Home > Child Support & Family > Shared Care of a Child

Shared Care of a Child

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 16 Sep 2017 |
 
Csa Shared Care Non-resident Parent

Although it is often the case that child support cases refer to the parent ‘with care’, or the ‘non-resident parent’, there are in practical terms many other domestic arrangements that do not fall into these two definitions. One such situation is ‘shared care’, in which more than one person looks after a child or children, but those people live in separate homes.

Who Can Share Care?

For the purposes of child support laws, ‘shared care’ does not include people who live under the same roof and share the care of a child. However, the following people are classed as having shared care: a person with care who is treated as though they are a non-resident parent (child in his/her care for at least 104 nights a year) – this could be a grandparent; a non-resident parent who looks after the child for at least 52 nights each year; or a child who is sometimes in the care of the local authority.

The CSA’s/ CMS's Decision

The CSA/CMS will, in deciding cases in which there is an issue of shared care, consider all the circumstances of the arrangements. The evidence to support a shared care application should be provided in writing but may be given orally if both the parents consent.

Who Receives Maintenance Payments?

There may be a question in shared care circumstances as to who should receive maintenance payments. If two people share responsibility for a child on a day-to-day basis, either one of them may apply to the CSA/CMS, on the condition that either both of them has parental responsibility or neither of them have parental responsibility. If one person does and the other person does not, it will be the person with parental responsibility who is entitled to apply for child maintenance.

If parents share care, the one who has the majority of the care will be the one who is entitled to child maintenance. If the shared care is entirely equal, it is the person who is in receipt of child benefits who can apply to the Child Maintenance Service (CMS). If both parents make competing applications for child benefit, the person who applied first will take priority.

Calculating the Rate Reduction

As we have already seen, a non-resident parent who looks after a child for at least 52 nights per year qualifies to have ‘shared care’ of the child. Although there are a number of variations and some exceptions, the following information reflects the general effect of shared care on CSA/CMS maintenance calculations.

If a non-resident parent has care of a child for between 52 – 103 nights per year, maintenance payments will be reduced by 1/7. For 104 – 155 nights, this fraction increases to 2/7. For 156 -174 nights, there will be a reduction of 3/7 and if the child spends 175 nights or more with the non-resident parent, maintenance payments will be reduced by ½.

The overnight care does not need to stretch to a 24 hour period, but must be overnight. If a child is in boarding school, with a babysitter, staying with a friend or is in hospital, the person who would otherwise have had care of the child during that period is considered to be the person with care.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Toves13 - Your Question:
Me and my ex partner split up 5 months ago, we have a 4 year old together.he owns the home we lived in together and kicked me out and made me homeless , he has since told me her got promotion and now earns over £50,000 a year. He is now claiming the child benefit and is asking for child maintenance from me even though he only lets me see our son for 2 hours a week. We are starting mediation which will hopefully result in 50/50 custody. Will I still have to pay him maintenance even though he earns what he does (I earn £15000 pa) and he receives the child benefit?

Our Response:
Whoever is the non-resident parent, by law has to pay the resident parent child maintenance towards the day-to-day care of their child regardless of what the resident parent earns. If you both agree to 50/50 residency of your child, then you will agree whether you should pay child maintenance or not. If mediation fails and you cannot agree, then your only recourse would be to apply to court for shared-care and the court will also decide whether you should pay child maintenance.
ChildSupportLaws - 18-Sep-17 @ 3:10 PM
Me and my ex partner split up 5 months ago, we have a 4 year old together.he owns the home we lived in together and kicked me out and made me homeless , he has since told me her got promotion and now earns over £50,000 a year. He is now claiming the child benefit and is asking for child maintenance from me even though he only lets me see our son for 2 hours a week. We are starting mediation which will hopefully result in 50/50 custody. Will I still have to pay him maintenance even though he earns what he does (I earn £15000 pa) and he receives the child benefit?
Toves13 - 16-Sep-17 @ 9:20 AM
Bobs - Your Question:
My expartner is made a claim to take the child benefit from me. We have 50/50 shared care. I look after all my sons medical app and well being including docs dentist's hospital ect. I received a letter stating that they except we have 50/50 shared care and it goes down to who as him most throughout the day. It works out that he as him due to the times we agreed on pick up and work etc. I only work 3 days per week and may be losing my job in the next couple of mths. I have also reported my ex for domestic abuse and sent child benefits the letter also. I has said if he get the child benefit then he will use that control to move my son away from me to another school. Am very ill at the moment with anxiety depression and bad nerves. Can anyone help me please

