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Repeat after me: child support and contact are two separate issues!

This old chestnut apparently raised its ugly head again on national TV over the weekend. I really shouldn’t have to explain again what has been explained so many times previously, including by myself, but clearly there are still some who don’t understand (or more likely don’t want to understand) this basic truth: child support and contact are two separate issues! Paying child support does not entitle a parent to have equal contact with the child, or indeed any contact at all, and not paying does not disentitle them from having contact.

Let me make this entirely clear:

Child support and contact are two separate issues!

This ‘rule’ (if you can call it that) is not there just to antagonise fathers – or mothers, if they are the ‘non-resident parent’ (NRP), to use the child support terminology -despite what some may tell you. It is there for a very good reason: the welfare of the child.

Let me explain that in a little more detail.

To understand, we need to go back to the basic principles behind child support and contact with a child, each of which are quite different from the other. The basic principle behind child support is that each parent should, so far as reasonable, be responsible for maintaining their child. The basic principle behind contact, however, is the welfare principle: whether there should be contact, and if so how much, is dictated entirely by what is best for the welfare of the child.

So, repeat after me:

Child support and contact are two separate issues!

Still not completely clear? OK, let’s put it a different way.

All parents have a responsibility to provide financial support for their children, so far as they are able to do. That responsibility does not end when the parents separate. The children still need to be maintained. And that remains the case whether or not they are seeing the NRP.

As for contact, it is true that in the vast majority of cases the child’s welfare is best served by them continuing to have a full relationship with both of their parents. However, sadly there are cases where this is not true. The reasons for this are many and complex, but I suppose the simplest would be that the NRP is just a bad parent. Would you force a child to spend time with a bad parent, just because that parent pays child support? Of course you wouldn’t.

When you look at it in these simple terms, the point is obvious:

Child support and contact are two separate issues!

The suggestion made on TV was apparently that fathers should only pay if they get equal contact (or equal shared care, if you prefer that terminology). But this falls into the trap of believing that equal contact is automatically the best arrangement for the child. It is not. It may be the best arrangement, but it may not. In fact, in very many cases it simply isn’t practical, even if both parents would otherwise be agreeable to it. Whether it is the best arrangement is not decided by whether the NRP is paying child support (in fact, as we saw in my post here last Thursday, under the present child support rules equal shared care means there is no NRP).

I will say it again:

Child support and contact are two separate issues!

It is not entirely their fault that some people still think the opposite.

As I mentioned here last Thursday, it is highly unfortunate that the government, in its infinite wisdom, decided that it was a good idea to link the amount of contact that an NRP has with the child with the amount of child support that the NRP has to pay. This has inevitably led to many parents arguing with each other over how much time their child should spend with each of them, driven not by what is best for the child (i.e. the child’s welfare), but by a desire to increase or decrease the amount of child support that is paid. But it has also had another effect, in that it encourages the idea that child support and contact are not separate issues. This is extremely unfortunate, but it does not change the basic fact:

Child support and contact are two separate issues!

Think about it logically: all the child support system is saying is that when a parent has their child with them, they are responsible for their financial upkeep, therefore if they spend more time with the NRP then the NRP has to pay less to the other parent. The amount of contact is not dictated by the amount of child support, but by what is best for the child. The amount of child support may be a consequence of the amount of contact, but that is not the same as saying that it entitles the NRP to have contact with the child. As I have said here before, when a court decides what contact a parent should have, it will do so by reference to the welfare checklist of factors to be taken into account, none of which mentions whether that parent is paying child support.

Oh, and before I go, did I mention:

Child support and contact are two separate issues!

Right, that’s firmly put that myth to bed.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Father of 4 says:

    Sadly, there IS a link between child support and child contact. Contact is all too frequently cut unless ‘payments’ are made and obviously the system ‘offers’ incentive to any resident parent prepared to put their own financial ‘wants’ ahead of the needs of the child/ren. A few extra quid in their pocket can have more value than a relationship between child and the other parent. The system rewards parents for reducing contact.

    When it comes to the best interest of the child I have to point out that much as a child might be provided with continued financial support it can come at a cost to any new family commitments taken on by the non-resident parent and can cause significant imbalance. It may be in the best interest of the non-resident child but could be causing hardship for the children of the new family. Imagine. Couple split. Both Parents work. Parent A has residency. Parent B provides support. Both Parent A and Parent B enter into new relationships. Parent A’s new partner works full time on good pay. Parent B’s new partner doesn’t work. Parent B goes on to have another 2 children. Parent A lives with significant disposable income. Parent B endures regular hardship, but continues to support Parent A. The reality is that there can be an imbalance and money can be paid out of a family with little disposable income to support a family unit able to afford 2 -3 foreign holidays every year.

