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Housing advice
#1
I have been separated from my wife for about 5 years and have been living in a shared house. I have 3 children with her and I now have joint responsibility when it comes to there care, which means they can stay with me 3.5 days a weeks. At present my partner has agreed to let us stay at hers, but she only has a two bed house, which is very overcrowded as she has 3 children too. Both myself and my ex work full time. She has a 3 bed council house and I still live in a house share as this is all I can afford privately.
Am I entitled to help from my local council ? And would my ex have to put it in writing about our arrangement with our children or would I need official documents ?
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#2
(08-28-2017, 07:29 AM)Essexbloke76 Wrote: I have been separated from my wife for about 5 years and have been living in a shared house. I have 3 children with her and I now have joint responsibility when it comes to there care, which means they can stay with me 3.5 days a weeks. At present my partner has agreed to let us stay at hers, but she only has a two bed house, which is very overcrowded as she has 3 children too. Both myself and my ex work full time. She has a 3 bed council house and I still live in a house share as this is all I can afford privately.
Am I entitled to help from my local council ? And would my ex have to put it in writing about our arrangement with our children or would I need official documents ?

It comes down to if you get Child Benefit for the Children, or does your ex. The days are gone when your Local Authority has to help you by providing spare bedrooms just for contact, and the Welfare Benefit Reforms now mean for Housing Benefit  the childs occupancy can only count where Child Benefit is paid (or would be if the parents earnings was not to high).

Your new partner is entitled to help in her own right, as the law says she needs
a, 1 bedroom for everyone or couple over 16
b, 2 children under 16 of the same sex can share
c, 2 children not the same sex under 10 can share.

However, The Housing Act 1985 says a room has to be over a set size for 2 people to occupy it, what in general means a box room can only be for 1 person.

That means that currently your partner is overcrowed by 1 bedroom, so she should speck to Housing Options, but they will want her to join a Home Swap or find a private rent in most cases, where they will base a Housing Benefit claim based on the Local Housing Allowance for a 3 bedroom.

Right now they might not let you offically live with her as she is already overcrowed (she would need permission due to the Social Housing Fraud Act 2013), but you could live as a couple once you get a 3 bedroom.

If you did move in with her, http://www.entitledto.co.uk would set out what benefits you would get as a Couple.

In terms of your contact (what it is unless your getting Child Benefit), that would take place in the 3 bedroom house, as the only requirement is that children over 10 can only share with people of the same sex. However, it is acceptable to use a living room as long as there is no gas fire in it.

Contact could still carry on in the 2 bedroom house as Section 329 of The Housing Act states that when considering overcrowding, "Short term visiting relatives" are not considered. Therefore, ensure your contact sessions never exceed 28 days, and its not reportable to the landlord, or creating an overcrowding situation.

Your Child Support payments would go down if living with your new partner. How it would work is

a, Your Income from Wages or Self Employed Profit, with the starting point normally being your P60 or Self Assesment Gross Profit. Any Tax Credits or other benefits as a couple you might get do not come into it. If your income changes by 25% in your Case Year, its reportable and it would be recalculated from that point.

b, The fact that your new parnter gets Child Benefit for 3 children, would be taken into account, as pert of your wages would be needed to support them.

c, The fact you have "Staying Contact" in excess of 175 nights a year, will also create a big reduction. In fact it might mean that Child Support is not payable.

Note that other things can affect Child Support, for example if you get "Benefits in kind", Penson Contributions, Excessive travel for contact costs, paying a Mortgage on a house you do not live in, but the chidlren does or if paying off debt from the relatinship.
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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#3
My ex gets the child related benefits. My partner is on benefits. I'm assuming that this arrangement I have to stay at hers every week will not last long as it's very over crowded.
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#4
(08-28-2017, 04:38 PM)Essexbloke76 Wrote: My ex gets the child related benefits. My partner is on benefits. I'm assuming that this arrangement I have to stay at hers every week will not last long as it's very over crowded.

As far as the law is concerned, its not overcrowded if you are living with her, and therefore claiming as a Couple, as its short term visiting relatives.

The overcrowding exists now in law, as she has 3 Children and herself, regardless of age and sex of them, she is going to need a 3 bedroom place.
As a Couple, she is also entitled to a 3 bedroom. .

While she would not be entitled to a 4 bedroom form Social Housing, you could still rent one Private. However, if you are entitled to any Housing Benefit it would then be based on 3 bedrooms.

By claiiming as a Couple, her out of work Benefit (JSA, ESA or Income Support) will end, what will be £70-100 per week, and her Housing Benefit, but being a Council House that will only be at most £100.

Of this shortfall, you will get the 30 hour element of Working Tax Credit, and Child Tax Credit for all 3 children.  Without knowing your income I can not work it out, but unless your earning in excesss of £19500 a year, you will be better off.

Then, the effect on your Child Support kicks in, as it should be in the 175+ nights bracket.
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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#5
How would I stand on my own. As a single parent who has my children 3.5 days a week ? I can't afford to rent a flat with my salary unless it was a council property.
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#6
(08-28-2017, 07:25 PM)Essexbloke76 Wrote: How would I stand on my own. As a single parent who has my children 3.5 days a week ? I can't afford to rent a flat with my salary unless it was a council property.

In terms of the Housing Law, your a Single person. That means if your over 35 you can only get a 1 bedroom place. Under 35 and for Housing Benefit, they will only pay the rent for a room in a shared house.

Unless you get Child Benefit, you can not claim or expect any help for your Children from the Benefits System or Local Authority.

If your ex was to agree for you to claiim for 1 of the Children, it would change things, but in terms of Social Housing, entitlement does not mean there will not be a long wait in getting it, you could be looking at months in a B &  B etc.

In my view, your best bet is trying to upgrade as a family with your new partner, and either get a 3 bedrooms or take the hit, and get a 4 but if you can get Housing Benefit, they will based the claim on what a 3 bedroom costs.

http://www.entitledto.co.uk   is worth a look at, in terms of who you would be with a 3, or 4 bedroom.
The knock on effect on Child Support is also worth a look, use this link, saying you have 3 Dependent Children, http://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-child-maintenance

Your new partner might say about Benefit Cap, but as long as you get Working Tax Credit, your not affected. She might currently be subject to it, so it might make her better off.
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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#7
Thanks for your help. It's seems I have slot to consider
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#8
If you have equal shared day to day care you could put in a rival claim for child benefit to get it for perhaps one child but it would be far better if you could both come to an agreement.
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