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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34589
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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I have been separated for 6 years and divorced for about 3

Resolved Question:

I have been separated for 6 years and divorced for about 3 years.
My ex wife is classed as the "resident carer" simply because the Family Allowance is paid into her Bank Account which at the time she insisted upon, and I couldn't see a problem with that initially.
My daughter is shared equally, spending a week with her mother and a week with me.
Both my ex wife and myself are Teachers and earn roughly the same at around £42,000 per annum.
We have always had a verbal understanding nothing legal, binding or written to share the custody/residency of our daughter with my wife stating that "according to the then CSA" that I had to pay the so called going rate of around £220 a month, with her still getting the £80 ? Family Allowance for our only child.
She has made vague threats that should I falter at all, she will stop me seeing my daughter.
She has even attempted to get an extra £23 a month from me to feed the cats and expects me to go 50/50 on any party, she even wants me to help pay for "drama lessons" wouldn't all that come from what I originally pay her.
We have never involved the CSA at her insistence or the courts, again at her insistence.
She even tried to get the shared "custody" to a ratio of 8 to 6 a fortnight in her favour and that was under threat of me not seeing my daughter, however because of her school duties etc I it has remained equal days 7 to 7 and I also get my daughter every Tuesday because it suits my ex wife's school commitments.
We have both moved on and have partners, her partner lives in her home and earns in the region of £60,000 per annum.
My partner lives in her own home and is expecting our first child, therefore I am in the process of selling my home and buying into my partner's home.
My ex wife has told me that according to CSA rules the £220 per month will only be reduced by £50 to £170 per month.
I have looked at the CSA calculator and although very confusing my understanding of it that my monthly payments should be reduced by 50% to £110 to my ex wife as I will after March have the responsibility of my second child to look after.
Please can you help unravel the confusion I am under, should I "call her bluff" and get things legalised once and for all.
How exactly do I stand as I need to know to be able to move on and be away from my ex wife's constant influence and threats and innuendoes.
Sincerely,
Mr. X
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How old is your daughter now - and for clarity please confirm that the CSA have never actually been involved in your case.
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Clare,

My daughter is now 9 years old and was only three when my ex wife decided that she wanted out.

We have never involved the CSA as I believed we could come to a fair arrangement, as I do love my daughter very much and wanted to provide for her, even though loads of people told me that seeing as we both (ex wife and I) were on equally good salaries and shared equally the time to care for our daughter.

These people said that "how must you pay to look after your daughter (food/heating/clothes etc) to your ex wife, when your daughter is in your care"

Hope that the additional information helps.

Sincerely,

Ray.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Under the newest CMS (new CSA) regulations where care is shared equally there is no Child Maintenance payable at all.
If child maintenance had been payable under the old CSA rules then you have misunderstood the rules as the figure would only be reduced by 50% if you were responsible for but not living with.
The significance of your new baby in your case is that it entitles you to protect part of your income
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Clare,

Thank you for you quick response.

Again, there is nothing "specific" that I can show (if needs be) to my ex-wife that what is stated is the law with terminology etc.

In your initial paragraph where does it actually say "Under the newest CMS (new CSA) regulations where care is shared equally there is no child maintenance payable at all"

(Leaflet/Book/Regulations etc. page ? - section whatever) so that I have tangible evidence under the new regulations of what you state is actual.

I'm sorry but you have not dealt with my ex-wife and the only way I can prove my point, is to actually "prove my point"

Once I have the law/regulation I will then be confident enough to "call her bluff"

In your second paragraph "If child maintenance had been payable under the old CSA rules then you have misunderstood the rules as the figure would only be reduced by 50% if you were responsible but not living with"

Are you saying that I have paid £220 per month for 6 years when it was not a requirement and didn't have to ?

And if I was of a mind, would I have aright to claim all that back from my ex-wife, not that I would want to go down that road.

In paragraph 3 you state "The significance of your new baby in your case is that it entitles you to protect part of your income"

Could you explain this in an "idiot proof guide" to me.

Are you saying that any payment that might be nade is cut by 50% eg £220 per month to £110 per , or nothing at all.

Does my ex-wife have any claims in my income in anyway, which if she has, will really make the answers in 1 & 2 even more confusing, please spell it out.

When I initially sought advice from the main source (CSA - only testing the ground as they were never used) I was told that no matter how much my ex-wife earned or any partner of hers contributed to their home or livelihood, it would not be taken into consideration, but that earnings from any partner of mine would.

Please explain with a pointer towards the relevant regulation if you would be so kind, can you see why I am so confused, especially dealing with a woman who to put it bluntly was a "control freak" and is still trying it on and seems to delight in making my life a misery.

Sorry if I sound like an idiot.

Sincerely,

Ray

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Page 29 of this leaflet sets it out
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/325219/how-we-work-out-child-maintenance.pdf
No i meant that IF you had been paying under a CSA assessment then the fact that you were having a new baby would NOT reduce your maintenance by 50% - that would only happen if you were not living with that child either.
The new baby means that IF there was an existing CSA assessment then instead of paying 15% of 100% of your net income you would pay 15% of 85% of your net income
The income of your new partner is NOT relevant in any way
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Clare,

I think I understand in theory about the new born living with me does not automatically reduce the payments by 50%, if I was not living with the baby then it would - Got it.

I am sincerely ***** ***** my ignorance, but could you possibly work out two mathematical calculations for me, so that I can actually see the mechanics of what you are saying.

There is no dealings at all with the former CSA, so I can relate to future threats via the new CMS system.

Annual salary = £42,000 (weekly roughly £808)

Single man's allowance £10,000 (weekly roughly £192)

Tax per week roughly £125, NI roughly £80

Forget the calculation of any personal pension as I am not sure the amount but that would reduce the NET again.

Weekly £808 less SMA = £192, TAX = £125, NI = £80 = NET = £411

With the above (a) what should I be paying now ?

(b) what should I pay after the new born has arrive in March ?

Please on (b) would you kindly verify that the 100% you talk about would be the roughly calculated £411 and the initial 85% would roughly be £350 for now and the extra 15% off would calculate as around £300.

I relate much better to seeing the figures than Legal Jargon.

Seeing down like that would ring the bell immediately.

I fully understand that equal shared care equates as NO PAYMENTS as page 29 clearly shows.

In conclusion (I hope) I have had equal shared care since my daughter was 3 (some 6 years and a few months, how would you rate in % terms my chances of going through the law to make it legal and binding, therefore eliminating any vague threat my ex-wife might make on me not seeing my daughter.

Thanks so much,

Sincerely,

Ray.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Ok
I shall assume for the basis of a CMS calculation that your daughter spends 8 nights out of 14 with her mother.
Until the baby is born your liability is 12% of your Gross income less a three sevenths reduction for the shared care - so £240 a month.
After the baby is born it will be 12% of 89% of your gross income - so £213 a month
If you are correct that you do have your daughter 50% of the time then you have a good chance pf preserving that
Clare
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