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A Guide to Child Support Payments

By: Abigail Taylor - Updated: 19 Aug 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Child Support Maintenance Parent Child

The second in our series of separated dads guides relates to child support and the issues surrounding it.

Child support is designed to make parents responsible for maintaining their children. This means that non-resident parents (who do not live with the child) make periodical payments to resident parents (who do live with the child and are responsible for the child's day-to-day care).

Parents may agree these payments via a maintenance agreement. The Child Support Agency manages the child maintenance schemes that were introduced in 1993 and 2003, but only deals with existing applications. You can contact the National Helpline for advice on 08457 133 133.

The Child Maintenance Service manages the 2012 onwards child maintenance scheme. There is a £20 fee for applying to the Child Maintenance Service. In the first instance, you can call Child Maintenance Options on 0800 988 0988.

What is a maintenance agreement?

A maintenance agreement is an agreement between parties made out of court. This allows you to preserve good relations and address your wishes more specifically. They can also help reduce costs. If you and your former partner have a good working relationship, a maintenance agreement can be a great way to agree matters that you both agree to stick to in writing.

There are some problems with maintenance agreements however:

  1. They may cease to apply if you divorce / remarry / cohabit with someone else. You need to ensure that the agreement addresses the end date of payments.
  2. It is not possible to exclude the court's jurisdiction and so parties can still apply to the courts at any time. The courts will however consider the agreed terms in making their decisions, though they are not guaranteed to follow them.
  3. Maintenance agreements are contracts and so must be enforced in the civil courts. This can be expensive and very time consuming which is not always ideal in situations where young children are concerned.

How is child support calculated?

Gross income
Child support is based upon your gross weekly income. If you are employed, this includes your wage, any bonuses or overtime and statutory sick pay. Income tax, national insurance and any pension payments are disregarded. If you are self-employed, your gross income is based upon your total taxable profits.

The CMS will calculate a suitable child support amount upon application by either the resident or non-resident parent. However parents may agree a different amount.

Much like when you pay council tax, certain categories of people pay a reduced rate or are exempt from paying child support altogether.

Exemptions and deductions
You may be exempt or qualify for a reduced rate if you:

  • have a gross weekly income of less than £7.
  • is in prison
  • is under 16 years old
  • is a 16- to 19-year-old who has left school but is registered for certaintypes of government-approved training courses
  • is a 16- to 19-year-old who is in full-time, non-advanced education (up
  • to and including A-level or equivalent standard
  • is a 16- to 17-year-old who receives Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • is a 16- to 17-year-old who is included in their partner’s claim for Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or Income related Employment and Support Allowance
  • A care home or independent hospital, for which you are receiving help with fees.

Shared care
If your children stay with you overnight, you may be entitled to a reduction of your child support payments. They must stay with you a minimum average of 1 night per week.

If you share care equally, neither of you has to pay maintenance to each other.

If you don’t tell the CSA/CMS about your shared care arrangements, they will estimate that the children stay with you one night a week. This means you’ll usually pay one-seventh less maintenance.

What happens if I have children from a new relationship?

If you have other children this could affect the amount of child support you will pay. Other children relevant to the equation are those for whom you (as the non-resident parent) or your partner receive child benefit for.

Other relevant children are taken into account before the calculation is completed. This is by taking a percentage off the original weekly net income prior to starting the calculation. If you are paying the basic rate then the reduction is:

  • 1 other child 15% off net income
  • 2 other children 20% off net income
  • 3 or more other children 25% off net income

When do Child Support payments stop?

Child Support is paid until the relevant child is at least 16 years old.

If the child continues to study full-time (at least 12 hours per week) after the age of 16, you will still have to pay child support. Full-time studies include A level standard but do not include university / professional studies after this level. Child support payments will end when the course finishes or when the child turns 20 years old, even if they are still in full-time studies.

What happens if I dispute that I am the parent of a child?

