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TOPIC: Who pays for childcare?

Who pays for childcare? 7 months 6 days ago #83341

Hi all.
I have a specifc question. My ex and I have a court order as follows:


• The children shall live with both parents as follows:-
• Week 1 – The Children shall live with the father on Monday, Friday and Saturday (including overnights) and with the mother on all other days.
• Week 2 – The Children shall live with the father on Monday and Friday (including overnight) and with the mother on all other days.
• On any such additional dates and times as may be agreed between the parents.
• The Children shall spend half of the school holidays with each parent.


Until now I was able to pick up the children from school everyday at 3pm and bring them to my place, and then she would pick them up when she finished work at 6.

However, I can no longer leave work early. I have suggested that I will arrange for the children to be picked up on Monday and Fridays from school and that she does her own arrangement on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays.
Unfortunately she threw a fit, saying it is my responsibility to arrange and pay for this as we agreed I would do it in court. I have looked at the court order and there is nothing in it about who picks up the children, only about specific overnights.

Is she right or is it her responsibility to arrange for childcare the days they stay with her? I think my offer was a fair one. She now says she wants to go back to court to get the order changed because I made the case that my job is flexible there. Now it isn't.

If she goes back, do I run the risk of losing Mondays and Fridays too?
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Who pays for childcare? 7 months 6 days ago #83351

Hi There,
.
I would say that what you have suggested is fair, you pay the child care on the days that you should be having them and she does on the days you aren't but it's not always as easy as whats fair.
.
If you return to court the judge may agree that you have been fair and make an order in favour of that or they may go the other way, it's hard to say as each judge is different and will make a judgement that they feel is right.
.
Do you have any family that could collect the children from school, even on your days as this may go in your favour.
.
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Who pays for childcare? 7 months 5 days ago #83389

I think she should take care of it on the days she has care of them.

She would need to attempt mediation with you before she could make a court application and you have offered a compromise, which is what the courts would look for. If mediation fails, she could apply to,court, but taking days off you would make your arguement stronger anyway... if she is threatening to ask for a reduction in you time with the children, I would point this out to her. From the sound of it she needs you to be fully involved with the kids, perhaps because she works?

Situations change, the courts appreciate this, if your job is no longer as flexible then that's nobody fault. I would stick to your guns and deal with mediation and court if it comes to that.

All the best
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Who pays for childcare? 7 months 4 days ago #83395

Thank you for your responses.

We already went to court in January and the order is the one I pasted above in bullet points. In court I argued that because my job is flexible I should have Tuesdays as well. But the judge disagreed.

So I continued to pick up the children from school everyday at 3 and brought them to mine until my Ex returned from work at 6.
I can no longer do this and have suggested I picked them up on my days, which are Monday and Fridays and she should arange for them to be picked up on her days, which are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays.

She seems to think I should arrange it and pay for her days too because in court I said I would do this. This was not part of the order.

So do we have to go to mediation again? Could she apply for an amendment to the order, Ex Parte, that would oblige me to arrange after school childcare on days that the children are her responsibility?
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Who pays for childcare? 7 months 4 days ago #83396

If she wants to go back to court to either change the order or to ask for a ruling on a specific issue, she would need to try mediation first. If she is the applicant it's for her to initiate both mediation and the court application.

I don't believe she could apply for an ex parte amendment, this only applies to urgent or emergency applications, where a child would be at immediate risk of harm, or the parent is intending to remove them from the country.
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Who pays for childcare? 7 months 3 days ago #83406

Thank you Mojo.

I received a number of threatening messages from her today, saying she will f@@k me up once and for all by having my two nights a week removed. She says she will make sure I only see the kids two hours a week after going to court. She also said she would get more maintenance from me and pay for childcare.

She reiterated that she does not intend to pick up the kids from school on her days and will turn off her phone as it is my responsibility.

I don't know if this is all threats to scare me or she really thinks there is a legal basis for this. If it does go to court I will produce the messages. But how likely is it that I will lose my nights?
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Who pays for childcare? 7 months 3 days ago #83416

I don't think a court would take kindly to her attitude - she is still the parent with care, so she can't just switch off if you are due to pick up, after what would happen in a genuine emergency.
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Who pays for childcare? 7 months 3 days ago #83423

As you were only in court for the final hearing in January, you can try writing to the judge that made the order and ask for a return to court to sort this out...they do have discretionary powers to do this. Attach screenshots of her threatening messages. They may decide to bring it back, or they may advise you to make a new application.

Alternatively, as she is effectively threatening to abandon the children whilst in her care, you could give Social Services a call and discuss your concerns with them and ask them to speak to her about her responsibilities in this matter. You could also speak to the school and explain what is happening, so at least they can be prepared.

It's a dilemma for you for sure.
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Who pays for childcare? 7 months 2 days ago #83431

Hello PA71

As you have a Court Order in place for your children's shared care and maintenance it may be beneficial for you to seek legal advice if you wish to make any changes to your arrangement. When parents have an arrangement made through the courts for maintenance payments it is generally known as a Consent Order.

To arrange a Consent Order, both parents need to agree how much child maintenance will be paid and how often, before going to court. Parents can agree this either privately between themselves, through a solicitor or a mediator.

Once an agreement has been made, parents can then ask the court to approve and authorise the Consent Order. This usually happens when parents are going to court for other reasons, such as arranging a divorce or dividing their property or other assets.

Once a Consent Order has been agreed and authorised, the paying parent is legally liable to pay the amount the court has endorsed, however, the court does not monitor or collect payments. This means the receiving parent will need to seek legal advice for any missed or reduced payments, unless they are happy to accept them.

It is possible to change the terms of your Consent Order but to do this you will need to get legal advice and this usually results in going back to court to set out the application on a standard form. The court will then consider any changes.

You may also be interested to know the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have a website, 'Sorting out Separation'. It aims to make it much easier for separating and separated parents (and childless couples) to find the support they need, when and where they need it, and encourages them to collaborate on a range of issues. The link is www.sortingoutseparation.org.uk/

For more information and for a more personalised service, you may wish to visit the Child Maintenance Options website yourself.

Regards

William
This information which Child Maintenance Options has provided is not a substitute for independent professional advice and users should obtain professional advice relevant to their particular circumstances.

Please note: the Child Maintenance Options team cannot answer any questions relating to a specific CSA case
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Who pays for childcare? 7 months 1 day ago #83453

I agree with most of what Mojo has said - I would try writing to the court but I wouldn't attach copies of the messages at this stage as you could run the risk of putting the judge's back up. I would mention that there have been threatening messages though.

Personally, first off, as Mojo suggested, I would speak to Childrens Services who are likely to tell you to go to the court and you can mention that in the letter to the judge. You will need to demonstrate that you have exhausted all other options. You could try initiating mediation yourself too. Totally your call.

I doubt a court would take your overnights away and I do think she should organise child care on her days.

Good luck with it.
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Who pays for childcare? 7 months 1 day ago #83459

Thank you everyone.
I wrote a short letter to her solicitor asking them to clarify their position and whether she will pick up the children on her days. I clarified that I would continue to do so on my days and she should do the same on hers.

I have been adviced that if she fails to pick up the children from school on the days she is responsible for them, I can make an ex-parte application to court to have the chidlren's residency changed to me, on grounds of her abandoning them.

Can I ?
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Who pays for childcare? 7 months 1 hour ago #83492

You certainly could try. I think this would be granted temporarily but you would have a fight on your hands to uphold that decision. It would probably be a 50/50 chance of long term success with that sort of application. Nobody could predict what an individual judge would decide.

Keep us posted.

Good luck
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