Is this true? WARNING DM link "Fathers to be hit by rise in maintenance..."

(219 Posts)
TotalBummer Fri 07-Dec-12 14:24:43

If it is, we are going to be in the sh!t AGAIN. Merry Christmas to all those Fathers who actually pay through the nose and can't afford to look after the family they have living with them AND we have our Child Tax credits taken off us to give to his ex who never let him see his DD in the first place.

I know there will be Mums out there who are shafted by their exes but it is ones like my DP and my kids who are being destroyed by the CSA. Bankruptcy looms.

Sorry - It just never ends. Money, money, money. They will take our house and our kids will be on the street and they DON'T CARE!

Xenia Fri 07-Dec-12 15:08:42

Can't he and you take on second jobs then?

No man should have a second family if he cannot afford it. The primary responsbiility is to the first family. Also why did he marry or enable a woman to become a housewife? Not surprisingly it means not enough money and is not fair on children.

TotalBummer Fri 07-Dec-12 15:29:48

That doesn't answer my question. Thanks Xenia! Thanks for not answering my question. How dare you judge another persons lifestyle! Easy when you are rich.

TotalBummer Fri 07-Dec-12 15:36:24

Oh and HOW exactly since you know my entire life do we both go out and get second jobs?????????????? The new CSA would then take even more money off us. I don't actually want an answer from you anyway since you know everything anyway and have your life well and truly sorted. High and mighty. Nice. I am obvs not upper class enough to be on Mumsnet anyway. Byeeeeeeeeeeeee

Thanks for not answering my question.

Xenia Fri 07-Dec-12 15:46:02

The questions was "is it true"? It seems that parents (not necessarily father of course as plenty of men have their children living with them after divorce) may well have to pay more if they use the CSA but they can choose not use the CSA and agree between themselves.

Second jobs? I know loads of couples who have to do that if money is short - bar work at weekends or you can put notes in local doors offering sevices like cleaning. Lots of people do that around here as times are hard.

If you want how to avoid paying for your children the classic way men do it is they give up work with the second wife and child and they do the childcare. That way their CSA payments are virtually nothing - £10 a week under the new scheme and the second wife works full time but not a single penny ofh er earnings are counted so you can therefore ensure your first family/children live in poverty through that clever trick.

WkdSM Fri 07-Dec-12 15:55:11

Ignoring the bun fight, the plans to change child maintenance rules have been coming for a while.
AFAIK they are starting to roll the change from net to gross salary for people who have 4 children or more (and if they use the CSA to pay money between parents there will be a further charge). Then 3 children, then 2 then finally 1.
The sting in the tail is that the NRP will have to pay up to the age of 20 rather than 19 as now.
They plan to have this all if effect by 2014.

NatashaBee Fri 07-Dec-12 15:57:44

I don't think anyone could have predicted how the CSA were going to work for the next 18 years - first they changed from the CSA1 assessment system a few years ago and now this change. Not to mention their complete and utter inefficiency. DH called them once and they refused to even listen to his question until he gave them a credit card to pay the arrears on the account. Except that he was the resident parent and it was his ex wife that owed the arrears, they just assumed that he was the NRP as he was male. Yes, it is shit. I completely agree that children should not be pay per view, but I think there should be a penalty applied to maintenance where one parent doesn't allow the other to see the child for no good reason.

Xenia strikes again grin

Ignore her.

Anyway, I dont really agree with your POV OP. You dont get tax credits for his DD because she doesnt live with you. Her mum presumably has bills to pay too. You knew he had a child when you got with him. But now he shouldnt pay for that one because he has a family with you?

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 07-Dec-12 19:31:07

Your partner has 3 children to support on one wage, regardless of the fact that one lives elsewhere. If money is short, then go back to work. Childcare can be expensive but you could work nights or weekends.

You willingly added more children to the budget so cant complain that there is not enough money for your liking.

niceguy2 Fri 07-Dec-12 20:15:27

One of the explicit aims of this reform is to get people to try & come to their own arrangements. So this is what I'd try first.

If your partner is already paying a fair share and the extra would literally put you all on the streets then it makes no sense for his ex to demand it either. Sure she gets extra for a while. But if it is indeed true that your DP would go bankrupt then she gets nothing. It would be cutting off her own nose to spite her face.

The problem with maintenance is that fairness depends a great deal on what side of the fence you are on. My ex pays me £50 a month, to her that's fair as she thinks that is all she can afford. To me it's unfair because I spend more than that per month on train fares sending them to visit her. So from my pov I'm not only getting no contribution, in fact I'm subsidising her!

In your case OP you will see these changes as blatantly unfair. His ex will probably think it's perfectly fair.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Fri 07-Dec-12 21:33:18

The Mail link is all 'if' this and 'maybe' that, so I'm thinking it's their usual scaremongering. Can't find the story on the Times or the Guardian. I'd look for the actual facts before you panic: you won't find them in the Mail.

Meglet Fri 07-Dec-12 21:39:32

yes, the CSA will be raising the monthly payments for the non-resident parent AND taking money off the resident parent. The DWP / Condems are disgusting for charging people to use the CSA.

There is a good chance it will cause my XP to flip out and come after us when his monthly payment is raised. I'm tempted to say take the whole charge off my money so XP doesn't get angry.

DowagersHump Fri 07-Dec-12 21:47:06

I don't understand how bankruptcy looms if his payments go up by £10/week. Surely you plan your financial lives on how much his income is after his maintenance payments are made.

Why are you so resentful that he's contributing towards raising his own child? confused

Xenia Fri 07-Dec-12 22:27:25

"The pay through the nose" phrase in the first phrase seems a bit unfair. He probably just pays what he is required to pay and that is usually a huge lot less than chidlren actually cost. Many of these people could never have afforded a third child with their first wife but think they can go on to sire further families and yet had they stayed in the first marriage even they would not have had the funds to keep the first family. First families should always have priority.

80sbabe Sat 08-Dec-12 00:37:18

I see where the op is coming from regarding the tax credits issue. The CSA currently count all household tax credits (including child and disability tax credits) as the income of the non resident parent along with any other earned income.

Therefore, a parent with care who uses the CSA gets not only the tax credits they are personally entitled to but also a portion of those paid to the household of the other parent. In some cases step-children of a non resident parent are actually paying part of the maintenance through their tax credits.
It does not matter who the tax credits are paid to or for, and this aspect of the legislation has been much criticised and challenged.

While it is arguable that working tax credits paid to a non resident parent could reasonably be classed as income. It does seem unfair that child tax credits including any disabled child tax credit supplements paid to their partner or spouse should be taken into consideration.

As far as I have read, the new rules will not include any tax credits paid to the household of a non resident parent. Only their earned gross income will be used in future to calculate maintenance.

The new scheme seems designed to encourage parents to reach private maintenance agreements between themselves and to reduce the administrative burden on the CSA wherever possible.
Should parents be unable to reach or keep to an agreement then they can use a collection service which will incur a charge for most (but not all) cases.

Whether it will work in practice however remains to be seen. I suspect that as usual with these things there will be some on both sides of the coin who end up better off and others in a worse position.

OptimisticPessimist Sat 08-Dec-12 08:36:14

* In some cases step-children of a non resident parent are actually paying part of the maintenance through their tax credits.*

But the NRP gets a reduction in maintenance for the step children, so it's swings and roundabouts really. One of the reasons tax credits are used as income is because some NRPs try and avoid maintenance by becoming a SAHP in their new relationship - using tax credits as income gets around that particular loophole in some cases.

80sbabe Sat 08-Dec-12 10:42:38

Sadly there will always be parents out there who will find and exploit loopholes - it will be the same with the new scheme.
I see this from both sides as I have an amicable private arrangement with my ex which works absolutely fine. However my DH's ex stopped their private arrangement and went to the CSA when she realised that by doing so she'd get a share of my son's disability tax credits.
Even though the CSA do give a reduction for step children, because my son is classed as severely disabled DH's ex is slightly better off as a result.
DH and I both work, the previous arrangement he had with her was not shabby and her maintenance has only increased by £2 per week due to my DS's tax credits.
Now is that fair ? She went to the CSA not because she needed to, but out of spite. I know the sum is only a small proportion of DS's tax credits but to me it's the principle that counts and not the figure. Whatever way you look at it, those tax credits are not DH's earned income and they should not be used as such.
Under the new system she would not be able to do what she has and if she refused a private arrangement and insisted on CSA involvement she would be charged for the privilege.

OptimisticPessimist Sat 08-Dec-12 10:53:30

She can have the CSA do a legally binding assessment (which the NRP will be expected to pay directly to the PWC) for a one off £20 charge, which will be re-done every year with up-to-date data from HMRC (supposedly anyway, I'm not convinced it will work any better tbh). Ongoing charges (20% for the NRP, 7% for the PWC) will only apply if the NRP doesn't make the assessed payments directly and the CSA have to collect the money on the PWC's behalf.

OptimisticPessimist Sat 08-Dec-12 11:11:54

On the question of fairness, I don't really think it's fair that my XP gets a reduction (when he actually pays, which he hasn't for 6 months) for his step children who are not his legal responsibility, resulting in his contribution per child being higher for his SC than his bio children. I also don't think it's fair that he can choose not to work and as a result of being re-married and ineligible for means tested benefits not even be required to make the base £5 pw payment. If taking their tax credits into account means there's a tangible consequence for behaviour like that then I'm all for it.

sashh Sat 08-Dec-12 11:23:40

Wow, just how bitter are you.

It is hardly the child's fault that

a) they were the first
b) their parents split up
c) One of their parents choses to have a second family.

80sbabe Sat 08-Dec-12 11:32:56

optimisticpessimist if she does that then fine, neither me or DH will have any issue with it. He always has paid his share, on time and willingly - his ex chose to sever their agreement for no reason other than to get her hands on my DS's disability money.
Actually I think she was rather disappointed with the result as I'm sure she thought it would a bigger increase.
How well the HMRC involvement will work will be interesting - it should in theory mean that assessments are more up to date and relevant which should be a good thing. Practice however is a different matter !
As for the charges - I think they have got that wrong and I believe that charges for the CSA collecting should only be levied on the NRP if they don't pay. A PWC should not have to pay a charge because their ex hasn't stuck to an agreement.

Arisbottle Sat 08-Dec-12 11:35:53

The fact remains that if the absentee parents wishes they can contribute nothing or next to nothing to their existing children. The can choose to have more children and leave their initial children to rot. The parent with care always has to foot the bill.

When I married my husband who already had a son it was made very clear to me that any children that we would have ( and we have a fair few) could not negatively impact his existing son. He had agreed with my his son's mother that she would stay at home until he started school and Hereford he would financially support her. When I came in the scene money was very right and I knew that. We were not ready for children then but I knew that we could not afford any children until his son's mother was ready to go back to work. I knowingly chose to marry a man who had a chick and therefore I knowingly chose to for my life around that child.

RooneyMara Sat 08-Dec-12 11:44:31

We get a tenner a week from ds's father, who married again and lied, I am sure, about his income.

I don't care about the money

I care more that he wanted to avoid any commitment to ds at all costs and didn't see him for 6 years

and sees him now once a month, but has no contact in between, and wants token photographs of 'his child' and to delight in the beauty of my son whom I raised entirely alone.

