How can I prove equal care to the CMS?
If day-to-day care of children is shared equally between parents then neither parent is treated as “non-resident” and so there is no liability for child support to be paid. The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) will accept a shared care court order or written agreement as proof of equal care. If you don’t have either you can submit a summary of care arrangements over the past year.
For equal care the CMS has to consider overall care arrangements, not simply overnights, This Upper Tribunal case decision has more detail on this. See also our Notes from CMS training.
How is child maintenance calculated?
If separated parents cannot agree on the amount of money that has to be paid to the parent who has the majority of care of the children then the Child Maintenance Service formula is used.
This calculation is based on the income of the paying parent and the number of children that have to be supported. Factors such as the number of nights the children spend with the other parent and whether that parent is also responsible for maintaining other children. Further details can be found here or by contacting Child Maintenance Options