I''ve been overpaying CSA payments by alot for nearly 2 years (not claiming for nights kids stay with me or changing payment when I was on half pay due to sickness = £6K). Now I''m back at work but running low on capital so I want to start claiming nights kids stay with me, I have 2 kids and they currently stay 1 night a week. I used to have them 2 nights a week but this went to 1 night when I was sick. I want to have them for at least 2 nights a week again, but now my ex knows I''m going to pay her an accurate amount of CSA money, i.e. claim the night they stay with me, she says she won''t give them to me any more nights as she''ll "lose" more money.
How would you guys handle this?
I don''t want to go to court, but how much would it cost me, and her, to do so? And would I be granted set nights, how does the court decide?
Firstly I''m no expert but ... You have every right to 2 nights or more providing they are loved, fed, warm, safe, get enough sleep, get up for school on time etc. and providing you are not some axe wielding nutter.
More importantly, what do the kids want. This can be tricky. To start with my youngest didn''t want to go to dads. The ex''s way of dealing with it was to bundle him in the car hysterical and then wheel spin off. Mine was a bit different, over time the youngest came round and now is excited about his weekends with Daddy. You have to get to a point where it is not about money, or rights, or hurt pride of feelings of vulnerability or rejection.
IT IS ABOUT THE KIDS, WHAT IS RIGHT FOR THEM.
Can you talk to your ex sensibly? If so do so, when the kids are not there. If you can''t get some light mediation or objective 3rd party to help you. Kids are not a currency. Do you want the kids 2 nights in order to make your outgoings more affordable of because you really want to see them. If it is the latter surely that is more important. Offer her, short term same money but you want them for 2 nights. If she says yes well you will then know which side of the fence she is on. If she agrees, do this for a few months, take lots of photos, keep lots of receipts, keep a diary. Then go back to the CSA with your evidence and see what they say.
Thanks for your reply Gastromum. The kids are well cared for and like being with both of us. My ex knows and has said I''m a good Dad but she says she''s selfish about the kids being with her more than me. I want to see my kids because I want to enjoy them and for them to see me as an influencing parent doing normal things like getting them up and to school etc, not just Dad they bring a suitcase to once a week. My ex got a partner quickly, he happens to live next door to her and quickly substituted for me in all activities and quickly was allowed to take the kids to activities alone too, so it''s real for me that they see me as an equal parent. My ex has got used to the extra money and thinks she has a right to it but this is not fair, as part of that money pays for her lifestyle with partner as he has no money! Your suggestion is a good one and I will bear it in mind, but I feel I should be allowed to have both - see my kids equally because I love them and not pay CSA money for those nights as I am running out of money to enjoy with them. I''ll think it over a bit more then attempt to discuss with her.....