That makes me cross. Still, knowing that he is probably aware that he could give us an awful lot more, if he chose, without it affecting our entitlement to anything else, and the fact he chooses to stay with his tenner a week, makes me slightly hmm

Arisbottle Sat 08-Dec-12 11:47:07

I do not know why women marry these men, one of the things I love about DH is that he was so commited in every way to his son and ex. I knew that one day he would show that commitment to me and our children - and I was right .

GhostShip Sat 08-Dec-12 11:57:41

Xenia your sexist comments are beyond unreasonable. You'd never say that to a woman in the same position.

Arisbottle Sat 08-Dec-12 12:01:18

I agree with Xenia and it isn't often I can say that

Xenia Sat 08-Dec-12 12:13:49

I am not sexist. I don't think anyone should have children they cannot afford. Also my last comment was that the parent who is not resident can choose not to work (plenty choose this) and their new wife or husband only works so that they avoid the requirement to pay support to the first family.

I can see both sides' points of views in these cases. The main problem is that when you try to pay for two households not one is it is very expensive for most people. My children's father has paid nothing for 9 years (I earn more) and that is not as big an issue as lack of contact with the children. Part of the reason his divorce settlement wasn egotiated to be so high was apparently in case he wanted to take the children on the same standard of holidays as when we were married but no holidays, virtually no contact, no staying. His loss really but not that unusual.

I still think the basic principle whether you are male or female that first families come first is best to go by. Children don't choose for their parents to divorce and they are very expensive on a day to day basis if they live with you much more so than on the absent person who does not have daily demands for new shoes, money for school and all the rest of it.

Pantomimedam Sun 09-Dec-12 15:43:37

Xenia does have a point - if you have a family with someone who already has children, you know you are going to have to cut your cloth accordingly.

Xenia Sun 09-Dec-12 18:31:52

..which is why many would not touch someone with a barge pole who already had children unless they cannot find anyone better I suppose. Anyway it certainly means your obligations increase and plenty of second wives help pay for and indeed love and help bring up the step children. The step child of Kelly Hoppen was in the press yesterday as she is going very well in her career and put it down to her step mother's work ethic and how much she learned from her and when I read that I thought how lovely that a step parent can be such a bonus to a child rather than a nuisance or financial millstone around the family.

tittytittyhanghang Sun 09-Dec-12 19:05:53

which is why many would not touch someone with a barge pole who already had children unless they cannot find anyone better I suppose Thank god dp doesn't think like this, or i'd have been doomed to forever singledom!

Jesus xenia, you are getting worse.

Arisbottle Sun 09-Dec-12 19:23:43

I think you should think very carefully before getting involved with someone who already has children because you are always going to come second and the needs of your children will have to be balanced with the needs of the children that already exist .

I love my DH dearly but I thought long and hard before marrying him for that reason .In the early days it did cause tension .

SledsImOn Mon 10-Dec-12 07:18:42

If you look at the threads that come up fairly frequently on here regarding who you love the most, put first and would save in a house fire, the answers from about 95% of ALL the parents who respond are the same: my children.

That isn't just the single parents, or those who have remarried and had children before doing so. It's just about everyone who has ever had a child.

So I don't agree that you need to be especially aware of the children coming first when hooking up with someone who already has some. It just means they won't be your children, but that's an entirely different thing to bear in mind and for different reasons.

SledsImOn Mon 10-Dec-12 07:20:58

What I mean is, you sahould be aware that ANY children you might have with someone, either as a step parent or a natural parent, will likely come before you do.

So if you don't want to come second, don't have children with the person you marry/are with, and obviously, don't marry/be with someone who already has them.

niceguy2 Mon 10-Dec-12 12:50:05

I don't think anyone should have children they cannot afford.

I hate this phrase. When I had my DC's I was living together with their mother. We could afford our kids easily. But shit happens. We split up. Luckily I was able to afford to bring the kids up without state help but then I earn a good salary. Many are not as lucky as I am.

Nobody or should I say very very few people actively have a child as a lifestyle choice. I used to be quite active in the lone parent world and met a lot of single mum's. The vast VAST majority had kids in loving relationships or thought they were and dumped shortly after.

That said, to dissuade those very few who do see motherhood as a full time career, we should limit benefits paid for kids to a certain number. Personally I favour three being the limit. But we're going off the point.

The topic is maintenance. Is it fair that father's are asked to pay more. And the answer to that is it depends which side of the fence you are on. To the father and his new family. No. To his old family, yes.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Mon 10-Dec-12 13:14:05

i think there should be a minimum payment for each child regardless of salary/income. the same way they work out how much is needed as a living wage they should work out the lowest amount it costs to keep a child per week/month and then halved. the NRP pays half and the PWC pays the other half. and it should not be reduced for every child you have. same amount for every child. if you earn more you pay more but if you are below a certain threshold you still pay the minimum amount that is standard accross the country.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Mon 10-Dec-12 13:15:11

and i dont mean a fiver a week as the minimum.

Xenia Mon 10-Dec-12 13:48:28

If we ensured each parent had the chidlren half the time so had to pay for their childcare when they were with them and halved child benefit and tax credits for those lucky enough to get them (I never had a tax credit and my child benefit is going entirely) between the couple it would all be a lot fairer. I don't dispute that our court order which says whoever the children live with I pay 5 sets of school and/or university fees as that reflects the fact I earn a lot more, but I do think a huge number of athers have children with one mother and then go off to breed with another woman and have a number of total chidlren they would never in a month of sundays had with woman number 1 on costs grounds and think they can then walk into the sunset leaving the first children unsupported because they are all lovey dovey with wife number 2 whom they have to keep happy and all their priority transfers to chidlren with wife number 2 (and obviously you can reverse the sexes where it is the mother who leaves) is unfair.

Also this is why women should never give up full time work nor men let them even if they quite like the ego feelings of supporting a housewife or the comfort of having someone to iron their shirts as it never pays long term and means on a split one or other of you is impoverished.

tittytittyhanghang Mon 10-Dec-12 13:54:35

Santa, and if ctc are claimed, should it be divvied up equally between both parents then since each are contributing half of the childs upbringing costs?

Ive never claimed csa so not sure how it works. Does it take into account all the nrp household income (i.e. the nrp partners income?) and vice versa, does it take account of the rp household income ?

tittytittyhanghang Mon 10-Dec-12 13:58:27

I dont think anyone agrees with feckless parents (men usually) who have hordes of children with different woman, whilst not being able to contribute financially towards any of them. But its a bit hard saying a man shouldn't have a second family if he can't afford the first, as I don't hear anyone saying that the rp (usually the mum) shouldn't go on to have any more children if/when she meets someone new. I dont get the distinction between the two?

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Mon 10-Dec-12 14:05:18

no titty as CTC would be paid to the PWC and their shar of the 'half' would come out of that. if CTC were being split between teh two parent's then tehy would have to be worked out based on both household incomes. CTC atr only worked out based on the PWC household income and son the NRP's income has not being taken into account, therefore they should not be receiving any of the CTC.

CSA calculations are made based on the NRP's income, this does not include their partner's salary but will include WTC/CTC that are paid into the household. CSA does not take into account the PWC income (as they are already providing for their child. it is the NRP who isn't/isn't paying enough)

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Mon 10-Dec-12 14:08:48

"But its a bit hard saying a man shouldn't have a second family if he can't afford the first, as I don't hear anyone saying that the rp (usually the mum) shouldn't go on to have any more children if/when she meets someone new."

well if she can't afford it then obviously it wouldn't be sensible to have more children with a new partner. however i will point out that if it is the mum who is PWC and she goes on to have another child she cant afford, she is unlikely to stop paying to feed and clothe her first child, more likely she will go without herself to make up for the cost of the new baby.

Pantomimedam Mon 10-Dec-12 14:19:20

If someone can't afford their existing children of course it's ridiculous to have more! That's not harsh, it's a fact.

Its sad that when a family breaks down the nrp seems to be able to alter there priorities depending on where their children live.

I cant understand how anyone could find some of their children are more important than the others.


OptimisticPessimist Mon 10-Dec-12 14:55:02

"But its a bit hard saying a man shouldn't have a second family if he can't afford the first, as I don't hear anyone saying that the rp (usually the mum) shouldn't go on to have any more children if/when she meets someone new."

If the only way the PWC can afford to have more children is to stop providing for their existing children, then no they shouldn't have more children. As Santa said though, it would be pretty unusual and unlikely for the PWC to stop providing for their children in those exact circumstances - and if they did they'd likely have their children removed and find themselves charged with neglect. Meanwhile, NRPs can have as many children as they like and as a result reduce their maintenance if the children are resident, or pay a lesser amount per family if they are all not residing with the NRP with the maximum being 25% of pay for 3 or more children, regardless of how many "3 or more" actually is. Hardly equal.

Xenia Tue 11-Dec-12 18:31:54

Yes, first families come first. It is the same in long marriages. If you both cannot afford that third child you don't have it, you don't instead say okay we won't buy clothes or food for the first two children, instead we will spend our money on the new baby which is what a lot of these absent parents in effect say. There was one on the radio today where mother with 4 children had moved in a new man and they had 2 more children together and were complaining it was so hard to live BUT no one forced her to have children 5 and 6.

Xenia Tue 11-Dec-12 18:32:38

Yes, they were saying they had been "good" because they married and lived together rather than pretending they did not and claiming benefits as if they were some kind of noble couple doing their best. Instead they were having loads of children they could afford and then moaning about it.

RacHoHoHog Tue 11-Dec-12 19:37:11

I have my children, dp has his child, he has a private arrangement and pays his ex. We both work although low income.
We moved in together and claim tax credits as we are entitled.
If his ex now went to the csa, would she now be entitled to a portion of the tax credits that are supposed to help for my children?

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Wed 12-Dec-12 09:42:55

yes rachohohog because your tax credits are calculated based on your joint incomes and how many children are living with you, so this would be seen as making up part of his income as his salary is taken into account when working out your award.

OptimisticPessimist Wed 12-Dec-12 09:47:51

He would also get a reduction based on the resident children though, even if they're step children.

allnewtaketwo Wed 12-Dec-12 09:52:17

"Yes, first families come first"

What about PWCs who go on to have more children and then spend less on the "first" children as the pot doesn't clearly go as far the more children are involved?

Xenia Wed 12-Dec-12 10:08:16

A parent with children living with them should not have more children if they cannot afford them.

allnewtaketwo Wed 12-Dec-12 10:23:09

Interestingly most pwc on here (ime) don't agree

OptimisticPessimist Wed 12-Dec-12 10:33:34

Several posters have already said that a PWC should not have more children either if it means that they reduce the basic provisions they make for their existing children. The CSA payment is a statutory minimum - if the NRP cannot afford to have another child without reducing that statutory payment then they shouldn't have more children. Similarly if a PWC cannot afford another child without reducing the basic provision they make for their existing children then they shouldn't have another child either. As previously said though, I think it would be an unusual PWC who paid for a new baby by not feeding/clothing their older children - and in that situation it would be classed as neglect.

perceptionInaPearTree Wed 12-Dec-12 10:38:22

Well for once I agree with Xenia. If you already have children with one person, you can't just go off and have more kids with someone else and expect the first family to fend for themselves. There has to be legislation in place which will protect the children of the first relationship.

allnewtaketwo Wed 12-Dec-12 10:40:08

I have seen cases where the standard of living for "first children" drops significantly when the pwc has more children. This is often the case when the pwc gives up work for example, due to the new, younger children. The "basic provision" for the first children is continued to be met (by maintenance and through child benefit, not through the pwc who is no longer earning), yet all the extras they've become accustomed to are stopped.

perceptionInaPearTree Wed 12-Dec-12 10:44:02

Also, I think niceguy is right in that fairness depends upon where you sit. The children of the first relationship receive reduced maintenance once the NRP has another child with someone else.

perceptionInaPearTree Wed 12-Dec-12 10:44:51

x posts allnew

OptimisticPessimist Wed 12-Dec-12 10:48:04

I think that's sad for the first children, and not something I would choose to do, but I don't think it's quite the same. To me, reducing CM for a new baby (or a new resident step child which is even worse) is like a PWC deciding to only give an existing child two meals a day in order to pay for a new baby. It's not the same as having fewer extras. To me, certain extras are important and I wouldn't compromise on them for the sake of another child, but I think that's personal choice. Basic provision isn't, and that's what the CSA payment is. The basic needs of the first children aren't reduced just because the NRP is suddenly responsible for more children for whatever reason.