When parentage is in dispute, a maintenance calculation should not be done by the CSA/CMS until the matter is resolved. There are some exceptions when parentage will be assumed however:

  • If you were married to the mother at any point between conception and birth of the child
  • You are registered as the father on the birth certificate
  • You refuse to take a DNA test or a DNA test shows you are the father
  • There has been a previous declaration of parentage
  • Court proceedings have decided you are the father

If you deny parentage, you must communicate this to the CMS/CSA or you will still be liable to pay child support.

What could happen if I don't pay my child support payments?

The CSA has various enforcement methods available to ensure child support is paid. These include:
  • Deduction from earnings
  • Committal to prison for up to six weeks
  • Disqualification from driving

The CSA is under review and a single system of child support maintenance that is easier to enforce is anticipated to come into effect from 2015. The new collection agency will become the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC).

If one of you dies, what will happen to the children?

Whilst we never want to think about death, it is an important and responsible thing to consider when you have children. You need to know that they will be looked after should anything happen to you.

Guardians

In your will, you have the opportunity to name a guardian (or guardians) to look after your children if you are no longer here to do so. A trusted family friend is a popular option. Guardians are not paid to look after your children, but will usually get money from your estate to help with the additional costs of caring for children. It is usually better to name just one guardian, as problems can be caused if co-guardians separate in the future.

Other parent

If the resident parent were to die, the non-resident parent has rights to the children as a parent. This does not mean that you will automatically get custody of a child you have not previously lived with, however the court will look to see if you are a suitable parent to have full custody. If you are suitable, you will get custody over any named guardian in your partner's will. If you are not suitable, custody is likely to go to the named guardian, which is why it is important to name someone in your will who you trust.

We know that some of the dads on here don't have much free money. So we are offering the guides for free.

To help us develop more guides and other products to help separated dads we would really appreciate a small PayPal donation. Our content is written by a qualified barrister. It would really help us and we would appreciate it.

We hope that we can help you in some small way with your Child Support application or questions.

Need to write to the CSA?

We have produced a series of letter templates to accompany the guides relating to maintenance and support. Why not take a look at these easy to use templates.

Separated Dads Chat Room & Forum

Check out the Separated Dads Forum... It's a great resource where you can ask for advice on topics including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or simply to have a chat with other dads.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
yankeeste - Your Question:
Hi,Hopefully hoping somebody can help me with the right advice,I rang the CMS this morning to inform them that I had been sacked from my job and that I won't be earning any money whether by wage or benefits for the time being.I presently pay direct to bank of childs mother.Now because I am not earning any money at all the CMS say I will still have to pay something and they would be in contact with childs mother to see if she would be willing to accept less money for the time being.But the thing I'm confused about is how can I pay any money if I am not receiving any money in the first place and why are CMS so adamant that I will still have to pay money to childs mother when I won't have any money until I get another job. They said I will end up getting extra charges if I don't pay but they just kept going on and on even though I repeatedly told them I won't have any form of income.I don't know what to do. Hoping somebody can help me on here with correct advice. Thanks in advance for any help.Regards,Ste.

