Most fathers with a Child Support Liability are aware that shared care will bring a discount to their payment. There is also an increasing awareness that the rules have recently changed such that shared care to exactly the same extent as the mother of the child will result in the liability being extinguished altogether.

Regulation 50 of the Child Support Maintenance Calculation Regulations 2012 state that a father is to be treated as the non-resident parent “if, and only if, that person provides day to day care to a lesser extent than the Applicant”. This obviously means that where a father provides care to exactly the same extent as the mother then he does not fulfil the criteria and will not be deemed to be the non-resident parent.

As knowledge of the Regulation 50 becomes more known I am sure that we will see increasing numbers of fathers seeking same extent shared care Orders to take advantage of this provision and place themselves outside the grasp of the agency. The other side of this is that there will no doubt be a corresponding number of mothers who seek to prevent same extent shared care Orders in order to keep the Child Support Liability alive.

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