To not pay for school dinners?

(117 Posts)
Apalem Thu 13-Oct-16 11:58:19

I have split from my wife and as a result I pay maintenance regularly, we calculated the payments based on my wages, and the number of times per week D.C. Stays with me- this using the government calculator. Due to my shifts D.C. Stays with me 2 - 3 days a week depending on our shift patterns. The Government calc worked out I should be paying £255 per month if D.C. Was staying 2 nights per week or £198 if son stays 3 nights per week. I said to wife that I would pay £250 per month and that would make sure that I'm definitely paying enough (even though payment should be closer to £198 mark) the issue and a wife is now complaining about me not paying school dinners - son is a picky eater and doesn't eat much in the dinners so I would prefer him to have lunches.

To put this into context wife is living in matrimonial home and paying interest only mortgage. By the time she takes her wages, tax credits, maintenance and child benefit she has more money coming in a month than I do

Should I be shelling out for the dinner money?

Afreshstartplease Thu 13-Oct-16 12:06:43

Do your DC only deserve the bare minimum?

madein1995 Thu 13-Oct-16 12:09:13

Maybe your ex thinks dc will be less fussy if on dinners? You shouldn't pay all of it straight away but you and mum go halves and see if it works, if he's eating the dinners.

Ausernotanumber Thu 13-Oct-16 12:10:45

The CMS is the bare minimum.

HelloSunshine11 Thu 13-Oct-16 12:11:50

She has more money coming in than you do but more people to feed / clothe / house etc 4/5 days a week, so that's how it should be.

MerryMarigold Thu 13-Oct-16 12:12:43

I think she should pay for 2 days and you make packed lunch for 3 days. Most schools do it weekly, so if the DC is with her for 3 days, she can pay 3 days of dinners that week and you make 2 packed lunches. It's good to have a mixture, I think. Dinners are free up to end of Y2 anyway.

redskytonight Thu 13-Oct-16 12:14:59

I imagine this isn't just about school dinners though but a general precedent

Who pays for school uniform?
Who pays for school trips?
Who pays for casual clothes?

etc etc

KingJoffreysRestingCuntface Thu 13-Oct-16 12:15:39

Of course she has more money coming in than you do.

She has two children to feed and clothe...

NapQueen Thu 13-Oct-16 12:17:34

So you pay what is owed.

Is that all you realistically think is acceptable for your son?

Imagine he comes to live ft with you. How much it would cost you to run his life? Then imagine exw pays 250pcm towards his keep. Does it honestly seem acceptable?

Personally I think that if you have him 2 days a week you ought to cover all food on those days. So if you have him 1 weekday and 1 weekend day then you ought to be paying school dinners minimum one a week as it's your day.

MerryMarigold Thu 13-Oct-16 12:18:31

It sounds like there is one son. How old is he OP?

KungFuPandaWorksOut Thu 13-Oct-16 12:19:24

Sometimes you have too pick your battles wisely and this doesn't sound like it's worth it. Offer to contribute half and she can put the other half too. It's fair on both parties then.

Fourormore Thu 13-Oct-16 12:19:43

If it's your day, you sort the lunches. If you want him to have school dinner, you pay for it. If you want him to take a packed lunch, you prepare it.

She does the same for her days.

MLGs Thu 13-Oct-16 12:20:37

Was going to say same, she should have more money as she had the dc more.

Agree with why would you only want to pay bare minimum.

If you feel strongly re lunches I guess you could send him with packed lunch on the days following your nights and your ex could pay for school meals on days following hers.

Or you could agree something and split the cost proportionately. I think you should be paying for the meals (or whatever kind) on the days following your nights.

AndNowItsSeven Thu 13-Oct-16 12:23:05

£250 a month ? What % of your wage do you spend on your dc and what percent engage in yourself?
Am guessing a 15% 85 % split.