  2. Paul says:

    Repeat after me.
    Child support and contact are seperate issues.ONLY WHEN IT SUITES THE JUDGE.
    How many cheaky young ladys have stated. ‘Oh he does not pay child support’ to influance judge at final hearing. To get scowls of condemnation from the judge.
    This rule is utterly abserd.
    Repeat after me.
    Try walking in the shoes of one of us effected fathers and see if you feel the same about this issue.
    Whoever dreamed this mess up has certainly never been stopped from seeing their children then sent a bill for their care.
    This rule is a disgrace.
    Also its worth noting that the CMS or CSA care not one bit if you are able or capable of paying. A small but I feel important detail you have not mentioned. Fathers are not expected to have any outgoings apparently we can all live rent/mortagauge free. Our bills just pay themselves.
    If their was a presumption of shared care we would not need maintainance payments. We can put the whole catastrophy behind us.

  3. Dr Grumpy says:

    No no no! This is exactly what the feminist want you to believe! If I pay maintenance for my kids then I have a right to see them! Even if the mum or other parent make unfounded claims until they are proved beyond all reasonable doubt then a parent should not be made to pay for maintenance if the other parent illegally blocks all contact between a dad and his children

  4. JamesB says:

    This is the pick and choose nature of divorce. I can have the children and the money and the house and the assets and maintenance. Its given marriage a bad name and is why there are so many single households.

    Essentially, you are kicking the father out and calling the state Daddy. Then saying he is obliged to pay, even if through no fault of his own he is not seeing them as much as is good for them or as much as he would like and another man is bringing up his children. Its a completely immoral and unnatural situation.

    Its the law? Well, so was slavery, indeed, this is slavery and needs to be repealed as its driving men and women apart and causing the breakdown of western civilisation, evidenced by the fall of indiginous birth rate and numbers marrying other non UK nationals and increase in LGBTI etc.

    Plus they are linked anyway if you are going to get argumentative about it, there is a seventh reduction for every night per week the NRP (bad, BS term, no parent should have right to see children more than the other, should be 50:50 default) sees them. No maintenance if shared care. Shared care 50:50 by default.

    Quite a few issues raised there, also to disregard people and expect them to pay is bad. Reminds me, I got that crap from my first solicitors, before I sacked them for not listening or helping (the more concessions I made the more the other side asked for). They said “child support and child maintenance are two separate distinct issues”. I said, “no they’re not, not in my mind they’re not”. Lawyers need to get real, more natural law. The matters should be back to family court and set according to each case. Indeed, rightly, people tend to do their own thing and avoid the courts more and more these days.

    The law asks for too much, it is and was right to push for clean breaks. It perhaps rightly used to give children to father as they were more likely to have more money. Now, through good intentions, they have made a right mess of it, encourage women to make up DA allegations to get house and kids and money, man ends up on the street, government ends up paying three times, once for the woman, once for the man, again for the children. Thats the sick bad reality of feminism that nutters like John are pushing.

  5. JamesB says:

    To clarify the last sentence. Its like the chap above said, live as a NRP and you will understand more. We don’t like paying it and many would rather live in the gutter than pay it out of a moral choice of condoning such bad behaviour by the mother, encouraged by such words as yours and lawyers encouraging such an approach, supported by law which says conduct is not an issue, contact is unenforceable and fathers have no rights but only obligation to pay.

    If courts or you want to look into something useful, they should look into outcomes. Like how many men do a runner when faced with the maintenance from someone they hate who stole their children and money from them? How many die? How many emmigrate? How many end up on the street? How many fall out of employment or don’t do as well as they would? I believe the majority don’t pay.

    The reality John is more like I say and you need to shut up and deal with it as do the Judges in their ivory towers. It may look like a good idea in the interests of the children to sting one parent to pay the other (eg CSA idea) the reality is people aren’t like that. Finance it (3rd wave feminism) through taxation if you must, with voluntary or small donations, like in Denmark. Better still keep your nose out as worked for hundreds of thousands of years. The law is far too clever and unworkable as is unatural and counter intuitive. No other species does it work where one man brings up another mans child with maintenance from the other man who is not there who is elsewhere bringing up another mans child while other man pays who is not there, your system is ridiculous. The closest thing in nature is the cookoo where the father is bringing up a child which is not there’s (no child maintenance), or the lion, where the new father comes in and kills the previous males children (more realistic and natural) and if you look through the past was what happened (appart from where one side had money) where no state intervention and clean break. That at least worked. Your system does not work and people evolve over hundreds of thousands of years and your system is unworkable. Also, you are doing lawyers out of a job as people avoid the law (and CSA/CMEC/CMOptions/CMS) and do their own thing, rightly encouraged by CMOptions to do so, even government are rightly making divorce too expensive and unaffordable as much as possible so as to avoid the mess you are pushing. You want people to get real, you get real, put in better laws, then people might listen to you, and more lawyers might have more work and we might be faced with a better future than sharia law and people abusing children and more protection for vulnerable children and adults in families. The point earlier, people used to put children in orphanages, rather than get child support. Probably a better solution than your nonsense.

