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this is insane

(81 Posts)
ladyjadey Tue 27-Nov-12 20:09:49

I am a single mum of two. I work 30 hours a week. I have been with my bf for over 2 years and we want to live together. He also has 2 kids who don't live with him. If we live together it seems I will lose all my tax credits because of his wage. He is far from wealthy because he pays a large maintenance payment every month, 600 pounds. Idepend on childcare to go to work which costs between 500 and 800 plus a month, dependingon school hols etc. There is no way I can pay this, a mortgage, bills and everything else on my own without my tax credits. He cannot afford to either.So I am better off as a single mother until my children grow up? Surely that can't be right!

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 27-Nov-12 22:42:41

Of course it's right that you get less as a double-earning couple than as a single-earning parent. hmm If you live together you'd pool your income and your living costs would be far, far cheaper because you'd only be paying for one home rather than two separate ones. Why on earth do you think you would continue to pay for 'a mortgage, bills and everything else on my own'? Is he planning on freeloading?

Work out how much money he'd save by not having to pay rent/mortgage/bills etc. wherever it is he lives now.... I expect it would more than offset any loss in tax credits.

thisisthewayitis Tue 27-Nov-12 23:57:42

Yes, the government expects couples in a committed relationship to pool resources, so the total amount you receive is usually less than what you'd get as a single parent. It can be a real shock changing from being a lone parent in charge of all finances, to having to depend on a partner when you marry or cohabit. I think the amount you save in cohabiting and having a single set of bills/housing costs is not always offset by the loss of benefits/tax credits, depending on how many dc you have and what you currently receive.

I had the same dilemma a few years ago, except I wasn't employed so I lost almost all my income in the form of income support, housing benefit and tax credits. It worked out for us as DH had no dc, though I had one dc who DH was happy to support, and DH could afford to pay for all of our costs and was happy to do so. But I think it's a real problem for single parents with larger families, especially when they blend families with another single parent, and it forces women to depend on a new partner, in a way reducing their status. I think many women end up worse off unless they manage to find a man who is earning well enough to cope with the additional financial burden.

I think your DP will be able to reduce his maintenance payments as he will be seen as being responsible for your 2 dc - the CSA will ignore 20% of his net weekly income. Also, if he starts having his dc staying overnight once you're living together, he can reduce some of his maintenance to shared care rates. It's worth using the calculator on turn2us website to calculate the exact changes which you can expect when/if you move in, and drawing up a spreadsheet to see how the two of you will manage resources.

SavoyCabbage Wed 28-Nov-12 00:06:03

And, as Phoebe says 'when people live together, they split the cost of stamps'

ladyjadey Wed 28-Nov-12 08:25:01

Thankyou all for your replies. We were hoping to buy a bigger house with room for all the kids. He has his two overnight twice a week. His maintenance was agreed through divorce terms so will not change. I was hoping to take the 600 pounds a month I currently burn on rent and pay a mortgage instead, investing in a house for my children's future and as a family home for us all. He would be selling his mortgage free home to do this and putting down all his money in equity. My concern is my childcare costs, I can't pay them and the mortgage. He can't afford to support me and my two kids, on top of maintenance he pays for his te days he is with them, buys clothes and shoes and pays for specialist treatment for his daughters eye condition. He can't support us and although he is willing to take on responsibility for two extra kids why should he have to pay for them too? I'm working, I always have and I'm proud of my independence. I want to live with him, his house is too small for 4 kids and I don't see what we can do. I will have to remain a single parent!

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 28-Nov-12 09:00:52

"He can't support us and although he is willing to take on responsibility for two extra kids why should he have to pay for them too? "

Because they will be his family just as much as they are yours? Because he will be responsible for them, just as much as you are? hmm And even though you are proud to be independent, when it comes to claiming benefits, quite reasonably, couples are treated as if they pool their income and share costs.