Our Response:
You can see what you should be paying by the amounts listed on the gov.uk site here and here . You might have to prove you are in receipt of benefits before CMS will register your change.
SeparatedDads - 21-Aug-17 @ 12:02 PM
Hi, Hopefully hoping somebody can help me with the right advice, I rang the CMS this morning to inform them that i had been sacked from my job and that i won't be earning any money whether by wage or benefits for the time being. I presently pay direct to bank of childs mother. Now because i am not earning any money at all the CMS say i will still have to pay something and they would be in contact with childs mother to see if she would be willing to accept less money for the time being. But the thing i'm confused about is how can i pay any money if i am not receiving any money in the first place and why are CMS so adamant that i will still have to pay money to childs mother when i won't have any money until i get another job .. They said i will end up getting extra charges if i don't pay but they just kept going on and on even though i repeatedly told them i won't have any form of income. I don't know what to do .. Hoping somebody can help me on here with correct advice .. Thanks in advance for any help. Regards, Ste.
yankeeste - 19-Aug-17 @ 10:23 PM
I am on support group disability based esa, my husband is on my claim as a change to my benefit as he is entitled to working based esa, when we moved in together and joined our claim, they adjusted my income to cover him and closed his claim. but the claim is in my name and he doesn't have an independent income at all. His ex partner is now asking for child maintenance payments to start for the 13 year old he has with her. She has written saying the CMS have told her to ask for maintenance. Does my husband have to pay her with no named income to himself?
EnquiringMrsH - 19-Aug-17 @ 2:19 PM
Hi my child's (age 4) father.. is requesting a contact order to be raised in order to have it around his own work and social life?? Over the 4 years I have solely raised our daughter... I have no family network and am joined at the hip 24/7 which people may think that's normal but it's been tough... so to get to the point it's now due course for him to reapply for his indefinite leave to remain... my problem is he is Now wanting to act dad role to secure his own future so he is after the minimum contact with daughter to gain this.. but for me even 1 day a week will be a shock to my child's system at first as I have always been highlighting his responsibility... what do I do?
Flow - 17-Aug-17 @ 4:38 AM
I've been paying maintenance fora number of years and the maintenance is only based on my primary employment, I work a second employment as a retained firefighter and because of the nature of the job it isn't taken into account when calculating maintenance as the government don't want people to stop volunteering for these posts. I asked the CMS phone operator to confirm this was still the case and the guy had no idea. Can you confirm the governments position is still the same and those earnings are not taken into account. Thanks
Flossy - 14-Aug-17 @ 5:03 PM
My ex has decided my daughter can't stay at mine for the foreseeable future. I normally had her 3 nights a week but now I can have her when I want but not nights . I still want to have her but she won't let me. Do I have to pay more money or does it stay the same as it's not down to me it's her mum who's refusing
Dave - 8-Aug-17 @ 10:45 PM
Tillie - Your Question:
My partner did a deal when he divorced thst she got to keep the house and he got his pension. he's still paying £500 a month towards his sons up keep.He's 19 and goes uni but still lives at home.I understand that he should still pay travel to and from uni and his food.Do you think this is too much.I personally have told him thst he is paying for the new mortgage for tge new house she has bought.

Our Response:
If your partner is still paying towards his son's upkeep while at university, this must either be voluntarily or through a court order, as child maintenance payments usually stop when the child completes A-Levels. You don't say whether he is paying his son directly or to the mother. If he is still paying child maintenance to the mother, unless there is a court order that specifies he must do this, then he isn't under any obligation to continue paying her. If he chooses to continue paying, he can pay money to his son directly.
SeparatedDads - 8-Aug-17 @ 12:00 PM
My partner did a deal when he divorced thst she got to keep the house and he got his pension. he's stillpaying £500 a month towards his sonsup keep. He's 19 and goes uni but still lives at home.I understand that he should still pay travel to and from uni and his food. Do you think this is too much. I personally have told him thst he is paying for the new mortgage for tge new house she has bought.
Tillie - 7-Aug-17 @ 2:05 AM
Hi my ex hasn't supported his daughter for 4 years he was always letting her down he works full time and does some cash in hand jobs but he's only said about his full time Job he dont start pay in till the 28th August but he has aparently rung child maintenance and told them he will be pay in on the 29th as it's bank holiday his money goes in the day after I find that unusual then he had a tax refund of quit abit of money and told me he was goin to give my daughter 50 quid he took my bank details but now refusing aparentlt child maintenance has told him if he pays so much threw out the month it's taken of the payment they have worked out n the date they have worked out for him pay is that right? And should he have let the child maintenance no that he had a tax refund ?
Margret - 1-Aug-17 @ 4:34 PM
anon2001 - Your Question:
I have been paying Child maintenance for 8 years. I have 50:50 shared custody (in reality I take my daughter more than 50% of time). I also contribute to all clothes, school trips etc, and take my daughter on holidays etc. I was originally told (CSA) that her mum could claim off me because she claimed the government child benefit.though she doesnt now as she earns too much to claim child benefit.My daughter now turned 16 and will be stopping on for A levels, can I stop paying her mum money and give the money to my daughter instead, at least then I know it is going on my daughter and not on an ex?Thanks

