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Why do some fathers think they shouldn’t pay child maintenance?

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March 28, 2024

The four billion pound question*

Last week the single parent charity Gingerbread published a report in which it described how many parents avoided their liability for child maintenance, due to ‘loopholes’ in the system. Gingerbread acknowledged that not all of these parents were ‘maintenance dodgers’, reneging on the responsibility every parent has to contribute to their child’s upkeep, and that some were simply ‘taking advantage of the rules’. Even so, those parents are knowingly paying less than society expects them to pay.

For simplicity I will refer in this post to ‘fathers’ rather than ‘paying parents’, as obviously the vast majority of paying parents are fathers.

So the question, then, is: why do some fathers think they shouldn’t pay maintenance for their children, or that they shouldn’t pay the full amount? There are no doubt a myriad reasons, but these are the ones I’ve come up with:

1) Because they think the mother will use the money for themselves, rather than the children. If only I had a penny for every time I have heard this one. To give it some credit, I suppose there may be some mothers who may keep the maintenance separate from their other income and lavish it upon luxuries for themselves, whether cigarettes, alcohol, partying, or whatever. However, just how many mothers behave like this? I suspect very few. In the vast majority of cases the maintenance will mix with other income, which will be used to pay all of the mother’s outgoings, including food, clothing and other necessities for the children.

2) Because they disagree with the amount that they are required to pay. Of course, this can be a problem with a rigid formula. Sometimes the formula does get it wrong. However, the government did not just pick its figures out of thin air. The formula has been refined on a number of occasions, in an effort to make it fairer. I think it is generally accepted that in most cases the figure churned out by the formula is a reasonable one. I suspect that some fathers would just find any figure disagreeable.

3) Because they don’t have any contact with their children, and don’t see why they should pay anything. This linking of child maintenance and contact is another very common thing. Logically, of course, it makes no sense whatsoever, as the children still need to be maintained, whether they are seeing their father or not. Many is the time that a judge has had to explain to a father that maintenance and contact are two entirely separate issues.

4) Simply because they don’t like being told what to do. We all know someone like this: they refuse to accept authority, somehow feeling that they are above everyone else. No one will tell me what to do. Only I should decide what, if anything, I should pay for my child. The odd thing is that it is always less than the child maintenance formula would require them to pay. Of course, there is an option to being told what to do: agree the maintenance with the mother.

5) Because they think the system is biased against fathers. The old chestnut. The strange thing is that in all the years I have been reading the enormous (and ever-growing) volume of statutes, rules and cases on child support/maintenance, never have I found anything that says that fathers should be treated less fairly than mothers. The simple fact is that, as I stated above, the vast majority of paying parents are fathers. This is not because of any bias in the law, it is because that is the way society works. But even then, how can it be said that requiring fathers to pay a fair contribution to the maintenance of their children is biased? Shouldn’t both parents pay a fair contribution, calculated by reference to their means?

6) And finally, the big one: to spite, or ‘get back’ at the mother. Oblivious, of course, to the fact that their own children will also suffer.

Now, all of the above is not just an exercise in ‘father bashing’ (although no doubt there will be some who will take it that way). I think if we are ever to get to the bottom of the ‘problem’ of child maintenance, we need to understand exactly why some fathers (and, yes, some paying mothers too) believe that they should not have to pay what society (via the government) considers they should reasonably pay and, more to the point, why they think their liability to maintain their children ends when their relationship with the other parent ends. If we understand the reasons, then perhaps we can begin to address them, and educate parents accordingly. Maybe then we might have a child maintenance system that actually works.

*£4 billion being the amount that the Child Support Agency failed to collect.

John Bolch often wonders how he ever became a family lawyer. He no longer practises, but has instead earned a reputation as one of the UK's best-known family law bloggers, with his content now supporting our divorce lawyers and child custody lawyers

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  1. Andrew says:

    “Many is the time that a judge has had to explain to a father that maintenance and contact are two entirely separate issues.”
    And vice versa to a mother who says “No contact till he starts paying”.
    If we really believed that contact was desirable the cost of travel – train or mileage by car – would be deductible from maintenance; or to put it another way we would treat money spent on travelling for contact as being spent for the benefit of the children. If the RP moved further away and the cost rose the balance of mantenance due would fall. If she, usually she, wants to take them to another country – which is far too readily allowed – the entire maintenance might be diverted to the airfare, and if she really thinks moving will be fore the children’s benefit she will be content with that.

  2. Peter says:

    I feel that you are goading fathers to enable you to respond with a “I told you so” reponse. Whilst many of the points that you have raised are valid the issue is set within a wider context of family law and one in which there is little appetite to change. Family law is outdated and not fit for purpose. Few fathers would not want to make sure that their kids are provided for financially. The issue is exacerbated by a system which is not willing to reform for many reasons. Yes there are bad fathers out there. It is not right to generalise and ignore the complex myriad of issues that have got us to this place.

  3. Andrew says:

    And at the risk of sounding like a needle stuck in the groove: there are usually other creditors too.
    What is needed is some method of sharing out what there is pro rata, creditors (including the RP) being obliged to accept their share in satisfaction. And there is no logical reason why arrears of CM and SM (and lump sum orders) should not be bankruptcy debts too: that is what bankruptcy is for. SM and lump sum debts being postponed for dividend until the outsiders’ debts are paid in full.

  4. Paul Apreda says:

    Thank God that John no longer practices as a lawyer in the Family Courts!
    If he bothered to read my article about the injustice of the current Child Maintenance system he would at least be informed.
    1. the threshold for compulsory payments being deducted is an income of £7 PER WEEK
    2. the threshold for paying 17% of your GROSS income for ONE child is £100 per week – £5,200 pa
    3. the ‘standard rate’ for paying maintenance kicks in at an income of £200 per week i.e less than the rate at which Income Tax starts to be paid.
    If Marilyn Stowe LLP are going to ask people to write posts like this can they at least find someone who has some understanding of the concept of ‘evidence’!
    (*Commented edited by the moderators: please see our policy here).

    • Christine Davies says:

      Paul: The £100 and £200 thresholds that you refer to were set in 1998 and have not been uprated since. No wonder some non-resident parents cannot pay. In 2000 (the intended year of introduction of the 2003 Scheme) £100 corresponded to 30 hours at the national minimum wage (NMW) – it now corresponds to 14 hours. £200 corresponded to 35 hours at TWICE the NMW – the equivalent threshold today would be a weekly gross income of £504.

    • Christine Davies says:

      Paul: It is even worse, of course, if there is more than one child. On passing the £100 a week threshold, the increase in maintenance for 3 children is 31% of additional gross income. If the non-resident parent (NRP) says he cannot afford to pay, 20% is added and 37.2p is deducted direct from wages for each extra £1 earned.How is a low-earning NRP supposed to survive?

      On the 2003 Scheme it is even worse – on passing the £100 threshold (3 children) 45p in each extra £1 earned is due in child maintenance. No wonder there are huge arrears and desperate NRPs.

    • Andy says:

      For me i think this system is flawed on every level, yes helps those who father and mothers have no interest in the children to support that type of person, but for myself who has my children 3 days as a minimum per week, who in this last week alone has bought the children school shoes, football boots, swimming bag and shorts, all this from my own earned money while their mother receives child benefit, child tax credits, working tax credits, housing benefit and has her income and wants child maintenance aswell, i do not want benefits to keep me afloat but why on earth would someone want to take some of the very minimal spare income i have and could spend on the children for themselves, it is plain wrong, noone supports me to look after the children and my costs are the same, strange system

      • James says:

        Spot on Andy! The truth is, this is the more true landscape of what’s happening to most fathers. We are treated as second class parents.