He needs to renegotiate the amount of maintenance he pays the other children in the light of his new responsibilities. There are ways round this but you don't seem to be listening to reason.

ladyjadey Wed 28-Nov-12 09:33:10

I am trying to explain our situation and not doing a very good job, I am sorry I come across as being unreasonable, that is not my intention and I am listening, honestly! He will not want to renegotiate his maintenance because his kids will lose out if he does, his ex doesnt and won't work. he is very guilty that he sees more of my kids than he does of his own, although he sees them a lot he feels he has let them down. I am not saying he won't be paying for things too, he will be paying towards a bigger council tax bill and extra food and household expenses, it is not like he won't be doing his share. The mortgage would have been the equivalent of my rent. He does not pay rent and his house is mortgage free, his biggest outgoing us hisi kids. He can't pay my childcare, he simply can't afford to. If he had the money to look after us he would. He pays money into a trust fund each month for his kids, that would not stop. I don't want to take things from his children, but on my own I am able to pay ny rent bills childcare, we eat, put fuel in the car and can occasionally afford the odd treat like a day out or whatever. I am better off on my own and not dependant on him. I am studying alongside work, I pay my taxes and owe no one. I want to better my position in life but I am a nurse so I will never equal his wage. If we stay as we are we are both far better off. If we tried to live together I would be completely dependant on him, that does not sit comfortably with me. He loves me and my kids but his own kids will always come first. I don't think that's wrong, as I feel the same way about mine.

You've given lots of reasons why your dp shouldn't bear financial responsibility for your children but why do you think the state (ie taxpayers) should?

ladyjadey Wed 28-Nov-12 10:03:09

I am a taxpayer, always have been. I workhard in public service and contribute to society. The only benefits I receive are towards the crazy cost of childcare. I could sit at home and not work like my partners ex who is more than happy to take every benefit, maintenance and sit on her bum and complain about it while her kids are at school. I am proud that I work and do not consider myself to be leeching from society. I don't think anyone should have to support me, but nor do I think it should cost so much to go to work!

mamababa Wed 28-Nov-12 10:11:13

No cogito the financial responsibility for her kids belongs with her and their father whoever he is. You hope that he loves being with them etc but I don't see why he should be expected to financially support them and his own? Whilst I agree that the state shouldn't be expected to support them necessarily, the OP seems pretty responsible to me and i'd rather she have the cash to enable to to work rather Han give it to someone who has no intention of doing so.

Yes you could sit on your bum and not work but on that basis everyone who works should get their childcare paid for. It does cost a lot to go to work, but that's a different debate really.

My point is, given that you don't earn enough to support yourself and your children without additional help, why should the state pay your childcare rather than your dp when you live with him?

I am NOT saying you're leeching, I just don't understand why you think you should get all the benefits of living together (presumably you both think it would be a better arrangement or you wouldn't want to live together!) without bearing the responsibilities that come from being a cohabiting couple ie sharing the financial costs of being a family

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 28-Nov-12 10:38:07

"I don't see why he should be expected to financially support them and his own? "

Because that's how the benefits system works. The OP's basic complaint was the loss of Tax Credits and, as far as HMRC are concerned, Tax Credits are calculated on the basis of household income.... not the income of the OP and the father of her children, not any maintenance received from the father of the children, but the income of herself and her new partner.... because partners are deemed to be equally responsible for all household costs.

If the OP doesn't want a financial contribution from her partner that's fine but, as someone else said, why should the state make up the shortfall by continuing to treat her as a single parent household? Simply doesn't work that way

ladyjadey Wed 28-Nov-12 10:42:18

I could earn more if I worked full time, but then I would need more childcare! He works full time so wouldn't be able to help by having them. My point is the whole system is crazy, how does anyone manage? What happened in the days when women didn't work? How did people survive on one income and these days you can't on two! I want to be able to support my kids without anyone's help! How can it be that I can't offer my kids the stability of a two parent family without demanding my partner support me completely and stop some of the support for his two children? The world has gone mad.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 28-Nov-12 10:59:29

You can survive on two incomes quite easily but what you're trying to do is support three adults (you DP and the ex), two homes and four children on those two incomes. As you said before... 'his ex doesn't and won't work'. That's why you're falling short....nothing to do with tax credits or the world going mad.

ladyjadey Wed 28-Nov-12 11:08:42

I might re trai

Lady, am i right in thinking he will not paying paying half the mortgage?

If so there is your issue i think.

Yes he may not have to at the moment, but if he wants a bigger house then all income imo should be put into one pot. Out of which comes mortgage, bills, childcare and maintanance.

Will it work if you do it like that?