MLGs Thu 13-Oct-16 12:23:08

Ex post with four

Apalem Thu 13-Oct-16 12:24:30

Re bare minimum, I think some if you may have misread, I have my D.C. For half the time, 3 nights, but pay as if I only have D.C. For two nights per week as there may be the odd week where I can't do three nights due to work etc, so no, I don't pay the minimum in maintenance and don't think D.C. Deserves the minimum. Also take into account the fact that I have D.C. Half the time and pay for all in that half. I get none of the allowances paid by government for the care, despite caring for D.C. Half the time. I also pay for a rented house, and the associated bills

In essence the care is split 50/50 however wife gets payments from govt for care, and maintenance from me for her half of the care. Interest in the mortgage is also about half of what I pay in rent.

Apalem - it's easy to say that your child should have packed lunches when you are not going to be the one making them. I made packed lunches for three children, all the way through primary school, and it is a pain in the behind, I can tell you - and that was back in the days when the rules on lunchbox contents were a lot more relaxed.

Now you have to make sure you send your children in with only things that will be approved by the school - otherwise the dinner ladies may confiscate some items, or the school will send home snotty letters - just look at the threads on MN about this issue. In many schools you can't send in a home made fairy cake - but the children on school dinners will get chocolate sponge and custard for pudding, and crisps will be utterly verboten, but chips will be on the school dinners menu.

Then you have to work around what your child will and won't eat, and try to plan a nutritious, easily prepared and packed lunch, which your child will eat, and which will pass the stringent healthy lunch requirements - and you have to do this each morning, in addition to getting the children up, washed, breakfasted, dressed and out of the house in time to get to school punctually.

It is not easy, I can tell you.

AddictedtoSnickers Thu 13-Oct-16 12:31:03

Since when is 2-3 half of 7?

BlindAssassin1 Thu 13-Oct-16 12:32:05

Give him a packed lunch on your days, let her pay for school meals the rest of the time? Schools can usually accommodate this.

This will be a test case for you OP with your ex. What happens when he's older and wants expensive trainers and she expects you to cough up when you don't agree that the DC need them?

Babyroobs Thu 13-Oct-16 12:32:49

If you had your son 50% of the time you wouldn't need to pay any maintainence then you could easily afford the school dinners on the days you have him.

BlackeyedSusan Thu 13-Oct-16 12:33:09

you provide lunch on the days you send child to school. she provides lunch on the days she is responsible. if she chooses to buy lunch that is her choice. if you choose to make lunch then that is your choice.

Boosiehs Thu 13-Oct-16 12:33:27

that's what I was thinking Snickers.

Apalem Thu 13-Oct-16 12:33:39

Sdtg, I agree it isn't easy, but as D.C. (10 years) is a picky eater we are paying for a school meal where he might eat 2 fish fingers and some beans. - definitely not enough for a growing boy.

Re the making of lunches, I am going to be the one making them, and yes I know the rules about the lunches and how much of a pain it can be

I am not worried about the work in bringing up my son - I'm his dad that's what I'm not paid for!!!!

HereIAm20 Thu 13-Oct-16 12:33:43

The OP is generally paying more than he should for maintenance because he pays as if he had them for 2 nights when the reality is he generally has them for 3. In that case one could argue that the difference between the £198 he should pay and the £250 he does pay would cover the lunches anyway.

His mistake is asking people on a predominantly Mums site whether he should pay more. Just be thankful he is paying and above what the calculator says. So many people on here have exes who pay nothing.

Have all your other finances been formalised in an actual consent order or by court order or has this been just an informal arrangement too?

It sounds as though you are trying to do the right thing and hopefully you can have a sensible discussion with your ex along the lines that you tried here regarding her higher income, you paying more than you have to (legally ) and the fact that you have the children for 3/7 of the time.

If you are happy to list your income and outgoings and share this with your ex she may see your point of view but she might not

Apalem Thu 13-Oct-16 12:34:14

Re the only having son 3days, I would have him seven days a week if I could

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