    • Sharron says:

      I totally agree and believe is should have a lower cap it also fails to point out selfish parents who stop contact purely to get a higher rate of maintenance too

  5. Paul says:

    Lol. How can you say thats not an attempt at father bashing ??? How ?? Seriously ?
    The way you constantly articulate these things to exhonerate you and your faturnity of wrong doing is rediculous. You have a bizarre perspective. As a man in a profession who is supposed to value evidence why do you not value the perspective of men with personal experience of the child support system ?
    A: Not many fathers beleive these things. That is a miss conception.
    B: You stated their that its right that ‘both’ parents should be responsible for raising children. This is true. Most men agree with that. THAT IS NOT HOW CHILD SUPPORT IS IMPLIMENTED. It was a stupid statement.
    If I turned around to the CMS and said im happy to pay exactly the same as my ex.
    What do you think they would say ?
    My son is 14. My ex has not worked since he was born. How much do you think she has contributed to my Son ? – How much have I and her new partner(credit where credit is due) paid towards my son ?
    Realistically. She has taken X amount from the state, X amount from her new squeeze. An contributed exactly NOTHING to the systems and processes which bend over backwards to support her. Aka a pool of tax money. Which I have paid into. So if im paying tax. I have already made a segnificant contribution towards my kids.
    C. If the rates which you pay child support were fair and reasonable. MOST men would be happy to pay to see their kids happy.
    D: The CMS are utterly incompetant bastards. I don’t want to expand on that. Because i would type all day.
    They take the perspective you have. Up their. An apply it to ALL MEN. You are treated as a bill dodging arse hole from the minute they are involved. They treat you like scum.
    They are another reason you missed off your list.
    E: One persons income now, in most jobs is not enough to support a Man and Family.
    We no longer are part of a neuclear family system where Father can support a family.
    Most men will be means tested to be on minimum wage/minimum income. We know from studies this is not enough to raise a family. Thats a fact. That is why we have a child benifit system so effectively a child gets a wage of their own.
    7: Men did not design this minimum wage system. We have to live with in it. If we could move back to a system where we earn enough to support a family and the jobs market supported that. I think most men would be happier with that.

    8. Child support is not natural. If a lioness walked away from the pride and took her cubs with her. Would the lion be expected to bring them a dead animal to eat ?
    Laws which rule against human nature and the way humans naturally behave will never succeed. This feeling of something been not right is clearly what leads to the statements above. This is one capitalist construct too many for men clearly.

    9. The whole idea is a capitalist contruct. Its designed to SAVE THE STATE MONEY.
    Its not designed to support kids.
    Reality is it costs the state money.
    They need a better solution. MP’s won’t touch it with a barge pole. Because its a potentially career ending white elephant.
    Everyone knows we need a better solution.

    You have made very inaccurate claims here. To be fair you most often see men in vitriolic situations why the arguement is at is rawest. Men do make silly statements when they are hyped up. Often angry at predudicial decissions made in the court.

    You again seem to be claiming that men are claiming that family courts are not bias. They are just percieved that way by men.
    Thats not true. There is imperial evidence that the system is Bias. Its indisputable. Could you please start acknowledging this as a fact. Everyone. Men and women accept this as the truth. If you wish to challenge me to prove this in court I am 100% sure it would be very easy. Name the court. Name the venue. I have no legal training or knowledge. Give me time to colate evidence i will happily litagate against you if you would defend the courts on charges of been sexist and discriminatory. I beleive the evidence is unsirmountable against the family courts.

    Why will you just not accept a fact ?

    • Peter says:

      Good answer. Read twice actually. What next? We need to act.. I guess everyone can imagine what does it mean?

    • Del says:

      May not have been working but presumably bringing up your son? What would that be worth if you actually broke that down? Perhaps now lost workplace skills because she has brought your son up? Bringing up children has become so devalued. Perhaps if it were more respected there would not be so many separations in the first place- another point of view

      • JamesB says:

        Typo, should say ban the savings way of bringing people in £70k over six months, which people move around between different families to play the system.

  6. Dr Grumpy says:

    I’m sorry but if a mother prevents a father from seeing their child without good reason or a court order then why should he be made to pay? In many cases mothers use contact as a way of punishing the father and the courts police social workers CAFCASS stand idly by! I don’t agree that contact and maintenance are not connected they are sides of the same coin!

    • Wow - just wow... says:

      This is clearly a rather trashy, baiting article – with a quite cynical disclaimer at the beginning. The deliberate avoidance of using ‘paying parents’ or ‘non-resident parent’ and exclusively highlighting ‘fathers’ really illustrates the sexism, bias, and outmoded attitudes in family law and precisely why the likes of Families Need Fathers and lobbyists such as Custody Minefield exist – and need to continue to exist.
      This publication comes across as the firm casting their net wide and really targeting mothers with an axe to grind as potential clients, with some sensationalism thrown in for good measure.
      By the same token – if a resident parent takes ownership of a child and cuts a child’s contact from their non-resident family, the assumption this action would be regarded as a declaration of independence – if parentally, then also financially, is morally, if not legally, justified – albeit at the sad expense of the child.
      I must admit, I agree with John on the point of wonderment at how he ever became a family lawyer. I do wonder how many children have lost out on relationships and been negatively affected for the rest of their lives due to his shallow and regressive words and actions?

      • JOHN says:

        I went through the exact same thing and still am with my ex wife 12 years later,

        The day SHE WALKED out after I provided for the family through work, albeit working away sometimes. I have her the house, the contents and the equity, and paid for the education of our children stupidly, a total of £300,000, she stopped me once seeing my children and after three months allowed me to see them again after I went to court and she lied to social services saying I was a bad father even though I had looked after the kids and provided every day of there lives. Another year down the line after a financial argument she stopped me from seeing the kids again, this was 5 years ago, and to this day I still do not know the exam results.
        So here we are, I pay what the child maintenance wants even though I had to sell a house because I could no longer afford it (ir35) reduced wages etc. They still incorrectly worked out the payments and send threatening letters almost weekly, whilst she goads them into doing more.

        This system does not suit the honest man, I went from seeing my children weekly to nothing at her whim, the money I left in the house meant nothing even though she sold it 6 months after I moved out and pocketed the equity, the education for the kids is not taken into account either but the CMS has calculated that I have to pay £800 of my £2200 take-home pay.

        So no, she is using the system as a tool and I am expected to just take it.