  6. JamesB says:

    The point earlier, people used to put children in orphanages, or be put in the poor house, or give child to other parent rather than get or expect child support, which makes absolutely no sense. Probably better and fairer solution than your nonsense, although personally I prefer the Danish model.

  7. JamesB says:

    P.s. I am speaking as someone who’s mother was brought up in an orphanage/adopted as her mother couldn’t afford to have her. She didn’t get or expect maintenance from her father.

  8. JamesB says:

    For the avoidance of doubt (lawyer speak) yes, I was referring to my mother. All the above is my experiences and what I think about that and this subject.

  9. JamesB says:

    Last point on this, if you halved the liability and cap, you would double the compliance level and bring back credibility to the system while increasing the amount of CM paid each year, currently over half children get nothing as most fathers call you (John) and people like you who call them names a Dick and ignore you and walk, rather than engage with you as I am now.

    Problem was the Government, urged on by radical 3rd wave feminists, stuck the bill of feminism (no men households) on the person not in the room, the non resident male and setup the CSA at unworkable rates, without non resident men being involved in the consultations, bad government that and against expert advise, which was not to try and get the non resident father to pay for all of society’s issues (mainly feminism and single parent households). Expert advice was to go for a realistic amount or leave alone, government had groupthink and egged each other on and made a right mess (like the EU and Iraq) without thinking about consequences, the experts involved in the initial consultation told them not to do it but they did it anyway and are still pushing it. Better talk with and take the NRPs with you than lecturing and patronising them which is basically threatening them and asking them for a fight.

  10. JamesB says:

    Like David Kelly on Iraq, sometimes the Government ignores the advice and doesn their own thing and comes a right cropper. Indeed the ridiculously high liability formulas were even higher at the beginning of the CSA, I hope and think they will come down to a workable level, the sooner the better.

    Repeat after me John, “I must not be a patronising fool in an ivory tower, and need to see things from the other side more in order to provide better understanding and future”.

  11. JamesB says:

    Last point. I need to and will take a break for a while now as this subject (which is a feminist tax – not a bad thing – I am second wave feminist) does for me as it probably does also for others wind me up talking about it. Regards and wishes to all.

  12. JamesB says:

    P.s. My note to self, “I must not get wound-up by or react to John’s shock jock tactics and articles anymore”. Regards to all.

  13. JamesB says:

    Peace and love x.

  14. JamesB says:

    If you halved the liability levels and cap you’d double compliance and increase the total amount paid in total and on average and make parents work together more, and society a happier place, like in Denmark.

  15. JamesB says:

    Last point, I, like most non resident parent I think, am sick of being told to pay child maintenance (I have paid a lot and do pay a lot), by relatively rich people or people who have never paid child maintenance. As someone above said, you can’t really judge someone until you have walked a mile in their shoes. John and people like John’s attitudes do not help, they need to empathise more and draft laws and govern more sensibly without create more problems than they solve as unfortunately their provocative idealistic approach usually does.

  16. JamesB says:

    Plus, quoting yourself, isn’t really going to convince people, (‘including by me’ above). Especially when you are not an authority on the matter. It also shows a particular mindset, not very dissimilar to those I see talking to themselves in the local public parks.

    I am an authority on the matter, I have been (very resentfully) paying it for over 13 years with at least another 13 to go!!! My children being aged 2 (who I live with), 6, 13, 16.

  17. Andrew says:

    If we seriously believe that contact with the NRP is generally to be desired then the expense it involves – train fare or a fixed mileage – should be regarded as part of what he (usually he) spends on maintenance and credited accordingly. If the PWC moves away thenod course the cost will increase. In some cases the cost may exceed the maintenance which would be due in which case I don’t seriously suggest that the PWC should meet the difference but I have no difficulty with saying that the NRP should not be asked for more. And as I have said before I think the courts here are too willing to alllow the PWC to destroy contact by moving away.
    And then there is the NRP who starts a new family and it’s no good moralising about it, that leaves less for the first family!

