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What are we each entitled to in our divorce settlement?

What does the law say about how to split the house, how to share pensions and other assets, and how much maintenance is payable.

What steps can we take to reach a fair agreement?

The four basic steps to reaching an agreement on divorce finances are: disclosure, getting advice, negotiating and implementing a Consent Order.

What is a Consent Order and why do we need one?

A Consent Order is a legally binding document that finalises a divorcing couple's agreement on property, pensions and other assets.


Will Stepson impact on my children''s maintenance?

  • redhotbex
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23 Sep 12 #357422 by redhotbex
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My partner and I are splitting up. We have a 4 and a 2 year old. We are trying to sort out maintenance without going through CSA. My partner and I both saw the same Solicitor for a free 30 minute appointment (pure coincidence). The Solicitor told me 20% and told my partner 13%.
My partner currently pays child maintenance for his 17 year old Son (who is working full-time in the same firm as his Dad at the moment), this maintenace is reduced as my Stepson stays with us 52-103 nights a year.
When my partner moves out, we have agreed that our children should stay overnight 52-103 nights a year.What percentage of his net income should he pay for our boys and will paying for my Step-son who lives between our house, his Mother''s and his Girlfriend''s, affect that percentage? Feel like going to CSA for DEO!

  • Fiona
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23 Sep 12 #357435 by Fiona
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Under the current CSA rules there is an allowance deducted from the non resident parent''s income for "relevant" children before the usual calculation is made. A relevant child is one that lives in the NRP''s household and for whom the NRP or their new partner receives Child Benefit (Schedule 1 para 10C Child Support Act 1991.)

If the stepson is working and not in education he won''t qualify for CB and there will be no allowance deducted for him so he won''t be taken into account in the calculation.

Perhaps both solicitors are right. The current CSA rate for two children is 20% of net income minus the deductions for overnight contact with the NRP. In October a "gross income" scheme is due to be implemented and for an NRP earning £200-£800 a week the the rate will be 16% of gross income minus deductions for overnight stays. Initially only new cases will be assessed under the new rules.

There is evidence that people are more satisfied with arrangements they make between themselves and are more likely to stick to agreed arrangements.

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23 Sep 12 #357456 by redhotbex
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Thank you for that...just to clarify, under the new scheme, the calculation would be 16% of the GROSS income (not NET), less deductions for overnight stays?

We are keen to to keep the maintenance arrangments between the two of us, you hear so many horror stories, and based on the accounts I''ve heard, the CSA are totally incompetent. Aside that, a friend of ours was hounded by the CSA for £000s that he had already paid to his ex (but never got receipts for), this resulted in the guy taking his own life! Terribly, terribly sad.

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25 Sep 12 #357788 by Child Maintenance Options
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Hello

Thanks for your post.

It''s good to hear that you''re willing to co-operate with your partner. You''re clearly keeping the welfare of your children in mind, which is a great start.

I understand you''re thinking of setting up a family-based arrangement. If you feel that you can reach an agreement with your partner, then a family-based arrangement might be the best option for you, in the short-term and the long-term too. Family-based arrangements give you the flexibility to agree between you what counts as child maintenance, and to change your agreement as your children get older or your circumstances change.

As far as amounts go, you can get an idea of how much would payable through the CSA, using the child maintenance Options calculator. You could suggest to your partner that you use this figure in your family-based arrangement and set up a standing order for that amount.

The CSA Assessment is calculated by applying a strict formula to information supplied by parents about areas such as earnings and other income, number of children maintenance is being paid for, level of shared care and whether the non-resident parent has any other children he is supporting in a new household.

Under child support legislation, regular child maintenance payments must be made until a child is 16 years old, or 19 if they are in full-time education (A-level or equivalent), or for as long as Child Benefit is being paid. If your partner''s son is no longer in further education he won''t qualify for Child Benefit and therefore child maintenance will not be payable.

For more information about a family-based arrangement and access to useful tools and forms online you can visit www.cmoptions.org, or if you''d prefer a confidential chat you could call the child maintenance Options team on 0800 988 0988 (free from a landline).

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