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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34886
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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I have four kids with an ex partner. We have a court order

Customer Question

I have four kids with an ex partner. We have a court order in place that specifies shared care. It also specifies that we both claim benefitsfor two named children.6months ago we agreed that I would claim benefits for the remaining 2 children with the view that I would give her the benefits since I was unemployed and she was working,Whilst this was agreed one of the children she was previouslyfinancially responsible for wanted to go on a trip that cost over a £1,000. I agreed the payment . My child aged 14 then had an argument with my ex and left the home to live with me. I have been making payments for the trip however my ex has now asked child benefit to pay the child benefit for all children to her. I have informed the child benefit agency that 3 of the children do for the most part vist their mother and spend nights with her on a shared care basis however one child now resides fully with me and may stay with her mother on occasions.Child benefit are now asking for information on how many nights the childrenspend with me and when they leave my care and return to my exs care. I have the following questions : 1) the Residence order states that I should claim benefits for A & B. Can the child benefit agency over ride the Residence ordereven though we share the care equally andpay my ex the childbenefits.? 2) The Residence order specifies that my ex claims for C&Dhowever they agreed that I was the main carer in writing to the Child benefit office who began paying me untill they stopped it when she changed her mind. I have contested this and they are re-investigating.Can they still give her the child benefit for C child who is not living with her.3) Can they pay her the child benefit even though she originally agreed for me to receive the child benefit for C & D. 4) Is the order still in force even ifa child is not with her. Thankyou Sky
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

Do children A B and D still spend equal time with each of you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi ClareYes in terms of over night stays and no in terms of time because she has always refused to take them to activities ie Athletics,football,boxing and football. My ex has recently said she is going to stop them going to their activities when they are with her.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The child benefit have asked me to let them know what overnight stays child D has spent with their mother since 1st April,giving the time they arrived and left my care. They have also asked for details of all overnight periods C has spent with me since 1st April. They have also asked for details of all overnight stays since the 1st March that Child A and B have spent with me. Child benefit also want me to include times they arrive and leave me. I am in the process of completing this form and need to know where I stand with this.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have just phoned child benefit who states that I must reply in writing by tomorrow.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

At this stage send them the information that they have requested - and a copy of the original Order.

Given the problems it seems that the arrangements do need to be revisited with a view to ensuring that the children are able to continue their activities - and to sort out the Child Benefit once and for all

The starting point is to try and discuss matters with her using Family mediation - but if that fails then you will have to consider applying to the court for a new Child Arrangement Order.

With regard to the specific questions you ask

1. Yes the CMS can override the Order

2.They could but I do not think they will

3.Sadly yes.

Please ask if you need further details