  18. JamesB says:

    John above ‘including by myself, but clearly there are still some who don’t understand’. If you want to convince people more, put more effort in and find another source, by quoting yourself as your most senior authority (impartially not very high an authority – I’d listen if Bob Geldof or Fathers for justice or families need fathers said it) . Quoting yourself doesn’t give the (bad thought) any authority, quite the opposite indeed. For example, I quote Marilyn Stowe and Cardiff University experts on the matter who say CSA/CMOptions/CMS/CMEC is unworkable in current form and we need a fairer system which operates on a more case by case level, which also is at a level which the lower paid especially, could afford and be better with their exes and children with. I also think most Judges would back my approach over yours and the governments also. If you want a better system with better results for all (it makes no sense to kill the father as you propose) as I do, engage with NRPs rather than preaching at them as you do in a patronising way in your article here. Indeed, government are showing signs at least of beginning (late) that approach by at least inviting FNF to the discussions on the matter (such as on CMEC/CMS/CMOptions/CSA recently). The radical feminists and likes of you shouting and noone listening to anyone else is what got us into this mess, and it is a mess of parents at each others and the governments and courts throats, when we should be working together more, for each other and the children. Shout less. Open you ears. Engage more and consult more and make better fairer laws. Like the parable of the wind and rain vs the sun getting the travellers coat of, coercion and shouting more and more isn’t the way, work with and support and empathise and listen.

    If there isn’t enough money to go around, really, then perhaps, workhouses and adoption/orphanages are better than driving parents against each other.

  19. JamesB says:

    If there isn’t enough money to go around, really, then perhaps, workhouses and adoption/orphanages are better than driving parents against each other. Either that or the government can pay in another way, perhaps more directly by paying non resident parent subsidies directly to the parents with care, as they are the ones encouraging absentee fathers, indeed calling them names and accusing them of DA where there wasn’t any and usually, 99 times out of 100 abuse allegations, they are decent people. I don’t talk about the 1% and they need to be punished, but while not punishing the 99% for their aggression, or violence, or bad parenting. 99 times out of a hundred though you are penalising too much the wrong people though, always a risk in law but especially with family law.

  20. Yvie says:

    Repeat after me – why so patronising John.. No need really. Child maintenance and contact should be two separate issues but many mothers choose to make them one and the same, aided by the State. who make it an easy option for them. Child maintenance should be capped at £20 per child. Anything over and above that should depend entirely on the parents and their financial circumstances. Did I mention a mandatory DNA test before any government agency can impose a DEO on a father or raid his bank account. This is an issue which needs to be addressed for all concerned, mother, father, and most importantly, the child.

  21. JamesB says:

    To expect people to pay to have their children who they love stolen from them them with unenforceable contact orders (parental arrangement orders / whatever they are called these days) is pushing your luck John. You are pushing a bad line and position there. If the court and you want to improve things I suggest Contact order enforceability and amount of contact with NRPs needs to go up (preferably to default of 50:50) and amounts of maintenance due need to go down (preferably to 0).

    Also, for journalism and journalists, it is illustrative to me that they are not representative and their views not representative by that people tend to disagree with them in the comments and look to the comments. Its one of the good things about the internet and information that people can see how popular something is or the other points of view or if something might not be a good thing by reading the comments. On this article as with most establishment lines on this website the comments tend to disagree with the articles where the articles are pro establishment. I doubt Tony Blair would have got away with his WMD BS or 2004 EU expansion without limits / quotas these days with the scruitany. A good example would be the dimentia tax and how the Tory manifesto was shown up and the Tory majority went when word got out that their manifesto was bad. Like the CSA/CMEC/CMOptions/CMS line and contact and maintenance are not linked lines, bad lines. I like to think that the days of government only representing and pandering to narrow self interest lobbying groups only, like Gingerbread, Women’s Aid, lawyers like yourself, with such ridiculous statements as yours are over and we will have more careful lawmaking or lack of lawmaking in the future from now.

    • Cameron Paterson says:

      16 of the 22 comments on this article are by you, James – three beginning with the words “Last point…” 🙂

  22. Paul says:

    Calm your self James. Fathers dealt with so badly in such a subhuman fassion by the family courts and by CSA that we are left with a form of PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Dissorder. We are left screaming inside for some kind of justice. Evidence on this website were people just need to download their thoughts and feelings. If we are spending 24/7 thinking about this then we are spending no time at all on our future prospects. Future goals and acheivements or general personal wellbeing.
    How many nights sleep have we all lost? How many days at work where we can’t focus on what we are doing?
    The situation fathers are left in post family court or post CSA have never been recorded or monitored.
    I have had to turn my back on at least 3 jobs. I have had to refuse work simply because I would be paying too much. I could not go for a promotion because I was waiting for the out come of a hearing for ‘harassment’ which ultimatly cost me my job. I have had days off work because of stress/depession. Ecconomically this assault on dads I would say is having a wholy negative effect. I can’t afford to make pension contributions so as an older person I will be entirely dependant on the state parachute. I will effectively pushed into state dependance.
    So as well as been a very difficult to enforce policy. With dubious moral implications which are deeply devicive. It also does not fulfil its basic role which is to plug the financial hole created by single families dependant on the state.
    A financial black hole artificially created by the family courts splitting up families. We are been billed for the mess created by the family courts.
    Dads do not see these as seperate issues and never will !!!!
    If you want daddys money. Go an see your dad !!!