  7. Andy says:

    The Author takes great delight in stiring the pot on this subject, as he says “this old chestnut”Well Mr Author, We wonder how you ever became a Legal advisor and thank god you not practising..perhaps can you tell the audience how much salary you were on when practicing??? Pretty much above the working man’s salary of today and of course you would dodge paying as well…
    Clearly pro the Mother…
    I’ll say this and say it again..Gingerbread are running the government and any out of this world policy they make up is then auctioned…
    So the heading statement is…”Gingerbread are demanding more out of paying Fathers”…

  8. spinner says:

    This is a pretty exhaustive list
    1) Introduce accountability for the mothers spending. If there are any concerns and if they are true only the children suffer so a check against some predefined rules for how the money is spent would suffice.
    2) Then campaign to change the formula, I think it’s pretty fair.
    3) Just as we have as a starting point 50:50 shared financials we need 50:50 shared care and then if there is any reason to a judge can decide to deviate from what should be the absolute norm. This will resolve so many problems in so many areas and reduce the likelihood of the result being no contact with the father which at the moment is alarmingly high. It’s very easy to say there shouldn’t be a link between contact and payment and you can “explain” it as much as you like, in most people’s mind there is.
    4) This is going to be a fraction of a percentage of people but if this is the actual reason then clearly they need to grow up.
    5) Lol the system clearly is biased against fathers but if you resolve 1) and 3) you would automatically reduce a lot of the current institutional bias there is in the family law system against fathers.
    6) Again if this is the reason then they need to grow up and have no sympathy with them.

  9. Yvie says:

    For fathers on a low wage it is unrealistic to expect them to pay child maintenance based on a percentage of gross income without taking living costs into account. For fathers on much higher incomes, the percentage charge is less of an issue. In the real world, for many fathers, even those on low incomes, paying the required rate of child maintenance does not actually mean the father has paid his contribution. Far from it, when sharing care, fathers need to buy shoes, clothes, toys and games etc, the children need to be taken for days out when affordable, and they also need spending money when they are a little bit older so that they can enjoy time out with their friends. This can often be substantial, as even something like the cinema and McDonalds afterwards can cost up to £15. For fathers on low incomes this can be a real struggle, as most want to do their best for their children and do not want them to miss out.

    Articles from organisations such as Gingerbread who present a one sided story of hard pressed mothers, who incidentally may have re-married and may earn far more than the hard pressed fathers, are not really helpful in addressing the failings of the child maintenance service. The majority of fathers do pay their child maintenance but this is never identified by Gingerbread, who seem unable or unwilling to present a balanced report.

  10. Lynne says:

    Hmm, full of opinion and very little substance or data to back it up. Just as the Gingerbread piece allegedly based only on rich self employed men managed to tarnish fathers in general,this one appears to be based on random thoughts (in the middle of the night?). “There are no doubt a myriad reasons, but these are the ones I’ve come up with:” – sounds like someone was keen to get their personal opinion on a hot topic in print!.

  11. Ian says:

    The snout to pay has been refined? Load of old cobblers. The cms called me about fictions arrears (I’ve all ways paid) and told me unless I paid them £500 that day they would start enforcement action against me. They allowed me no time to investigate these arrears. And despite my ex telling them repeatedly there are no arrears. (She has now changed her mind as cms have persuaded her to collect) they won’t acknowledge this and demand nearly half my wages a month. There a absolute joke causing untold misery to many fathers and putting family’s on the bread line. FACT

  12. Andrew says:


    This is a very poorly reasoned and inflammatory post. Why do you insist on turning the issue into one of gender (other than to stir up argument)?

    Firstly, the “report” you mention from Gingerbread did not describe how “many” parents avoided liability. In fact, it highlighted 5 parents. To put this into perspective there were 322,800 open CMS cases at 31-5-17 ( which is 0.0015% of the total CMS caseload. No other figures were provided in the report as to the scale of the “problem” other than unsubstantiated inferences that all self employed people are neglecting their children.

    Looking at your post in a wider context you say early on that “obviously the vast majority of paying parents are fathers”, later on however you say that the reason for this is that it is “because that is the way society works”. What exactly did you mean by this statement? You talk of “fair contribution” but don’t offer a definition of “fair”? Is over 100% of gross income “fair”? Is it “fair” that in the event a parent makes a unilateral decision to put extreme distance between the other parent and their child that they should have to pay more maintenance (due to seeing the child less – there is a link by the way, it’s in the 2012 Child Support Maintenance Calculation Regulations) and suffer the increased and crippling cost of travel which is “accounted for” by a formula that allows 2p a mile in travel cost. Is that “fair”.

    Your article was extremely offensive and ill thought out and I’m surprised that the editor saw fit to publish it without the caveat that freedom of speech also allows freedom to express offensive and ill reasoned guff.

  13. James says:

    John, seriously, for a well educated and experienced Family lawyer you do talk utter nonsense at times.

    My ex prevents me from seeing my kids, the law allows her to do this.

    I am forced to pay financial support, no issues there, I pay more than two times what the CMS stated voluntarily. Failure to pay anything is a prosecution.

    I reported my ex for offenses under s76 Serious Crime Act 2015. The Police refuse to investgate because I am a man, they refused to even see written evidence.

    To support my children live in a caravan as I cannot afford to rent a normal home and then pay council tax etc.

    My ex gets tax credits etc etc and works part time. Financially she is more than£1000 a month better off than I am. I eat every few days to save money and since March I have lost 1/3rd of my body mass.

    Now tell me the system is fair and unbiased.

    Please, do some actual research before posting utter tosh in future.

  14. JamesB says:

    Its political correctness gone mad.

  15. Paul says:

    What I see here on this thread are very reasonable, rational men (and YVie) argiculating their conserns well. If reasonable right thinking men can be collectively villified and issolated from their children like this tells me the law is badly wrong. I can tell from the way these men articulate that everyone here would make a possative contribution to their kids lives. A system which seeks to stop them doing so has ZERO moral credibility. The law on place is quite simply an act of state tyrany !!
    This is the reason why the Americans have a fifth amendment. The state is taking kids kids away from us for NO REASON. Or for reasons of RANSOM. I feel like if we wish to see changes we need more than just words. John is a soliciter who just laughs our concerns off.
    These soliciters are making a living out of this tyrany. They are effectively abducting our kids for ransom.
    They know that any change to this system which would be better for families will be bad for business. I fear we are wasting our words and insight on the very pharasees who seek to prophet from our misery.
    (*Comment edited by the moderators)

    • Cameron Paterson says:

      Paul: it is worth remembering that John retired from practice several years ago. He is no longer a solicitor, just a legal blogger and commentator. Furthermore solicitors do not decide which parent a child should or shouldn’t live with, as I’m sure you’re aware. They simply represent parties within those disputes

      • Paul says:

        Thats not escaped me Cameron. But he is an advocate of the system in place. A system which has not changed since he profited from it. If anything it has got more discriminatory against fathers. The level of exploitation and equality has got worse since the abolition of legal aid. He is clearly attacking fathers and victims of this state tyrany. Mustering support for a system which is destroying lives. Taking the perspective of practicing legal professionals and trying to ram it down the throat of people who have had their lives smashed by this system that does not work.
        Even though by his own admission this has killed a father who was on his case load.
        That is astonishing to me.
        However. If a man tells me he is a retired soldier. To me he is a Soldier.
        If a man tells me he is a retired sailor. To me he is a sailor. An I would respect them as such. An if I had an issue with the way soldiers worker for the last ten years. I do not feel like its wrong to hold retired servicemen in part responsible.
        You can’t devorce yourself from professional responsability by retiring or changing vocation. If you have been a willing part of the problem. Then you are responsible. No ??- his commentry is always ‘flawed’ and always in defence of a defunct system which is causing harm.
        I also am not a solicter.

        • Paul says:

          This is also Marlyns website. A website targeted towards legal professionals and other interested parties no ?