Also yes agree his support to his ex needs reassing as situations have changed.
He could offer to have his 50% of the time as well, so no CS payment should be needed.

ladyjadey Wed 28-Nov-12 11:11:26

I might re train as a childminder! Then I can work and look after my kids too! Should have done that in the first place and not bothered with the 5 years of uni..... I could even offer to look after dp's kids so his ex can work!

thats not a bad plan, though my best mate is a childminder and times are hard, they are quite often struggling to fill places in at times. Its not guarented income you have from being employed at all.

Again look at the set up of how your money will work. i think what you are planning is unfair to you

In the good old days there was very limited childcare available and much less financial support for single parents. In those days if you didn't have friends or family to provide free childcare you couldn't work and if you were also a single parents then you eked out a meagre existence on the very limited help you got in benefits. I don't fancy going back to that world, do you?

Under the tax credit system the income you get from your ex-partner isn't counted for tax credit purposes. What you're proposing is that income from your current partner isn't counted either. I appreciate that in your particular situation you can't make ends meet as a cohabiting couple for various reasons. However, I do not see that it is fair for you to be part of a couple with x+y joint incomes and yet receive the same financial help as somebody who only has x income.

ladyjadey Wed 28-Nov-12 11:19:01

Yes if he paid half the mortgage it would work. In the divorce he agreed to pay 500 a month maintenance, in reality he pays 600. He does not pay via CSA, it was done through divorce, he technically has joint custody anyway but his ex would never allow him to have them 50 percent of the time.

ladyjadey Wed 28-Nov-12 11:27:33

I agree, I don't think I should have the same help as part of a couple that I get as a single mum. I just thought that I might get a little bit of help towards childcare, not what I get now, and I thought his payments to his kids should be taken into account because although there will be two living there between us we pay for four.

QuickLookBusy Wed 28-Nov-12 11:27:49

I understand why you feel so frustrated. I think their must be a way round it though.

As someone else said, if your DP were to pay half the morgage, would you be ok? If so I you should rethink the house situation. I'm not sure how, but if your DP has a house with no morgage, that means he must have a chunk of money.

Could you go for a smaller house, so you'd need a smaller morgage. Or cools he put down say half of his money, pit the rest in a high interest account/isa and use the interest to help you with the morgage.
As I said I'm bit sure what the solution is, but I think with the big chunk of money you have, there must be a way round things.

QuickLookBusy Wed 28-Nov-12 11:29:18

Sorry for typos. I'm on iPhone and its shit grin

You can also salary sacrifice your childcare costs which effectively reduces them by up to 1/3 (depending on how high they are and whether your dp is a higher rate tax payer)

So if you get together, he wants it to be in a bigger house so that his kids can come and stay.

But the only contribution he wants to make to this bigger house is the equity from his own rent-and-mortgage-free home. The bigger house will be paid for by the money you currently pay as rent, ie £600 per month. Then presumably bills etc will be split between you on this bigger house, which may or may not mean that his utility bills go down.

So he will be living in a bigger house at possibly no extra cost to himself at all, while you will be far worse off because you will lose tax credits.

I understand why you are frustrated. But honestly, the fault is not with the tax credits system, its with your boyfriend for expecting you to subsidise his bigger house.

You say he earns a decent whack, so why is he not meeting half the mortgage on this bigger property, after all he will be benefitting from it. This kind of set up would also need careful setting out in legal agreements as to just who is entitled to what proportions of any larger property if you split.

QuickLookBusy Wed 28-Nov-12 11:40:43

I agree with Flibberty.

Your DP needs to make more of a contribution, somehow.

As it stands you both get a bigger house, but you are losing income. He needs to give you half of that loss, so it's all fair and square.

aPirateInaPearTree Wed 28-Nov-12 11:44:47

he needs to go back through the csa. work out what he officially has to pay to her. Then so as they don't miss out be forthcoming and have it in writing that he will provide extras. like shoes, trips. It doesn't matter about joint custody, money wise, it matters about how often he has them, having them more than 52 nights a year will be taken into consideration in the amount the csa order him to pay.

In fact he can go to the csa website to get an idea.