OptimisticPessimist Wed 12-Dec-12 10:48:49

Too many "to me"s in that post. Need more coffee.

ganglandstyle Wed 12-Dec-12 10:53:27

But it depends on the amount of maintenance. In reality the value is well in excess of what is required for basic provisions (particularly as it should be less than half of what is required in total due to pwc element and child benefit), and so reducing it in no way impacts basic provisions. Only if maintenance is less than half what is required for basic provision would your point be true.

OptimisticPessimist Wed 12-Dec-12 11:05:53

The average CSA award is about £23 a week. That's pretty basic.

allnewtaketwo Wed 12-Dec-12 13:02:56

But no one situation is an "average" situation. Gangram was pretty specific in referring to cases where cm is in excess of this.

allnewtaketwo Wed 12-Dec-12 13:06:36

£23pw from each parent is £200pm. Plus child benefit £87pm. So £287pm for one child. I'd say that more than meets the basic needs of my child. Plus on those values there would undoubtedly be tax credits the pwc receives on top.

Xenia Wed 12-Dec-12 13:30:56

Those of us who have worked from when our chidlren were babies put the costs of a child at more like £14,000 a year out of taxed income for a nursery place or £25k+ for a nanny, then when the children start school school fees. Our court order says I pay 5 sets of school fees and thereafter 5 sets of university costs alone (as I earn more than their father). Those elements alone are absolutely massive, plus I house them all so we can't live in a one bed flat, then you add on food for five and then the day to day stuff - money for school charity, school trips, shoes shoes shoes as their feet grow. I don't think non resident parents realise the actual daily cost but for me the answer is both parents work full time and both pay half the child care and both have the children with them half the time and split all child benefit, tax credits (not that I have ever had a tax credit and I am about to lose 100% of child benefit) half each.

OptimisticPessimist Wed 12-Dec-12 13:43:08

I didn't read gangland's post that way: In reality the value is well in excess of what is required for basic provisions suggests they think that cases where CSA is only a basic amount are in the minority. There was no "if" in that statement.

£23 could be for any number of children - that's per assessment not per child. I checked the latest statistics after my post, it's £23.60 when nil assessments are included, £33.40 when nil assessments are excluded. Even using the £33 figure, for 2 or 3 children that's hardly anything - not much more than £10 or £15 a child.

An NRP working FT on NMW would have a basic assessment of £31 for one child (no reductions applied). The average salary in the UK is £26,500, the same NRP on that salary would have an assessment of £51 per week. So to have £23, or even £33, as the average shows that most assessments are pretty low.

allnewtaketwo Wed 12-Dec-12 13:50:27

Say £33pw is being paid by an nrp for 3 children, based on his wage(with no fraud). This means that he's earning, say £132pw net. If you're saying that the cm is low, then you're also saying that the income is low. Which may lead to the question as to why they decided, as a couple, to have 3 children on that salary. The lack of provisions for "first children" didn't seem to apply while they were still together?

Xenia Wed 12-Dec-12 14:14:27

However sometimes people deliberately reduce their pay - stop work and live off their new wife's income or give up the good job to work in a bar in Tenerife to avoid paying. The more traditional one is run a company and not take much out of it for salary.

Xenia Wed 12-Dec-12 14:18:59

This is proving an interesting case as the wife's new lawyers got permission to do raids which helped find evidence of the allegedly hidden wealth.

OptimisticPessimist Wed 12-Dec-12 14:33:00

He would be earning £160 net (there's a reduced rate for incomes under about £150) but yes, quite a low amount, less than FT on NMW. Several thought, one of which being Xenia's post about NRP's reducing their income after separation (either deliberately or by circumstance). Secondly, is it really ok to continue to have children and dilute your financial contribution just because you also did that in your first family? Should people not learn from foolish decisions?

As for why, I can only speak for myself but when my second and third were born I was working full time with a view to further progression once the kids were at school, XP went to college whilst I was on ML to improve his employment prospects, we didn't need to pay for any childcare because one of us was always home. There was a clear long term plan in place - as babies they cost very little and we expected to be much better off by the time they cost more. It was a gamble - a combination of naivety and a pretty dysfunctional relationship. The difference is that I have acknowledged it, learned from it and have continued to take responsibility for the children that were borne from it as best as I can. My XP has not.

allnewtaketwo Wed 12-Dec-12 14:49:46

I would say that unless resources are significant, then resources available for the first child in any family, together or separated, are always reduced by another child. Unless of course they're fully funded by the state.

Shabbatastic Wed 12-Dec-12 16:17:19

The minimum payment of 5 pound per week should certainly increase. It has not increased for about 15 years. The minimum payment is usually paid when NRP is not working. Why should the maintenance payment for the child of an unemployed NRP have, unlike virtually everything else, depreciated significantly? That element is long overdue an increase.

Arisbottle Wed 12-Dec-12 16:53:38

Allnew I have four children of my own and yes of course we could have given more to just one child. However that is something that we have made together as a family. We also sat down and worked out the long term financial consequences or each of our children and planned them accordingly. That is completely different from one parent deciding in isolation that they want to produce further children at the cost of the ones that already exist.

I met my husband when our stepson was a pre schooler, I was madly in love with him and quite self centred and wanted us to have a huge wedding. It was made very clear that would not happen as he had made a promise to the mother of his son that he would fully financially support her being a SAHM. We did not want children straight away as I was not ready, but we had to wait longer that I would have wanted because of his existing commitment to his existing child . When you are a step parent life is a constant stream of compromises. You have to accept that or it will never work.

allnewtaketwo Wed 12-Dec-12 17:36:59

That's fine if it works both ways, but ime it is doesnt

Arisbottle Wed 12-Dec-12 18:12:10

I agree is has to work both ways , it may be that someone has to start the ball rolling though.

RabbitsMakeGOLDBaubles Wed 12-Dec-12 19:06:13

Be nice to see some money at all. Extra would be lovely.

rosabud Wed 12-Dec-12 20:14:59

Children are very expensive, a lot more expensive than the "average" amount of CSA provision. The other thing to take into account about the amounts quoted upthread is that they do not take into account the age of a child. What is "basic" and "necessary" for an 8 year old with a small appetite at the local primary school will soon become hopelessly inadequate when the child becomes a hungry teenager wearing adult-sized shoes, needing an expensive high school uniform and travelling on the bus each day. However, the CSA amounts do not take the age of the child into consideration. Had the NRP stayed in the first marriage, they would not presumably have had more children without taking such increasing costs for the existing children into consideration.

What is blatantly unfair about the system is that the NRP is allowed to have more children regardless of whether or not they can afford to support the first lot of children. The system agrees that this is "OK" as it reduces the amount the NRP has to pay for the existing children as a matter of course. How can this be fair to the existing children? Are they suddenly eating less or needing less heating because new children have come along? Of course not!

The attitude of the OP really annoys me as it is so selfish and disregards the needs of the first children. As the NRP, it's likely her DP will already be paying far less than is realistically necessary to support his first children and then he will have been allowed to prioritise his second lot of children over his first - yet she still complains that "too much money" is going to his first children. Unbelievably selfish!

allnewtaketwo Wed 12-Dec-12 20:37:13

While its related to income rather than cost, there are always going to be some cases where the amount is too low, and other cases there the amount is much higher than is required (bearing in mind that BOTH patents should be financially supporting the child, and that the Pwc receives state support for basic provision already, and potentially tax credits in top). Ime it tends to be the latter cases posting on this forum about increases to maintenance.

Arisbottle Wed 12-Dec-12 20:40:21

I think that if the absent parent can afford to fully support the child that is much better than relying on the state. Beyond child benefit my husband's ex never had to rely on the state , even when she was at home for a number of years.

allnewtaketwo Wed 12-Dec-12 20:59:59

The problem is though that whether or not the Pwc "needs to rely on the state", the cm disregard means that they receive that support regardless. This means DH's ex for example can quit her job, reproduce as she wishes, funded by DH and the state combined. The children haven't benefitted, their standard of living has reduced as she stays at home with the younger children and earns nothing

allnewtaketwo Wed 12-Dec-12 21:01:32

And "absent" is a very pergorative term to apply to a whole group of parents, many of whom would live to spend more time with their children

RogueEmployee Wed 12-Dec-12 21:17:39

For the first time ever I agree with Xenia.

Why would you go out of your way to start another family if you are struggling to support the first family you created? It's unfair on everyone if you can't afford to sustain two households.

Granted that doesn't help the children who are already here though...

allnewtaketwo Wed 12-Dec-12 21:21:57

Any increase to cm will only impact NRPs who are already paying though, so there's no pint banging on here about those that don't. An extra 20% or whatever of £0 is £0. I personally think that increasing the amount compliant NRPs have to pay will only reduce the compliance rate

Arisbottle Wed 12-Dec-12 22:52:55

I agree that I should not have used the term absent parent, I am sorry. I was trying to avoid using the term father. Even more stupid as actually have shared care now and we have DSS almost 50% of the time.

My husband has always taken the line that if he and his ex had stayed together there would have been no need for state support and therefore that should not change because he chose to leave his family. He also knew that if they had stayed together that my DSS could have benefited from having a stay at home parent so he footed the bill for such a luxury rather than expecting the state to pay. I remember finding it very difficult when we first got together as despite having a very good salary money was very tight indeed and I had to pay for holidays and meals out etc. But looking back now I can see that was the right thing to do.

niceguy2 Wed 12-Dec-12 23:01:39

The attitude of the OP really annoys me as it is so selfish and disregards the needs of the first children.

And it's stupid statements like that which really annoy me. OP has a family. Her priorities are naturally with her family unit. Just like the ex's priority will be with his/hers. Why is it selfish to want to put her own children first? Surely that is natural human instinct?

What is blatantly unfair about the system is that the NRP is allowed to have more children regardless of whether or not they can afford to support the first lot of children.

What's the alternative? Prove to the government that you are able to support more children before being allowed to? And what if they get a future GF/wife pregnant without the ability to support more children? Forced abortion? Forced adoption? Stick them in prison?

If you look at it logically a reduction is the only fair solution if NRP goes on to have more kids. Because they have a responsibility to their new family as well as old. So the same pot of money now must be spread thinner meaning the old family get less.

Arisbottle Wed 12-Dec-12 23:16:26

I could not live with myself if my stepson went without because I chose to ha e more children. Particularly when my children have the security of knowing that their father never chose to leave and they get to live with both biological parents full time.

