Who Pays Child Maintenance When You Share Custody? | Evolve Family Law (2022)

In this day and age when separated parents are juggling full time jobs with child care it is common for parents to agree a shared care parenting regime for their children. Shared care may help with the daily battle of getting to work on time or getting one child to a ballet lesson and another to a football match on a Saturday but who payschild maintenancewhen you share the care of your children? That is a question you should ask before you agreechildcare arrangementsand the amount of child support.

Manchester divorce solicitors

If you are separating or divorcing and have questions about child support or child custody then Manchester divorce solicitors at Evolve Family Law in Whitefield can help you. Call us on 0345 222 8 222, complete our online enquiry form.

Whitefield based Evolve Family Law solicitors are approachable and friendly, providing pragmatic expert divorce, children and financial settlement solutions. Call us on 0345 222 8 222 and let us help you.

(Video) Will You Have to Pay Child Support If You Share Custody?

Child support and child care

In my experience as a Manchester divorce solicitor some parents pay too much in child maintenance and others don’t pay enough. It is important to get the balance right. It can be hard to agree on the right level of child maintenance once a shared care arrangement is in place or once the first child maintenance payment has been made. That’s why it is important to get legal advice from a Manchester divorce solicitor before plans are drawn up.

What is ‘shared care’ of children?

Shared care is as individual as families. It is a question of what works for a particular family. As a Manchester divorce solicitor I have seen some families agree on:

  • Sharing an au pair or nanny so that the child care support moves with the children to provide continuity;
  • A week on, week off schedule so the children spend a week with each parent;
  • A day on, day off schedule so the children never spend more than a day away from each parent, save for holidays.

I am not advocating those shared care arrangements but for some families they work better than the more traditional 3 day / 4 day split one week and then swapping the days on the second week. What shared care arrangement works depends on distances between family homes, new relationships and step children and the practicalities of managing work and child care commitments combined with the daily commute and school run.

(Video) How much child maintenance should a father pay?/ Family Law Solicitors Mallow Cork/ Vicki Buckley

Shared care doesn’t mean that the children have to spend exactly half their week with each parent. In some families one parent will look after the children during the week and the other parent at the weekend. You may question why one parent gets all the ‘quality weekend’ time with the children but some parents are only able to get weekend work or want stability for the children during the school week. Experience as a Manchester divorce solicitor has shown that any type of shared care arrangement can be good for children provided their parents are happy with the arrangements and commit to co-parenting.

Who pays child maintenance when parenting of children is shared?

If you carry out a straw poll of parents on the question who pays child maintenance when parenting of children is shared? the vast majority of parents assume that the parent who earns more than the other will pay child maintenance.

That’s not right as under complicated child maintenance law rules if both parents equally share the care of their children neither parent will pay child maintenance to the other parent.

(Video) Child Custody and Child Maintenance Issues - Rule 43 Rule 58 Court Applications for Maintenance

It has long been thought that if one parent gets the child benefit money then their entitlement to the child benefit payment automatically means that they are the parent who is entitled to ask for child maintenance. One father recently challenged that idea and took his case to a child maintenance tribunal. The tribunal decided that:

  • The day to day care provided by each parent has to be evaluated. The evaluation isn’t just counting nights that the children stay with each parent but looking at tasks and responsibilities;
  • If there is equal responsibility for the day to day care of the children then no child maintenance is payable , even if one parent earns a lot more than the other parent;
  • Child maintenance is only payable if one of the parents is classed under child maintenance rules as the ‘non-resident parent, or in other words, there isn’t an equal shared care arrangement. This means that the other parent is classed under child maintenance rules as the ’parent with care’;
  • If there is no evidence to the contrary on shared care then if the person applying for child support receives the child benefit payments it is assumed that they are the ‘parent with care’. This assumption isn’t relevant if both parents equally share the care of the children.

What difference does shared care make to child maintenance?

If you share the care of your children then it can make the difference between receiving hundreds of pounds each month for your children in child support and receiving no child maintenance at all. That can mean the difference between being able to afford to work part time and having to work overtime to pay household bills.

For parents who are paying child maintenance on top of the costs of looking after their child for half the week the child support payments can mean the difference between being able to afford a house near to a child’s school or only being able to buy a house that is too far away to be able to have the child to stay mid-week and get them to school the next day.