But, if he can't bear to go back on what was agreed, then he will have to pay have the new mortgage. Yes he would be putting in alot more, but unless YOU are paying the mortgage, he effectively won't have a roof over his head. He needs to contribute to the mortgage. There will be savings because you will now only have one bill of everything.

ladyjadey Wed 28-Nov-12 11:46:39

Actually childcare vouchers are available from my employer and that is a damn good idea, that could help matters a lot.
As for how things would be split then some of that is my fault because in my opinion it is a big ask from me, I think he is doing me a huge service taking on my two kids. As things stand he can come and go as he pleases, his life is his own. He doesn't have to look after my kids, I love him for doing it but I think its a lot to ask for him to pay for them too. In my view the person who benefits most from us living together is me.

mumblechum1 Wed 28-Nov-12 11:47:54

Are you receiving maintenance from your children's father?

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 28-Nov-12 12:00:26

"I think he is doing me a huge service taking on my two kids. "

Being grateful is not a good basis on which to form a long-term relationship hmm You seem to be saying that his presence is all you require and you're prepared to pay for the privilege?

ladyjadey Wed 28-Nov-12 12:01:28

My kids have different dads, one involved one not. One pays one doesn't, I get 39 a week for the eldest but when I went to CSA for youngest her father threatened to try take her away from me so I cried off. He doesn't have anything to do with her at all and she calls dp daddy.
Dp accepts that we will have to work it out between us somehow, he is not unreasonable. I just didn't want to ask more of him than I already do sad

Thankyou all for your sane and reasonable advice

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 28-Nov-12 12:02:32

You need to sit down as a couple and work not only out the costs of this new living arrangement but what's coming into the pot and who contributes. Full open book in other words. All couples have to plan their finances or things get left unsaid, assumptions are made and one person invariably gets stitched up and feeling resentful. You talk about a 'big ask' so I'm guessing you've not had that conversation. It's essential....

DuelingFanjo Wed 28-Nov-12 12:06:40

" in my opinion it is a big ask from me, I think he is doing me a huge service taking on my two kids. "

but he's not taking on any responsibility for your kids. being there is not really taking on responsibility for them.

You are suggesting that he move into a house rent/mortgage free and you end up paying all the mortgage yourself. Why would you want to do this to yourself? Why would he expect you to do this?

You definitely shouldn't move in with him, nor get a joint mortgage with him if he's not prepared to pay half of it.

Would he be paying bills?

In your first post you say "There is no way I can pay this, a mortgage, bills and everything else on my own" are you planning on paying for bills and everything else on your own once has has moved in?

ladyjadey Wed 28-Nov-12 12:11:04

Yes he would pay bills and he has not refused to help with anything

DuelingFanjo Wed 28-Nov-12 12:11:56

but he's not prepared to pay the mortgage?
You have asked him to pay half and he has said yes?

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 28-Nov-12 12:14:23

So what is the 'big ask' that you're frightened to make? This man is now your partner... hopefully life partner. You have to share all the costs of your new household and give the members of that household priority - financial and otherwise - over previous commitments. Life changes, circumstances change, priorities change and even divorce courts and the CSA recognise that. His ex is probably going to have to get that job after all....

shrimponastick Wed 28-Nov-12 12:19:13

i hear what you are saying OP. BUT if you are planning on living together with your DP then you share the costs. Even if it seems unfair that he is paying for xX and you are paying for YY - that isjust how it should be.

When I moved in with DP (now DH) - He had equity in the house, I had an equal amount of ££ from the sale of my house. I worked part time, and obv gave up my tax credits etc.

I don't work now, DH is happy with this, as am I. I don't consider that DH is having to take responsibility for my DS. His F pays a small maintenance ? to me, but in reality we (me and DH) support DS.

At first I felt slightly weird about it, having been very independent, but it doesn't bother me a jot now.

My DH also pays a good maintenance out to his XP (who also doesn't and won't work!) for his DC.

So he is supporting two whole families. That is just the way it is.

Are you sure that you and your DP have discussed this properly? Or are you jumping to conclusions that he won't want to be 'responsible' for your DC? In the real world, in a partnership things have to be shared to work successfullly.

Hope you sort it out.

mumblechum1 Wed 28-Nov-12 12:22:43

The OP's dp is making a contribution though, he's putting all of the equity from his current home into this one.

