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Ask Clare Your Own Question
I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Question about CSA. My step son William (13) is looking to
Question about CSA. My step son William (13) is looking to go live with his bio dad and wandered if I had to pay child support? His mum and bio dad were dating but broke up early on in the pregnancy, she got together with my hubby when Will was a few months old, my hubby, her and the bio dad all have parental responsibility of William. The mum has never paid us any kind of child support. The bio dad has paid £110 per month for years. I got together with hubby about 7 years ago and moved in in December 2009. My hubby hasn't worked in at least 8 years due to ill health and has never claimed any benefits. We have no savings or investments. I work full time nights so am the sole earner. I pay for everything. The only benefits we get is child benefit and child tax credits (I can't claim for working tax credits). When my step son goes to live with his dad do I have to pay child maintenance to him?
2 years ago.
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replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
No you will NOT have to pay child maintenance for this child.
he is not the biological child of either of you and accordingly the CMS (new CSA) is not involved
Nor can the Biological father make an applictaion for maintenance using the Children Act as neither you nor your husband are liable
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replied 2 years ago.
Sorry, me again. After some more advice. Will's (step son) dad Kevin was saying last week he was waiting to hear back from schools still but that one definitely had a place (Connaught) if didn't hear back from the other schools. Will then went to his dad's for the weekend - we'd asked him to swap his weekend just gone for one after the half term so that Will could settle in and even though he said ok he was pushing for Will to go for the weekend and had promised him a trip to Thorpe Park so he went. He commented last week he feels even though he talked to Will 4 weekends ago and has talked to him a few times on the phone he feels he then doesn't see him for 3 weeks but we see him whilst he doesn't as he lives with us. Was making beds and found a prospectus for a secondary school in Will's pillow case but had just come off of manic night shifts and just didn't click at the time. When Kevin dropped Will off Sunday not a word about the move. Then Kevin mailed me whilst I was out today with the following :-
I went into the school this morning to speak to them in person and get things moving and they're really nice! All the paperwork is being processed and I explained the half term move. They're very happy to get will into the school and suggested the Tuesday or Thursday after half term we all come in (William, you guys and I) to sign the last form for Gareth's permission, then he starts school the Monday the 8th June!!
For the first week after half term when Will's here they said it's very typical for kids to be between schools for a few days or a week and no different to if the child was ill. They're happy to send some work to me to go through with Will if we want.
The school will call me tomorrow to let me know if Tue 9th or Thur 11th is best for us to come in and do the signatures and have a look around and I will email + text you straight away.
There's no change re: the finer points since we last emailed about them - I'm happy to go with your suggestions for weekends/tax credits/holidays etc etc to begin with and see how it goes, once Will's attending school and I've got a better idea of how it all practically works out with the two boys etc see if any changes need to be made :) Exciting times!
Will be in touch tomorrow, I'm out tonight but if Will wants to have a chat (he asked me to keep him updated) get him to pop me a text and I'll make sure I'm free for him :D
I mailed back (started clicking about the prospectus by then) :-
Great you've heard back from the school. Have you told Will all about it then?
As said before we'd like to bring Will up to see the school before signing anything. So arrange to go see the school with him and then go into sign paperwork on another day. We'll give them a call if helps to arrange the visit.
I'll talk to Gareth about it all a bit later as am out at the moment. We would like to agree on things with you as soon as possible about the finer points such as contact, weekends, holidays, etc before the move so as to avoid issues and make it run as smoothly as possible when it happens, keep a routine going, and so that we can plan around it. We'd like him to still come to us on the Friday until the Sunday every third weekend and a third of the school holidays and keep it as that as we talked about at the beginning. Also we need you to confirm the holiday and weekend allocations that were sent (is it ok for us to carry on doing them each year?). Also if he stays with you are you happy to change the Summer Holidays as we suggested in previous mails?
I got more advice about Tax Credits and Child Benefit. As soon as he goes to yours we have to switch it so we would contact them and advise of the change, let you know, and then you can apply, rather than us claim for him and pay you. You can get an application pack for both from the Job Centre I think.