        • Ethan says:

          Lol the lion theory.. We are not lions, we are human beings but since we’re on the subject.. Not even they abandon their offspring DNA, that’s leaving them for dead, going against nature, the very reason we’re here on this earth yet it’s an extremely common & socially acceptable thing to do so amongst humans, the majority being Fathers. Until that changes- the bar is set for us. Redirect your frustration where it belongs.
          A bunch of whining idiots begrudging their own children a quality of life & oppourtunitues. Would rather the bare minimum pittance the gov has to offer do their own job.

  16. Andy says:

    To all concerned..I have read the posts with great interest and all very valued points the fact of the matter is we need to do something about it.
    Take all your energy such as written voice and take action in true strength to pressure the system in to cracking…
    CMS are incompetent we all know this but under staffed case workers are pretty and only can read off per written questions also if you challenge them on the phone you just get the usual we will ring you back…hahaha..that old one..Too difficult box ticked…
    I’m no Arther Scargil..if spelt correct but small voices lead to one big voice…suppose we all decided to pay one single payment every week..regardless of how much you earn rather what the robbing CMS state..What can they do…nothing as we are paying but not refusing to pay…
    As prior comments have said how come,9,16,20%
    Of you salary is paid straight to your ex and she or he can earn What they like is that correct and still receive ex salary for 33 hrs a week and then found out extra part time work with additional £140.00 to £200.00 equal to £2200 or £2500.00 per month then child allowance of £140.00. Then tax credits of £331.00 per month then my CMS contribution of £510.00 per month..
    So she is hard done by eh!!!! And no tax to pay on benefits received also child maintenance but Father pays the tax Gross Calculation..
    That’s why is the answer to it all.
    So would Fathers pay if that was what they found out..this is my case but it runs the same for all Fathers dealing with the CMS.and idiots alike.

  17. JamesB says:

    Re. I think it is generally accepted that in most cases the figure churned out by the formula is a reasonable one.

    No, it is not. Who do you think you are talking for the world? Walter Mittey perhaps.

    Having studied it extensively, the figures were pulled out of thin air by brainstorming lunatic feminists. 15% for 1, 20% for 2, and 25% for 3 or more children. There was no research or consultation or studying behind it, they just blamed whom they called ‘deadbeat Dad’s and stuck it to them. Even Marilyn resigned from them because they lack credibility.

    • JamesB says:

      re : Having studied it extensively, the figures were pulled out of thin air by brainstorming lunatic feminists

      I meant I studied it extensively, not them. They did the wet finger in the air on a whim thing and, like dodgy family law judges tried after the decision to justify it with BS. Much like John in the article.

  18. Yvie says:

    Perhaps John is looking for something useful to do in his retirement so he has decided to play Devil’s Advocate and wind up the long suffering dads who contribute to this site. However he needs to remember that articles such as the one from Gingerbread are a slur on the good name of the many handworking fathers who pay child maintenance regularly for the upkeep of their children.

  19. Christine Davies says:

    Wow, where do I start?

    John’s reason 2: ” I think it is generally accepted that in most cases the figure churned out by the formula is a reasonable one.”

    Sorry, John, the formula simply does not work for those on low income – many non-resident parents (NRPs) just cannot afford the assessed child maintenance AND THIS IS KNOWN at all levels including tribunal judges.

    There has not been much significant change “to make things fairer”. The 2012 Scheme is basically the same as the 2003 Scheme, but with different percentages because of the change to gross income rather than net income. The thresholds to protect low earners still have the values given to them in 1998 – hard to believe but true. The structure of the Schemes means that some NRPs are worse off for every hour they work – they are better off unemployed.

    John’s point 5: “Shouldn’t both parents pay a fair contribution, calculated by reference to their means?”

    Yes, indeed, John, but the formula makes no reference to the means of the TWO parents. The parent with care (PWC) can be a millionaire and the NRP living below the poverty line but the latter still has to pay.

    John’s point 6: “And finally, the big one: to spite, or ‘get back’ at the mother. Oblivious, of course, to the fact that their own children will also suffer.”

    Perhaps in some cases, but PWCs also claim child maintenance through the CMS for the same reason – they know the NRPs cannot pay but want to punish them. “Oblivious of course” to the fact that the damage to dad also damages the children.

    John’s concluding comments: “I think if we are ever to get to the bottom of the ‘problem’ of child maintenance, we need to understand … If we understand the reasons, then perhaps we can begin to address them …. Maybe then we might have a child maintenance system that actually works.”

    I totally agree, John. I’ve been telling Government ministers of the problems since 2011 and action is well overdue. My submissions CHM 0079 and CHM 0098 to the recent Work and Pensions Select Committee Inquiry provide a beginning to “understand the reasons” for many of the difficulties.

  20. Yvie says:

    Government ministers are well aware of the unfair child maintenance system so why do they not address this. No-one will put their head above the parapet for fear of upsetting the strong feminist movements and organisations such as Women’s Aid and Gingerbread. The fact that thousands of low paid fathers are forced into debt or an impoverish lifestyle is quite irrelevant. Even the fact that fathers have taken their own lives has no real impact on them,

  21. James Franklin says:

    Perhaps what is required is an investigation to find out exactly what the cost is for the average child.

    Example…per week
    Food. £30
    Energy and Home. £50

    So we have an average weekly cost of £95 for a child. Now divide in 2, gives £47.50 per week for each parent.

    Now lets assume RP recieves benefits of £40 that relates specifically to that child. Therefore this £40 should come off the £95 leaving the parental cost for the child at £55 per week. Divide this between the parents, each parent then contributes £27.50 for that child.

    For subsequent children the cost should be the same for food and clothing but only £10 for energy related costs, home costs do not change as a result of the number in residence.

    Clearly, each parents financial position must be taken into account, and this should be net of reasonable living costs for rent, mortgage, food, energy, council tax and costs to commute too and from work.

    Appreciate the right figures need to be researched and a proper consultation completed, but if we fail to do this it is simply children who suffer… and the whole point is to ensure they have a happy, stable, productive life and relationship with both parents.

  22. JamesB says:

    For a quick and dirty cost effective improvement:

    Scrap it and adopt the Danish system.

    For the best system, scrap it and move it back to the courts, and legalise prenups.

    There, not rocket science. Government are making and have made a right bloody mess out of it because they aren’t very good on this subject and should have left it well alone.

    I still think John should state his own personal situation and if he has ever paid child maintenance himself or for children he has lived with as it is usually useful to see where people are coming from. Its hard to judge someone without walking a mile in their shoes, this doesn’t seem to stop him and without him stating his circumstances he lays himself open to the abuse he decries.

    Its political correctness gone mad.
    (*Comment edited by the moderators)

    • Andrew says:

      “For the best system, scrap it and move it back to the courts”


      “and legalise prenups”

      Right between spouses – not as regards children. They are not party to the prenup and cannot be bound by it.

  23. Paul says:

    It should only be the governments remit to make sure you kids are not in poverty. To make sure they are on the same income as you comes down to personal responsability and negociated settlement between parents.They have introduced a system were you now have to negociate with your expartner. But if you expartner chooses not to negociate then she can take 20-30% of your income anyway by force. So what incentive does Mrs X have to negociate a fair settlement ?
    Its beyond idiotic.

