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Contact and Child maintenance

  • MinnieM
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09 Jul 12 #342048 by MinnieM
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Joe2020, you are absolutely right.It IS the right of the child to enjoy the opportunity to have a meaningful relationship with both parents,at least until they reach the age when they can make that choice for themselves.

My partner''s ex is esp vicious in that she has no extended family in the UK but my partner does(he also has me and our two boys). but the child is not allowed to see any of us,because she is un-willing to give overnight stays,weekends etc.and she lives out of state so the paltry 2 hrs my partner gets fortnightly(when the ex hasn''t stopped contact,again) isn''t enough to bring the child in to town and back to her mother in time(God forbid my partner returns her late!). to put this into perspective in this case,the child is mixed race(mother is black,my partner is british asian),so imagine how much she is missing out,not being able to assimilate that part of her identity.TBH,I don''t get why a lot of people seem to think that contact and child maintenance should not be linked to deter selfish mothers like my partner''s ex.

moreover, i don''t understand why the RP should have the power to unilaterally deny contact.if there were proven,maybe safety reasons to do so,fine.but even if this were the case, they should also have to go to court to stop contact.furthermore,they shouldn''t also have the power to disrupt the contact order once it has been put in place,unless there was an emergency need to do so.as it stands,they can break the contact order anytime and then the NRP has to wait 6 mths or so for another contact hearing to restore contact!(dunno why it''s called a contact order anyway when my partner''s ex breaks it with such impunity, as often as she chooses to).


On the flip side of the coin,maintenance is enforced simply and efficiently by CSA and can only be stopped if the NRP loses their job or something. The NRP doesn''t have the power to stop paying maintenance simply because they are bitter or angry or spiteful or woke up on the wrong side of bed,but the RP can stop/deny contact for exactly same reasons.

Something is very wrong here.

Finally,there must be a case for 50-50 shared parenting when a separation/divorce occurs. To put it simplistically,a child is 50% mum,50% dad,so why should the leaving parent suddenly have to fight to even set eyes on their own child?

I know there are many people who kick against 50-50 as a starting point, but why? It won''t work in all,heck, maybe in most cases, but when both parents are of sound mind and able to look after a child,then it should start 50-50 and if the NRP has work commitments or other issues that will not allow them to do 50%,he/she can give that up to become 20-80 or any other equation that works for their situation. to even put it selfishly,I know if i became a divorced single parent,i would welcome the opportunity to have the kids taken off my hands for a bit so that i can have some ''me'' time,to do the things i want to do,which in turn might not be so selfish after all because then i wouldn''t start to feel resentful or angry because all the childcare responsibilities fall on me.


Many things in life can work if proper care and thought is given to them, and like they say:''where there is a will,there is a way''.

  • stepper
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09 Jul 12 #342052 by stepper
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Many divorced parents have a 50/50 shared care arrangement, probably on a voluntary basis rather than through the Courts.

It takes two to make shared care work however. There must be practical reasons why parents voluntarily chose to opt for 50/50 shared care. Maybe both parents need to work and 50/50 would help achieve that. Some parents will agree that it would benefit the children to have both parents equally in their lives. Some will even discuss the financial implications for both of them following divorce and attempt to come to an arrangement which will not impoverish either party. These are the caring, sensible parents. As you say Adeolu - where there is a will there is a way.

Take finance out of the equation and there would be less of an obstacle to compromise in the majority of cases.

I agree also with other posters who feel that if a parent continually blocks and denies contact, then child maintenance should be withdrawn, if only for a short time. It could focus the mind and get contact back on track

  • Fiona
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09 Jul 12 #342059 by Fiona
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Throughout the western world based on research it''s generally agreed that it is the best interests of children not to disrupt their sense of security and existing bonds more than necessary unless the child isn''t surviving satisfactorily

That means the biggest obstacle to 50:50 shared parenting after parents separate is working practices and the absence of shared parenting 50:50 before separation. Countries where there is more equal sharing of work/child care before separation have more a more equal sharing of work/child care after separation e.g. Sweden.

In the UK 90-95% of men with dependent children are in full-time inflexible jobs and fathers work longer hours than any other group of men whereas around 70% of women with dependent children don''t work, or work in lower paid part-time jobs to fit around commitments to children.

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09 Jul 12 #342062 by stepper
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Fiona wrote:

Throughout the western world based on research it''s generally agreed that it is the best interests of children not to disrupt their sense of security and existing bonds more than necessary unless the child isn''t surviving satisfactorily

That means the biggest obstacle to 50:50 shared parenting after parents separate is working practices and the absence of shared parenting 50:50 before separation. Countries where there is more equal sharing of work/child care before separation have more a more equal sharing of work/child care after separation e.g. Sweden.