You are right that the law can't really govern here, but it comes down to basic morality

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Wed 12-Dec-12 23:32:09

"While its related to income rather than cost, there are always going to be some cases where the amount is too low, and other cases there the amount is much higher than is required "

which is why i think (and said upthread) that i think there should be a way of working out a minimum amount necessary to raise a child per week or month and that figure should be split equally between both parents. the NRP should be legally obliged to pay it to the account that CB is paid into and the PWC must provide the other half. and none of this £5 a week rubbish. i mean an actual fugure worked out based on real costs and averaged across the UK. the same way they are able to work out what the living wage should be. and nor should it be reduced for each additional child. so if the figure is say £25 a week (this is based on nothing but the fact that it's a rounded number that came into my head) from each parent. then it's £25 per week for each child even if you have children living in different houses and with you. i think this might go some way to making people think twice about moving on and having second or third families if they know they legally have to pay for children they already have and are on a low income.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Wed 12-Dec-12 23:37:08

sorry, ignore that bit about moving on, of course people should be able to move on. i meant it as a whole thing 'moving on and having second familes'. moving on is fine, having second families to the detriment of your first isn't.

rosabud Thu 13-Dec-12 00:39:37

Why is it selfish to want to put her own children first? Surely that is natural human instinct?

Because she has selfishly chosen too bring her own children into a situation where other children already existed but is not prepared to give them due consideration. There's a story about new step-parents who indulge in this kind of selfishness, isn't there?? Oh, what is it called? Cin.....Cinder something?? hmm

Also, those who are saying that the resident parent should also be paying half towards the children, that is true to an extent, but in order to be able to pay half, the RP will have to go out and get a job, which may mean footing a large childcare bill. The RP will also then have 2 jobs - one in the home and one out of the home, both probably quite demanding. As the NRP is having his/her children looked after for free by the RP, going "halves" is not quite fair.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Thu 13-Dec-12 00:55:21

"Also, those who are saying that the resident parent should also be paying half towards the children, that is true to an extent, but in order to be able to pay half, the RP will have to go out and get a job, "

well many will be already working anyway and paying more than half of the amount towards the keep of their children. however, there are still state benefits for those who cant work for whatever reason. CTC provide an amount of money to be used to raise your children and the PWC's half should come out of this money. much the same as they are expected to do now, except if the NRP were legally forced to pay a fair amount it might make things a little easier for some PWC.

also, if there were to be this hypothetical amount decided upon, it should absoloutely include the cost of childcare. it should be expected that childcare is a necessary cost of having children.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Thu 13-Dec-12 01:03:17

i think the whole thing needs to be overhauled to make it a default position of both parents caring and paying equally for their children. obviously there are many different family situations and scenarios where equal care and pay wont be possible or suitable but it should not be a case of one parent (usually the mother) being mostly responsible for day to day care and financial responsibility of the children when a relationship ends. i do believe there will be a time when we are much closer to this but we are far from it yet. it's still far too easy for a NRP to absolve themselves of all responsibility if they choose to.

allnewtaketwo Thu 13-Dec-12 07:16:01

If the Pwc gets a job they will have 2 jobs?!

I work full time and have children. I can assure you though that I only have one job!

Xenia Thu 13-Dec-12 09:13:36

As rosabud says where both parents work full time as many many of us do with children the biggest cost if childcare. One nursery place for one child about £14k a year full time. Or a full time nanny or places at a childminder for 4 children full time or whatever. If you are a family who pays school fees then that is another cost - our court order says I pay 5 sets of school and university fees no matter with whom the children live.

I do think now women in their 20s earn more than men and are better educated we are giong to see changes which mean more parents will have the children half the time and simply split everything down the midle including doing the child's washing and cooking and the child benefit and tax credits for those lucky enough to get them.

Xenia, you keep saying "those lucky enough" to get tax credits.

Tell you what, I will live on your salary for a year and you can live on my "lucky to have tax credits" one and we shall see if you feel lucky.

Tax credits are not an added bonus. They are a band aid over the fact that wages in the uk are not meeting living costs. They are a subsidy to businesses so they can get away with paying a pittance.

However, I do agree with you that the nrp should put the first children first and shouldnt have more if they cannot afford too. Sadly though, I dont see this changing greatly. There are too many men who just do not see children as their joint responsibility.

niceguy2 Thu 13-Dec-12 10:26:53

Rosa, your position is very rather naive.

Families are complex nowadays and gone are the days of virtually all families being the nuclear type. Unfortunately families split up all too often and people move on to form blended families. Sometimes yes they have new kids. Other times the kids are already there. There is no simple solution anymore. It simply isn't something the government can legislate for. We cant stop NRP's from having more children anymore than we can stop unemployed people from getting pregnant. Both I find morally repugnant.

The whole idea of the RP looking after the kids 'for free' is very misguided and totally the wrong way to look at it. RP's are not babysitters or childcare. It's not a job! You are the parent. It's a responsibility. Using your argument then the NRP is also looking after their kids for free for the RP.

Lastly for those who are arguing that maintenance should take into account x,y,z, just remember that when the CSA first started up they did have a formula which took all sorts into account. It failed and was shown to be vastly unfair. It took too long to work out and often left the NRP unable to buy his own food, let alone move on.

The 'fairest' solution is what we've got at the moment which is in general a straight percentage. Both families then cut their cloths accordingly. And I say 'fairest' in the context that there really isn't a truly fair solution for all.

rosabud Thu 13-Dec-12 11:33:22

When exactly is the NRP looking after the children for the RP? They don't, that's the point. Of course children are a responsibility rather than a job but the responsibility is not "halved" in the case of an NRP. Thus the NRP has much more freedom and choice when it comes to applying for jobs or having free time. Therefore this needs to be reflected in maintenance. The RP may be limited to part-time postions, term-time only positions, may not be able to do as much over-time as the NRP etc. If they do work as much as the NRP is able to, they will have a higher childcare bill that the NRP does not have, they will have less time to themselves as they are doing a full-time job and taking on the main responsibility of looking after children. If the NRP had been widowed but wished to continue working long hours or having a lot of free time then he/she would have to pay childcare, in a divorce situation they get all that for free from the RP. Thus, "halves" on financial commitment to the children is unfair as the financial outgoings for the children are not "halved" but weighted heavily in favour of the NRP

Xenia Thu 13-Dec-12 11:41:34

Okay, yes people who get tax credits are not lucky enough to have them and those who earn too much to get them are better off. It's a bit off topic anyway.

If we forced men whether they liked it or not to have children half the day they would be having to do what many single mothers do who work full time such as find nannies, child minders, nursery places, fix child care if they are doing weekend worki, pay for child care when they have a 6am flight the sort of thing some mothers who work full time and have their children 365 days a year have. They would also see the true cost of 3 under 5s in full time childcare plus when you do over time and have to pay accordingly.

At the moment the non resident parent can chose never to see or help with the children but can use the courts to gain contact. It is not a fair mutual system the child cannot apply to force their father to do half their washing or have them 200 nights a year. Sunny Jim can simply walk away and say won't see you and often can say won't pay.

When many full time working parents who are together spend half their net income on childcare it is a bit strange that a CSA payment might be 15% of a father's income. It does not reflect the cost of that childcare which I suppose is why court orders for parents who both work fulltime and are in the school fees league etc tend to have special provisions in them to reflect that but even if you both worked for £25k a year and spent £25k on childcare to preserve careers until the children were at school rather than shoot the non working parents' career prospects to pieces by staying at home ou still have those massive costs rather than a mere 15%for one child.

allnewtaketwo Thu 13-Dec-12 12:04:06

It us my experience that most often, women are the ones who WANT to give up work, reduce their hours and work part time after having children. Of course yes it sometimes comes down to economics. But I know so many professionally qualified women - doctors, lawyers etc., many earning more than their partners, yet they choose to quit their job or work part time child friendly hours because they WANT to. Of course a lit if women aren't in this position financially, but I do think it is interesting that women claim they HAVE to be the ones to reduce hours etc, yet when a position to choose they still do exactly that.

And how many pwcs actually WANT an NRP to do 50 50 care. Not many I'd say

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Thu 13-Dec-12 13:05:57

i do allnew.

niceguy2 Thu 13-Dec-12 13:11:07

But Rosa you said that the RP is looking after the children for the NRP for free. Surely by the same logic when the NRP has the kids, he/she is also looking after the kids for RP for free?

And what's this obsession with halving responsibility and therefore costs? The RP is clearly the person with the most responsibility. If RP doesn't like it, don't be the RP then because that's the way it is. The NRP is more free to move on and less responsibility. At the same time they get less time with their kids and miss out on a lot more. Life has a way of balancing out.

OptimisticPessimist Thu 13-Dec-12 13:18:32

I wouldn't have gone as far as 50/50 (it would have been great for me for work and stuff but not right for the kids) but I would have loved to have had a decent co-parenting arrangement with my XP (one where he actually did his share of the all of the work involved with children rather than just "looking after them" as he saw it). Sadly it was not to be. I never wanted to be a totally lone parent as I am now.

allnewtaketwo Thu 13-Dec-12 13:25:34

DH's ex (who very much wanted 50:50 but got a lot less) would rather he just curled up and die rather than co-parent. She thinks hes unneccessary and would much rather there was just her new little family to consider. Her view is very much that she is the parent and DH's only part is to pay. I've found on this forum that this really isn't unusual

Xenia Thu 13-Dec-12 13:55:50

But the balancing act should be enforced on men who won't play their part whether they like it or not so they have children half the time, do half the washing, half the day to day stuff rather than just play at weekend parenting when it suits them. We need to move to less sexist models as many single mothers work full time.

allnew, that is not my view. I would be perfectly happy with 50/50 but you cannot even get a court to force a father to have children one day a year. The father has the right to apply for contact but you cannot make anyone play any sort of part at all.

allnewtaketwo Thu 13-Dec-12 14:08:00

Xenia if you read my post I see the 'mother caring role' as being most actively endorsed by women themselves, even when in relationships where they have the most financial clout. It's not just a sexism problem.

rosabud Thu 13-Dec-12 14:10:26

Her view is very much that she is the parent and DH's only part is to pay. I've found on this forum that this really isn't unusual

Your remarks about RPs make sweeping generalisations and are quite offensive. It doesn't matter what "you have found" to be the norm or what you think of your partner's ex, we are debating about what is fair and what should be happening across the board.

And what's this obsession with halving responsibility and therefore costs?^

I'm not obsessed with halving the costs, at all. Others have pointed out that costs of children should be halved between RPs and NRPs but I have disagreed because the financial outgoings are not "halved" - in particular the cost of childcare. "Well, don't be the RP then" is not a solution, as then, of course, the other party would become the RP and have the same problem! The point is, that the problem exists, that the cost of children is unfairly met by the RP (unless there is complete 50/50 sharing of children - which is not the norm as it can be impractical and often not what either the mother/father or the children want) under the present system. Of course, families are complex, modern life is complex, but that does not mean we should just look at unfair situations subjectively (ie, well it might be fair to that person, but not that person) and conclude, "oh well, it's swings and roundabouts."

allnewtaketwo Thu 13-Dec-12 14:12:51

Rosabud this thread had certainly not centred on what should be happening across the board, it's literally full of people giving their own personal examples of what can happen in practice.

My ex has to be reminded that being a parent is a 24/7 responsibility and not just something he can pick and choose as he pleases. He does pay maintenance and takes her two nights. But when I was working childcare was my responsibility and if DD was sick it was my duty to take the time off (in his eyes.)