(Video) General Family Law Questions - Child Custody, Maintenance, and Divorce - Adv. Muhammad Abduroaf

That is why it is so important that both parents know where they stand on shared care and child maintenance before agreeing on a parenting regime and child maintenance. Sorting out family finances is similar to juggling shared child care with the daily commute and new relationships. There has to be joined up thinking into:

  • What type of child care arrangement meet your child’s needs? Some children cope better than others with an equal shared care arrangement. How do the practicalities of commute and work commitments impact on sharing the child care?
  • Will one parent be paying spousal maintenance to the other parent and, if so, how long for?
  • Will one parent be receiving more than half of the equity in the family home to rehouse themselves as they earn less than the other parent?
  • If you do share the care of the children and child support isn’t paid how will this impact on the finances of both parents?

With specialist legal advice from a Manchester divorce solicitor on your best divorce and financial options many parents can agree a financial settlement that meets both family’s needs and receive legal protection with a financial court order.

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What happens if we stop or start sharing the care of the children?

If, for whatever reason, you stop or start sharing the care of your children then child maintenance could either stop or start. That is because in most situations you can apply to the child maintenance service for child support at any stage. If child care arrangements change then a parent may be able to ask the child maintenance service to either stop the requirement to pay child support or to vary the amount of child maintenance.

(Video) Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf speaking about Child Maintenance and Child Custody - Family Law

That’s why, when looking at your housing options and finances on separation, it is as well to factor in possible changes in child support in future.

Manchester divorce solicitors

For information and advice about child support or child custody then Manchester divorce solicitors at Evolve Family Law in Whitefield can help you. Call us on 0345 222 8 222, complete our online enquiry form.

Whitefield based Evolve Family Law solicitors are approachable and friendly, providing pragmatic expert divorce, children and financial settlement solutions. Call us on 0345 222 8 222 and let us help you.

(Video) Parental Rights - Q&A on Child Maintenance and Child Custody by Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf

FAQs

Do you pay child maintenance if you have joint custody UK? ›

If you have shared care for at least 52 nights a year, you don't need to pay any child maintenance.

Do I have to pay child support if we share custody 50/50 UK? ›

The law changed recently so that if there is 50:50 shared care the non-resident parent does not pay any child maintenance anymore if they can prove that they are doing an equal amount of the everyday care of the children.

Who gets child benefit in shared custody UK? ›

Child benefit can only be paid to the primary caregiver of the child. Where there are two children, parents can choose to each receive the benefit for one child each. Child benefit for one child cannot be split between the two parents.

Does a new partner affect child support UK? ›

Child maintenance remains payable whether or not your ex is living with a new partner. The obligation to pay child maintenance continues regardless of your ex's circumstances.

Do I have to pay child maintenance if we share custody? ›

the vast majority of parents assume that the parent who earns more than the other will pay child maintenance. That's not right as under complicated child maintenance law rules if both parents equally share the care of their children neither parent will pay child maintenance to the other parent.

Should I pay child support with shared custody? ›

Do you pay child support with joint custody? The short answer is: yes. Shared parenting arrangements that include joint physical custody do not negate child support obligations between parents.

How do you prove 50/50 Shared Care? ›

How to Undermine Your Own 50/50 Shared Care Application - YouTube

Who is the paying parent for child maintenance? ›

Child maintenance is money to help pay for your child's living costs. It's paid by the parent who doesn't usually live with the child to the person who has most day-to-day care of the child. It's also called 'child support'.

Does child maintenance cover after school clubs? ›

Unfortunately, the answer is usually “no”. If the non-resident parent is paying child maintenance in accordance with the relevant child maintenance guidelines, there is no obligation on them to provide additional financial support to cover the cost of clubs and other activities.

How many nights a year is shared care? ›

We call it 'shared care' if a child stays overnight with the paying parent+. If shared care happens for an average of one night a week or more (at least 52 nights a year), this can affect child maintenance payments.

What are the pros and cons of 50/50 custody? ›

If you look at the advantages for children, such as being close to both parents, the arrangement is certainly attractive. The disadvantages are fewer and often logistical, such as parents living too far from one another for frequent changeovers to be supported.

Can separated parents share Child Benefit? ›

Separated parents can, of course, agree to share the child-related benefits between them.

Do I still pay maintenance if my ex remarries? ›

Whether or not you have remarried, or your ex-partner has remarried, does not affect the obligation to continue paying child maintenance. However, when the child maintenance service assesses the level of child maintenance payments, the amount of the payments can be varied if you have additional dependents to support.

At what age does a father stop paying child maintenance? ›

When does child maintenance stop? If child maintenance has been paid under a Child Maintenance Service Agreement, then the law states that maintenance will be paid until: The child is 16 years old. The child is 20 years old if they continue in full-time education to the end of A- levels.

Does a new partner's income affect child support? ›

The income of your new partner or spouse does not affect child support you pay or receive. Child support is based only on the incomes of the children's' parents.

Can you stop child support if both parents agree? ›

Both parents will need to agree to either modify or terminate the child support order. This is the easiest course of action, although both parents will need to have an amicable relationship for this to work.