How do you think Dante and Wills school would effect the current weekend and holiday contact Will has with us and Louise if he stays with you?
Spoke to hubby when got home and he told me about Will knowing. We sat and had a chat with Will when he got home and explained the reason we hadn't said anything before was we were waiting for the school place to be confirmed and Kevin to let us know, checked he had no worries, explained we'd take him to see the school soon to see if he liked it and asked him not to tell the girls yet as we'd like to. All upbeat. He seemed fine with it all and liked the idea of going to visit the school and then make mind up. Will commented that the secondary school is next door to Kevin's younger son Dantes nursery but that the nursery finishes at 6 so he'll have to wait around for a bit. Looked at the schools on Internet and another school Kevin had mentioned was scoring higher on Offsted and Kevin had said was waiting to hear back from so called them both to see if could set up visits quicker. Mailed Kevin :-
"Had a look and given Connaught a call about coming in a bit sooner. Noticed Wavell came up a bit better with Offsted so left a message with them as know you were looking at them but no joy with call back. Had a chat with Will just to explain why we hadn't said anything before about the move, asked him to keep it quiet from the girls for now and asked him about any worries he had (none). Said to him we just had to go visit the school with him first (like we did with Waterfield) and he was happy with that. He's looking forward to seeing what the schools like. Am off night wise tomorrow night. Gareth's got something on but I'll show him the mail later and talk about things with you tomorrow night if you're still free :) "
Kevin mailed me back :-
Yes Will knows as much about everything as I do and asked to be kept in the loop so if you could ask him when he'd like to call and get him to message me first I can make sure I'm free and have a chat with him :)
When I spoke to the school earlier they were keen to get things wrapped up in one visit which I appreciate with all the SATS and things going on atm. They're also the only school in the area with a place available right now so currently there aren't any other options but I understand wanting to go see it beforehand I'm sure they could arrange something if you get in touch :) Wavell don't have any spaces available and Will is on the waiting list, please get in touch with them if you feel a visit would benefit you.
Yes I concur we need to agree on things as soon as possible, though I have explained I'm happy to stick to what we've got and try it but it's impossible to commit or decide anything until the practicalities are completely understood :) As far as I'm concerned Will will be seeing you guys for all the weekends allocated and there's no need for any changes etc :) same goes for this years summer holiday :)
Going forward I'm thinking the following Timetable will work:
Weekend of 23rd + 24th May Will stays with you guys (or Louise whoever is due)
Maybe Bank Holiday Monday 25th or day after Will moves over here with his belongings whatever day is most convenient for everyone.
Either Tue 2nd or Thur 4th June we all go in to sign forms etc (I put the wrong dates 9th/11th in previous email for this, please ignore)
Monday 8th June Will starts School (yay!)
Weekend 13th June Will's down to be with me the weekend but could come back to see you guys or stay with me and come back the following weekend? Let me know on that one :)
What do you think of those dates? "
I called him and left a message to say that the reason asked if Will knew was as we hadn't known and agree good to keep him the loop we just hadn't known. Said would be good to talk things over about the mails and maybe if he calls tomorrow we can have a chat and Will can chat to him too afterwards. Said he was on computer game with mates at the moment. I think Kevin thinks we're talking Will out of it when here so he feels he has to talk him into it when there and when he calls but it's resulted in Will being in the loop and us being left out of it which has been a re occurring theme throughout the whole year between him and the school.
