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What are my obligations as a "non-resident parent"

  • clu3l3ss
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01 Oct 12 #358808 by clu3l3ss
Topic started by clu3l3ss
I am a divorced father of three. My children live with me in the family home over 50% of the time (7 days out of 14 plus occasional days/nights, and whenever my ex "feels a bit ill" - once or twice per month).

I currently (willingly) pay for:

>50% of school lunches (£20 per week)
100% of school transport (£550 per year)
100% Childcare on "my time" (£250 per month)
50% of school trips (£100-£200 per year)
100% of music lessons (£100 per term)
100% of musical instruments (£100 per year)
>50% of school uniforms (£200 per year)
50% of school trips (£100-£200 per year)
100% of clubs & activities on "my time" (£10 per week)
50% of clothing costs (£50 per month)

I take time off for medical appointments. I attend parents evenings. I take my parental responsibilities seriously.

Yet to the CSA I am the "non-resident parent" and am expected to pay a significant amount in maintenance.

My ex (The Parent With Care) refuses to collect the children after school on "my time", even though she doesn''t work and I work until 6pm every night. She expects me to pay for childcare.

I suppose my question is: what are my obligations (financial and otherwise) as the "non-resident parent" and what can I legitimately expect of my ex as the "parent with care", to whom I pay significant maintenance?

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01 Oct 12 #358811 by WYSPECIAL
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If you have them more nights than your ex you should be claiming CB and be the PWC,

  • Lostboy67
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01 Oct 12 #358812 by Lostboy67
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From a technical perspective, your obligation is 25% of your net salary less a % for the number of nights you have the children. Having said that you would appear to have a shared care arrangement and I seem to recall that with a 50:50 arangment no CSA payment is due.

How long has the current care situation been on-going, it would seem that you are the parent with care, and if the arrangments are well established you could try and get the Child Benefit paid to you which would make you the parent with care.


  • u6c00
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01 Oct 12 #358814 by u6c00
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At the moment even with a shared care arrangement the person in receipt of child benefit is classed as the resident parent and some maintenance is payable. This is due to change when the new CSA system is implemented next month (though cases will be gradually transferred to the new system).

You could place the child benefit in dispute as you have 3 children half of the time. I have heard of other parents doing this with 2 children and each parent gets the CB for one child.

You could try this, as even if you receive CB for only one child it will allow you to claim some tax credits for some childcare (if your earnings allow).

Though you appear to be having the children more than 50% of the time, if you were to try and challenge the child benefit for all 3 children then you should probably get geared up for a court battle over current contact arrangements as ex may well stop access to get ''her'' money back.

  • Child Maintenance Options
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02 Oct 12 #358957 by Child Maintenance Options
Reply from Child Maintenance Options

Thanks for your post.

child maintenance is paid to the parent with day-to-day care of the child by the other parent. In cases where parents share the care of their children equally and the main day-to-day carer cannot be determined, the parent who receives Child Benefit for the child will be classed as the provider of day-to-day care. So, even if you share the care of your children, if your children''s mother receives Child Benefit for them, she is the parent with day-to-day care and you have a legal responsibility to pay child maintenance. This is set to change in future under the reforms proposed by the Government.

The government is introducing a new child maintenance system later this year. As well as providing separated parents with more support so that they can sort out child maintenance between themselves, there will also be a new statutory scheme that will eventually replace the CSA.

The new 2012 scheme will have different rules around shared care, although the rules will still be mainly based on the number of nights the child spends in the home of the paying parent. For one thing, the parent who is expected to pay child maintenance can challenge this decision if the overall care of the child is shared exactly equally. If they can provide evidence that confirms this, then that parent''s payments for that child will be zero. At the moment, the parent who is expected to pay can’t challenge the CSA''s decision on these grounds

When making current decisions about shared care, the CSA consider the information and evidence provided by both parties. The amount that both parents contribute towards the everyday living costs of the children will be taken in to account. When your children stay overnight with you for 52 nights or more, this will reduce the amount of child maintenance that needs to be paid. The shared care reduction increases dependant on the number of nights the children stay overnight with you.

If you''d like some more information about how the CSA works out child maintenance, visit direct.gov.uk. For information and support on family-based arrangments, call the Options team on 0800 988 098

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