Our Response:
If you have 50-50 shared care, then both parents have equal rights to care for your son. I can only suggest you seek legal advice as it would be up to a court to decide if you cannot agree between you and/or you cannot agree through mediation (if the child benefit office decides in his favour and you wish to challenge this). However, please note that if you have shared-care and as you have parental responsibility your ex cannot move your child away out of the area without your consent.
ChildSupportLaws - 29-Aug-17 @ 10:24 AM
My expartner is made a claim to take the child benefit from me. We have 50/50 shared care. I look after all my sons medical app and well being including docs dentist's hospital ect. I received a letter stating that they except we have 50/50 shared care and it goes down to who as him most throughout the day. It works out that he as him due to the times we agreed on pick up and work etc. I only work 3 days per week and may be losing my job in the next couple of mths. I have also reported my ex for domestic abuse and sent child benefits the letter also. I has said if he get the child benefit then he will use that control to move my son away from me to another school. Am very ill at the moment with anxiety depression and bad nerves. Can anyone help me please
Bobs - 27-Aug-17 @ 7:02 AM
Spark - Your Question:
Can Grandparents claim CMS and if so which parent do I claim it of as I don't won't to upset my daughter so was only going to name my grand daughters father if I do this will I also have to claim against her mother( my daughtet)

Our Response:
If the child is officially living with you; the grandparents, then you would have to claim from both parents. CMS will not unfairly claim from just one parent.
ChildSupportLaws - 25-Aug-17 @ 11:27 AM
Can Grandparents claim CMS and if so which parent do I claim it of as I don't won't to upset my daughter so was only going to name my grand daughters father if i do this will i also have to claim against her mother( my daughtet)
Spark - 24-Aug-17 @ 11:34 AM
I split with my partner 18 months ago and since the split we agreed on shared custody of my 4yr old daughter. I have her 16 nights a month, which is more than her mother, and I also have her half sister for 12 nights a month as her mother works nights and so I agreed to help out. I do not pay any maintenance and this was something we both agreed upon as I have her so much. My question is to whether I am able to claim any benefits rather than my ex as me and my current partner do all the driving (28 miles per trip) to collect the children plus we provide all meals as they are fed breakfast and dinner each day from us and schools provide their lunches. Also, which is the best way to have all of our arrangements put down in writing so none of the parties can go back on the agreement.
Anon2521 - 16-Aug-17 @ 10:16 AM
Hi, my ex only has our children for 20 nights of the year meaning he doesn't qualify for shared care under the cms rules, at the moment on our cms agreement he is down as having 'shared care band a' as that is what he used to have. I have spoken to him about this and he has refused to agree that he now has the children less. From what I have read the cms need agreement from both parents to change the shared care band or you need to provide evidence. What kind of evidence would they need as I'm not sure what I could provide to prove he has them less. Thanks
Mjm99 - 14-Aug-17 @ 3:08 PM
Hi there could you help me with some advice please. I have share custody with me daughter of 8 years old and have done for a number of years which was agreed between us as parents. I have always payed for my daughter every week by bank transfer (standing order) from my account to her mothers never missing any payments even when I was out of work. Even though I am the ones that buys her new clothes constantly and taking her out on day trips etc. I have my daughter a minimum of 3 days a week and at most 5 days a week sleep over ( I keep records in Callander).The passed few weeks things have turned sour between us and my ex! 3 weeks ago we agree over txt messages ( which I have saved) that I won't have to pay weekly maintenance for my daughter anymore and she agreed to. In my eyes i pay and do everything I can for my daughter by providing everything she needs with out paying her mother a wage to. Also me and my partner of 4 years have just had our baby girl of 5months I am not claiming no benefits at all I never have I am a hard working farther. Now the ex is now going back on our agreement of joint custody and wants me to pay maintenance weekly again and threading me with CSA. Can she do this???? And is she actually entitled to CSA?? My ex claims all benifits there is to claim child, housing etc etc. Also works """part time""" hint hint. I have Always keep records of the agreements we made between us as parents. Days my daughter stay over on a weekly basis. Bank transfer records. What can I do am getting sick of these ideal threats about money??
Hugz - 7-Aug-17 @ 12:46 PM
Charlie- Your Question:
Me and my expartner spilt up tryed live together forsake of children. We have two girl plus his son always lived with us. I asked him to leave he refused as he wanted to keep all 3kids together as his son wanted to stay with his dad. Things got really difficult to point where I had leave the house and my girls. Council got me 2bed flat in same village where my children are,3 weeks later. I asked my expartner if my girls can come and live with me he had already put claims in for child benefit n child tax. He allows me to have them 3days but I want to be there lives with school etc. I carnt afford to do things I wanna do with them as iam on low income he won't give me money.