The way he treats me now very much suggests that he sees me as his free childcare. But he is the decision maker and very often undermines my parenting. If he disagrees with me he threatens calling SS. When I called his bluff one day his reply was "she is better with you." Ofcourse she is because the maintenance he pays me is a fraction of what childcare would cost him. His job opportunities would drastically reduce when he couldnt be as flexible.

I dont think nrps like him are uncommon.

Daddelion Thu 13-Dec-12 16:48:47

I'm a father who does 50/50 and at times more.

Most mothers I know are horrified at the thought of doing this, the title of main-carer seems to be very important.

I assume this is a societal pressure.

Violet77 Thu 13-Dec-12 16:52:01

Xenia "5 sets of school fees" could pop them in your local state school :-)

I can see why people want children with a new partner but parents need to be responsible for the children they create.

My sil has a baby she can not really finacial support. Constantly moans about short mat leave, lack of cash, etc etc. dumps baby on granny full time as she can't afford childcare. Did she not work out that she didn't have enough cash before? Just a matter of time before the state bails her out. ( she actually moans about how little she is entitled to)

allnewtaketwo Thu 13-Dec-12 17:20:48

Youre right violet, people up and down the country have children they can't financially support, it's certainly not limited to NRPs. But perhaps 'society' sees that women are entitled to have children they can't afford when in a couple.

Xenia Thu 13-Dec-12 21:41:31

Dad, yes it's societal pressure. Real women like I am have no problems with 50/50 and we tend to earn a lot too and work full time. We don't need to have our mere existence justified by being a " mother" as if it were some kind of job. We have a life too.

(violent - definitely not - no child of mine will ever set foot in a state school).

Smudging Thu 13-Dec-12 21:56:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

grin Smudging. I was sitting on my hands at the real woman comment.

i personally don't believe you should even get a discount for having a second family. why should your first children get less because you've chosen to go and breed more with someone else?

if you can't afford a second family don't have one. if you don't want to have children with someone who has prior financial commitments don't have children with them.

i'd be in favour of an increase in maintenance and measures that make men think twice before going around having kids all over the place that they don't intend to take responsibility for.

scottishmummy Fri 14-Dec-12 07:55:58

your husband has responsibilities to all his children Inc first family
if money so tight limit family size,rather than bemoan 1st family

Daddelion Fri 14-Dec-12 08:08:32

What would be the reaction if I said parents shouldn't get child benefit or any benefits for having children.

If they can't afford it they shouldn't have them.

I don't think it'd be very popular.

scottishmummy Fri 14-Dec-12 08:16:52

most people do limit family size due finances
and men should accumulate wife and kids they can't afford
bet the 1st wife doesn't think she's rolling in it with maintenance payments

scottishmummy Fri 14-Dec-12 08:19:00

men shouldnt accumulate wife and kids they cant afford
pragmatically most people do the maths,figure finances when planning a family
as should the man from the op

it's parental responsibility basically. i have a son. if i have another child my son will need just as much support financially, emotionally, etc etc as he did before the second child. so i have to weigh up if i have enough (financially, emotionally, energetically etc) before having a second child because the existing child comes first. i was desperate to have a second child for ages but every time i made those mental calculations i could not convince myself that the truth was i did have enough. so tough on my 'i want a baby' voice because i already have a child and he comes first.

none of this is rocket science is it? it should be obvious to men too and to the women who get involved with them when they already have kids.

women with men on their second family should be glad of it too really because if he goes onto family number three it will be in your interest that maintenance is decent and prioritises prior children.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 08:43:28

Does the reason for the first family splitting play a role here?

If a Dad loses day to day family life with his DCs due to choices made by his ex, should his opportunities to move on with his life and have further DCs with another partner be restricted unless he can provide for his first DCs at the same level as he did when they were a family?

Should any DCs he has with a second partner miss out because their Dads exW chooses to financially rely on him despite excluding him from their shared DCs lives?

niceguy2 Fri 14-Dec-12 08:47:32

why should your first children get less......

Because that's simply life. Let's say my partner today tells me she's pregnant. It's unplanned and we're not exactly flush at the moment. Our income would drastically go down and what money we do have coming in now must be split amongst all the kids. My own kids, my step son and my new child.

By the above logic, I am being unfair towards my existing kids by not having as much money to go around for a decision they've had no choice in making.

It's simply life. More children, same income = less to go around. In the context of an ex, I can see why they would see it as unfair but fair is in the eye of the beholder.

scottishmummy Fri 14-Dec-12 08:50:24

you're missing point,it's not about how adults enact gripes
it's the welfare of the children
a child shouldn't financially suffer because parents have fractious relationship

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 09:02:07

scottish. But what does financially suffer actually mean?

Why should a DC be protected from a change in their standard of living? Why is it assumed that a NRP doesn't consider the impact of their decisions on their DCs lives?

My DP battled for months with the decision (due to work restructuring) whether to significantly reduce the DCs contact with him, or to reduce the financial support he could provide. He based his decision on the standard of living his DCs had at the time - they had far more luxury in their life than many DCs do - so he decided that they would suffer less if their standard of living reduced than if their weekly regular contact with him was removed.

Their Mum was also benefiting from the DCs standard of living, so could be considered an innocent victim in that decision - she was no longer sharing in the luxuries her DCs had benefited from.

SkeletonButterfly Fri 14-Dec-12 09:14:53

My DP is a NRP, his last relationship ended due to some rather torrid infidelity on her part. He didn't want to leave, but he did.

She is now withholding contact, refusing to use the private agreement (that gave her more money) and going through the CSA.
Part of the headache this has caused is that he gets paid weekly, but CSA is paid monthly - I know this is easily sorted but it's just an unnecessary problem imo.

She is also threatening court over contact, despite only wanting the kids to see their father.

She lives on benefits, has gone on to have 2 further children and a stepchild (that she claims for) and does not 'need' the money at all - it's all done in spite.

So yes, this new CSA is very unfair, as is the fact that the RP - who chooses when and if the NRP gets contact - has all the power in using the children like pawns.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Fri 14-Dec-12 09:33:03

"If a Dad loses day to day family life with his DCs due to choices made by his ex, should his opportunities to move on with his life and have further DCs with another partner be restricted unless he can provide for his first DCs at the same level as he did when they were a family?

Should any DCs he has with a second partner miss out because their Dads exW chooses to financially rely on him despite excluding him from their shared DCs lives? "

not that you're biased or anything hmm

but no, children cost the same to raise whether you are with their other parent or not. they dont suddenly start eating less or stop growing because your wife cheated. he will always have those children to care for and they were a choice he made however many years ago. he chose to be a parent and raise these children to adulthood. that commitment does not end with the marriage/relationship. and yes, his existing children (and the cost of raising them) should be a factor when deciding to have other children. common sense.

paying for your children just seems so fucking optional to some.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Fri 14-Dec-12 09:36:38

"By the above logic, I am being unfair towards my existing kids by not having as much money to go around for a decision they've had no choice in making."

er, duh! the decisions you make affect your children. accidents happen yes and unplanned pregnancy will always happen. but lets not pretend it doesn't affect those that already exist. and lets not pretend that effect isn't sometimes negative.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Fri 14-Dec-12 09:39:36

"My DP is a NRP, his last relationship ended due to some rather torrid infidelity on her part. He didn't want to leave, but he did.

She is now withholding contact, refusing to use the private agreement (that gave her more money) and going through the CSA.
Part of the headache this has caused is that he gets paid weekly, but CSA is paid monthly - I know this is easily sorted but it's just an unnecessary problem imo.

She is also threatening court over contact, despite only wanting the kids to see their father.

She lives on benefits, has gone on to have 2 further children and a stepchild (that she claims for) and does not 'need' the money at all - it's all done in spite.

So yes, this new CSA is very unfair, as is the fact that the RP - who chooses when and if the NRP gets contact - has all the power in using the children like pawns. "

yes, the actions of 1 PWC are proof that no NRP should have to pay a fair rate for their children hmm

again, not that you're biased or anything?

scottishmummy Fri 14-Dec-12 09:43:41

how does a mum on benefits not need money for the children?
I think some of you 2nd partners are deluded in accounts you give
do you ever think well he would say that,when your new man deriding ex and complaining about paying for own kids

SkeletonButterfly Fri 14-Dec-12 09:45:32

It's a personal experience, that for me and my family makes a massive difference between our sutuation and to those feckless people who choose to leave and not pay - when there are good decent men trying to do the right thing and the RP is pissing all over any attempt at that.

Xenia Fri 14-Dec-12 09:49:49

It's all relative. My talk of our court order saying I pay the 5 sets of school/university fees is pie in the sky for benefit claimants and there are plenty of very very rich people who would see my own obligations as peanuts too.

The political issue is that we (hard working full time working single mothers and fathers who pay very high taxes are having to support increasing numbers of children of single parents and their parents because either the mother chooses not to work or picked a career which means she can never even earn more than the cost of child care or she cannot find a job or the system is set up to mean she's better off if on benefits or she won't move and / or her ex won't or cannot support his children.

My own solution which is also consistent with feminism is to ensure women can work more easily that children are with both parents half the time which means the man who swans in to take the children out for a few hours can't duck the day to day combing of the hair for nits, the clearing up sick, the washing never mind the finding of the childcare not just for the working day but the 6am starts and 1-0pm finishes many of us work. and all the other stuff resident parents do day in day out.

I spoke to a man yesterday who seemed to think he was some kind of hugely involved father of a 3 yera old and it was ludicrous. They both work full time but he only sees the child every other weekend and even that which I assumed was Friday pick up from day nursery and Monday morning return it is a few hours and one over night stay so one night in 14, nothing like the massive parental contribution he was making out.

SkeletonButterfly Fri 14-Dec-12 10:06:22

And, in income v outgoings (taking into account that she has 5 children living with her against our 1 child) without cm she is actually vastly better off - by which I mean she has much more disposable income - whereas we penny pinch to the max as it is, and begrudge the fact that we will be paying up to 20% more for the children to receive up to 7% less.
Of course Nrps should pay for their children - my point is that you cannot generalise the reasons for it being necessary, and spite should be taken into account as well!

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 10:08:15

not that you're biased or anything

In contrast, you are a model of unbias objectivity

paying for your children just seems so fucking optional to some

Everybody has different experiences - no-one is more right or justified than another and just because MY experience is not the same as yours doesn't make you right and me wrong!

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 10:11:09

he chose to be a parent and raise these children to adulthood. that commitment does not end with the marriage/relationship. and yes, his existing children (and the cost of raising them) should be a factor when deciding to have other children. common sense

I agree - it should be a factor that BOTH parents consider when making life decisions - not just the NRP.
It should be a factor when a RP chooses to give up work, remarry, have another DC, too, don't you think?

allnewtaketwo Fri 14-Dec-12 10:14:29

When I discussed that very point with another poster on a different thread, her view was that a pwc was entitled to give up her job to look after new children and therefore provide nothing financially for the "first" children, but that an nrp shouldn't be allowed to do this. Go figure.

tilder Fri 14-Dec-12 10:17:26

Ok, so every case is different.

However if my dh and I split up I would expect him to financially support our children. If he went on to have more children with someone else, I would expect him to financially support all of them. I work too, but I think both parents are responsible for their children. I don't see why separation from the mother removes that responsibility. If it would mean he couldn't afford children with a new partner, then tough really. Is that controversial?