  24. David Lee says:

    These are the reasons that the Government (AKA Gingerbread) want the unaffected gullible (in their estimation) general public to believe therefore categorising all NRP’s with arrears are “wealthy avoiders” (of which there are actually very few as the costs of avoidance far outweigh the maintenance that would be due) who could & should pay their share of the £4bn.This diverts public attention, scrutiny & outrage from the factual truth that the single greatest reason for default & non payment of Child Maintenance is simply “USER EXPERIENCE” of the supposed Child Support SERVICE. Their unacceptable level of mistakes, lies, sharp practice, total disregard for the law & apparent lack of transparency or accountability in the end simply causes large numbers of NRP’s ,who started out quite willing to contribute towards their children’s welfare, to put their income & assets, as far as is possible, beyond the reach of the CSA/CMS, stop paying & disengage themselves from the shambles of their incompetence simply to survive & maintain their sanity. The whole system needs to be rethought & this is what Gingerbread should be fighting for. As it is their actions & articles such as this are counter productive & are simply making things worse by perpetuating these myths & covering up the real reason that the whole debacle is “not fit for purpose

  25. PH says:

    I am thecfatjer to a 6year old boy. I have thought for 27 months with the support of the courts to locate the mother of my child to ascertain wherecshechad taken my son and the address in which my son Oscar resides.

    The courts have been unable to track her down yet i am till paying in excess of 300 pounds per month. I have absolutely no issue paying for my child of which is clear due to me not seeing my child or knowing where he has been taken to for nearly 2 and half years yet the CMS persist on taking money from me.

    My question is, is the court and my solicitor are unable to track my child down, is there a way I can stop of nault the payments of child mainitance in order to entice the mother to come out of hiding and notify the courts as to where she has taken my son?

    Forget the access for Now, as I am quite fortunate that the mother actually broke the initial court order and tje judge is aware of this and now is siding with me with regards to my effort and integrity. I’m more concerned that the CMS have knowlege and proof we cannot track the child down yet insists I need to pay?

    Please can someone give me some advice or help regarding what steps I need to take to stop these payments until she discloses my son’s where abouts.

    • Cameron Paterson says:

      Hello – Solicitor James Scarborough responds below. If you would like further advice, you will find contact details for the nearest office on this page. Please also note the legal disclaimer on this page.

      “I am sorry you have been having such lengthy difficulties. You have explained you have a solicitor involved already so I assume they have advised you of your options. Unfortunately, without knowing the full details, it is difficult to provide lengthy guidance but, as this is a child maintenance issue, it is unlikely the court will be able to assist as part of your ongoing proceedings. If you haven’t already, I suggest you contact the child maintenance service and explain the position. They should try and trace your ex’s address and, if they are unable to do so, they should be able to explain the next steps.”

  26. JamesB says:

    You are wrong on that. It is fair to understand where people are coming from in a debate and to fail to provide that background information is the issue. For example, in ancient Greece, the legal system the west built its legal system, people without experience and subject matter expertise were not allowed to talk. Its the first question, who are you? Then the second question is what do you have to say. To ask him if he has any experience himself of paying is perfectly reasonable. Your point, well, Its political correctness gone mad.

  27. Jason Woodhouse says:

    What absolute trash, probably written by a feminist..

  28. David says:

    I think the worst part of the cms is calculations are based on your wages before any tax is paid, there is no means testing for current expenditure before the breakup, no consideration for house rent, council tax, electricity, food, car insurance, car finance,fuel, road tax etc etc.

    worst of all the calculations being based from your gross income includes overtime, that you may not even get the following year but the calculation will not alter.

    I was lucky and I got back together with my partner and she dropped her case against me before my first payment, however, I had an anxiety attack, realizing that I was about to be financially destroyed by my own government.

    I never wanted children and this was all agreed during our initial partnership, what is really needed is a form to agree making a baby, that both parties sign, if the woman wants a child and goes against this she has to support said child with no claim to the man.

    We live in a corrupt country and with a system that allows a woman to slaughter a mans earning for 20 years.

    Also why is up to the man to pay for a DNA test, the woman is making a claim that could last 20 years, she should pay to prove her claim is true.

    • Chrissy says:

      Since you all have so much to say, I thought I’d add my thoughts to the mix.
      I’m a single mother of two children working part time and raising my kids on my own, the kids father see the children every other weekend.
      He has never paid maintenance and given the sane reasons you are all spouting on how unfair it is!
      All these points being made are my men who have never had full responsibility for your children if you had your child 5-7 days a week and clearly could see how much it cost to look after them, you’d all be chewing your words.
      Example I pay
      School dinners 12.50 aw
      Schools pack lunch for one child £10-15 aw
      School trips roughly £30-50 a month
      Food at home £40 aw, just for the kids
      After school activities and education £20 aw
      Cloths averages out over the month with fast growing children under 12. including shoes underwear socks extra for school day to day clothes because kids ruin everything £50
      Entertaining £20 aw
      Now here’s the important stuff!!
      Roof over their head
      Tv (Disney channel- Netflix
      Internet usage
      Can’t get to school with out petrol in the car £50 aw

      So if I stop paying all of that and cry because I pay other bills and the kids arnt taking that into consideration (how dare they!
      My kids starve will be considered neglected and I will loose them or worse they would die effectively if I stopped taking care of them!
      So tell me this why the hell are fathers not done for neglect when they dodge child maintenance or find loopholes not to pay?

      I would not ever let anyone take care of my children if their attitude was that if I’m not paying for them why should I!

      You have all stated the system isn’t fair but yet not if of you has stated what’s fair to the child!
      I don’t care if you all have other bills and cry because it will get you all into debt
      Do you think us as mothers have that luxury not to pay for the kids because Their struggling! Nope!

      My kids dad currently pays £0 and still has excess! I will never stop that but It’s horrendous that it’s not seen in court as neglect!

  29. Adrian says:

    Although I strongly believe that if you decide to have kids, you have a duty to support them, no matter if you are a Man or Woman… However, this article states “Why do some fathers think they shouldn’t pay child maintenance”
    Ok, so here is another question. Why do Women think Child support is only money? And do men who pay child support get a receipt to show what that money was spent on? Because if woman are claiming Child support then that money is for child support. If the parents of a child are divorced, then the father is not legally or lawfully liable or responsible to pay his ex wife money to live. And any Judge or Court that states he is are clearly misled and are utterly clueless what marriage is!!! 95% of Mothers who receive child support are supporting their own living expenses. If you can say NO to that then you are able to prove it?
    There is the answer to your question. An ex wife, contrary to popular belief is actually lawfully NOT entitled to a percentage of the ex husbands salary. If this was the case, then any man could also apply for a percentage of his ex wives salary… This is where legislation is 100% corrupt and ignores the rule of Law.
    So, yes, some men think they don’t or shouldn’t have to pay for “child support” when it’s really “ex wife” support.

  30. Nigel says:

    I disagree with the whole percentage of the NRP’s wages thing. If both parents should be contributing equally why is it id have to pay over £500 per month for a single child based on my salary when my abusive ex partner (yes women can be abusive too) can sit around not working claiming benefits until kingdom come? Not only will i be fully subsidising the cost to raise a child id have to spend thousands in court to gain access to, id be funding the ex’s expensive spending habits too. Not only that they take into account my none income generating investments meaning id also have to pay her even more money or sell my pension. The payments should be capped at 50% of the cost to raise a child (the child poverty action group put this cost at £333 per month). I even offered to let the child stay with me if she cant afford to raise it the response i got was “over my dead body”. The whole system is corrupt, unfair and biased on the side of the woman. It gives abusive ex’s financial control over their ex partners with “do as i say or im going to the CMS and im going to cripple you financially”. If the system was actually fair and support payments realistic youd probably get a lot less people trying to avoid paying.