Our Response:
You would have to seek legal advice about taking the matter to court. The fact you are the mother, doesn't automatically award you the role as the primary carer of your children. Each parent with parental responsibility has equal rights to bring up their children. Neither is your ex entitled to give you money. In fact, your ex will be entitled to claim child maintenance from you if he is the primary carer. You may be able to seek some free legal advice from Citizens Advice here .
ChildSupportLaws - 3-Aug-17 @ 2:26 PM
Me and my expartner spilt up tryed live together forsake of children. We have two girl plus his son always lived with us. I asked him to leave he refused as he wanted to keep all 3kids together as his son wanted to stay with his dad. Things got really difficult to point where I had leave the house and my girls. Council got me 2bed flat in same village where my children are,3 weeks later. I asked my expartner if my girls can come and live with me he had already put claims in for child benefit n child tax. He allows me to havethem 3days but I want to be there lives with school etc. I carnt afford to do things I wanna do with them as iam on low income he won't give me money.
Charlie - 2-Aug-17 @ 7:39 PM
Jane89121321 - Your Question:
My ex is currently paying child maintenance for the children. He is refusing and has refused even prior to going through the csa to provide clothing during their 2 overnight stays every other week.Is there currently any legal obligation for the receiving parent of csa to have to provide the ex with clothing during their overnight stays?

Our Response:
There are no laws to specify this, this should be agreed between you.
ChildSupportLaws - 31-Jul-17 @ 1:40 PM
Me - Your Question:
Hi,I left the marital home end of May because of an abusive and controlling husband toward me and my 3 boys (17-14 and 11). I am getting divorce for domestic abuse.Recently my husband has put all my belongings (clothes) in bags, We have a joint tenancy agreement and my Landlord does not reply to my text.He refusing me to see my children and they are not replying to my texts. Today I received a letter as he ask for Child Maintenance. Do I need to pay? How does it work?Thank you