Our main issues are that we're being kept out of the loop and Almost as if Kevin's sending Will to do the informing which doesn't bode well for co-parenting. Feels a bt like our request not to say anything till place agreed (which he agreed to) got ignored. Also, we feel as we said in our first mails that would be good to get Will to the school to see if he likes it and have a night to get his head round it and I don't doubt he'll say yes but feel from past experiences will benefit him more. Also feel slightly that the school chosen (which Kevin really disliked 2/3 weeks ago but suddenly loved last week) is partly to fit job, fit in with his younger son, and is a rush job rather than wait for a decent school (there are 3 others that are much better in the area). I may be being cynical. Our main issue is contact and the week gap between half term and starting at his new school. Having Will there means transporting Will to his mums one weekend and back and then us the weekend afterwards. I worry by his comments that he'll play ball a couple of times then demand changes like dropping Friday's, picking up earlier/dropping off later (especially if Dante is in nursery till 6), missing weeks or constant swaps to fit around Dante (him and his ex split the time and take alternate weekends and days during the week), his social life, and job (he took a promotion a couple months ago so longer hours and evenings - he's a teacher). It doesn't help that he won't elaborate on it so even if could come up with a plan with him can't as he dodges the question. As Will will be living there we worry it'll effect it and also in the past both Kevin and Will's mum Louise have managed to convince him into things he doesn't want to do - he didn't want pick up time to change last year but Kevin talked him into it so had him crying to us or getting angry with us about it but acting it was all fine to Kevin, he even admits he hates to disappoint his mum & dad and it's been going on for years. We worry he'll suffer in silence. Also we have our kids and Louise's kids to think of and don't feel that Dante should come above them all (I had to totally change my job and it's almost like my daughters have come 2nd to Will and step daughter over the years since I came into their lives but my daughters have adjusted and we've helped them. I've killed myself going out the way to accommodate the 3 way family dynamic - swapping weekends, staying up after night shifts to go pick them up by public transport, etc - and don't think Kevin has thought how his life's going to change to fit round Will and contact and think denials kicked in and he's not facing the reality of what it's going to be like).
The week gap - we were thinking keep him at ICC for the week and then move him? Seems silly to miss a week of school when we can move him at the end of the week. He's got the dates wrong by the way, he's got Will from the afternoon of the 25th or 26th and picking up from Louise then the rest of the Half Term and the weekend at the end.
Just wanting some advice on how to deal with the situation. We've made peace with ourselves that he's going but want to make sure it goes smoothly as possible and not be in mediation and then court in 6 months screaming at each other over stuff that quite frankly should be sorted out before him moving.
replied 2 years ago.
Sorry, just to add Will's been talking more tonight. He said that Kevin told him pretty much everything at the weekend (about us talking about the trial half term, that it was all going through which we of course hadn't agreed on, etc) and so Monday he went into school and told all his mates that he was going in the Half Term. I had to do damage control as we haven't told the girls and my step daughters in the middle of her SATs (she's been stressing out about them and her mum so don't want to add to the stress and looking to tell her when she's done them) so asked Will to tell his mates not to say anything as a couple of them have sisters who are friends with step daughter and don't want her finding out second hand. Also had to call a couple of mums as damage control. Heard nothing back from Kevin as he's out tonight. Will was also saying Dante starts nursery in September and won't finish till 6 so guessing that's part of the issue with contact. Will was also saying that he thinks his dad finishes at 4.30 (more like 5/6) and so after school he'll be home alone which he didn't seem to keen on and Kevin's ex has said she can have him round if he doesn't want to be by himself. I've got an appointment with Will's present school tomorrow and going to try to speak to the new school about it all as well. Going to try to get hold of Will's mum as well to discuss the situation and what's happening. My hubby is acting fine but when kids not about he's a mess about it all which is why I'm dealing with it. Also am putting in a complain to Will's current school this week about how they dealt with the whole situation as step daughter due there september and if she has problems there don't want the same problems repeated. I would prefer to send her to another school but as Will kept to ing and fro ing about where to live we left it.
replied 2 years ago.
Again you need to step back - and to be more realistic - if the boy's friends know then it will get back to his sister - so better to tell her and leave it at that.
Whether or not you like the school there is nothing that you can do to prevent the move - and it is clear that at this stage nothing is going to change he child's mind.
So step back and let the father get on with it.
Visit the school, and get a calendar drawn up setting out when you expect to see him - and remind the child that he is always welcome home
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