Daddelion Fri 14-Dec-12 10:36:24


Does that also mean you shouldn't have more children?
As you'd be sharing the money out more thinly.

SkeletonButterfly Fri 14-Dec-12 10:37:26

It's not a case of affordability, more a case of fairness. It seems to me to be horrendously unfair that we struggle on our (earned) money and my DP wants to do right by his children - all of them - and because she can go off, procreate and get it all paid for, and we are left feeling bitter because when we had any contact the children were paid for here - and at home, on top of other payments; ie school uniform, clothing, toys and things for at their dads, we private rent and stretched for an extra room for children that now can't stay here. This seems grossly unfair to me - she was the reason the relationship ended, yet she holds all the cards wrt the children and contact. It's not about the money, it's emotional abuse via the children and the extra money on top (thanks condem) is just the icing on a rather horrid cake.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 10:40:42

tilder - but does that mean providing the DC's with what they NEED, or what they WANT?
It actually doesn't cost that much to keep a DC - but there are lots of extras that it is nice to give.

If a RP is in poverty, and struggling to feed their DC's and the NRP goes on to have further DC's, then that may be considered selfish -but if the DC's have a good standard of living, then why shouldn't that drop because one of their parents has another DC?

OptimisticPessimist Fri 14-Dec-12 10:43:01

"When I discussed that very point with another poster on a different thread, her view was that a pwc was entitled to give up her job to look after new children and therefore provide nothing financially for the "first" children, but that an nrp shouldn't be allowed to do this. Go figure"

If a PWC did this then presumably their new partner would be providing financial support for the household. If an NRP does this and their household continues to pay an appropriate amount of maintenance then I don't have a problem with them becoming a SAHP if they choose to. What I do have a problem with is the NRP deliberately making decisions that impact on their legal obligation to pay maintenance and not making other arrangements to ensure that their (the NRP's) family unit finds a way to financially support the original children. Is it really that difficult to see the difference?

OptimisticPessimist Fri 14-Dec-12 10:45:25

"we will be paying up to 20% more for the children to receive up to 7% less"

This will only happen if your DP does not pay. Under the new service PWC will have to accept direct payments (ie, the CMS will do an assessment and reassess each year, but the NRP will then pay the amount directly to the PWC) and they will only collect the money on behalf of the PWC if the NRP does not pay the assessed amount directly.

SkeletonButterfly Fri 14-Dec-12 10:48:38

Oh thank you Optimist - that's good to know. It's frustrating going through an external agency when we had a good system going, so good to hear that we will not have to do it and she will have to accept direct payment anyway. This makes it seem less like a way she can control my DP smile

Id be happy to do a private arrangement, but it means setting up a separate account for the money to go into as DH ex has form for fraud and we can't risk exposing our main account to the ex and she doesn't want us to do it anyway, it's a shame as she would get more this way.

We havnt mentioned to the CSA about our DS2 as they will reduce the money that goestto DSS and that is not fair on him or Ex.

I just wish the CSA would be more amicable so I wouldn't have to organise everything as they gave DH an awful time when we were being compliant and they suddenly calmed right down when I spoke to them. CSA sucks on all sides.

tilder Fri 14-Dec-12 10:49:40

Daddelion yes, it would also apply to me. Although in practice I would be too old.

I did say every case is different and for me this is hypothetical, but if parents split they have a financial responsibility to their existing children and I think that should be considered before adding more children. Am sure if dh and I split, which I hope never happens, the standard of living for all of us would fall as it costs more to run two house holds.

Am aware this is a complex issue, I guess it just irritates when a second family complains about financially a first family.

Daddelion Fri 14-Dec-12 10:51:56

Why should a new partner be providing for other people's children?

And going on the arguments on here he shouldn't have any children already and shouldn't have anymore children.

So the mother shouldn't become a Sahm as she shouldn't be having anymore children and should be providing for them.

OptimisticPessimist Fri 14-Dec-12 10:56:17

No problem Skeleton. As I said, she can still involve the CMS and he will be legally required to pay the amount they set, but as long as he pays directly the only involvement they will have is to do a yearly re-assessment based on up-to-date HMRC data (supposedly. It's yet to be proven and I have little faith). I think the CSA doesn't really serve anyone well - I have been waiting almost 5 months for an assessment to be done, every time I call yet another problem has popped up, and the last woman I spoke to was quite rude and suggested me calling regularly for an update was pointless - given that sometimes nothing has actually been done between calls and me calling seems to provoke some action from them it's clearly not.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Fri 14-Dec-12 11:13:29

"I agree - it should be a factor that BOTH parents consider when making life decisions - not just the NRP.
It should be a factor when a RP chooses to give up work, remarry, have another DC, too, don't you think? "

totally. if you look at my posts throughout this thread you will see that i think BOTH parents should be paying for their children's upbringing. i'm not sure why you would think i feel differently.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Fri 14-Dec-12 11:14:30

and yes. it is a fact that paying for your children is an option for some people, that isn't my opinion.

tilder Fri 14-Dec-12 11:32:59

I'm sorry Daddelion I'm not sure I understand that.

I do appreciate I am coming from a rather simplistic view point but I agree with a previous poster whose dh had a son who he was supporting and wouldn't have any more if he felt it would be detrimental to him. The dh sounded lovely.

I am going to leave this thread now.

CaHoHoHootz Fri 14-Dec-12 12:10:21

It's all so complicated, best plan is to think very carefully before settling down and having DC's with someone. confused I know divorces/seperation cant always be helped but it makes things a whole lot easier not to.
I have a lot of respect for seperated couples that manage to be civil to one another and put the needs of the DC's first.
I agree that the norm should be a proper 50/50 split and I don't understand the assumption that the mother should automatically be the main carer and that the father should be the breadwinner.

i'm a loss as to why anyone finds it controversial to say that a man who has children should support them even if he splits from the mother and that that his existing children should be his priority.

the muddying of the water of my darling man's ex is a psycho bitch who lives the life of luxury and we suffer terribly blah blah blah is irrelevent imo. you chose to get with a man who has children and was paying child support (rightly so). you knew and chose to start a family with him.

it's also ironic that it was always her fault and she's a bitch. don't often see women coming on saying my husbands ex is lovely and it was his fault the marriage ended and she does a sterling job of raising the children. wonder why?

Xenia Fri 14-Dec-12 16:08:41

swallowed, I wish more did. Whenever men tell me about their ex wives often I find myself thinking - well I bet a lot of it was your fault. In fact how they treat the first family is a really good way to find out who they will treat you.

I think separation just brings out the worst in people. I spoke to someone who had to go to court to see his 3 year old at all but then apparently didn't want as much time with it (he and the mother work full time) as she then wanted so be difficult because she'd made him go to court to get any contact at all he refused to look after it as much as she wanted.

I think people should try to stand back and think what is best for this child although it must be very hard. I have none of these problems because I have the children all the time and pay for everything which some woudl think is nirvana and it is compared to some situations but it also is pretty hard too at times.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 16:12:41

i'm a loss as to why anyone finds it controversial to say that a man who has children should support them even if he splits from the mother and that that his existing children should be his priority.

Because that means that you expect a man to prioritise one (or more) of his DC's over others - purely based on who their Mum was!

Lets say that a widower remarries - should the same thing apply? Should the DC's who have lost their Mum be prioritised over their siblings - purely because they were there first?

The other question I have is who decides? If a DC was attending several clubs, lessons, holidays abroad and so forth with their together parents, what is an acceptable level of reduction in lifestyle in the event those parents divorce? Should they carry on, regardless? How can that be achieved, when the same amount of income is now split between two homes?

As for think carefully before having DC's with a man who already supports his DC's from a previous relationship I would pick a man who pays for his DC's, rather than a deadbeat who doesn't, as the better father of my own child. Why wouldn't you?

scottishmummy Fri 14-Dec-12 16:31:36

look,most of us start with an only and more dc follow
so yes the pfb has to share time,finances with the other siblings even though they came 1st
wailing but he/she was first doesn't cut it.point of sharing is it accommodates all not just 1st burn

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Fri 14-Dec-12 16:34:34

nota you aren't getting it.

people are saying think about the children you have before having children with a new partner. if having more children will mean cutting the money you pay to your existing ones then you need to think very seriously about it. this might prevent being in a situation where you have two families and are having to decide which family gets your money.

also. as i said earlier, i think there should be a national minimum rate worked out by the govt. not to cover clubs and piano lessons but to cover food, shelter, clothing, heat etc. if the parents earn more then they pay more but the national minimum should cover the basics. clubs and classes outside of school should be agreed between the two parents and if one doesn't agree then the other pays as they are the one wanting them to go.

"As for think carefully before having DC's with a man who already supports his DC's from a previous relationship I would pick a man who pays for his DC's, rather than a deadbeat who doesn't, as the better father of my own child. Why wouldn't you? "

yes of course, common sense, but accept that this means he has priorities above you and that if you chose to have children with him, he will always have the same financial commitments to his first family, so dont be complaining when you have 3 children with him and money is tight. you knew the score at the start. again, common sense i would have thought.

scottishmummy Fri 14-Dec-12 16:38:47

indeed if you shack up with man with kids you factor thatvinto the finances
so although you and new man may have one child,if he has 2 prior to you
the finances need to accommodate the total no children,nit just kids he has with new partner

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Dec-12 16:43:53

if having more children will mean cutting the money you pay to your existing ones then you need to think very seriously about it.

Is'nt that equally applicable to families where the parents are still together though?

Why is it OK for two parents to decide, together, that their PFB can cope with sharing the household income with a younger sibling?
If an older DC is damaged by reduced financial support available to them, how does it matter whether the parents live together or not?

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Fri 14-Dec-12 16:46:30

"if having more children will mean cutting the money you pay to your existing ones then you need to think very seriously about it.

Is'nt that equally applicable to families where the parents are still together though?"


yes, as i and others have been saying the whole way through this thread! do you just argue for the sake of it?

OptimisticPessimist Fri 14-Dec-12 16:50:23

I am really do not understand the special treatment maintenance gets amongst household bills. Nobody would seriously consider deciding to pay less council tax as a way to afford another child, why is it ok to do that with maintenance? It is not about "sharing" resources, it's about the resources not actually spreading enough to cover basic costs. Maintenance is a basic cost, the same as food, housing, heating and clothing.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Fri 14-Dec-12 16:57:16

exactly optimistic. like i said earlier, maintenance seems to be optional for some people. as if it's just as easy as reducing their Sky package. i just dont understand that.

Xenia Fri 14-Dec-12 17:29:56

Yes, it's about someone who cannot afford another child having more with his new woman knowing he can probably skimp on the first family. We had a lot of children and I can afford it. The younger ones probably have slightly more luxurious a life than the first ones (bigger house etc), the older ones sometimes joking about comparisons between then and now - same family, same parents.

This is the same in some families where the mother remarries someone better off which happens with a lot of men I know and that man lifts the woman out of poverty and puts her children through private school and moves them into a much bigger house. INdeed some women serially seek such men in divorce after divorce or marriage after marriage I should say as a means of accruing wealth. It doesn't always work the other way round with a descent into poverty.

