Sharing DLA in divorce


Thanks for reading this. I'm a Dad with a son who is type 1 diabetic receiving DLA, Max. I've been divorced for three years and we're sorting out financial order stuff which has been taking a long time. A little bit off piste for normal but I have stayed in the family home and have 75% share of the boys. Jake (16) lives with me and Max (14) Type 1 lives 50/50 between Mum and me.

To assist my ex in the beginning I agreed to her having all social service monies. It has come to that point where I've realised actually that is now unfair and have been asking for her to share 50/50 the DLA. I have manged to obtain the Child Benefit for Jake and, because I'm reasonable I think, agreed to her having Max's Child Benefit in entirety even though he is with me 50% of the time.

The advice online is full of murky waters and I could with some pointers or other people's experiences when trying to get ex-spouses to share allowances.

I have heard you can counter claim but can't see where on the .gov website which is a labyrinth of untold passages and tunnels.

Any advice gratefully received.


  • Contact Helpline TeamContact Helpline Team Member, Community Moderator

     Hi @ Steve651

    Welcome to the community.  We hope you find this a supportive place to share ideas and experiences.

    I've checked in with a family finance adviser on our team following your post and I can provide some initial guidance which should help to make things a bit clearer.

     Unfortunately, there is no way in the rules for dividing benefits between parents, even if they have equal care of the child. For benefits such as child benefit, child tax credit or universal credit, if the parents can’t agree who should claim, the Department of Work and Pensions or HMRC will decide and their decision will be based on who has ‘main responsibility’ for the child.

    The DLA the rules are different. The parent who claims DLA for their child becomes the ‘appointee’ and this can continue as long as the child ‘normally lives with’ them or until they give up their appointeeship.
    As your son spends an equal amount of time with each of you then it is unlikely that the DWP would change the appointee unless requested to do so by the claimant.

    You may want to get some advice as it could be that other benefits would be affected by any decisions that you make about benefits. You can call the Contact helpline for initial advice, and we will aim to book you a call back appointment with the family finance team.

    You can call the helpline on 0808 808 3555 - to see if we have any appointments available.

    Bye for now


    Contact helpline team

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