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Will i get in trouble if i claim lone parent??

(4 Posts)
whycantlifebeeasy Wed 30-Jan-13 21:16:02

Hi im new to this site but i am in desperate need of advice!
Without going into boring detail, after 9 years and 3 kids me and my partner have decided its best that we split up. Its an amicable split and we are going to remain close friends as we do get on just not in a relationship!
My problem is that the boys are only 5 and our youngest 3 month and we dont want our relationship breakdown to affect them so we have come up with a plan where they shouldnt notice much change. We are proposing that he comes around 3 days a week after work to see them, have tea with them, do the bed time routine with them and then go home once they are in bed and to come round at the weekend and stay on the sofa so he is here for them all weekend, hence them not noticing he no longer lives with us.
I do know that they will have to know eventually and that one day we will both end up meeting other people but right now we want to focus on the kids and give them a stable loving home, after all we are parents and that is our job.
Obviously once he moves out i will not be able to rely on him financially anymore as he will have to pay to live in his new place, i work part time and know that as i single parent i should be entitled to help through tax credits etc BUT will our proposal for him to still be in the kids lives regular and stay regular (weekends) affect this?
In every sense we will no loner be living together as a couple, i will be responsible for the household bills, food etc whilst he provides me with money towards the children.
Basically my question is, can he stay over at the weekend to spend time with the kids so we can give them the stable environment every child is entitled to or will that be frowned upon?
the last thing i need right now is to get in trouble with benefits! we are just trying to do the best for the kids, after all they didnt ask to be born and they adore their dad, it would break their hearts if they knew he wasnt living with them anymore, how do you explain relationships to 5 year olds?
any advice appreciated, im just trying to do the right thing!

Don't know about other benefits, but as far as tax credits are concerned, what your ex will need to do is make sure that he gets everything registered to his new address including car insurance, loans credit cards etc. As long as your finances are separate (as in he's not still paying all the bills) then you should be ok.

NatashaBee Wed 30-Jan-13 21:24:07

Technically if you are living as separate households (bills to different addresses, doing own housework, etc) this shouldn't be a problem. The eating dinner together and staying over every weekend is probably a grey area, and if you have nosy neighbours they might take it upon themselves to report you.

Personally, as much as you think it will all stay amicable right now, it never does - things will probably change entirely once one of you gets a new partner, and you are going to have to tell your children in the end. I would try and have a gradual transition and start easing them into it gently now, not try and cover it up.

STIDW Wed 30-Jan-13 23:33:42

The problem with not telling the children anything is that your 5 year old at least is likely to pick up something isn't quite right and that will be more worrying and confusing than knowing the truth. Children need to know enough to make sense of what is going on, although they don't need great detail and should be protected from any crossfire between their parents.

In the States some separating parents arrange for the children to live in the former matrimonial home with the parents alternating between living in the home and elsewhere ("bird nesting" as they call it). Unfortunately human emotions are such that this is rarely successful because separating couples usually become very disillusioned and frustrated with one another and need to distance themselves to avoid the children witnessing outbursts of anger. Apparently one judge in Texas used to order "bird nesting" when a parent demanded 50:50 shared residence because the parents themselves would realise it doesn't work and would quickly come to a more autonomous arrangement better suited to children.

Because your baby is so young your husband may initially need to visit frequently for short periods but I think you need to be prepared to move towards him taking the children out and then them spending time at his new home, particularly if he has been an involved dad.

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