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Child Tax Credits - possibility of sharing?

  • busy bee
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23 Jul 12 #344835 by busy bee
Topic started by busy bee
Hi All
Please can I ask for your guidance on something? My partner is going through a challenging divorce at the moment, with his stbx trying to ring him dry financially. He has his children a couple of nights a week and pays maintenance as well as club fees, music lessons etc and always contributes to ad hoc costs that his stbx throws at him (no discussion at all, latest was £1000 for his eldest son to go on a scout trip to the USA). My question is, last year according to her disclosure, she got approx £11k of tax credits for the children (5 in total, all of them my partners) plus all the money he provides. Does he have the right to claim a portion of the tax credits back to compensate him and the costs for keeping the children with him? It seems incredibly unfair that he gets no support whatsoever even though he regularly looks after them and she gets everything from the state plus money from him. Is that really the case? thanks for your help

PS sorry, just as an aside, she is financially well off, works and has recently had her house completely redecorated with a brand new bathroom installed. She is not in any way poor - the kids are very well looked after by both sides. She is just out for everything. Thanks

  • maisymoos
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23 Jul 12 #344837 by maisymoos
Reply from maisymoos
She has applied for tax credits as a single person the entitlement will be hers.

Your partner could apply to the CSA for them to make a child maintenance calculation, rather than the arrangement that is currently in place. The CSA apply a deduction for overnight stays. They have a calculator on line so he can get an idea as to what he would pay on a weekly basis.

Please bear in mind though that 5 children will cost a fortune and 11k a year tax credits is really not a lot.

  • hattiedaw
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23 Jul 12 #344849 by hattiedaw
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My thoughts exactly Maisy.
If mum has them 5 nights a week and Dad has them 2 nights then why should he have any of the money the state say that sized family need?
Of course I applaud him for making it possible for the kids to do fun things (paying for USA trip etc) but the reality is that he''s the NRP.
5 children will cost a fortune. Imagine the food bills (especially with teens in the house!), the laundry, the utilities, petrol for being an unpaid taxi...and the list goes on and on.
I do believe a CSA reduction can be made for 2 nights or more a week though.
If Dad doesnt want to / cant afford to pay for things then he should tell mum, what he shouldnt do is sneak around trying to take her benefits off her as this will only cause animosity.

  • u6c00
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23 Jul 12 #344857 by u6c00
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Hi, your situation sounds frustrating.

Unfortunately, child related benefits (including child benefit, tax credits, income support etc.) will only be paid to the parent who receives the child benefit. Where it''s contested that will be the parent with the greater share of the care. This means your partner will not be entitled to any share of the benefits.

Your partner could do a CSA calculation (on their web site) to find out if he''d be paying less by paying maintenance through there, but obviously bear in mind that by reducing his payments, he''d be reducing the amount of money given to the children. Also I believe that the CSA will start taking a cut of any money they collect and pay soon. I know this was proposed but I''m not sure whether it is going ahead.

When it comes to ad hoc costs, he may just have to say no sometimes. If he can afford it then great. While it would be nice for his son to go to the USA, even parents who are together can''t afford everything and sometimes children just have to go without luxuries.

  • happyagain
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23 Jul 12 #344862 by happyagain
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Err, why should he have any of the money? .... Because as you''ve already stated, children cost money and 2 nights out of 7 is nearly a third of the year when added up!!! And I happen to think that £11k in tax credits is a lot of money, nearly a grand a month.
This has been discussed on here before and the general consensus is that although the tax credit people don''t split credits, this is because they are open about the fact that to do so is an administrative nightmare that they can''t afford to finance. However, the tax credit people will say that the money is for the benefit of the children and parents should come to some agreement about how they split this money. The reality is, of course, that this hardly ever happens.
Busy bee, if your partner has 5 kids and he has them for 2 nights a week, he would at least be able to claim child benefit and therefore the credits, for one child. One poster recently achieved this as he was caring for his 3 kids for over a third of the year.

  • jslgb
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23 Jul 12 #344865 by jslgb
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Whilst i agree that it is expensive to have children i dont necessarily think it is fair to share the benefits.

The RP parent has tp provide for the children a huge majority of the time, and thing like gas, electric, water, a roof over their head etc doesnt just go away when the children spend time with the NRP. 11k a year is just over £42 a week per child. Not enough to cover half of a childs expenses.

Busy, i think its very admirable that your partner pays for school expenses and the likes. He is showing that despite the breakdown of his relationship his children are still very much at the forefront of his mind. I can understand it must be difficult for your partner to fund his first family whilst also trying to fund a family with you. If he presently goes through the CSA i would advise him to contact them and see what can be done through them, and also discuss with the ex wife a ''cap'' on activities so she either contributes equally to or limit how many activities the children do within reason.

It is difficult to be in your position. I have been there too and gone through the trials and tribulations that come with your partner having children with someone you deem to be unreasonable. However, i am now experiencing the side of the ''unreasonable'' ex and find it increasingly frustrating!!

  • happyagain
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23 Jul 12 #344873 by happyagain
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Actually costs like gas, electricity and water do go away when the children stay with the nrp. The only thing that doesn''t is the cost of the housing.and this is a cost that the nrp also has to fund when the kids aren''t staying over.
11k a year is a lot because it''s only part of the picture. These are just the child tax credits. It does not include wtc, cb and cm. plus anything mum might contribute via benefits or earnings.
It is incredibly easy as the to to dismiss the costs that the nrp incurs as not being as worthy as others, or as important. The truth is that tax credits are paid so that kids can benefit from them 365 days per year. They are not paid pro-rata. Unfortunately the rp has no legal obligation to share this income, which is why it very rarely happens.

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