Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:
-Are you in England or Wales?
-How old are thr children?
-Is the proposal for the to stay over 2-3 nights a week?
Thanks for confirming. Given that the children are 14 and 16, if they decide not to stay over with you there is no way to force them to do so given their ages. Furthermore, the 16 year cannot be subject to any child arrangement order as the court will not deal with children once they reach 16, unless there are exceptional circumstances such as learning disabilities. Furthermore, if the 16 year old is not studying A-Levels or in approved unpaid training, then there is no child maintenance liability for that child.
In your situation you should make it clear to the mother, and have an agreement in writing regarding the arrangements and the amount of maintenance you will be paying.
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Thanks for confirming - if there is a voluntary agreement between you regarding maintenance, then there will be no automatic default or change to the maintenance, unless this is provided for in your agreement. Therefore under a voluntary agreement you would be liable for the amount you agree to between you.
If there is a formal child maintenance calculation from the CMS you would be liable to that amount and she would need to apply to vary it if circumstances change - there is no automatic change to it and there will need to be a reassessment.
No it does not, but it would be useful for both of you to have it written down for future reference. Once drawn up, if the children no longer want to stay overnight with you and there is no agreement between you to vary the maintenance, she will be entitled to apply to the CMS for a calculation.
Legally the way it will be seen is that you are not "penalised" because they do not want to stay overnight with you, but that the mother will need to meet their needs for those extra days they are staying with her, which is why the maintenance amount increases.
Unfortunately, that will be the case despite your agreement.
I hope it goes well. If you have any questions in the future you can ask for me directly by starting your question For Harris