  23. JamesB says:

    Plus, chasing fathers who were conned into it (e.g. woman saying she’s on the pill, when she wasn’t) is out of order. Plus if what you say is right then you should chase them Viking babies fathers for maintenance also which is not done. Your quick headline is wrong on so many levels and in so many ways, although it is provocative which may be its intention. I suggest though having a go at fathers and trying to get a rise out of fathers who are trying unsuccessfully often to maintain a decent relationship with their children to get them to pay more and more and for not paying enough is insensitive to say the least. Its victim blaming and is out of order until the law changes. I would be interested to hear articles by FnF or F4J but establishment Gingerbread types just piss me off and make me want to pay less which may be what he’s after to upset people and get a rise. I think there are better ways to write and open the debate rather than insulting people and make fun out of them and patronising them. Perhaps you could be a tory PM or judge with that sort of patronising establishment attitude. It is what gives the establishment a bad name, that and lack of transparency and duplicity and bad laws all of which you back.

  24. JamesB says:

    I advise you to stop baiting people if you don’t like their aggressive responses, stop being a wind up merchant.

  25. Stuart says:

    John I don’t understand.
    If child support and contact really are two separate issues, why do the Child Maintenance Service tell me that, despite a Court having proven my children are seriously alienated from me due to the actions of their mother, I have to pay their full assessed calculation? It seems that if I could actually see my children they would reduce the amount of child support that I pay. Have I missed something? Could you explain?

    • Cameron Paterson says:

      Hi Stuart – haven’t you answered your own question though? Presumably the CMS expect you to pay the full amount *because you aren’t seeing them?

      • Stuart says:

        Err Cameron exactly.
        Contact and child support payments are linked.
        In Social and government policy whatever John says. QED

  26. Jerry says:

    This unusually shallow item deserves a stronger response.

    It is certainly traditional to treat finance and children as separate issues, but the CMS formula is notoriously unfair and to make matters worse still, it is often applied in inappropriate ways. On the other hand, contact has no formula, is often notoriously unfair and to make matters worse still, it’s often applied in inappropriate ways.

    Separate but hardly unrelated.

    It is obvious to any fool that this approach is absurdly myopic for the many dads we come across who were in a happy relationship with their kids until they separated and suddenly found themselves accused of unspeakable abuse because their ex hates them and wants to get legal aid.
    What happens next? The relationship between child and dad is then brutally cut. Dad becomes a pariah – despite no evidence – and then is perhaps granted an indirect contact order to send two cards a year to his child on pain of prison if he either sends a third card or tells anyone about what happened in court. Mum on the other hand gets away with the lies she may have told the court on oath. Then he finds the child has been manipulated into hating him and no longer wants to know his dad. So the court obligingly revokes the order for contact instead of enforcing it. So we have a dad whose previously devoted kids hate him due to manipulation by mother – let’s say she’s given up work but insists her ex must support her and the kids even though he’s a hateful person in her eyes.
    Now imagine you are that completely innocent caring and loving dad who has not seen his kids for six months, and who’s spent £15,000 on legal advice and court fees and you’ve just realised that this will make not a jot or tittle of a difference to you seeing your child anytime soon. You are now told by the CSA that despite your being on a minimum wage job and having no more savings left, you are nevertheless expected to give your ex a significant sum to supplement her own child benefit and other benefits (she refuses to work), so she can take care of the children you adore and who used to adore you until she filled them with poison and lies about you. Do you really think that there will be no consequences of that alienation on your willingness to pay, or on your dignity and your respect for the boorish system that condemns you with no proof of any wrongdoing? Or that the incredibly unfair Child Maintenance Service decisions are going to have no consequences on the ongoing relationship between you and your ex and consequently the children?

    Any fool will realise that the above admittedly bad but far from unusual case, with our adversarial legal system thrown in for good measure, has a snowball’s chance in hell of creating a good outcome for the kids or the parents. The only real answer is for the roles and responsibilities of both parents to be considered as a whole – just as they were before separation, when parents considered their circumstances – personal, professional and financial – as a whole – when planning their kids’ futures.
    Only a dinosaur would insist (whilst giving no actual justification) that somehow parents’ (separated or not) financial responsibilities and parenting responsibilities ought to be considered separately.

    Repeat after me: only a dinosaur…..