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. If you have a letter regarding child maintenance, then by law every non-resident parent has to financially support their children, if they are earning. Please see link here will tell you all you need to know. You can also see more via the CAB link here about what happens to your home if you separate. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 31-Jul-17 @ 11:17 AM
My ex is currently paying child maintenance for the children. He is refusing and has refused even prior to going through the csa to provide clothing during their 2 overnight stays every other week. Is there currently any legal obligation for the receiving parent of csa to have to provide the ex with clothing during their overnight stays?
Jane89121321 - 30-Jul-17 @ 5:47 AM
Hi, I left the marital home end of May because of an abusive and controlling husband toward me and my 3 boys (17-14 and 11). I am getting divorce for domestic abuse. Recently my husband has put allmy belongings (clothes) in bags,We have a joint tenancy agreement and my Landlord does not reply to my text.He refusing me to see my children and they are not replying to my texts. Today I received a letter as he ask for Child Maintenance. Do I need to pay? How does it work? Thank you
Me - 28-Jul-17 @ 1:53 PM
Cazo - Your Question:
Hi my son's ex has texted him saying she has a letter from csa saying he has to pay her £23 a week for his two children, he has them Friday - Sunday every week then all the school holidays. Csa has not been in touch with him about this. I have told him to get in touch with the csa to find out if she is entitled to this amount every week he is zero hours contract, he gets paid fortnightly only gets 120 wage most times.

Our Response:
Your son can see how much he should be paying via the CMS link here .
ChildSupportLaws - 24-Jul-17 @ 2:44 PM
Hi my son's ex has texted him saying she has a letter from csa saying he has to pay her £23 a week for his two children, he has them Friday - Sunday every week then all the school holidays. Csa has not been in touch with him about this. I have told him to get in touch with the csa to find out if she is entitled to this amount every week he is zero hours contract, he gets paid fortnightly only gets 120 wage most times.
Cazo - 22-Jul-17 @ 8:41 PM
Pantsnvests - Your Question:
If my child whom I care for 6/7 days a week goes to stay at their grandparents for a fortnight during school summer holidays does the non resident parent have the right to stop the maintenance payments for this period?

Our Response:
If calculated via CMS, then no as the payments are averaged out across the year. If the agreement is family based, then it is to be negotiated between both parents as to what you think is in the best interests of your child.
ChildSupportLaws - 14-Jul-17 @ 12:38 PM
If my child whom I care for 6/7 days a week goes to stay at their grandparents for a fortnight during school summer holidays does the non resident parent have the right to stop the maintenance payments for this period?
Pantsnvests - 13-Jul-17 @ 9:17 PM
Hi me and my ex have got 50 50 shared care with the 3 boys. I have bipolar and sometimes struggle with it. That's why we went 50 50. I'm I entitled to csa. Also do I get to keep all the benefits aswell.
Mitch1 - 8-Jun-17 @ 11:10 PM
My ex REFUSES to give me bank details I have been asking for years, she keeps saying she doesn't have a bank account.......i know for a fact that is Bull. She just keeps wanting it in cash. I don't want anything to do with her, she is a manipulative drug addict and I know she uses the money for drugs and not for the kids. I have spoken to the csa but they kept saying it doesn't matter as she is legally entitled to the money. Can I give the children the money directly?
Nick - 27-May-17 @ 8:35 PM
fozzy - Your Question:
I have not been able to have my son alfie and stopped from contacting him at all.for last ten yrs I hav e had him every weekend since birth and helped during the week if needed and school holidays as his mum started back at work.i tried making contact after first few weeks by going up to see if my son was playing out.i was seen and after a few times she had police come and arressted me for harrassment.its still under investigation so I not been charged. it does mean I have not contacted her since in fear of being arressted again.im on his birth certificate and im desperate to see him and have a strong bond.im not sure how to go about this lee