Our Response:
Unless agreed otherwise (with the mother), then you would be considered responsible for paying child maintenance to the other parent until your daughter finishes her A'Levels.
SeparatedDads - 1-Aug-17 @ 4:08 PM
I have been paying Child maintenance for 8 years. I have 50:50 shared custody (in reality i take my daughter more than 50% of time). I also contribute to all clothes, school trips etc, and take my daughter on holidays etc. I was originally told (CSA) that her mum could claim off me because she claimed the government child benefit....though she doesnt now as she earns too much to claim child benefit. My daughter now turned 16 and will be stopping on for A levels, can i stop paying her mum money and give the money to my daughter instead, at least then i know it is going on my daughter and not on an ex? Thanks
anon2001 - 1-Aug-17 @ 4:00 PM
Shenry - Your Question:
My ex husband lives in our jointly owned home. It is on the market but so far no bites. He is refusing to pay any child maintenance for our 2 children because he says I'm still responsible for half the mortgage. So the money he should send me in maintenance he uses to pay the mortgage. He has been living there alone now for 2 years as he did not want to move out and for that reason I moved out with the children and back to my home town with his permission. He sees the children about 3 weeks a year (his own choice, I have never stopped him seeing his children). He works full time but claims he cannot afford the mortgage payments and child maintenance. I on the other hand work as much as I can (my youngest is only 3) with help from housing benefit I am just about managing rent, bill, food etc but it's tight!My question is after two years of living in our house alone can he really say I still have to pay half the mortgage and use the child.maintenance to do this? I feel like he's screwing me big time. I pay more rent on my little house than he pays for the mortgage on our lovely big family home and I'm also being left paying everything for the children plus I can't work as much as him because I have the children 100% of the time except the 3 weeks a year he has them to stay. It's been 2 years now and I think I've been a complete mug!!

Our Response:
In this instance I would run this by CMS. Child Maintenance Options gives free advice, please see link here . You might also seek legal advice on putting a time limit on when the home should be sold. There are some people out there (I'm not saying your ex is one) who deliberately put off prospective buyers through the reluctance to move. Getting in touch with your estate agents to make sure prospective buyers are being encouraged may also help you here.
SeparatedDads - 1-Aug-17 @ 1:59 PM
Nicole - Your Question:
My partners ex doesn't let him see his daughter ( for no valid reason ) can he stop child support until she allows him to see her? As he's paying a lot of money for a child he doesn't see. not his doing