  31. Vicky says:

    This is overlooking the actual reason, the pink elephant in the room, which is that the ex wives are taking the mick.

    I refer to the case of my husband. His ex-wife had an affair whilst they were going for IVF treatment – something she admitted to in person, but denied in court. Sadly, there was no evidence.

    She accused him of being abusive, with no evidence. Which was given more consideration than his allegations of her affair.

    She refused to include his name anywhere in the child’s name. Nor was his name on the child’s birth certificate. The court was ok with this.

    After it was concluded there was not enough evidence to prove him as abusive, the Mother still applied such that he should not have any contact with the child. He applied to see the child every weekend. The Mother won.

    He now has to pay 20% of his net income in child maintenance and a further £150 a month in travel to see the child. He is poor and thus I have to pay most of the rent and bills for our one bed flat (which I have no worry in doing). All the while he is desperate to spend more time with his daughter, but the court rules against this.

    The Mother lives in her family mansion, financed by her millionaire Father who lives elsewhere with the mistress he also had an affair with. The home is toxic with bitter, spoiled, aggressive women and I fear what sort of psychological effect that has on a young girl. Especially not allowed to see her father.

    I tell you why some men do not like to pay, and it’s because the system is cruel and unfair to many men. While women are encouraged to exploit the system. How is it that a woman can commit one of the worst, least forgivable crimes and be rewarded, while the poor man is punished?

    • Nigel says:

      Nobody cares though, its not politically correct. Its really ex partner maintenance disguised as child maintenance to make it easier for the masses to accept.

  32. Jason says:

    I think the title is wrong… it’s not just some dads… it’s mums as well…
    Why does it need to be about gender?? Why not ‘some parents’.. I take exception as I am a dad with custody of our son and his mother doesn’t pay anything and indeed has not for 10 months now… it’s not about the sex of the parents .. their are dead beat mums and dead beat dads.. maybe think about that when you create a post like this in future..

  33. Ellie says:

    I’m a mother, my baby’s father is constantly holding child support over my head.
    I constantly have to ask for it, he now is 3 weeks behind and is refusing to pay.
    How is this right?
    She’s 4 months old, I get no income for her via benefits as I’m hit by the 2 child cap, I have to pay for her bedroom as she’s not entitled to her own room until age 1, I’m charged accordingly for this.
    How is it right that he owns 7 properties next to the Thames, one worth almost £2million, has a £120,000 Benz yet refuses to give me the £100 per week we agreed.
    When asked he responds with ‘I can’t tell him what to do’

    I meet our daughters needs, he doesn’t ,why should I pick up all the costs of pregnancy and birth because I’m the one with the uterus, how is it right I have to pay for her nursery fees by myself, or her milk, nappies equipment while he lives a life of luxury.
    He didn’t want to be a father, though says he now does, if a guy doesn’t want to be a father, surely he’s responsible for preventing that, ie use of a condom, I’m constantly told how this is his worse nightmare, how I should have aborted her, though I took precautions to prevent pregnancy, he didn’t.

    Holding this over my head is financial abuse, pure and simple, I can’t even file for a CMS claim as he’s a company director who sets his own wages, but also he’s gets rent from 6 properties, I’ll be fighting for a variation from unearned income.
    If I don’t provide her with essentials, I’ll lose custody, so why is it ok for him not to pay?
    There are some really lousy fathers out there, what sort of man intends to tell his child how he wanted her aborted, or says he ‘wouldn’t have been that upset if she’d died in NICU
    This is why we need a fair child support system. Some mothers don’t have it easy.

    • Prefer_not_to_say says:

      A vasectomy only costs £500 and takes 15 minutes. Perhaps this is a worthwhile suggestion to him… It’s amazing how soulless people like this man manage to hide their true colours… Even hearing this before having children would’ve completely put me off being associated with that person.

      My child’s father also won’t pay anything but I have never pursued it. He is the opposite of yours financially (uneducated, no savings, doesn’t own anything, rents a bedroom in a shared house).

      Surely it is a joy to protect and provide for your child, what else is there to spend money on if not your child? What else really matters?

  34. Paul Hartill says:

    I wish to say what a delusion, derogatory and naive statement this is by Gingerbread and promoted by Stowe.
    It is one that clearly doesnt support a child but the vile manipulative behaviour of so many women and mothers who use a child as weapons often against well meaning Dads who want to be just that.
    I am a Dad who is being deliberately prevented from seeing my son for almost two years, and have been through court after court to see him.
    There is an obvious link between contact and payments ignored in this post. Why is it often the only role a dad is allowed to portray a financial one. Where contact is deliberately withheld the mom should absolutely make all payments to the child. You cannot choose which parts a dad is allowed to play in his childs life as this is harmful to the child. Moms use a child as a weapon the only one making the child suffer is the mom and they should be prosecuted for abuse.
    A father has an absolute right to decide how there child should be provided for financially and to ensure that it reaches the child involved, given they are already often estranged and that mom doesn’t waste it on herself. Again why should a man get no say it’s their money for their child they have earned and not allowed to see.
    I have never disputed paying for my child but just some say how the money is allocated and spent. Why should the mom have all the say at the exclusion of the father.
    The system is anti men and in a day where women demand equality why do they not ensure this when it comes to children.
    The whole system is corrupt, and favours women especially the CMS,no wonder why so many men commit suicide.
    Men are treated as second class when a family unit breaks down.

  35. Vanessa says:

    My partner has 45% custody and still has to pay 19% of his earnings, working out at £150 per day he doesn’t see them.
    Who spends £150 per day on a family, let alone a child?!
    And if he had 50% he would pay nothing? On top of this, his ex is on £48k pa and gets £200 pm in benefits.
    CMS don’t care if we can afford to feed or house his kids 45% of the time, only that the payments are made.

  36. Piroo M says:

    Im looking for single mothers left without child maintenance to sign a petition and change the law on this specific problem!
    Iam aiming to rise a serious concern about the law and a process how they are letting paying parents just get on with the none payment for years.. But mothers still needs to proof of their weekly income to get the free 30 hours at nursery or proof of work for the Universal Credit…. Unbelievable!

  37. T says:

    CMS helping children?… Let me explain this to all you mums wanting to pop out 20 kids a reap CMS and social benefits while sitting on your lazy bums doing nothing.

    I am paying it now.. And what it has encouraged me to do is have 0 contact with my child. As im supporting my own family i have living with me and its really affected how much we have as a family for this reason the child im paying maintence for to the mother will get nothing ever from me in his life! My mortgage my income nothing no help ever so i hope she saves the payments for his future because once my legal obligation is over there on there own! Nothing ever again!! Everything i have earned in life will be put in my partners name and the scummy benefit no life of a mum i had a child with will have to hope benefits last forever.