Our Response:
You would need to seek legal advice regarding this as much depends upon whether you will be charged or whether the charges will be dropped. If you have had your son for the past 10 years, then you have a good solid relationship with him and a court will take this into consideration. However, much depends upon why your ex stopped contact and what the results of the investigation will be.
ChildSupportLaws - 25-May-17 @ 12:11 PM
i have not been able to have my son alfie and stopped from contacting him at all..for last ten yrs i hav e had him every weekend since birth and helped during the weekif needed and school holidays as his mum started back at work...i tried making contact after first few weeks by going upto see if my son was playing out...i was seen and after a few times she had police come and arressted me for harrassment...its still under investigation so i not been charged. it does mean i have not contacted her since in fear of being arressted again..im on his birth certificate and im desperate to see him and have a strong bond...im not sure how to go about this lee
fozzy - 24-May-17 @ 11:39 PM
Hi I have my 2 boys 50 50 basis and then more some weeks. I provide clothes food trips etc and always will while my boys are in my care.my ex claims for after school fees + other benifits she's entitled too roughly £220 a week plus her weekly wage.she now saying I have to contribute to school fees but I don't think this is fair as it's me who provides/cares for the majority of what I've said above.just want to know who is eligible to pay after school fee's as to me if she claims then she should pay as I don't get a penny towards anything for my boys ?? Thanks Damian
Day - 19-May-17 @ 2:25 AM
Hi I've been paying via CSA for last 5years based on residency of 52+ nights a year. Following the reassessment to move into the new Child Support Service my ex has stated I have children less than 52. I have a schedule proposed to see kids over coming year more than 52 nights however the CSA are only taking her word and therefore over charging. What can be done in this situation to prove the 52 nights? Thanks
Mainy - 11-May-17 @ 7:38 PM
Hi, does ex-husband's assets / lifestyle / court ordered maintenance arrears matter to the CMS? Does the fact that he now has children 50 percent of time, equal in proportion to the time my gorgeous wee ones spend with me, matter to the CMS at all? Care is fully shared, divided exactly in half, not only by number of nights, but also by day-to-day care. Ex is in almost £7000 of court ordered child maintenance arrears and has now applied to CMS who have assessed that I should pay him £9000 per year because he is not working and I am? He lives in 5-bedroom mansion, owns 3 luxury cars including a Porsche, luxury holidays, extravagant teacher gifts, private lessons for children. I live in tiny terraced house, 10-year old second hand car. Key point though is that he bought dozens of court orders over the last 6 years paying his legal team over £1million to ensure care is shared completely 50/50 (where I had friends help me / represented myself). And now that he's been fired, and hasn't paid court ordered maintenance in almost a year, I now have the CMS telling me I need to pay maintenance to him?? I thought the UK family court system was dismal, terrifying and bullying, but at least I thought it couldn't get any worse. I thought it was over and he couldn't take any more away from me. In walks CMS, and oh how wrong I was.
Exhausted - 13-Mar-17 @ 12:04 PM
I have two children who live with dad I have limited income and pay my maintenance as is legally required dad is haply for one of my children on shared care but financial I cannot afford him to stay that long without starving myself and going without things I need is dad responsible to provide for child who is staying with me if he is claiming benefits and I cannot provide what the child needs due to my own financial situation and if not is it classed as neglect of the child
Overwhelmed - 12-Mar-17 @ 6:09 PM
My ex has been living with his gf for months and has lied to cms saying he lives with his mum. His mum has the children 2 nights a week and he visits them. Cms have agreed he is living with his mum when he isn't. He said he doesn't want them anymore. So reducing payments. I cannot prove otherwise, apart from asking the children which they won't do. Help please
Me - 8-Mar-17 @ 5:25 PM
Jojo - Your Question:
I'm a separated mum to two children my son is being diagnosed with ADHD and his dad lives back with his parents,I'm struggling to cope with my son alone and was wondering where I stand does he have to see him just on a Saturday for four hours as he thinks he does or is there something I can do to Make him have him more.Any thoughts grateful received.

Our Response:
Unfortunately, I'm afraid there is little you can do to force your ex to see or play a larger part in your son's life if he doesn't wish to. If you are struggling with this issue, you may wish to see your GP to see if there is any respite services in your area. Please also see link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 27-Feb-17 @ 12:09 PM
I'm a separated mum to two children my son is being diagnosed with ADHD and his dad lives back with his parents,I'm struggling to cope with my son alone and was wondering where I stand does he have to see him just on a Saturday for four hoursas he thinks he does or is there something I can do to Make him have him more.Any thoughts grateful received.
Jojo - 26-Feb-17 @ 4:05 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ChildSupportLaws website. Please read our Disclaimer.