Our Response:
Child maintenance and child access have no bearing on each other, meaning; even if a person does not see their child, they are still responsible for supporting them financially. If your partner's ex has stopped him seeing his child, his recourse would be to suggest mediation and if his ex refuses, apply to court. The court will then decide whether 'it' thinks your partner should have contact with his child, based on what the court thinks is in his child's best interests.
SeparatedDads - 1-Aug-17 @ 12:58 PM
My ex husband lives in our jointly owned home. It is on the market but so far no bites. He is refusing to pay any child maintenance for our 2 children because he says I'm still responsible for half the mortgage. So the money he should send me in maintenance he uses to pay the mortgage. He has been living there alone now for 2 years as he did not want to move out and for that reason I moved out with the children and back to my home town with his permission. He sees the children about 3 weeks a year (his own choice, i have never stopped him seeing his children). He works full time but claims he cannot afford the mortgage payments and child maintenance. I on the other hand work as much as I can (my youngest is only 3) with help from housing benefit I am just about managing rent, bill, food etc but it's tight! My question is after two years of living in our house alone can he really say I still have to pay half the mortgage and use the child.maintenance to do this? I feel like he's screwing me big time. I pay more rent on my little house than he pays for the mortgage on our lovely big family home and I'm also being left paying everything for the children plus I can't work as much as him because I have the children 100% of the time except the 3 weeks a year he has them to stay. It's been 2 years now and I think I've been a complete mug!!
Shenry - 31-Jul-17 @ 7:39 PM
My partners ex doesn't let him see his daughter ( for no valid reason ) can he stop child support until she allows him to see her? As he's paying a lot of money for a child he doesn't see.. not his doing
Nicole - 31-Jul-17 @ 7:04 PM
Honey1 - Your Question:
My lg's dad has another lg with another mum who he is also not with - 2 kids - 2 mum's in a relationship with someone else. I currently get £20 a week from him as he wanted to get extra money for his mortgage which he still after a year hasn't got; the other mum gets £25 3 weeks and £40 1 week. When I mentioned to him over a year ago that he's not paying what the calculator says, he says he should only pay us £26 a week each anyway as he has 2 kids. Is this true as neither of them live with him or should he pay us the same amount as he would pay if he had 1 child? I don't care as I'm not about the money but was just interested to see what's right and what's wrong.

Our Response:
You can see how other children are taken into consideration via the CAB link here.
SeparatedDads - 31-Jul-17 @ 11:21 AM
My lg's dad has another lg with another mum who he is also not with - 2 kids - 2 mum's in a relationship with someone else. I currently get £20 a week from him as he wanted to get extra money for his mortgage which he still after a year hasn't got; the other mum gets £25 3 weeks and £40 1 week. When I mentioned to him over a year ago that he's not paying what the calculator says, he says he should only pay us £26 a week each anyway as he has 2 kids. Is this true as neither of them live with him or should he pay us the same amount as he would pay if he had 1 child? I don't care as I'm not about the money but was just interested to see what's right and what's wrong.
Honey1 - 28-Jul-17 @ 2:08 PM
MumandDad - Your Question:
Hi, this is complicated and wondered if anyone can help. My ex husband/Childrens Dad is an alcoholic who has been having £500 every 4 weeks child maintenance deducted from his wages. He has now lost his job due to his drinking but is being given a £26500 tax free payout to go and told me my payment for the Children will stop. He also receives a £300 per month pension and I've just helped him put in a claim for ESA as he is in no condition to find another job at the moment. I don't want to leave him struggling but I will be struggling myself and so in light of his large payment I have asked him if he will continue to give something towards the Children. He is reluctant to do this. Am I able to claim regular payments based on him having this amount of tax free money. He has said he isn't going to declare it to anyone?Also, I am hoping he is going to take up a place in a detox then rehab unit, which he has been offered.This will mean him residing there for aprox 14 weeks. Will any payments I am entitled to still be payable during this time? Thankyou

Our Response:
Child maintenance is based on your ex husband's earnings and what he pays tax on. Money that is not classed as earnings includes; statutory payments made by an employer for reasons of maternity, paternity, redundancy or adoption pay; tax credits; social security pension, benefit or allowance, any payments made under a disability pension or benefit; or a guarantee payment under social security pensions legislation. If your ex receives any of these kinds of payments and they are his sole income, the CMS or his employer cannot use this payment to deduct child support from his earnings. Money that is classed as earnings includes; private pensions, occupational pensions; wages; overtime pay; bonuses; commission; or any payments that are made on top of a person’s wages. In addition, it is possible to deduct from an individual’s statutory sick pay. If his employer pays 'contractual’ maternity, paternity, redundancy or adoption pay, this is classed as ‘earnings’ and can be subjected to deductions for child maintenance.
SeparatedDads - 28-Jul-17 @ 11:53 AM
Sean - Your Question:
Hello. I have two young sons whom I see every Sunday, except when I have to work (usually 1 Sunday in 6). Their mother is sending them to Poland soon to spend three weeks with their Grandmother. She is doing this without my consent, I agreed to two weeks as three weeks would effectively mean I wouldn't see my Sons for four weeks but she's made up her mind. My question is do I still need to pay their mother maintenance while my Sons are away as she will not be looking after them?