    • Lizzie says:

      Hi have read all these comments. My daughter has the same problems as many of you. Her husband took their children refused her quality access for six weeks. They were not allowed home she was not allowed to see them without him being there. This was all on his say so. He had no legal right to do this but he did it anyway. He was the one who had and would not end an affair. He was the one who told her that she had to leave not only her home but their children and then wondered why she ended up emotionally distraught and in hospital. Dealing with this sort of narcissistic personality is impossible. She HAS suffered from emotional and psychological abuse because she wanted children. She married the man of her dreams only to find out that he was not. Not every husband is a good person. Some hide their true nature and destroy the person they say they love. I have had to stand by and watch my daughter struggle through the legal system to get access to only two if her children. She is suffering PTSD and on anti depressants because of his ENTITLEMENT perception. He is quite happy to destroy her life. She in the other hand would and will never stop the children from seeing and being with their father. She has never told the children anything bad about their father. He in the other hand took them all away and made them homeless and did his very best to discredit her and alienate the children. She has not seen her eldest son for nine months. She is divorcing him and the finances will no doubt be a problem as everything in his eyes is his and his alone.
      So gentlemen my daughter is not money grabbing she has been abused and betrayed by the person she adored and is only now realising she was traumatically bonded to. And by the way I loved and supported him for years. So he betrayed me as well!

  27. Andrew says:

    John Bolch, you have said the following

    “the government, in its infinite wisdom, decided that it was a good idea to link the amount of contact that an NRP has with the child with the amount of child support that the NRP has to pay.”

    So, you acknowledge that the amount of contact and the amount of child support calculated via the statutory schemes is “linked”. So, if the government has linked the 2 things how can you possibly keep repeating the words

    “Child support and contact are two separate issues”

    It is an indisputable fact that one thing (contact) has a direct relationship on the other thing (maintenance or child support). To argue otherwise is illogical and demonstrably false.

    Would you care to respond?

  28. Graham says:

    Let’s suggest money and contact are two separate issues. I’ll shall refrain from calling it “child support” as this is what they receive from government and this other means of money was simply a scheme to do away with “child support” you see in the children’s act it is stated that both parties are financially responsible i’ll repeat that “financially responsible” which would mean providing a home somewhere to rest and stay warm.. feed them.. cloth them etc you know the basics of being safe warm and alive no where in this “act” does it suggest what should be paid or a percentage of his income this would be because of a man has a home and is caring for said child regardless to how often would be financially providing.. so let’s see if a man doesn’t see his child (contact) it would be suggested that he is then only financially providing for himself amd not financially providing for his child this is where both are connected in retrospect to the corrupt system that gives women dividend for reducing contact which from a legal point of view I’d suggest this is breaking a law if the father has any contact as such he would be financially providing and unless the government could prove he weren’t they also have no right to be involved.. let’s be honest here if a woman stops contact the man has to spends thousands fighting for contact.. so why is it suggested that if the automatic assumption is that the women are the pwc and they’re entitled to a payment for taking on the role as main carer why should they not have to fight or settle in court about this entitlement.. I’ll tell you why as it would be infringing several conventional rights, right to a home..right to a decent standard of living.. right to property(money).. these cases would never win in court so they have BBC peado type system in place to unlawfully force money out of people which I’d suggest the majority of are men going by the draconic acts and legislations that suggest women are sponges and men are workers.

  29. Alienated parent says:

    Parental alienation is simply child abuse .
    Contact and paying for a child IS linked !!!

  30. Peter Smart says:

    This is crass virtue signalling. When one is exploited to extort the other, then yes. They are related.

  31. Paul says:

    So no support for mr Bolchs stance. Not surprise for many reasons which have already been stated. Its bullsxxt !!!
    Question is what are all us pissed off men going to do about it ? – if we stand by an do nothing this will happen to you kids and grand kids down the line and you will have to watch your kids tortured in the same way. Anyone with motivation to consider direct action feel free to ask for my email address. Or you can carry on griping online to solicitors/exsolicitors who are probably laughing at our comments over a coffee. Upto you..
    (*Comment moderated)

  32. Paul Archer says:

    I agree the two should be separate, and in an ideal world I agree with most this article. I also understand that the courts/state/cms/csa state as this actual does, that the two are “separate issues” however that’s not factually correct, as less/more contact = less/more child support so therefor, not matter how many times it is stated there are separate, and as much as anyone wants to believe such, fact outweighs fiction!

    • Stitchedup says:

      If the child spends 50/50 Time with each parent then each parent should put equal amounts into a separate pot that is used to pay for items that are over and above day to day living essentials. School uniforms, everyday clothing etc should come out of the pot and counter-signed by each parent unless of course either parent chooses to pay themselves. Day to living expenses such as food etc should be down to the individual parent to cover when the child stays with them. For me, the solution is a mix.

  33. Graham Kehily says:

    As a father who hasn’t even seen his children for more than three years, has no idea what they even look like any more, and yet who’s still pursued by the CSA and its new equally inept incarnation, even when I’ve had no income for months, I’d just like to thank you for taking the time to explain this in such a patronising manner.

    We know. We get it. We live it. We don’t need you to rub our noses in it when we endure the living bereavement of parental alienation every single day of our lives.