What does trouble me as I see it all the time is men ensuring they earn much less after divorce or giving up work or retiring early as a cunning plan to ensure their ex wife and children get less which is weird really particularly as they seem to think it would impress someone to hear about it which of course it doesn't at all. It's like a huge sign round their neck saying - I evade my responsibilities and don't support my children.

allnewtaketwo Fri 14-Dec-12 18:43:55

Optimistic your point is only valid if the maintenance amount is of a value required to cover basic costs. If it exceeds this, which it often will, then it starts covering extras. I. E in no way comparable to council tax, or the gas bill

allnewtaketwo Fri 14-Dec-12 18:47:50

Xenia, I presume when you see a mother who doesn't work you also see the same virtual sign around her neck that she doesn't financially provide for her children?

OptimisticPessimist Fri 14-Dec-12 18:56:47

The assessment figure is a basic liability, just like council tax or a gas bill or rent/mortgage. If the only way an NRP can fund an additional child is to find a way to reduce that basic liability then they can't afford another child. I really don't understand what's wrong with saying that.

FWIW, I fully accept that I don't directly financially support my children. Given that I am responsible for them 100% of the time, that I support them in every other conceivable way completely alone and that my not working is as a direct result of my XP's refusal to co-parent, I'm pretty ok that one puzzle piece is missing atm. If my XP could say similar I'd have far less of a problem with his complete avoidance of financial responsibility.

chickensarmpit Fri 14-Dec-12 19:26:20

My dad left my mum and us 4 kids to go and live with another woman and her kids. She was hostile from day 1 about us getting any money.
I don't understand why her children were taken into consideration when the csa calculated money for us when my sm got money off her kids dads.Plus the fact that those kids are not my dads.

I still remember the hurt when i asked my dad if he could get me some new school shoes because mine didn't fit anymore, only to be told he couldn't because he would have to buy his step-kids things to. Why?
I am his daughter.
This was the same for everything. I didn't have a coat for weeks in the winter because if my dad bought me anything the step-bitch would say it's unfair that her kids didn't get anything. Then she decided that she wanted to try for a baby! Yeah right! He can't pay for kids he's already got, but lets bring another kid into the world! That's more food out of mine and my siblings mouths.
My mum was brilliant, she worked fulltime and struggled like anything to raise us without the help of my dad and step-bitch.

I am now very bitter towards my dad (as you can probably tell). My siblings and i feel like we were pushed to one side, like we weren't wanted anymore.
I may get flamed for this but to be honest i don't care. Why is it so easy for people to go around having kids willynilly? With any tom, dick or harry?
Do people not realise the damage they can do to children already here?
My personal feelings are that the csa should account for children that our born to the parent they are claiming against.
That may be wrong but it is my own opinion.
Please excuse my rant, this is a very delicate subject for me.

chickensarmpit Fri 14-Dec-12 19:33:05

P.s i don't think tax credits should be used when calculating csa either. That should be for the children it is intended for.

allnewtaketwo Fri 14-Dec-12 19:38:06

Because the amount isn't always a basic amount which means its funding more extras. In any family, the extras the first child gets most likely reduces when other children are born. The extras aren't ring fenced just because that child was there first

allnewtaketwo Fri 14-Dec-12 19:41:01

Optimistic are your children not yet of school age?

Xenia Fri 14-Dec-12 19:41:44

allnew, my views on women who leech of men and provide housewife services and sex in return for being kept are well known but I certainly would not want to insult the massive numberse of housewives on mumsnet. We are all entitled to different views. If fathers were forced against their will to have children 50% of the time after divorce and to arrnage full time childcare in their weeks and pay for it then mothers left with children would find it easier to find full time work.

However we mustn't lose sight of the fact that many women are not very well educated and cannot earn much and for some of those their route out of poverty is their looks and sexuality to attract a man to keep them. If I think of men I've seen who have remarried it is virtually all in that category - gone on to remarry someone who had very little, taken on her children, pay school fees for those children, support that second or third wife. The country is littererd with leech like women who have more sense than do I - as one of the few women who had to pay a massive divorce settlement to man because I had worked rather than sat around living off male earnings. In a sense the idle benefits and one reason more women under 40 are millionaires in the UK is women have two ways to get that money - one is work as I work very hard and do well but there is a second route which is on your back and in the beauty parlour. Men tend only to have the one route and have less "sexual capital"as Hakim defines it than do men. I am not aganist women choosing to use all the tools in their arsenal given they only own 1% of the world's wealth, even if that tool is a large chest.

CaHoHoHootz Fri 14-Dec-12 19:50:54

allnew, my views on women who leech of men and provide housewife services and sex in return for being kept are well known but I certainly would not want to insult the massive numberse of housewives on mumsnet

shock. Xenia! I can't believe you just said that? Is this a new mellow Xenia? grin.

I have never in my life heard such sexist drivel about women come from a woman.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Fri 14-Dec-12 19:57:22

i knew it couldn't last. a thread with people nodding in agreement with Xenia. she had to ruin it grin

Agreement with Xenia- does the internet implode on itself now? grin

Xenia Fri 14-Dec-12 20:12:00

I thought they were rather good lines and very open - I am saying use both routes - your sexuality to nab the rich man and live off male earnings or else earn your own money. Men only usually have one route.

Why is it always the woman who is living off the man though? Perhaps the man is so useless he needs a woman around.

Its just derogatory really. You are basically saying that women who dont make a lot of money havent worked hard enough and should just give up and find a rich man.

OptimisticPessimist Fri 14-Dec-12 21:07:19

allnew, my kids are 3, 5 and 9. My 3 year old is at nursery in the mornings, my 5 year old has just started school and my 9 year old has Asperger's. The fact that I have three (which I know is my decision and was based on other factors as detailed above) means childcare is hard - I can basically afford 30 hours of childcare and that has to include travelling time and breaks at work, plus DS1's ASD can cause difficulties. I'm doing an OU degree while I'm on Income Support and I'm hoping to learn to drive next year - the public transport here is crap and basically limits me to one town (and obviously the longer the travel time the less I can actually work) so if I can get my licence I'll have all the smaller towns and villages open to me as well, plus less travelling time. My kids' school has a good breakfast club, so once DD starts school I can hopefully work at least part time and use most of the childcare credit (or whatever it's called by then) to cover holiday care. I honestly don't want to be on benefits any longer than I need to be, I miss working terribly. I was working full time previously and my parents basically ended up paying my childcare bill which was completely unsustainable anyway, but then my nanny left and I couldn't find anyone to do the irregular hours I needed. That's why I quit my job, which was gutting for me after struggling for a year to keep working. My XP has none of the constraints to working that I do, does none of the parenting by his choice and yet doesn't support them financially either. I don't think he and I are equally bad in our lack of financial support for them, but maybe I'm wrong there, I don't know.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Fri 14-Dec-12 21:19:49

i fucking hate the way these threads always end up with people on benefits justifying themselves. you dont have to do that optimistic it just feeds them. they aren't entitled to know.


allnewtaketwo Fri 14-Dec-12 21:22:22

Who had to justify themselves? I simply asked if her children were at school yet. Hardly an intrusive question

Xenia Sat 15-Dec-12 09:12:41

I think it's really important that when people choose to do so they explain their situations. It gives understanding, just as second wives who are very cross their husband has to pay so much to first families help all of us understand both points of view.

OpP is obviously trying very hard. The answers I suppose partly lie in encouraging our daughters into careers which pay very well so they can afford childcare and that involves talking to them as teenagers, giving them good role models, showing them female accountants, actuaries, surgeons, women in business and whole gamut of opportunities out there for girls so that they ensure they pick a career which means they are likely to be able to afford child care and work and live. It is certainly not easy. Also if you can afford it getting children through a driving test at 17 is good. We had one doing a driving theory test on the 17th birthday itself and then day after day after day in 4 years that 3 of them turned 17 gritting teeth whilst said child drives you (very scary) but that hopefully means later in life they will have that test behind them. I realise not all families have a car etc of course.

When the OpP youngest is in school even a live in au pair might work out as would cover odd hours and the times out of school perhaps even if it means children sharing. My children share a room but obviously it depends on size of place where you live.

Of course if fathers were forced to have children 50% of the time then she would know every other week she was 100% free and no childcare costs to pay for so could find things easier. Couples I know who both work full time and live near will often share one nanny between them who rotates from mother's to father's house in alternate weeks to give the chidlren continuity and then the bill is split down the middle. I agree a nanny can be cheapest for a lot of children than say 3 nursery places. We have 5 children and she could collect the other 3 from school having had the twins at home all day and then cook dinner for all 5 etc.

My description of Hakim's views on how women make money and are kept are not derogatory. 4 in 5 women marry up and all the research shows that the reason we have more women then men under 40 who are millioanires in the UK is because women earn their money in two ways - divorce settlements./ from men and work. Men just have one route. It's not derogatory. It's stating facts. Many a second wife has wrested a relatively rich man from a first wife with the aim of feathering her own nest. I have not invented the concept of gold digger on this thread. Some women (and a very few men) almost make it a career. A friend who had divorced met a woman who was getting £3m on her first divorce then going through , never worked for 20 years, children away at boarding school, hooked into him - sensibly he did not marry her, she was lovely to him until he had sold his country house to buy her a bigger country house and she put funds in and then she was awful and he had to go to court to get his money back. Thankfully they had a written agreement before he put in the funds and she didn't sell it and pay him.. no... she found victim number 3, another rich man, who bought out the person I know's share.

As for think carefully before having DC's with a man who already supports his DC's from a previous relationship I would pick a man who pays for his DC's, rather than a deadbeat who doesn't, as the better father of my own child. Why wouldn't you?

eh? where's that strawman run off to? grin

of course the one who pays is a better bet than the one who doesn't - who said otherwise? but the fact remains you are choosing someone who has prior financial commitments that will (or should) place restrictions on whether you can afford children or the size of the family you can have.

as to the personal question i'm asked here i personally wouldn't choose either man. i don't want to be with a man who is divorced and living separately from his children and i wouldn't want my son to be in that kind of family unit either. i wouldn't want to have children with a man who had already had children and wasn't a full, proper parent to them.

maybe controversial but that's my personal choice and feelings. i find men who live separately to their children and have an 'ex' who has the children to be unappealing and to have particular attitudes and behaviours i find unattractive and problematic.

i might consider a relationship with a man who has 50% genuine shared parenting with the mother of his children as i could respect that and see it as being a 'real' parent and not coming with the attendant attitudes of a weekend dad. i'd also be able to respect that he and his ex had managed to fairly and harmoniously deal with splitting up and being adult parents. such men are shrinkingly rare though.

i tend to be with people (friends, partners whatever) who i have shared values and ethics with. i don't find myself to have those with men who hate their ex's, make out she's a psycho bitch yet they chose to have children with her confused and leave those children in her care. too alien for me.

Arisbottle Sat 15-Dec-12 12:11:01

As you say though it is quite possible to be divorced and fully involved in your children's lives and having a very amicable relationship with your ex.

My stepson and his mother are part of our lives, we are all part of end family. We spend Christmas, birthdays and special times together . Our lives are bound together by our shared love for our son ( my stepson)

absolutely arisbottle! i'd have no problems with a man who had a set up like that and i could see was a responsible, caring adult who took his responsibilities seriously and had amicably dealt with a failed relationship.

my sister is divorced and despite it being entirely through his infidelity and shocking behaviour when the children were born he is welcome in all of our homes and at the christmas table etc because he is the children's father and we are all adults who put children first. the relationship yay or nay is about shared values - i wouldn't have shared values with someone who hated his ex and slagged her off and claimed she was a she devil yet had somehow managed to choose to marry her and have kids with her ffs.