In the UK 90-95% of men with dependent children are in full-time inflexible jobs and fathers work longer hours than any other group of men whereas around 70% of women with dependent children don''t work, or work in lower paid part-time jobs to fit around commitments to children.


That should not be a total barrier to 50/50 shared care. Those parents who can share care 50/50 without detriment to their children should be legally allowed to do so. For those parents who would find this arrangement impractible or impossible, other arrangements more suitable to their circumstances would have to be put in place.

When parents share the care there would be a choice for mothers who don''t work or can only manage part time work. For those mother who have perhaps had to put their careers on hold, there would be a chance to get back into the workforce and to increase their standard of living.

  • rubytuesday
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09 Jul 12 #342070 by rubytuesday
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Regarding the non-payment of CM - is it fair on the children in house to reduce the overall household income? If the child/ren are already suffering from not seeing their other parent, why should they then be subject to a lower standard of living, and the expected claims of "your father doesn''t contribute, so you can blame him for not having new shoes,etc". (a slight twist on the actual truth, but one that would be used, probably).

Bringing up a child without any kind of financial contribution from the other parent does mean that the child often has to go without, or has a lower standard of living,, as there is only one parent providing financially for the child - it''s also bloody hard (speaking as someone who doesn''t get any CM)!

While I agree that those who frustrate or prevent contact should be accountable, and the punitive measures that are available be actually used by the Courts, I don''t agree with creating a situation whereby the child suffers further.

By creating a proper link between CM and contact, we are leaving the door wide open for those who would maliciously seek to reduce contact further in an effort to gain more in CM (ie, increase the number of overnight stays with the RP). This would do little to create amicable arrangements, but more hostile conflict. The effort to "punish" the RP would actually punish and deprive the children.

  • DrDaddy
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09 Jul 12 #342104 by DrDaddy
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rubytuesday wrote:

By creating a proper link between CM and contact, we are leaving the door wide open for those who would maliciously seek to reduce contact further in an effort to gain more in CM (ie, increase the number of overnight stays with the RP).


This already happens - CM is linked to contact.

  • Chained
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09 Jul 12 #342105 by Chained
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I have been reading this thread lately with great interest and I thought I share my own story, just to make a point.

I was married for 7 years, when I left my ex husband our son was 5 years old and I had just finished my Master''s degree, though not as young as you might think...

My ex husband was angry and bitter. I didn''t ask for any of his assets, only to share the furniture. I got that. He helped with the move and made sure the new house (which was tiny and rented) was safe for our son and me. I was entitled to CM, I never asked for it. I went on welfare until I found a job through a job seeking program in my area, first months was paid by the public after that my boss decided to keep me. After 5 months on welfare and social benefits I got a steady job which I keep until today.

In the beginning my ex was so bitter he threatened to take our son away on the premise that I did not have the means to support him etc. I went FRANTIC and took him to mediation which he reluctantly attended. Even though in the beginning he didn''t even want to hear about shared residence, and after he heard my point of view in mediation he agreed we should give it a try. we have been since shared residence for our son that stays one week at his place and one week at mine. He is a joyful, extremely intelligent, energetic and fine young lad of six today, never a problem at daycare or school.

I met another man and my ex is now married to someone else. All bitterness gone, two years later we spend a lot of time all together, we visit the cabin, go on excursions and have a family dinner once a week at least with both families included.

Our son is enjoying a meaningful relationship with both his parents, and ALL his extended family. Although my economy is not as strong as my ex''s all the expensive things he buys for our son travel back and forth between households, no questions asked. We never undermine each other and we never create problems because of insecurities or jealousy and bitterness. We make sure that our son grows up to his full potential and is not deprived of his basic human right which is to be encouraged to have a meaningful relationship with both of us.

Unfortunately, I cannot say the same thing for my partner and his ex wife that cannot get over the break up and despite our plead for sanity and normality in their children''s lives she still uses them as pawns to hurt him. But this is another story.

I still do not understand how some women that despise and hate the father of their children:

a. Had a child, sometimes more, with him. (Didn''t the first time teach them anything?).

b. Stoop that low as to accept money from him, since they do not find him suitable to have any contact with their children.

If I had such a low opinion for my ex husband and though he should have limited, supervised or no contact with our son, I could never see myself taking his money, either. But this is just me...

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