Our Response:
If you have a family-based arrangement, then you can negotiate this between you. If you pay child maintenance to your ex via CSA/CMS then payments will continue as they are based on an average across the year. You can see more about taking children out of the country via the gov.uk link here . If you wish to challenge this, then mediation should be suggested and if your ex refuses, you may be able to apply for a Prohibited Steps Order. A PSO is an order granted by the court in family cases which prevents either parent from carrying out certain events or making specific trips with their children without the express permission of the other parent. This is more common in cases where there is suspicion that one parent may leave the area with their children. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the children in question. The court will always put the children’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. However, if you wish to apply for a PSO, then you would have to apply in plenty of time for the order to come to court before the holiday is due to take place.
SeparatedDads - 27-Jul-17 @ 11:52 AM
Hi, this is complicated and wondered if anyone can help. My ex husband/Childrens Dad is an alcoholic who has been having £500 every 4 weeks child maintenance deducted from his wages. He has now lost his job due to his drinking but is being given a £26500 tax free payout to go and told me my payment for the Children will stop. He also receives a £300 per month pension and I've just helped him put in a claim for ESA as he is in no condition to find another job at the moment. I don't want to leave him struggling but i will be struggling myself and so in light of his large payment I have asked him if he will continue to give something towards the Children. He is reluctant to do this. Am I able to claim regular payments based on him having this amount of tax free money. He has said he isn't going to declare it to anyone? Also, I am hoping he is going to take up a place in a detox then rehab unit, which he has been offered.This will mean him residing there for aprox 14 weeks. Will any payments I am entitled to still be payable during this time? Thankyou
MumandDad - 27-Jul-17 @ 12:08 AM
Can anyone help please, if a mother puts a claim in for csa but then has the child taken out of her care completely. Is it right to say that her claim with csa should be closed down and she shouldn't be allowed to claim the child support money as her own
Stevvie - 26-Jul-17 @ 10:50 AM
Hello. I have two young sons whom I see every Sunday, except when I have to work (usually 1 Sunday in 6). Their mother is sending them to Poland soon to spend three weeks with their Grandmother. She is doing this without my consent, I agreed to two weeks as three weeks would effectively mean I wouldn't see my Sons for four weeks but she's made up her mind. My question is do I still need to pay their mother maintenance while my Sons are away as she will not be looking after them?
Sean - 25-Jul-17 @ 3:13 PM
Paulieb - Your Question:
My ex partner is not giving me access to our daughter but is claiming child support payments how can I get access to my child

Our Response:
Child maintenace payments and access have no bearing upon each other. Regardless of whether you see your child or not, you are still responsible for paying child maintenance to the mother of your child to help towards your child's day-to-day care. If you wish to organise access to your child and your ex is refusing, please see link here which will tell you the procedure you can take.
SeparatedDads - 24-Jul-17 @ 1:46 PM
My ex partner is not giving me access to our daughter but is claiming child support payments how can I get access to my child
Paulieb - 22-Jul-17 @ 11:25 AM
Jacko - Your Question:
My son finished. A level collage in June 2017, and goes to university in mid September when do I stop maintenance payments to my x wife

