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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34105
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My question is in relation to child maintenance. Particularly

Resolved Question:

Hello, my question is in relation to child maintenance. Particularly what constitutes gross pay and the types of "variations" I can claim. I have seen the child maintenance calculator and I have also reviewed the detailed guide but I wish to confirm a few grey areas. I will summarise the position.
1. I have two children I need to support. one recently born in May.
2. I do not receive any benefits.
3. I work fairly far away and can only see the children about once a month and so see them less than 52 night a year.
4. Based on my latest tax returns(2014), my position is this:
(i) Salary and wages: 54,000
(ii) Benefit in kind (accomodation): 7,000
(iii) Other income I earn from ad hoc professional and other work: 2,000
Total: 63,000.
5. There is no material/signficant change (more than 25%) from my last tax return to my current position.
6. I am currently paying an amount of about £680 a month.
7. The mother disputes this and believes I should be paying £823 a month -She believes my income is understated.
8. In addition to the £680 a month, I also provide incur the following:
(i) £185 per month for a car loan - which she uses exclusively.
(ii) £80 per month into a long term ISA for the benefit of the children
(iii) £700 - £1000 a year for uniforms, emergency child care, holiday activities.
(iv) £100 - £300 in every 2 months in contact costs. As I have to fly to see the children.
The questions I need to clarify are this:
(i) Is the Benefit in kind and other earned income part of the calculation for the child maintenance
(ii) Would I be able to obtain "variations" for the additional amounts I pay. Namely:
- £185 per month for a car loan - which she uses exclusively.
- £80 per month into a long term ISA for the benefit of the children
- £700 - £1000 a year for uniforms, emergency child care, holiday activities.
- £100 - £300 in every 2 months in contact costs. As I have to fly to see the children.
The mother is currently unemployed and I don't expect her to have any significant other sources of income.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help you
1. The benefit in kind is not taken into account - the other earnings are
2. The only matter on the list that MIGHT effect the contact is the cost of Contact. All the others will be viewed as voluntary payments
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Clare the clarification is much appreciated,
I am however still uncertain about a few aspects and so if you provide some more rationale or precedence for your answers I would appreciate. In particular:
1. Accommodation. My expectation was that this would be included as the HMRC definition for earnings would include "money's worth". On my tax return, the accommodation has been valued and taxed and so I need to be absolutely certain that your interpretation is specifically a different treatment from the HMRC interpretation.
2. Other income. Can you please clarify why its included?
3. Car loan. The detailed child maintenance guide says that a car loan can be allowed as a "variation" as long as it remains for the benefit of the receiving parent. I would have expected this to therefore be potentially allowed particularly as paying the loan is not voluntary but an obligation. Though I must point out, the loan is not in my names but was structured through another party as the mother wouldn't have qualified for a car loan in her own names - being on low income so essentially I guaranteed it.
in respect of the other "voluntary payments" it is true they are of a voluntary nature - but as I am incurring them for the benefit of the children exclusively, would the be allowed as "variations" to reduce my payment? Again some detail around the basis for your answer would be appreciated.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Under the Gross Income Scheme all earned income is subject to the assessment - but that does not include benefits in kind.
The Resident parent can apply for a variation if the Benefits in Kind are clearly taken instead of income - but that would be a matter of evidence
Neither the car loan nor any of the other payments are eligible as variations.
The legislation is here
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2012/9780111526132/part/4/chapter/1
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare, the other points are now clearer and I appreciate. I am however surprised about the basis for the car loan being potentially inadmissible. The CMA guide as well as the citizens advice bureau guidance all point this kind of loan being deductible, if it is for the benefit of the party. Is there any reason you believe it would not be considered as a variation?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
The loan is not in your name.
The appropriate way forward is for you r ex to pay this from the income you give her
Clare
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