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ukfamilysolicitor
ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
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I have a son with my previous partner (never married)

Customer Question

Hi,
I have a son with my previous partner (never married) and for the last 13 years my son has stayed with me at least 3-4 nights each week plus approx. 6 weeks during holidays each year. During this entire time I have paid my ex-partner a sum of money through a standing order (which is over the standard Child Support rate) to ensure he is well looked after when he is not with me.
My question is: Do I have to pay anything at all if my son is basically living with me more than my ex-partner? My ex-partner has been married for approx. 10 years and they both work. My thoughts at this time is surely we are splitting the costs of bringing our son up between us therefore am I obliged to continue paying?
The trigger that has prompted this question is the my ex-partner does not spend the money I provide on my son and instead I am supplementing this which does not appear fair on either my son or myself.
Your assistance would be apreciated.
Kind Regards
Matt
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 years ago.
Hello Matt
Welcome to Just Answer
Thank you for your question.
I am a Solicitor and will assist you.
You have described that you are currently paying child maintenance directly to the mother - this is known as a Family Based Arrangement. My advice is based on this arrangement - if however there has ever been a Court then please do let me know.
A family based arrangement can be altered at any time. You should check your current liability by checking with the Child Maintenance Service. The calculation will include a reduction for the amount of time that your child spends with you. They have a useful calculator on their website.
You should offer what your liability is. Unfortunately the CMS will not look into how any maintenance is being spent.
Kind Regards
Caroline
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi,

Thank you for your answer however, can you please clarify the following:

1) Why do I have to pay anything if we are jointly bringing our son up granted from different homes?

2) What is stopping me from asking for money from my ex-partner for the time he spends with me?

3) What is the trigger that automatically means in Law that I have to pay (is it primary residence or just being the mother?)

Kind Regards

Matt

Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 years ago.

Hello Matt

Thank you for your response.

My apologies for my delay in responding to you as I have had quite a busy day.

If you truly have an 'equal' shared care arrangement where the time spent caring from your son is exactly equal between you neither of you should make a cliam to the CMS for maintenance.

The Legal basis for this is as follows:

Regulation 50 (2) Child Support Maintenance Calculation regulations 2012 states:

(2) For the purposes of this special case, the person mentioned in paragraph (1)(b) is to be treated as the non-resident parent if, and only if, that person provides day to day care to a lesser extent than the applicant.

You would need to evidence exactly equal day to day care. This involves the overall care arrangements for the child being shared equally and not just where they stay overnight.

You should diarise your position in relation to the care that your provide for your son if you consider that this is the case. The mother might dispute the position and you will need try and evidence your position.

If it is not a 'true shared care arrangement' then maintenance is still payable to mother although a reduction would be made in light with the number of nights that your son spent with you - see this guide for the banding of nights:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-we-work-out-child-maintenance

Kind Regards

Caroline

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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi,

No problem and thank you for your helpful advice.

Kind Regards

Matt

Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 years ago.
Your very welcome
Take care
Caroline