Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder picklefactory Novitiate

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    Default Child tax credit with joint custody

    Only been in the forum for 2 days and 2nd thread already!!
    OK, I might just be getting confirmation here, but am I right in thinking only one parent can claim Child Tax Credits? I have 50% custody of my 11 yo son, which was, fortunateley, never contested in the otherwise bitter and twisted divorceicon that I've just completed a few weeks ago. Ex-wife has been claiming it for that past 2 years that we have been seperated and I let that go as there were far more important things to worry about. It is true 50% custody, so neither parent can clearly show status of having main responsibility. Is my only option (Which I don't want to do) that of contesting her claim?
    It seems ridiculous that the system seems incable of dealing with this sort of situation, I can't be the only person in the UK with this issue.
    Any insight?

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  2. #2
    Basic Account Holder James 01 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Child tax credit with joint custody

    No - you cannot contest her claim and CTC can only be paid to one person. The attached gives more information: Entitlement: CTC entitlement
    You don`t indicate if your ex-wife is likely to relinquish it - could you come to an agreement ?. If you claim yourself a decision will have to be made as to who the main carer is and whoever it goes against will have the right of appeal.


  3. #3
    Basic Account Holder picklefactory Novitiate

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    Default Re: Child tax credit with joint custody

    Thanks James
    Thought as much. No, I really don't think she would relinquish it and we never agree on anything. Pretty poor system really (Surprise, surprise), there must be many people in similar position where there is no main carer. Oh well! It's not worth much anyway, not worth the grief of fighting for it.
    Cheers


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Child tax credit with joint custody

    The system isn't at all well designed to accommodate shared care. One parent gets all the benefits. This then gives them the right to claim child support from the other. (It should be the other way around, i.e. they should have to share the benefits.)


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    Default Re: Child tax credit with joint custody

    There is a way around it, but it involves discussion with your ex, and many calls to the Tax Credit office:

    In theory, only one person is deemed responsible for a child, and yes, only one person can claim in this respect. What you need to agree with your ex, if possible, is that you alternate responsibility every six months.

    If she is amenable to this, then on the dates agreed between you, she needs to call TC, and 'end responsibility' (known as date of responsibility) and at the same time you need to also call, add the children to your claim, and 'start responsibility'

    You also need to remember that Child Benefit will need to be included in this process, because if they are not, then verification failures will occur, and the claim (for either parent) will be held up.

    It is very messy, and really convoluted, but if the children spend a six-month block of time with each parent, then this is a viable option. If, on the other hand, they spend something akin to alternate weeks with you both, then it may be easier for her to agree to split the money with you 50/50.

    Ultimately, the decision about responsibility lies in the legal definitions, and if she is either awkward or unaccommodating, then it may be easier to just accept the situation as bad luck.

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    Basic Account Holder picklefactory Novitiate

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    Default Re: Child tax credit with joint custody

    Thanks Spiceskull
    A very clear bit of info. Unfortunately, there is no way she would be that accommodating, or even consider giving up any benefits. She fought tooth and nail to get every last penny she could from me. Also our custody arrangement is on a daily basis, we both have our son 4 days one week and 3 the next, but that is immaterial in my case due to her inherent greed.
    I think it's just less stressful to accept the bad luck.
    Thanks all for the information.

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    Default Re: Child tax credit with joint custody

    Sorry to hear that - yes, the benefits system in general is inherrently unfair in circumstances such as these, and they are quite common. It would be nice to believe that the system would recognise all combinations of household status, and perhaps one day they will...but it will take a massive amount of lobbying to effect change on that scale, because it would need to apply to pretty much every level and every department within government...

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