Arisbottle Sat 15-Dec-12 12:20:12

I agree, I have never heard my husband talk negatively of his ex and if I did I would think worse of him. I could not build my life with someone who was consumed with bitterness about a woman whom he loved enough at one time to make a child . I would feel a similar way about a man who was trying to minimise his financial, emotional or practical input into the lives of his children.

i'm afraid men slagging off their ex's to me is a massive red flag that sends me running for the hills.

and YAY for a woman coming on and proving that some women are able to view their husband's ex in a realistic light as a whole person rather than a character in a pantomime.

allnewtaketwo Sat 15-Dec-12 13:33:29

Some separated men are unable to share true parenting of a child simply because their ex will not let them and courts tend to trot out the every other weekend rota.

Arisbottle Sat 15-Dec-12 13:42:02

I would not want to get involved with a man who was in such circumstances . I would be forced to question his judgement in becoming involved with such a woman ( and ask questions about the fact that such a man with that level of judgement would then want me) or to ask what he had done to her to prompt such a reaction .


if this ex is so crazy and selfish and deranged and irrational and blah blah blah then why did he choose to be with her? why have children with her? why not take the children with him when he left and fight outright for them that way? i know i wouldn't leave my child with a psycho.

the 'not allowed' and 'the courts always say...' type stuff would make me think of a weak and passive creature who was happy to blame his choices and life on external forces. again not that attractive and definitely not someone i'd want in my children's lives.

Daddelion Sat 15-Dec-12 14:33:57

So if a woman had a relationship or a child with an abusive man would it be her fault?

it wouldn't be her 'fault' obviously but if i was a man getting involved with her i'd want to know she'd gotten help, addressed any personal issues that led to her choosing and staying with such a man and had moved on and processed the experience and grown from it. wouldn't you?

Arisbottle Sat 15-Dec-12 14:41:47

I quite carefully said that it could be a matter if poor judgement rather than fault.

It is not always the case that there is one good partner and one bad one either . Both my husband and I come from homes filed with domestic violence and children . In both cases, both partners were at fault . I have been in short relationships in the past, again both of us were to blame . I accept that is not always the case, but it is not always black and white.

If I am planning to marry someone and have children with them, I would have concerns if the mother of their previous children was abusive because that would impact my children.

That makes me quite selfish, but raising children is tough enough without adding abusive exes int the equation.

I am not a believer that falling in love is some mystical process, over which you have no control. I love my husband but he was a rational choice. In the last I have dated people who were OK for a little fun, but never husband or father material.

Arisbottle Sat 15-Dec-12 14:42:34

Not short relationships - although they were - I meant shitty abusive

exactly. it's the lack of emotional intelligence and maturity that would concern me in such a black and white and pantomimesque portrayal of one's relationship with the mother of your children.

mature, rational adults process and learn from and acknowledge levels of responsibility in their failed relationships - especially ones as important as those with the other parent of your children.

allnewtaketwo Sat 15-Dec-12 15:32:12

Swallowed I believe it was a failed condom. They lasted a good few years after that though. The divorce was on the grounds of her adultery actually. I realise you find it impossible to believe that a woman or a mother can just be nasty or vindictive just for the hell of it, but it's true, just as it is for men. She actually told DH once why she hated him so much, her reason being that he brought he to court to get access to the children. I have read all the court papers, seen all the evidence, in fact still see the evidence years later as she lives the bitterness through her children. She controls their every movement and they are not allowed to see friends outside of school, aren't allowed to do anything actually despite her say so, despite one if them being 17. I know it because I've seen it.

allnewtaketwo Sat 15-Dec-12 15:33:54

Swallowed do you go onto relationships boards and berate battered wives for their lack of emotional intelligence in choosing such a partner? Or do you reserve this smug vitriol just for men?

try re reading what i wrote

14.38 post covers it

allnewtaketwo Sat 15-Dec-12 16:18:43

I did

allnewtaketwo Sat 15-Dec-12 16:21:27

Gotten help for a split condom?

you're surely being deliberately obtuse now.

you said do i berate abused women i referred you to what i already said which was that it's not whether someone had an abusive relationship but whether they've processed, healed and dealt with the issues that contributed to them being in or staying in such a relationship.

allnewtaketwo Sat 15-Dec-12 16:29:35

You portrayed a man who had a child with a woman who ended up being spiteful and using her children as weapons, as weak. If you had any emotional intelligence yourself, you would realise than people are not always what they seem and can turn very nasty and abusive. I doubt many victims of physical abuse saw a big "I will end up battering you" sign around the necks of true partners. Emotional abusers don't wear these signs either, unfortunately. One does not have to be weak to be a victim of an abuser. Problem is, women don't find to like to think ghat other women can be abusive, hence yor use of words such ax "pantomime". Believe me, there is nothing funny about the way these children have been brought up. Nothing funny at all. Thankfully one of them is now having counselling. But you wont believe this, so I don't even know why I'm bothering to post it.

a lot of hyperbole and outright lies there so i'm not sure if i should be bothering to reply confused i never portrayed any such man - it is you who have been talking about such men and are either genuinely seeing things i haven't said or are deliberately pretending i've said things i haven't.

and again as i said (repeatedly) i wouldn't blame someone for being in an abusive relationship but if i was considering getting together with someone who had and who i may have children with i would want to be sure they had dealt with, processed and healed from the abuse and were not still entangled with their abuser.

so no i wouldn't personally have children with a man who had children with an abusive ex and had children living with her. i personally would not want my children near that kind of situation and wouldn't bring more children into it.

that isn't berating anyone. that is choosing what sort of relationship i'd want to be in and what i'd want my children exposed to.

allnewtaketwo Sat 15-Dec-12 16:48:35

My child is nowhere near her, believe me.

It must be nice for you in your smug world, good luck with that

my smug world? hmm. not sure about that.

i seem to have somehow become the outlet for all your anger and bitterness.

your child is near yours and your partners anger and bitterness over the whole issue though -i hope you temper it rather more with them than you have with me.

allnewtaketwo Sat 15-Dec-12 18:11:57

I don't have bitterness. Just because I describe a situation honestly and pity my DSSs, that has nothing to do with bitterness. Do you p ly come on mn threads if you're bitter about a topic? How odd

my real concern with the csa changes is that children whose fathers refuse to agree to a private arrangement because they won't have contact or because they can't be relied upon to pay privately, will be punished.

if you have no contact details for your child's father you cannot arrange a private payment scheme through no fault of your own and yet your child will get stealth tax deducted from their maintenance.

if you have an existing csa claim which they had to track the man down for to get him to pay they will cancel that and you will have no way of contacting him therefore no choice but to pay and restart the process (potentially waiting months without payment again) to have him pay only this time with money deducted from his payments by the collectors.

i guess i think that there should be a clause whereby if you are willing to have a private arrangement but the other party refuses or keeps breaking it all of the charges should be met by them not you.

Xenia Sun 16-Dec-12 16:57:56

Before the CSA I think there were court orders individually and if no payment then you send in the baililffs. Some mothers (or fathers) preferred that as they could act immediately there were a default instead of waiting months for the CSA to do anything about it - in other words you had power to enforce yourself and push it and chase it every day. Then the CSA came in and took over not always efficiently but much easier for parents without funds to go to court and send in their own bailiff etc.

I would imagine most people on a thread about child maintenance have been hurt. It is a very difficult and emotive topic.

swallowed, I have not read the new law but presumably if you have a private arrangement that could be a contract and if someone breaches a contract you go on line and sue them in a matter of minutes. If they do not pay you send in bailliffs. Bailiffs will recover not only the money owed but their fees and the court fees. However I am not sure if it will operate like that or not.

more concerned about the people who can't get private agreements and where children will be penalised for that.

a non rp refusing to pay should be the one who is punished with fees, not the children.

Xenia Sun 16-Dec-12 19:04:21

I think the new system is that the parent applying pays £20 and 7 - 15% charge on the maintenance.

I think there is no reason in law a written agreement between parents even if not endorsed in a court order is not a binding legal contract and if the other parent does not pay you go on to moneyclaimsonline sue and then bailiffs can get your money. Yet I had seen a few places saying there was no right to enforce if it were a private arrangement which I would think was not so.

but you have to get the agreement in the first place.

the csa does not tell you where the father lives - you may have no way of contacting him whatsoever if he doesn't see his children.

Xenia Sun 16-Dec-12 21:30:18

Yes, if you cannot reach agreement and of course it can equally be a mother paying a father too - then you will need to use the CSA and pay the new fees.

my argument is that in a situation where one party would willingly have a private agreement but the other will not it should be the one who will not who pays all the fees. why should a child have to lose money from their maintenance because an nrp refuses to pay except if forced by an agency? all costs should fall on them, not the child.

point is i've no problem with penalising people for refusing to voluntarily pay for the upkeep of their own children - i would personally treat non payment of maintenance like non payment of tax and make it criminal and fast track the prosecution process much as the local authority has power to do with non payment of council tax. what i have a problem with is the money coming out of the child's maintenance rather than the non payers pocket. the proposals see both the child and the non payer paying.

Xenia Mon 17-Dec-12 09:34:11

Yes, they should increase the % due from the parent by the amount of the charges exactly as you do if you sue someone - you recover the sum and the costs of recovering it. Presumably the one off £20 charge is not the major issue but the 7 - 15% on going collection charge is. So I wonder what the CSA promise for their 7% fee? An estate agent managing a property they let for you does not promise the rent will always be paid but are still entitled to their 8% or whatever. However there will be some basic standard applied to them such as they check references and I presume it's the same with the CSA,

OptimisticPessimist Mon 17-Dec-12 09:54:22

Thanks Santa (great user name btw, I do love a lot bit of Tim grin), I know allnew didn't ask but I had a feeling that's where it was going and I thought maybe it might help explain why it's not as simple as just having children of school age when you are trying to organise childcare - in fact it would be easier, logistically, if they were all pre-schoolers.

The biggest problem that I have with making a private arrangement in my own situation is that I have no idea where or when my XP works, no idea of his lifestyle etc in order to estimate his income, so if he were to offer to make a private arrangement then I have no idea if what he offers to pay is a reasonable amount. In fact, he did originally offer to pay £100 a month. For three children. So yes, I refused that offer and went to the CSA (although I would have been happy for him to pay me directly, he chose to pay via the CSA when he was actually paying). Their assessment was £150 a month, so clearly his original offer was not reasonable, but using the CSA was the only way I could find that out iyswim.

WRT the charges, afaik the CSA don't promise anything for the 7% charge that will be levied at PWC when the NRP does not pay them directly. Their consultation document stated specifically that the reason for the charge against the PWC is to act as an incentive for them to go back to direct payments if the NRP requests it. given that the charge will only be levied if the NRP doesn't pay directly, I think it's really unfair not only to charge the PWC in the first place, but also to expect them to agree to go back to direct payments at the NRP's request. FWIW, those charges are for the basic level of collection, ie when the NRP voluntarily makes payments to the CSA via card payments, standing order etc. There will be further charges against the NRP if the CSA has to move to DEO and court action.

i agree it's unreasonable to expect a pwc to go back to private payments upon request from nrp when the nrp has a history of not paying and pissing about stopping payments. a pwc on the bread line can't afford that gamble and the subsequent delays in having to go back to the csa and start all over again.

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