    • Paul says:

      In exactly the same boat. 3 years. No idea what they look like. 🙁 No doubt their mother will have raised them thinking im scum of the earth. It was a differnt story when my son was born an she was suffering with baby blues and could not cope. An I had to do everything.
      This is a sick game. Fight every second of it. If they screw up get your MP involved. Dead easy now. Just an email. Refuse to speak on the phone. Insist on written or email contact. If you don’t they will try to screw you over.

  34. Tj says:

    This ‘article’ shows the contempt this solicitor has for the feelings if many fathers who are illegally denied contact by mothers. It also demonstrates his complete lack of understanding of how mothers will use the system to have more contact and more money.

    This man needs some education in the realities of life.

  35. Paul Archer says:

    Let’s say we all agree with this article for arguments sake, but ask mr Bloch what should happen in the cases where such is abused?

    I have had parents contact me stating on paper they are not the primary career, but have the children +50% of the time while paying allowance as if they only saw them thoughtnightly. Each time they have addressed reducing payments contact has stopped, usually followed by false allegations.

    So Mr Bloch, how do we stop this, or what do we do with such when following you mindset? This is not a retorical question, so I do expect and justifiable answer. Kind regards Mr Archer

    • Cameron Paterson says:

      I’ve been talking to John about possibly addressing this topic and some related issues in a future column

  36. SL says:

    John, I’m pleased to see that this is being debated as I have been prevented from seeing my 2 children on the grounds of not paying enough child support in the past.

    Unfortunately this morphed into more serious matters and having been through a child contact arrangement with 2 hearings. I have been told that I can have supervised contact for 3 sessions before graduating to unsupervised, however the children ( 11 & 14 ) are still being alienated – e.g. all arrangements were agreed to be made via eldest daughter yet, their mum – resident parent – is sending email to myself and my partner telling me the children ‘will not be contacting me and will only reply to messages as and when they feel like it’.
    I’m in financial difficulty so wondering if you have any ideas as to where I may get some advice on this. I have a MH condition and this has been held up as the initial reason for contact being prevented.

  37. Paul says:

    Small point. You said above that this rule is in place for the welfare of the child not to antagonise fathers. So why would you pursue this money if the child was already financially secure and also in no immediate walfare danger ?
    Second point . What constitite a bad parent or NRP in court terms.
    What your suggesting is that I and many more like me have been stopped from seeing my kids because I am a bad parent.
    This is just utter rubbish.
    Im starting to think that soliciters live in some paralel world.
    The requirements for been a parent have nowhere been legally defined.

  38. Andy says:

    I have followed this and other blogs on such matters relating to CMS and the incompetence of it all..
    In reality all the comments made on here are all valid and have a common ground but this incompetant system is far from fair…
    If the CMS were a business it would be shut down for financial irregularities as much as Google is fair on its TAX accounting…now that something to sort…
    I salute you all in the fight for change and equal rights..pitty the system is always implemented with such inaccuracies…more brown cash envelopes to the MP’s..truth is real…

  39. RN says:

    The payment of child maintenance by the NRP to the RP is about the state not having to pay for the upkeep of the children living with the RP. I am on state benefits due to false allegations made by my ex-wife which have stopped me working as a school teacher and because I have 52+ days of contact with my children I had my child maintenance payments dropped in Dec 2015 from £7 a week to £0 a week. Had the ex-wife not made the false allegations about me and I was still working as a school teacher at the top of the main pay scale then she would have been getting £105 a week.

    • Paul says:

      Thats awful. Cost you a career. Been their too. My ex’s false allegation cost me a job/career as a security guard. She was receiving over £200+ probably closer to £300. Now receives virtually nothing. Would like to know how they assessed a teacher on the top end of the pay scale as £104. An a security guard on less than 15k at £300. They just pull figures out their backside.

      • Paul says:

        It’s calculated on income vs staying children / no staying children vs days main children stay with you. It should be 15% of your income on the basis you have one child and no contact. More for each child with that parent, and less if you have other children with another parent. It is all calculated so not really that random

        • Paul says:

          Even though child support and contact arnt linked ? Lol – Oh right. That scheme depends on what time your on CSA as to how you get stung. Personally ive been on three differnt schemes/calculations. All of their calculations have been wrong or all over the place. Trust me. It is completely arbitary. Change jobs. Apply again see if they get it right. I dare ya. Lol no don’t if your happy with what you pay. For the love of god don’t change.

  40. Amanda Newman says:

    What a short sighted article. The author is obviously limited in his understanding of the realities of family life after separation and the policies that are implemented by using any of Child support agencies in the first instance!

    Let me state: contact and child support are NOT two separate issues as this author would mislead you to believing.

