So What is Child Support?
A set amount of money paid to the resident parent (that's the one who actually lives with the offspring) of a child by the non-resident parent (who lives in a bedsit and is generally slightly bitter at the financial raping he has had).
There are two ways child support can be set up and they are:
- Voluntary agreement between the parents. This can then be legally binding after a solicitor (AKA bottom-feeding scum sucker) has drawn it up.
- Either party can apply to the Child Support Agency (CSA) to have a direct debit set up for the legislated amounts which are:
- 15% of income for child 1
- 20% of income for child 2
- 25% of income capped for child 3 and over
N.B. Percentiles are of NET income and not Gross.
Am I required to pay it?
Child support will happen to you if:
- You are male
- Are separated from your partner (married, civil or common law)
- Have kids from said relationship
- The relationship is in the shitter
Do I have to pay it?
Absolutely yes. If you cannot reach an agreement then the CSA can and will enforce the payments. Enforcement can be added financial penalty and, in some cases, even a spell in chokey. Don’t know about you but as painful as paying out can be it is preferable to sharing a cell with a big guy called Mary!
What if I go abroad or simply quit work?
You need to understand who you are dealing with here. Firstly, there is the 'ex' who not only remembers every trangression of yours (perceived or otherwise) back to 1982 but is also about as bitter and vindictive as a woman called Mrs Bitter Nasty Vindictive from Shitsville.
Secondly, you are dealing with a government department that exclusively deals with collecting money from non-chavs who are generally upstanding members of the community. Of course they are going to hunt you down and empty your pay packet quicker than a squaddy does a pint of Stella!
If you go abroad the CSA has reciprocal arrangements with most European countries... and some others too. Now think about chokey - but the fella's name is now Hilda, Marie or Juanita.
If you quit work then the CSA just whips it out of your benefits at source. The CSA has now replaced your 'ex' and full disclosures must be made just as when you were together with her.
Can I get custody of kiddy(s) and turn the tables? (Yeah! Get some bitch!)
Ah, young Padowan. Much to learn of the dark side of family law have you. There is no such thing as 'custody' anymore. It’s called 'joint responsibility' and one parent has residence. It's the same thing really, just a government term to make the whole scenario less combative and more palatable because...
99% of cases will result in the mother being the resident parent because the courts say so, so there! Even if you, as daddy, demonstrate a lifestyle that renders you eligible for canonisation as a saint and Mahatma Gandhi is your bezzer - and kiddy’s godfather - forget it! Unless she is a listed war criminal as declared by The Hague and shares characteristics with Rose West your application to the court is likely to be viewed with about as much consideration as Saddam Hussein had for human rights.
Not to mention that she will use that one isolated mess dinner incident (we all have one) in 2002 to paint you out as an unhinged, alcoholic wrong ‘un. Even though this may not be the case the Judge is unlikely to see the funny side of a naked drill formation by you and your muckers, dressed only in Santa Hats, through a town centre after too many pints of Drama Artois.
Any good news?
Well, in a nutshell, no. Child Support kicks in from the minute you separate and can be backdated by the CSA. So you probably living apart before the divorce really gets into swing and more fun and games ensue.
You can’t control what the 'ex' spends it on either, so live comfortable with the fact that you are part-funding her lawyer who will go after you with the zeal of a crack head in a coke factory, and who learnt their financial negotiating and collection tactics from the Gambino Family.