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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35088
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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my wife and I have just separated, she has a son from a previous

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my wife and I have just separated, she has a son from a previous relationship and we have a 12 year old daughter, my wife has moved out and is renting a property her 15 year old son has moved with her, my daughter is staying with me majority of the time at least 4 nights a week, my wife is asking for child maintenance which I believe is incorrect as I will be the main carer, she also wants all of the child benefit, which I also do not agree with.
The house and mortgage which is my name has very little equity, approx. £18000, I have no issue with giving her what she is entitled to, is it 50%??

Many Thanks

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 long have you been apart and how settled is the pattern of maintenance?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare


We have only been apart for one week, the pattern is not settled at the moment and because my wife is in the police force and does some very unsociable shifts, it will be probably at least a month or so before I can ascertain the average number of nights that she will be having my daughter.





Does the biological father of the child pay child maintenance?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi the biological father of her son does not pay anything and lives abroad, it is our daughter that she is asking maintanence for.


I understand that - but do be aware that she could claim for the son via the courts - something you should bear in mind.
Who pays who child maintenance for your daughter is based on who has the child more nights a year.
If it is generally equal then neither of you have to pay.
It would be sensible to divide the Child benefit with each of you receiving the amount for one child
a 50/50 split on the equity is indeed appropriate
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So her son who biologically is nothing to do with me can be claimed for, and i would have to pay? How does that work? If i claim the child benefit for my daughter can she contest this! After all my daughter is based at my house and i will have her more than 50% of the time.

Yes your ex could make a claim within the financial side of divorce proceedings for child maintenance for your stepson
Yes she can contest the application for Child Maintenance and it will be up to HMRC to decide what happens
It would be sensible to discuss all these issues with your ex using Family mediation (
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you