How does shared custody work UK? ›

In most cases where parents separate or divorce, their preference is to opt for joint custody (or residency), allowing the child to spend an equal amount of time with each parent. With joint custody, the parents agree they each have the right to make decisions that may affect the child.

How much does child maintenance reduce when you have another child? ›

Paying for children from another relationship

The Child Maintenance Service simply reduces the amount of weekly income that it takes into account. For example, if the paying parent is paying for: one other child, their weekly income will be reduced by 11% two other children, their weekly income will be reduced by 14%

Do I pay child maintenance if I have 50/50 Shared Care? ›

When you have 50/50 equal shared care of your children there is No child maintenance to pay from either parent. But they don't see this at all because they feel Entitled to EVERYTHING. But they are not.

Are dads entitled to 50 custody? ›

How common is a 50/50 arrangement? In applying the factors mentioned above, there is no automatic presumption that time between the parents should be equally shared, nor that either parent is automatically entitled to any minimum amount of time with the children.

What is the best custody arrangement? ›

Shared custody is the best arrangement – for some families. It's not best for every family. However, for families who are able to have shared custody, they consider it the best arrangement because it allows children to have frequent and continuing contact with both parents.

How do you prove 50/50 Shared Care? ›

How to Undermine Your Own 50/50 Shared Care Application - YouTube

Does my ex have to pay half the mortgage and child support UK? ›

The simple answer is, that even if you no longer live in the house and you're getting a divorce, you still need to pay the mortgage.

Do Unmarried fathers have to pay child support UK? ›

For example without parental responsibility, an unmarried father cannot stop his child going abroad without his knowledge or consent nor does he have the right to access his own child's school or medical records. Yet despite this, unmarried fathers remain liable to pay child support and maintenance.

Can CSA take money from a joint account? ›

The CMS can take money from business, partnership or joint accounts. If the CMS can't recover the arrears from your wages or bank account, they can ask the court for a 'liability order'.

Do I pay child maintenance if I have 50/50 Shared Care? ›

When you have 50/50 equal shared care of your children there is No child maintenance to pay from either parent. But they don't see this at all because they feel Entitled to EVERYTHING. But they are not.

Does child maintenance cover after school clubs? ›

Unfortunately, the answer is usually “no”. If the non-resident parent is paying child maintenance in accordance with the relevant child maintenance guidelines, there is no obligation on them to provide additional financial support to cover the cost of clubs and other activities.

What is classed as shared care of a child? ›

It's usually in the best interests of a child that gets child maintenance to spend time with both parents. We call it 'shared care' if a child stays overnight with the paying parent.

What is a Mesher order? ›

A Mesher Order allows the sale of the family home to be postponed in a divorce case, either for a fixed length of time or until a trigger event happens.

How can I reduce my child maintenance payment UK? ›

To reduce children's maintenance payments, you'll need to apply for variations with the CMS. Depending on your circumstances, the organisation can allow you to pay less, especially if you're having financial troubles or debt.

How do I work out my child maintenance? ›

On the basic rate, if you're paying for: one child, you'll pay 12% of your gross weekly income. two children, you'll pay 16% of your gross weekly income. three or more children, you'll pay 19% of your gross weekly income.

Who has more rights to a child mother or father? ›

However, it remains a common misconception that mothers have more rights than fathers. In fact, if each parent has parental responsibility for a child, their rights and responsibilities are equal.

Does the father have to be on the birth certificate to pay child support? ›

If the child's father is not named on the birth certificate then he may not have to pay child support unless paternity is established in other ways. If the birth certificate does name the father (or paternity has been otherwise established), then Work and Income will require the father to pay child support to them.

How does a father lose parental responsibility? ›

Parental responsibility can only be terminated by the Court and this usually only happens if a child is adopted or the Court discharges an Order that resulted in parental responsibility being acquired.

Videos

1. Parental Rights - Q&A on Child Maintenance and Child Custody by Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf
(Our Lawyer [Pty] Ltd)
2. Q&A on Child Maintenance and Child Custody - Family Law - Advocate Abduroaf Cape Town South Africa
(Our Lawyer [Pty] Ltd)
3. So Unfair: Why You Pay Child Support with 50/50 Custody
(Timtab)
4. Child Custody, Child Maintenance Divorce - Adv. Muhammad Abduroaf
(Our Lawyer [Pty] Ltd)
5. Child Custody, Child Maintenance, and Divorce - Live questions answered by Adv. Muhammad Abduroaf
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6. Do I Have To Pay Child Support If I Have Joint Custody? - Michigan Lawyers
(Goldman And Associates Michigan Law Firm)

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