Hi just looking for some advice! We have my stepson for 5 weeks over the summer holidays instead of the usual 4 weeks this year (plus 2 weeks at Easter and a week at New Year). We have always paid the maintenance even when my stepson is here. . . but this year my partner and I are going aborad to get married and taking my stepson with us. His mother is obsessed with money and how much she can squeeze out of us (she is married again and they are finacially ok) we dont begrudge the maintenance and have never defaulted in 10 years. It takes us 2 hours on a ferry to get to the mainland and a further 2 hours to glasgow to meet her - it takes her 2 hours to travel from England to Glasgow to drop him off/pick him up - it costs her £24 return on the train but costs us £200 return. She has now asked us for £65 petrol money to come back up to collect him - she says she doesnt have to go past Carlisle. This has been going on for years and my partner always gives in - he wants to see his son but this year we have his domestic flight plus his long haul plus we will have to pay her the maintenance when we have him for the 5 weeks? So basically wanto know :-
1) Do we still have to pay the maintenance when we have him for 5 weeks?
2) Can she stop my partner seeing his son if we stop paying when we have him?
3)I finally lost my rag tonight and told her by message on her answer machine that I had keep all the info on the debit she left my parter £75K plus while she walked away because he didnt want his son to have no home so I could explain to my stepson when he is older plus I told her I''d report her for all the cash in hand jobs she does that she doesnt declare while probably claiming tax credits(I cant prove the tax credits). . .either way I wouldnt do either but could she stop my stepson coming because I''ve said this although true.
New partners becoming embroiled in the disputes between separated parents and making threats is a recipe for disaster. Unless there is a contact order stating when the mother should make your step son available and outlining travel arrangements she doesn''t have to agree to either.
Finances and contact are treated separately under different bits of legislation and are best dealt with separately. Under CSA rules there is a child maintenance reduction for the average number of nights a year a child stays with the non resident parent so there should be no reason to deduct money for holidays. When the number of nights falls into a different band one year it could be reason for child maintenance to reassessed for the following year.