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Will i get in trouble if i claim lone parent??(14 Posts)
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!
I think you two admirable and thumbs up. I think you have a very good plan.
I don't know the law, but if you are not married and/or live together as the permanent arrangement you are a single parent!
I think you might have to get the custody arrangements sorted so you can see what you are then legally entitled too.
lots of single parents have friends/family to help them, why couldn't it be their dad who helps out?
tons of kids spend their weeks at one parent & the weekends at another, so what if they spend the weekend with him in your home?
I don't see the problem, but then again I'm not qualified in legal matters.
I can only applaud that you are really working together for the kids, despite your differences!
thankyou as i said we do get on we just arent right for eachother, we are better off as friends!
im just scared that some nosey parker would frown upon it and try to get me in trouble because he will be here quite alot and the information available regarding it isnt very good, everyone assumes that if you split with your partner you are incapable of maintaining a friendship and providing a united front when it comes to the kids!
there are so many people out there claiming single when they arent and i dont want to be tarred with that brush just because we are putting the kids first!
funnily enough you sound more united then some married people do!
seriously, if you are not right for each other, but making such an effort to work it out and you are friends, can't you have couples therapy or something first & try and actually stay together?
I respect your decision, but is everything really that lost between you too?
ok, I'll mind my own business...
I think you should really get some proper legal advice, have you posted this in the "legal matters" section too?
we have talked of trying to stay together but it would just be for the kids sake and it would probably end up not being so amicable in the future! i forgot to mention that we have been trialing the seperation as he has been living at his mums and we have both decided that we are happier apart and the setup works with the kids, but before we do anything official i need to know where i stand.
i wont pretend im not sad that its over but i have 3 kids from it and thats what im focusing on now.
no i havent, i think ill do that now, thankyou
I'm sorry it's not going to mend, but all the best, I'm really proud of you two! (if I may say so in style of Mother Hen!)
I'm not a fan of divorce or separation, but I think in your case you have really thought through how you can make it work and the kids will definitely benefit from you 2 not being stressed out or arguing!
well done for being so mature, and putting the kids first while being realistic about your personalities!
I wish you all the best!
I think it's fantastic that you are able to still get on so well for your children, and I'm certain they will appreciate it.
I believe you could run into problems - basically although you aren't doing anything wrong, it could be perceived as you being in a relationship and would be up to you to prove you weren't - during which time your benefits would be suspended during an investigation.
Personally I'd be completely upfront when contacting the tax credits helpline and explain the situation and also your plans at least that way they can give you accurate information and they also have it down in their files in case you were investigated.
You have to make sure he can prove he lives at his parent's place. So, all of your utility bills must be in your name, the rent book must be only in your name, his bank account, library card, benefits/employee details etc must be at another address. It would help if he had a rental contract with his dp showing that he lives there, pays his bills there and so on.
And he should take his toothbrush, showergel, clothes and so on back to his parents place, there should be no indicator that he lives with you.
Exactly as oldlady said .
In these cases it's not so much them being able to prove he is living there , it is for you to prove that he he isn't !
His rental agreement , own utility bills etc will prove this.
Cancel all joint accounts, they will ask for copies of all bank accounts you have for the last 3 months .
Based on experience
thankyou for your replies!
we dont have any joint accounts so thats not a problem and all the utility bills are in my name anyway, the only thing he has here is the car which will obviously need to be changed anyway or it will invalidate his insurance since he wont be living here.
as for him having a rental agreement can he do that living at his mums? and his mum is the one paying the utilities so all he will have is a contract phone there!
i wish it wasnt so complicated, just because we are seperating doesnt mean we should be on jeremy kyle! is it so wrong we want to remain friends for kids and do right by them?
Its not enough to just claim he has another residence. The compliance officer use a handbook which has guidelines, they look at number of hours spent together, eating/shopping together, if neighbours perceive you to be a couple etc.
I think you would have a hard time persuading them if your claim is checked that you are single.
Residence isn't the only thing they consider. Couples can theoretically be considered as being in a household even if they live separately - otherwise it would open up claims from SAHMs where the DP is working away from home, lives in a flat near work during the week etc.
There are no firm rules on how they determine whether you should claim as a couple or single parent. But as well as looking at bills and accounts, if they get a tip off they may carry out surveillance on your home and inspect it to see if he leaves his belongings there, eats there etc. It's very common for couples to fraudulantly claim that a partner is living with a family member when they're actually still in a relationship, so the lack of bills will raise suspicions I think.
At the very least he should be on the concil tax bill at his mums house and also the electoral roll.
Of course he can have an agreement re rent etc drawn up with his mum too. It might not be legally binding etc, but it would be pretty effective as proof that he pays her to live there rather than with you, especially if he transfers his money to her and there is a paper trail of it iyswim?
He should also make sure his registered address with employer/bank & other financial institutions/gp and any other official agency is his mums address.
Make sure the dcs schools/nurseries have both of you as separate contacts with separate addresses and phone numbers.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to remain friends OP. There are plenty of ways to be proven and separated individuals without impacting on friendship or the amount of time he spends with his dc.
Tbh I get a bit cynical about these queries now, so many threads asking how to prove someone lives elsewhere and the OP comes back and says 'oh he only has a mobile phone bill at his address'
I remember a thread a few years back where the op's ex partner slept on the sofa for one night. Someone reported her and she ended up having to pay back 1 days equivalent of her benefit. It sounds completely daft but you do need to be careful.
I also think its best to be honest with the children rather than living a lie. Your intentions are well meaning but I think it would be better if the children knew that their father was living somewhere else. Children are remarkably resilent, the break up is amicable and their father will continue to play an active part in their life. I'm sure everything will be fine.
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