Unfortunatly I guess in some instances you are right sgutt, but hopefully there are decent people out there that do the right thing with the money.
When my first husband and I parted it was very amicable and he asked me not to go to the CSA and we agreed a fair amount for him to pay to his children (we have both honoured this agreement for six years)- I have never asked for more and do not use the children, he has them overnight and gets copies of there school reports etc. and i send him schood photos etc etc. - I realise not everyone can be this lucky though!
Child support is a contribution to the costs of raising a child...
... food, toiletries, medicines, haircuts, transport, books, stationery, toys, activities, school trips, entertaining friends, childcare, replacing worn out bedding/towels, replacing broken/outgrown furniture, damages, any extra household expenditure over and above the needs of the parent (eg additional utilities, wear and tear to property) etc.
Well done Bridget! It is nice to know that there are people like you who treat divorce as a failed relationship rather than a duel to the death.
in addition to what Bridget says, I would add that the court has no power over awarding payments for the children once the CSA has become involved.
As the form E asks for a breakdown of expected future needs for parents by themselves and with children I would suspect that if the accomodation for the parent is adequate for the children then the CSA payments are expected to cover extra food, children's clothing, school costs and extra-curricular activities but nothing to do with the home.
The trouble is child support legislation is UK wide and we don't do Form Es, spouse maintenance, Meshers etc up here in Scotland so everything is included in CM. When the Courts had jurisdiction over CM I believe Attilla said in E&W housing costs, bills etc were divided by the number of people in the house and apportioned to the child.
Under the current regime usually the Courts have no powers to impose CM, although they can enforce a Consent Order.
Funny we agreed a fair amount of CM below CSA rates and had fluid arrangements for the children which worked for 6 years and then my ex decided to withdraw and not co-operate with the CSA about 6 months before child support ended.