    CMS really helping children? and realtionships you tell me?… Because thats the outcome of my CMS case… 0 relationship with the father and not left a penny. Good job goverment! You made me resent my own child because of a greedy mother who wont work a day in her life grand job 🙂

    • Prefer_not_to_say says:

      I’m unable to work due to a severe health condition despite being a postgraduate. People are quick to judge others as undeserving or perceive women like myself as somehow shameful to be ‘on benefits’. No-one really wants to live on benefits if they can help it. Being a Mum is work. Raising a child is not sitting around watching TV all day, it’s teaching them spelling and trying to find ways to enrich their lives so they grow up to be well rounded, empathetic and successful. My baby’s Dad has made it clear he doesn’t want to pay anything towards my child. Doesn’t want to buy the child anything, doesn’t want to pay maintenance, outright refuses. So far has not even paid £1. I wonder why when he was not raped, he was not tricked into conceiving the child. I will be evicted on a Section 21 in two months time at which point will be homeless and probably in a B&B or hostel. He had children in a previous relationship before he and I met. He only wants to pay for those children, mine is just an inconvenience he’d prefer didn’t exist. I’ve told him, okay, you’re off the hook. Go on with your life and I will not chase you for anything. I really feel this is one of the worst decisions he will ever make.

  38. Eleanor says:

    Oh dear! It’s become clear that the vast majority of non-resident parents need educating ASAP! Do you think that benefits is an extra income? NO! It’s replacing the lowest figure financial income that people would expect to receive in order to survive! I see words like “they claim benefits”, “benefits pay for kids so why should I?” Seriously? £324 a month for a single person and £283 for first child, 2nd is lower (there’s a 2 child limit after 2017) nothing for 3rd child. Yes they get help with housing costs but guess what? Private rented they’ll have to pay the shortfall out of that £324 if its above the LHA rate which is only the smallest rental award based on that area. So, now, do you think that if a parent who doesn’t work claims this, you are absolved of any financial support? Raising a child costs upwards of £400-800 per month per child. Do you think its fair to place the burden of dividing that income with themselves and YOUR CHILDREN alone? While you’re “hard earned cash” funds just ONE person? Yourself?
    I have a calculation for you a person who is caring for a child and cannot work, has a rental cost of £550. The rate on LHA on that area for a 2 bed is £450, as that together with £324 + £283 =. £1057 (Good luck finding lower on the housing market. Council houses are not available to those who can’t afford it), council tax support doesn’t pay the full rate so they’ll be expected to pay at least £20 per month, plus the shortfall of £100 for the rent. There’s £120 gone already. Then there’s energy bills £200 ish? That’s just a start. Then food costs for 2 people a month £400 at its lowest and cheapest? Then water rates. That’s just the basics! Now, with the remainder, YOUR CHILDREN will benefit from that by means of entertainment, clothing, footwear, travel, pocket money etc. Where is the parents clothing, footwear, entertainment and travel? Nowhere, because your “hard earned cash” is yours to spend on yourself!
    Do you think its right? Or fair? You helped bring them kids into the world you can’t just walk away from any financial obligations! The child element on benefits is not there to cover “your half”. It’s to cover THEIR contribution because they don’t have the funds themselves!!!! So, next time you say, “they claim it off the state” it’s ONE SIDED FUNDS NOT BOTH! Even if they were working full time. That extra income goes toward CHILDCARE COSTS and STILL, that income has to be divided while YOURS stays in a one man pocket?! You cannot walk away and expect the other parent to divide their income between themselves and YOUR children in order to keep them alive, while they go without, while you get away with it scott free! Don’t your kids deserve better? What do you think would happen if you were still together? Would you be paying for them then? No? Would you be contributing? Look at it this way. 2 parents, seperate houses, same income…… why would you expect to place the ENTIRE burden on the other parent? The amounts you contribute are half (2 parents to make a child) of the LOWEST calculation of the average cost of raising a child per month based on income, if you earn more, your kids deserve more, if you earn less, your contributions will be less! ITS NOT FATHER BASHING! ITS RESPONSIBILITY! TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR CHILDREN! You have bills? So does the other parent. You have debt? That’s YOUR problem, it’s not an excuse thinking that your debt and bills come before your children! What is that? “Oh don’t worry, I can pay debt because I don’t have kids” YOU DO! YOU ALWAYS WILL! What you are effectively doing is pushing the burden onto the other parent so they fund the entire cost of raising them (because they actually DO treat kids as first) and getting into debt themselves! That’s just SELFISH! Don’t you want your children to have a happy life? Your contributions help that! DO SOME RESEARCH AND STOP BEING SO IGNORANT! Your hatred of the other parent has blinded you into thinking they get more money because they get benefits! SOME DON’T and its not there because you are no longer living with them or because you have bills!!!. Doesn’t mean you can leave it up to them because AGAIN that’s selfish because they are STILL doing the same as you but dividing their income with kids, some on a much lower amount that you! Split the living arrangements and food costs in half, the clothing costs? I can tell you now £287 for one child per month doesn’t cover that in the slightest! But that’s the other parents contribution and the only amount they’ll have without breaking into their own £324. That’s for a parent solely relying on benefits. You’ll tell them to work more hours etc…OK so it’s either a 9-3 job, 5 days a week, or more hours and pay for childcare! Are you going to be taking and collecting the children from school then? Are you going to be the one cooking for them and cleaning up after them while the other parent is working beyond the hours to fund the costs alone? Doubt it. But you might say “hey, I’ll help with some childcare costs if they worked more”. really? So you’d agree to that and then sit back while they exhaust themselves with working and house chores after the children too?
    Stop thinking because you live apart you should pay less because you have your own bills. They do too! They just have the added extra because you won’t stop complaining! Complain because of the economy and the costs of raising a child!

    • Mr ? says:

      So I’m a paying father that the mother stops from seeing my child and use her as a weapon to get more and more money from me I pay £653 per month when we split up (which was down to her being violent) I left her with a house a car and all the money in the joint accounts (over £25k) and I have paid from day one in fact it was me who went to the csa and handed them all the information they needed to work out my payments. The mother still comes to me and asks for more I now buy all the school uniform I pay for the piano lessons I pay for bus pass for travel to school I also pay money into my child’s savings account and send her pocket money every week.
      So now tell me why should I pay a large lump sum of my money that I’m about to receive from the courts for things that happened to me as a child and I’m now expected to pay my child’s mother a large amount % of that money.

      Why should I just because I now have more money I’m expected to pay more yet my child’s needs have not changed so tell me how it’s right that I should hand over a large amount of money. You can’t because no matter what your argument will be the facts won’t change. I pay more than I have to already which yes is my choice but if don’t my child will be the one to suffer not her money grabbing mother.

    • Ciprian says:

      Why not going first for equal shared custody? half and half. Why most of the times the mom’s get without any effort the kids? Why not dads? If it would be the other way around, me having the kids more I wouldnt ask for money, for child maintenance. I would ask instead directly if she can pay in certain situations, if its an after club or something. While the kids are at my place, only from Friday to Monday morning I never asked her a penny and trust me we’ve always went in travlles or museums, beach, mountains. At school Ive always paid through schoolgateway and it was about uniforms and all they have all these at my place too. I dnt understand from where you took out those numbers for raising a child each month, £400-800. You are buying laptops and xboxes every month?!?

  39. Mr X says:

    Eleanor – You miss the point! Just like the author of this piece. Most fathers parental rights are being forcefully taken away from them without any justification. They are fully expected to pay financially for a part time relationship with there own children. 99% of separated mothers deliberately keep the children away from their father for financial gain via a process of false allegations and they have no regards to the damage being caused to the children. NO AMOUNT OF MONEY CAN REPAIR THE IRREVERSABLE LONGTERM DAMAGE CAUSED TO THE CHILDREN! Instead of thinking how much money can I get, think about the children lives and their rights to the relationship with their father.