Our Response:
It would usually be August 31st, which is considered the official end of the school year and when child benefit will stop. If you have a family-based child maintenance arrangement, then you can decide between you.
SeparatedDads - 20-Jul-17 @ 1:51 PM
Stuartb - Your Question:
Hi can someone advise me please.My sons mother has told me she is moving to Sunderland my son lives with her at the moment in Birmingham which I see my son every weekend.She has told me that if I want to see my son the I've got to drive 250 miles which is a 3.5 hour drive.I've asked if she can meet me half way so I can see my son but she's told me no.I currently pay her maintenance direct but can I deduct petrol money from the maintenance she gets as she is moving and it will cost both in time driving up there and petrol money I was told I can deduct 16.4p per mile but not sure if this is correct.Any help would be appreciated thanks

Our Response:
In cases such as this, you may wish to see if you can resolve these issues via mediation, please see link here . By law, if your have parental responsibility your ex has to request your consent if she wishes to move from the area with your child. However, a court would generally allow this if your ex can give good reason for doing so. With regards to child maintenance, any family-based arrangement should be agreed between yourselves. If you cannot agree between you, your ex can apply to Child Maintenance Service who will take travel into consideration when making an assessment.
SeparatedDads - 20-Jul-17 @ 11:44 AM
My son finished. A level collage in June 2017, and goes to university in mid September when do I stop maintenance payments to my x wife
Jacko - 19-Jul-17 @ 7:35 PM
Hi can someone advise me please. My sons mother has told me she is moving to Sunderland my son lives with her at the moment in Birmingham which I see my son every weekend. She has told me that if I want to see my son the I've got to drive 250 miles which is a 3.5 hour drive. I've asked if she can meet me half way so I can see my son but she's told me no. I currently pay her maintenance direct but can I deduct petrol money from the maintenance she gets as she is moving and it will cost both in time driving up there and petrol money I was told I can deduct 16.4p per mile but not sure if this is correct. Any help would be appreciated thanks
Stuartb - 18-Jul-17 @ 10:33 PM
Boobear - Your Question:
My ex husband has not paid maintenance in over a year, he got into a bit of bother with the law and has had "legal" expenses, however he is now in receipt of legal aid, he hides his earnings from me and lives with his new partner in a luxurious apartment, he sees his children both under 16 during school holidays and maybe the occasional weekend during the year, I find it very difficult to talk to him about paying toward his kids, after a long long discussion I managed to get him to pay £50 per child but that is all, I work full time and pay for everything for the kids. He is planning a holiday abroad which he claims his partner is paying for, I know this is a site for dad's but I'm hhoping a dad can advise me, I could go to CSA but it would start WW3, please help, I'm not being unreasonable am I?

Our Response:
You have every right to claim child maintenance for your children. By law your ex husband is required to help pay towards their day-to-day needs. You don't say whether he is self-employed, employed, or unemployed, which will make a difference. Child maintenance is based upon the paying parent's income and the amount he pays is based upon the amount of income he earns, figures of which are accessed via HMRC. If your ex is unemployed, then he may be eligible to pay nil or base rate. If he is self-employed he is eligible to pay based upon his annual tax return. If he is employed the figures are assessd via his annual income. You can see what your ex should be paying via the link here. Please note that child maintenance is not based upon the amount of income his current partner may earn or whether he can afford holidays abroad etc. You should only approach Child Maintenance Service if you are unhappy with the family-based arrangement you have in place and feel he should be contributing more.
SeparatedDads - 18-Jul-17 @ 12:21 PM
My ex husband has not paid maintenance in over a year, he got into a bit of bother with the law and has had "legal" expenses, however he is now in receipt of legal aid, he hides his earnings from me and lives with his new partner in a luxurious apartment, he sees his children both under 16 during school holidays and maybe the occasional weekend during the year, I find it very difficult to talk to him about paying toward his kids, after a long long discussion I managed to get him to pay £50 per child but that is all, I work full time and pay for everything for the kids. He is planning a holiday abroad which he claims his partner is paying for, I know this is a site for dad's but I'm hhoping a dad can advise me, I could go to CSAbut it would start WW3, please help, I'm not being unreasonable am I?
Boobear - 17-Jul-17 @ 6:34 PM
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