Undisclosed Partners: Dependent Children
Joint responsibility for a child or children (who may belong to either or both of the couple) may be an indication that the couple is LTAHAW or LTACP, but it is not conclusive proof. Relevant factors may be:
- parentage of the child or children.
whether, and how, the couple exercises joint responsibility, for example:
who visits the school or delivers/collects to and from the school
who would the school contact in an emergency
who arranges and takes the children to and from medical and dental appointments
who exercises control of or offers guidance to the children
who the Child Benefit Office has as the alternative payee
who provides financial support/pocket money/pays for treats
who buys the clothes and or toys.
An intention to adopt by the non-birth partner could be a particularly telling indication of the couple’s long term view of the family unit. You should not, because of its sensitivity, seek out the information; but if it is spontaneously offered you should give it proper weight in arriving at your conclusions. Be wary of drawing conclusions about the current relationship based on say the fact that the children continue to be known by the surname of the ex-husband or ex-partner as this is common practice and is not evidence of a continuing relationship between the parents. Nor does the presence of photographs of the child’s father or mother indicate the customer is living with that person.