    In short;
    Contact and Child support IS interlinked when a non resident parent has contact for more than 52 days of the year – This in itself raises a new calculation which will reduce the total payments – which then opens the door for a resident parent to reduce and manipulate Contact arrangements. If we were to be extremely pedantic we could go so far as saying in these circumstances – this policy maybe infringing upon art 8 echr! (In my opinion)

    The problem with limited beliefs of the MoJ and decision makers in Law is: They are undoubtedly damagaing family relationships due to the underestimated understanding of the level and amount of hostily of resident parents that will manipulate contact for higher child support payments! (Albeit not the majority).

    There is always someone or something that will NOT protect another right (or half hearted legislation) and this is it! Contact and Child Support ARE linked in this sense and that these very policies that determine what payment can be received by what level of contact a non resident parent is having! (Or not having) are contradictive to protecting childrens welfare and the presumptions that both parents are in the best interest of the child under the CA1989.

    • Jonny Heywood says:

      Well said, Amanda, well said.

      Many people, in my opinion, simply look at/state the legislation and pay no regard to the practical implications.

      They are linked, clearly linked and to argue otherwise is nonesense.

      The article is very poorly written and, frankly, offensive! Disappointing it was published in honesty, there have been some good points raised in other blogs here.

  41. Andrew says:

    Amanda and Jonny: Would you say that if an NRP loses his job and therefore – quite legally – reduces his payments he should be deprived of contact?
    Or would you say that a PWC should be allowed to refuse the money and then say “No contact, stay away?”.
    I repeat my view: NRPs spending money on contact should be deemed to be paying maintenance. It is for the benefit of the children.

    • Jonny Heywood says:

      Hi Andrew,

      I see the linkage as opposite to you from your comment i think – I’m in no way saying contact should be ‘pay per view’ at all.

      I feel that the link between contact and payments are adverse, specifically:

      1. Any system that financially rewards one parent for reducing/restricting access will always lead to these problems (there is a link)

      2. I feel, under the current system, that CM payments can be such a large proportion of disposable income (up to 40% technically but in practice even more) then many parents literally can no longer afford to maintain the current level of contact with their children, even if it is court ordered (there is a link)

      3. As you have, rightly IMO, said all costs associated with ‘maintaining’ contact with children should be deducted, in full, from any CM payment. They are not currently and therefore there is literally a distance where contact then must reduce/cease as a result of the CM payment (there is a link)

      Hope that makes my thoughts on the link between the two clearer?

  42. Paul says:

    Child support money is a product of the Neuclear family set up from the 40s and 50s. It depends on a man earning enough to support a family. We no longer are in that situation.

  43. Lee says:

    Maintenance and contact are legally 2 seperate things you are correct. But they shouldnt be!
    If a fathee is stopped from seeing his children by the state, or the vindictive mother, why should he be the one to pay child support? The state should pay if they are the ones preventing contact.

  44. Concerned says:

    Reading back on this old blog, in the case of maintenance and seeing a child I do think they are linked. In our case, my husband’s ex does not at all encourage her 9 year old son to spend time with us anymore and has randomly decided that it is his own decision.. now when looking into maintenance, this now doubles due to him never sleeping over. How is this fair, when the effort is there, there is no reason for said child to not want to see his other siblings but he would visit on a day time without spending the night.

  45. Amanda says:

    The starting point in law should be the presumption that when two parents have parental responsibility they have an automatic right to shared parenting, unless this is NOT in the best interests of the child.

    Shared genes, shared parenting, shared rights to access, shared costs.

  46. Rant says:

    Let’s suggest money and contact are two separate issues.

    There are genuine women out there who do care for the welfare of there children after separation, then there is also a majority of women who only care about themselves and wanting “maintenance” for there own personal gains. After relationship breakdowns children are used as weapons and it’s not right. What ever happens between said couples stays there but that’s not the case and everyone knows it (sept the justice system).

    Fathers should have just as much right to a child as the mother but by default that’s not the case. In an event of a break up the woman wins every time and its fathers left picking up the peace’s. If it’s ok for the mother you can see the child on her terms when it suits. You pay maintenance for them to go out party on your days with the kids or go out to get their hair done or nails painted. But they need the maintenance for the welfare for the child……

    The justice system is a con when it comes to parents. Maybe if they actually listen to factual evidence and instead saying NO the mother has all the rights they wouldn’t see so many suicides in men.

    The law needs to change and be rewritten for the modern times we don’t live in the Stone Age as and when the law was written. No woman should stop a father from seeing their child and no woman should demand child maintenance for their own pocket. I know that any father would clothe, feed pay towards educations, heating rent etc other giving a lump sum to a mother who blows it on themselves.

  47. David says:

    What about when the “separation” occurred when one parent kidnapped the children to another jurisdiction when there was no safety issue and then demands child support?

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