have found somewhere else to live and take the keys on the 25th of this month which is a 3 bedroom property two minutes away from the family home. The breakdown of the marriage may be as a result of her seeing someone but that is a different matter. 
We both work in the police and work opposite shifts with the boys being cared for by both of us, i.e if I am working the wife is off and vice versa. We are looking to continue that arrangement however the shifts means the boys could be moving between both of our houses on a regular basis. We will need to look at that but the wife will not discuss that at the minute saying nothing is to change. 
I have offered her child maintenance for all four boys and she has declined all offers stating I don't want your money and to keep it for when they are with me so they don't miss out.
I am going to get this written down and signed to cover me as I am sure once reality sets in she may suddenly change her mind. I am having the boys about 170 nights over the year and the childcare is about 50/50. 
She doesn't want to tell their school of this change in home life and wants things to be normal but clearly they are not going to be for any of us 

1) I am doing this the right way, keeping the money to use when with me and keep receipts to prove spent on them
2) If I pay her I have very little left to do anything with them in terms of money outside bills and food etc. 
3) Any other advice much appreciated
Hey FoFBs

Great question
At the moment you have a family based agreement (where in fact you seem not to have agreed much apart from keeping things the same)

She is in denial of her part in the breakdown ... this will change so be prepared.

It would seem sensible, if you both earn the same and you have them 50:50... it might just cancel everything out but the CMS calculations don't take into account wages of the resident parent ... but in your case your planning that there is true 50:50 ... complicated but I actually think you're working this out correct... however she may realise she's turning down CMS and ask for it to start... she will also ask for >50% access which technically she has as you have boys 46% to her 54% so she is resident parent and can claim child benefit etc

If I was you, work out the CMS it says you should pay and stick it in an account for the boys
I dont think they can ask retrospectively (starts from when she starts a case) so better for you to keep status quo at moment but no harm sticking it in a savings account for them
You also have a right to be able to look after them when with you so you could use a proportion of that money to care for them (as there is no CMS case yet)
I would set up 'Dads with kids' account and use that for food clothes etc etc but no-one going to ask you to provide evidence...
You dont have to keep all receipts - the bank statements will show you spending it on food and kids clothes etc

Other advice - you will eventually need to tell school and medical doctors etc... come back to forum with questions and people will help with that ... you need to ensure you are kept up to date and no matter what the ex says now ... formalise it when you are ready

Good luck mate
I have spoken to Child Maintenance advice line and been told it can no longer be backdated for outstanding months.
They advised about the account keep receipts and show spent on boys.

If i can show we are 50/50 in terms of the care school runs, looking after them, feeding etc there may be a case for no payment as shared responsibility.

 will be notifying school and doctors.

I dont doubt she is in denial and reality hits on 25th March with me moving out. The boys are going to see the new place and be able to be involved in it.
Good stuff... you seem to be going along the right lines

I have separate account withe different card that i use for anything to do with kids, but keeping receipts can be useful if its all coming from one account.
The aim is to, if asked, be able to show what the normal living costs is of the kids

I have separate accounts to make it easier for me due to some previous 'security issues' with my ex ;-)

Keep in touch as it goes along as its interesting situation others may find themselves in and could learn from your experience

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