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Stuart J
Stuart J, Property Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 23783
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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FAO Stuart, I am wanting to arrange with the ex the

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FAO Stuart, I am wanting to arrange with the ex the maintenance I need to pay for our daughter and access. I have suggested looking after our daughter two nights in the week .The ex has declined this and said it is not up to me to chose the days, is this correct?
My earnings have been really low over the last year however I have not done the accounts for this year.
She is saying she cant believe i am going to pay the minimum maintenance for our daughter.
However I was thinking of opening a bank account with my daughter so I potentially could put extra money in there for her is this ok to do?
What do you think?
How much maintenance will i have to pay and what is the best way of agreeing this with the ex? Thanks

It’s not really a case of you not choosing the days and her not choosing the days, it’s a case of you agreeing between you and if you can’t agree, the matter will be decided by the court.

Provided your daughter is not breastfeeding then 2 overnights days per week is not unreasonable.

If you will simply not play ball, then you need to make an application for a Child arrangement order.

Fortunately, there is a lot of information on the Internet about Child Arrangement orders and the government have actually produced a guide on the subject which is here.

https://www.gov.uk/looking-after-children-divorce

The different types of Child Arrangement order are:

1              A Contact Order which specifies when parent sees a child,

2              A Residence Order to determine who the child lives with,

3              A Prohibited Steps Order to prevent a parent doing something with the child such as moving away either in this country miles away or taking the child to another country.  Particularly relevant if there is a chance that the parent would go to another country and never return.  The parent wishing to prevent the move would have to convince the court why it’s not in the best interest of the child to move.  Friends, support, school et cetera et cetera all taken into account.

A Prohibited Steps Order is to prevent child Abduction and it’s one of the few areas of law for which legal aid is sometimes still available.  It’s often therefore worth seeing a solicitor.

4              A Specific Issue Order to allow a parent to do something specific with the child such as moving away to another part of the country or indeed to another country.  .  The parent wishing to move would have to prove why it’s not in the best interest of the child to move..  Friends, support, school et cetera et cetera all taken into account.  It would also encompass things such as changing school if the parents cannot agree, changing the child's name, and anything other specific.

The courts will not get involved in a Contact or Residence order unless the couple have been to mediation first.  So the couple would have to try mediation even if it subsequently fails and the matter proceeds to court.

In respect of payment of child maintenance, whether you pay or don’t pay child maintenance is absolutely not relevant to whether you have contact with the child or not because the contact with your daughter is not for your benefit, it’s for the benefit of the child.

Child maintenance has to be paid to the resident parent, not to the child or put into a separate account.  If you want to put money into a separate account, all well and good but it would not be taken into account with regard to the payment of child maintenance.

You would be liable to pay child maintenance at the CMS rates which are here

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/672432/how-we-work-out-child-maintenance.pdf

Do read the whole document but the basic rates start at the top of page 18.

Child maintenance is reduced by 1/7th for each 52 nights that the non-resident parent has the children.

Thank you for letting me assist you with your legal question.  I am glad that I was able to help.

I am not certain whether that answers the question for you or not, but I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

It will be my pleasure to help you again either further with this or any future questions you have

Kind regards

Stuart J and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you