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Is the child maintenance calculated via the CMS? Or has it been ordered in a consent order during the divorce?
There is a cap for the use of the CMS - they have no method to calculate above that amount, and that is £3k per week. If you earn more than £3k per week, the calculator will not give you an accurate figure to pay.
In those circumstances, the receiving parent would be advised to make an application to court for additional payments, if they cannot be agreed between the parties.
In short, if you earn below £3k a week, the calculator will give you an accurate assessment of what you need to pay. And yes, it increases as your income increases until it reaches that cap level.
Child maintenance can be reduced by the number of nights the children spend with the paying parent (the calculator can take that into consideration), by additional travel costs (for example if the resident parent moved a long way away and the non resident parent had to pay additional costs to see the kids (doesn't work if the non resident parent is the one who moved). Paying pension contributions also reduces your income taken into consideration for calculation purposes. And also if there are other kids living in your household, even if they're not yours - that will reduce your payment to your kids.
Yes, gross. All income.
Certainly sounds like it. Anything you contribute is for the benefit of your children, so that's a plus.
Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that. It has to be paid to the resident parent.
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All the best!