I have two children - one in nursery/childmonder and one in primary.
We have come to an arrangement whereby I pay an amount to my ex according to the CSA calculator (360 per month). I also pay 50% of childcare costs, which include morning drop offs, 3 days at nursery, 2 days looked after at home plus picking older one up from school.
I am just wondering if this in reasonable?
Ex gets her child benefit for the two, plus Tax Credits. I collect from childminder / school / nursery 2-3 days per week, plus has access to them one day a fortnight. Also arrangements during holidays are pretty fluid, with plenty of time for access (we are both teachers).
Is 50% of childcare costs AND 360/month a reasonable amount, or am I overpaying (or just being generous)?
Never once when we separated did I ever think that I would not pay 50% of the childcare. That seems only fair.
I am just trying to get a handle on what is ''reasonable'' to pay. At the moment money for me is extremely tight. If I could reduce this amount just to get me back on my feet, and therefore being able to rent a decent place where the children can stay, I would suggest it, but want to be able to back this up with a solid reason / argument. But I don''t want to leave my ex in a financial quagmire. Although we are no longer together, I''m not going to drop them in it.
And I am not thinking that the money is being mis-used. Just need to understand what I ''morally'' should be paying
If there is no court order to say otherwise then you are only obliged to pay the CSA rate, however some NRP''s pay more than this and equally some who could afford to pay more do not.
It sounds as if you are in a position where you can''t afford this generosity.
How reasonable is your ex? do you think that you would be able to have a constructive dialogue regarding this?
One thing I would say is don''t simply stop paying the extra, that is sure to cause conflict and upset, and if you do agree to reduce the extra do so over a few months so it doesn''t come as a shock reduction
You are being generous, but by doing what you are doing you are helping them maintain the same nursery/childcare arrangements as before whoich might not be affordable otherwise.
If it''s difficult for you financially approach your ex, propose to perhaps reduce it a little.
With regard to your child maintenance payments, if you have correctly used the child maintenance calculator, then this will take account of your income and any other relevant circumstances and give you an accurate figure of what you need to pay.
Again, if you have input all your information accurately and correctly this will reflect the full amount of your legal obligation is respect of child maintenance.
If you choose to pay nursery fees in addition to this amount, then this is a voluntary payment you can decide have decided to make for the benefit of your children, in addition to your legal responsibility to pay child maintenance .
I think you''re being very generous with excellent motivation for doing so. Good for you.
Is your ex working more than 24 hours per week? If she is then it is likely that she can claim the childcare portion of working tax credits. As positive99 said, they can pay up to 70% of childcare.
It may be worth you suggesting that she make an application for this and you pay the remaining 30%, that reduces your payments for the moment, and your ex would not have to pay 50% out of her own pocket, which means more money for the children.
Of course tax credits maybe already paying for a proportion of the childcare so you may need to discuss this with her.