  40. Miss S says:

    I understand that many fathers will be frustrated to read this however John has hit the nail on the head for the father of my children. He uses every single one of the reasons John listed not to pay child support yet can drive around in a new £5000 car. When I married and we were both working I said let’s not have children we can’t afford. We agreed to stop at 4 boys and we both still worked….well I did anyway. He wasn’t content with just 4 children.. he wanted more and more… finally I realised the “I’ll go elsewhere and find someone who wants a big family with me “ was a controlling and abusive and manipulating tactic, along with the rest of the abuse. I managed to eventually leave for good, however my punishment for leaving is that I don’t get a penny in support unless I go back. I’d rather be poor and wait until I can go back to work. I asked him for just £10 towards my nothing ..yet this man is supposedly a serial entrepreneur who chooses not to see his children unless it’s on the condition I stay too and pay to travel 254 miles each week because he chose to live so far away. I don’t want to stay with him each time he wants to see the children so, so far he has chosen not to meet his 18 month old and hasn’t seen the rest for more than 2.5 years by his own choice!

    And no there is a benefit cap so I don’t receive benefits for all these children.

    Why do men choose (some women too) to bring children into this world then suddenly forget it’s now their duty to provide and care for that child because they made that choice!

    If you don’t wish to pay …don’t have children and if the system is unfair then I’m sure most mothers would be happy to accept only what the father can provide even if it’s a little. I wish I could switch roles with him and I would work two jobs just to provide for my children. Why do the children have to suffer because the parents choices!

  41. DLH says:

    John wrote, ‘This linking of child maintenance and contact is another very common thing. Logically, of course, it makes no sense whatsoever, as the children still need to be maintained, whether they are seeing their father or not. Many is the time that a judge has had to explain to a father that maintenance and contact are two entirely separate issues.’

    Whether or not child maintenance and contact are separated in law is a moot point. It suits the authorities to artificially separate two issues which in reality (practically and emotionally) are inseparable. I was going to write in a general manner, but no, I’ll get straight to the point. I have five children whom I love dearly. My wife has destroyed what was once a stable and happy family unit by divorcing me and seeking to alienate my children against me. After years of Family Court action (because I was desperate to see my children and my ex-wife was using every device to hinder it), their mother was given the lion’s share of custody. I feel unjustly bereaved of my children – robbed of them. In the Family Court, the mother argued that she was in a financially strong position and quite able to raise the children alone. This statement was not challenged because ‘maintenance and contact are two entirely separate issues’. Well, they’re not. Their mother knew that she could argue that she had all the resources necessary to raise our children, safe in the knowledge that this would not in any way hinder her ability to claim Child Maintenance. She had formerly applied for a ‘clean break divorce’ but what is a clean break when she has her hand perpetually in my pocket? I feel that what she has done is morally repulsive, but if I refuse to cooperate, she has the full backing of the state. What needs to happen is that the mother should do the best she can with her given resources and if she has bitten off more than she can chew, she should ask me to take on a larger share of custody. I would be only too glad. It would inevitably result in me taking on more financial responsibility for the children and her taking on less. That is natural arrangement. It encourages mutual cooperation. But no – the perverse child maintenance system shall continue to destabilise everything by ensuring that the mother has always sufficient funds to cut me out of my children’s lives. In essence, I am paying the mother to NOT see my children. Where is the justice?!

  42. Keith says:

    System gives incentive for women to play the system by removing fathers, and bring in new boyfriends/step dads, and make children with those new men, tax free, with no means testing, they still get maximum benefits, tax credits, housing benefit, rinse and repeat.

  43. Ciprian says:

    I ve separated from my ex in December 2016. Because of work patterns, hers and mine, I am having the kids from Friday till Monday morning. But this also came with threats and blackmail. everytime we disagreed on things or if I insisted sometimes,because my schedule allowed me or because I always looked for ways to get more time so that I can spend with them to be part of their everyday activities like taking them from school, she was threating me to take the kids away from me and she was pointing out that the services will give her right because moms are above all although my kids had a good relationship with me, I got involved from day one and Im fully aware and happy with my dad role. Through schoolgateway I am paying towards my children if there are things for school, their room, gadgets, trips, museums, everything that was humanly possible in those 2 days of week ends.
    After 7 years, spring or summer of 2023 I woke up with a letter from CMS saying she opened up a case to pay her child maintenance. Didnt know much about this institution, I thought they’re more like a mediator or something, that they are someone you can discuss with to get to a reasonable outcome both good for kids but also for me, because a parent on his knees cannot realistically be a parent. Or a financially humiliated parent. They calculated around £400 per month, I disscused with a person from CMS and explained him that this will leave me with nothing and I would not have any money to survive or to spend when my children will be with me, that I also pay towards the school different afterchool clubs, plus I was dealing with an IVA … I told them also that I am married since Feb 2022 but Im struggling to bring my wife here because the bureaucracy is costly and chaotic, but the guy said he cannot take this into consideration, the fact that Im married, because he cannot add this on thesystem, although I told them I have an official paper from the Romanian state, the marriage certificate and Im responsible towards her too as a family. So nothing clear nor any form of help or understanding from his part, asked him to confirm m in writing and he said they will send a letter. On 4th of April they sent me a letter saying that I would need to pay from 21 March 2024 . I thought that being the end of finnancial year and all, once they confirmed me after the discussion I would have the time to seek advice, help and organize myself. After some time I got a letter telling me I owe money, that I am in arrears. After multiple attempts to get in touch with them by the phone, the online portal is a joke, it doesnt help at all, you can communicate freely with them butonly through some limited options they give, I spoke to them and told them that the payments should start in 2024. They said, oh, a mistake from our part, we apologise.
    I have sent them 2 Complaints letters in July, as per their procedures and rules, no reply from them.
    On the 4th of November, at 8 am, I get a text message sayung: we’ve reviewed your case and your new payment plan from 19.01.2024 will be £1023.08 per month. How they reviewed this case and with what elements, I dont understand because I wasn’t asked ANYTHING, no information, or details. My salary hasn’t increased, its about £2200 per month, 770 is my rent, 200 for electricity and gas, 110 for council tax, and about 200 for petrol to get to work. How will this help my children when I am left with literally nothing? even more, they have already sent a letter to my Company that they WILL DEDUCT THAT AMOUNT from my salary.
    Im still under shock and I really dont know what to do. I have sent them another complaints letter explaining them once again the situation and the fact that this is not going to help anyone becuase for sure I will loose my house, eventually my job so my children will loose their father and there will be no money for any care or maintenance.
    Anyone is able to advise on this matter? Is there an organization professional enough to understand these matters ? To understand that this Gov Institution is destroying children’s lifes? I dont care about mine, but what do you tell the children? How are they protecting the children? My daughter is 8 and my son 13. I had to explain a bit the situation to my daughter and she was so sweet and carring that she said she will sell her toys to help me out. That literally broke my knees.
    Please, help! This CMS has to be fully restructured and reorganized because as it is now its a destroyer of lives and it has nothing to do with protecting the children.

  44. Adam says:

    The problem with this article is it’s based on law not the application of the law.

    Eg nothing written against fathers.

    Yeah okay mate – look at the actual outcomes…

    So far the maintenance as it’s called has been used to fund holidays by mum to Disney at a 5 figure cost and Mexico coupled with wanting a deposit for a house lol

    I’m like nah

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