Example 2: Problems for a low-income NRP trying to pay for sharing of
Everyone agrees that where possible separated parents should share the
care of their children. But the formula does not encourage this where
the NRP has very low income (a significant minority of NRPs are out of
Consider a PWC earning (say) £232, and an NRP on benefits or very
low income. The Green Paper states that the NRP should pay £5 per
week if care is not shared. Suppose, now, the NRP cares for the child
for (say) 2 nights per week.
Presumably the maintenance liability will be reduced to about £3.60
per week. This makes virtually no difference to the PWC, who is relieved
of the cost of the child for 2 nights a week, but it makes no provision
for the NRP to pay for the child for those 2 nights. (Presumably benefits
will not pay extra for those 2 nights, and the NRP is already getting
less than "poverty relief" benefit levels because of that £3.60).
The revised proposal identifies that the NRP pays the PWC £3.60
for 5 of the nights, and the PWC pays the NRP £10 for the 2 nights.
(The latter amounts to two sevenths of what someone on £232 income
would pay per week). The PWC pays to be relieved of 2 nights care, and
the NRP has about £6.40 above his/her own income to spend on the