For 2 years I never reduced my CSA payment for any nights kids spent with me, but now I am taking money for the nights they are with me. They spend 2 nights a week with me and some inset days and half the holidays. My ex doesn''t like the reduction in money and says she won''t give me kids more than she has to now as it reduces her money.
As the kids reside with her if she decides to prevent kids seeing me for this reason, is my only recourse to go to court?
Also she''s contacted the CSA about spreading the payments so she knows what''s she''s getting each week. I pay my ex directly the sum stated by the CSA by the way.
How will this work if I sometimes don''t know if I''ll have the kids more than 2 days in a week? For example, will I have to work out how many days I have them for the summer holidays and then average the payments over the six weeks?
Courts should usually be the last resort. When parents are in dispute about the amount of contact and child maintenance the first thing is to try mediation or solicitor negotiation to compromise and a agree a way forward that can work for everyone.
Under CSA rules overnights are averaged over a year.
I think the general rule of thumb with the CSA is they deduct x amount for overnight contact and reduce the payments accordingly for each payment. This affects every payment, not just the payments due for the period you have them overnight.
Having your ex refuse overnight contact to avoid this deduction is a common occurrence throughout the forum. IMO the only way to avoid this would be to have a contact order which states overnight contact in it. mediation is always a good starting point but there is nothing to suggest your ex will stick to an arrangement made with a mediator.
If you havent previously reduced maintenance payments whilst having the children overnight can i ask why you are doing it now?
@jslgb..running out of money as not reducing payments has cost me over £6K to date, and I have to pay for things too with kids. Also redundancy on the horizon. Besides that on a less objective level, I''m aware money is funding ex'' lifestyle and new partner as well as kids.
Thanks for replies guys. So I''d have to average out payments, even if I''m not sure of nights I will definitely have them, e.g. in holidays we do different nights each week, and sometimes I have them an extra night other times if ex is stuck. How will CSA police this if I pay my ex directly?
There are two reasons why you should consider a contact order, now.
The first is that the ex is threatening to reduce your parenting time. By all means being conciliatory does you credit, but there are some things you can''t comprimise over. You are a father, your kids have a right to see you. Complete a C100 application and get a defined order.
Secondly, regardless of the reality your ex is likely to tell the CSA you have minimal contact. Disproving that with out a defined order will be next to impossible. Eventually, the CSA would tell you to get the court to prove the parenting time anyway.
If you have a family agreement you could just simply use the CSA calculator to find out what your payments should be. They have the option to deduct overnight contact. If your ex decided to challenge this and goes directly through the CSA they would need to see proof of your contact if your ex is disputing how much you have.
One way to do it may be to get your exe''s solicitors to confirm the current contact arrangements so you have proof if needs be.