New Style CMS Calculation Variations

Although the new system is a “one size fits all” equation you may not be happy with the calculation produced. You can apply for a variation so the figures are looked at differently. Variations can be applied for on many grounds but as a non-resident parent you would be looking at:-

1. Contact costs. Where there is a regular contact set-up with one of the children for whom you are paying child support and there is no shared care award it is possible to apply for a variation for contact. Allowable contact costs include travel tickets, fuel, taxi fares/car hire/tolls and fees and the cost of overnight stays where it is unreasonable to expect you to return home.

2. If you have a child living with you who is ill or disabled whether yours or a “stepchild” you can apply for a variation in respect of the illness expenses specifically incurred as a result of the condition.

3. If you have prior debts incurred whilst you and the parent with care were living together as a couple which was incurred for the joint benefit between the two of you or in respect of any child that was living with you at the time and you have been saddled paying with the debt then a variation can be granted. It is very important to realise you have to have been lumbered with the debt against your will. If there is a Court Order or financial settlement which ordered you to pay the debt then you would not be able to apply under these grounds.

4. Boarding school fees. If you pay the fees for boarding school then that element of the boarding school fees that covers boarding (as opposed to tuition) can be taken into account as a variation. Where it is not possible to distinguish between tuition and boarding fees the presumption is made that 35% of boarding school fees are represented by boarding.

5. If you are paying off a mortgage, secured loan or endowment policy on property for which the parent with care and the qualifying children still live and you not legally liable for the payments and have no legal interest in the property then you can apply for a variation on this ground. Very importantly here, you would still qualify for a variation on this ground even if you are making the payments as part of a Court Order.

Once it is decided that you qualify for a variation the thresholds then have to be applied and the combination of all of the figures are then deducted from your net income. Your child maintenance is then recalculated. It is always a good idea to seek advice about these variations as some can be valuable but some can be worth very little and can stir up other issues, leading to a possible adverse change. It is always vital to consider your entire position before making an application and we can help with this by calling us on 03456 588683.