OP the two of you need to take some advice from a lawyer as to setting up a trust deed reflecting the fact that his contribution is by way of capital, yours is by way of maintenance payments. It would be a good idea to do a cohabitation agreement so that if you split, neither of you ends up being ripped off.

shrimponastick Wed 28-Nov-12 12:32:40

Yes mumblechum but the DP also needs to contribute to the new mortgage payments by the sounds of it. OP doesn't have sufficient coming in to pay the mortgage alone, and cover the costs of the childcare etc due to the loss in tax credits.

DP could still pay towards the mortgage, and with his ££ being put into the property as a deposit, 'own' more proportionately.

ladyjadey Wed 28-Nov-12 13:17:46

I know we will have to talk, he will have to contribute more because I won't be able to pay the mortgage alone. He is adamant he won't reduce his maintenance, he doesn't see why his kids should lose out financially and I don't want them to (although it does grate that ex spends it on designer handbags and won't buy the kids clothes). Childcare vouchers will be a big help and I may need to go full time as it wouldn't make a huge difference to price of childcare but will give me a bit more to play with. Also next year the youngest should get some free hours (unless I lose entitlement to that too!) But my biggest worry is the school hols, august cost me a grand this year! But he hasn't said he wont pay towards mortgage. There is a lot to work out I think

ladyjadey Wed 28-Nov-12 13:19:05

Oh and we were planning on having something in paper about who owns what so we are not up the creek should we split

QuickLookBusy Wed 28-Nov-12 13:52:42

Just had a thought, are there any Key worker houses in your area? I think you'd qualify as you're a nurse and I think they are usually a bit cheaper than other houses.

'He is adamant he won't reduce his maintenance, he doesn't see why his kids should lose out financially'

but its ok for his kids to lose out financially when he moves to the bigger house that his kids can come and stay over in? I get it that he brings the equity from his own house which will enable purchase of a bigger house for all of you. But its NOT ok to expect you to take on the mortgage payments of the additional borrowing, by yourself.

Actually, if you are working 30 hours a week, would you be able to get a mortgage of £600 a month, or are his earnings being taken into account for deciding how much extra to borrow, in which case he should actually be paying it as well! If he only brings the equity from his own smaller house, then you in effect would be subsidising his lifestyle at the expense of your own children.

If I were you I'd get a mortage of my own, and move myself and my own kids from rented into bought, and then you will have some equity eventually too.

Sorry 2nd para should have started 'its ok for YOUR kids to lose out financially due to the mortgage for the bigger house.

DuelingFanjo Wed 28-Nov-12 14:41:21

"The OP's dp is making a contribution though, he's putting all of the equity from his current home into this one. "

so what he and the OP need to do is get a more realistic mortgage which one of them can afford alone if they need to rather than using all his money to pay a deposit for a larger house and then expect her to pay it all by herself.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 28-Nov-12 15:23:40

" he doesn't see why his kids should lose out financially "

Hang on a minute. If you had one child and spent lots of money on them.... and then you deliver twins..... would you say the twins have to go short so that the eldest doesn't lose out financially? Or would you say all three children now get an equal share? The problem here is that you are going to be a couple but you don't see his children as yours and he doesn't see your children as his.... not financially at any rate.

I think you'd better stay single tbh because I don't think either of you have really thought this through.

ladyjadey Wed 28-Nov-12 15:46:01

But ultimately my two are not his children. His will always be his number one priority as mine will be mine. It isn't that we aren't prepared to work this between us but the whole idea was about me having something concrete for my money instead of paying rent, not taking money off his kids. If we can't afford a mortgage together then we will stay as we are, I don't think he is unreasonable in that, why should any of our kids lose out as a result of our relationship? We would both be very unfair if that were the case. It is different if we make our own sacrifices but his kids don't need a new house, the one they have is more than fine!

QuickLookBusy Wed 28-Nov-12 15:56:57

I actually agree with you Lady. I think it's a bit mean of people to suggest he gives his dc less money, it's really not fair on them. The fact he isn't willing to do that, makes me think he's a good man.

How old are your dc? From what you said about one being entitled to free hours, are they at nursery? If so does that mean in a couple of years they'll be at school and your child care bill will be less?

DuelingFanjo Wed 28-Nov-12 16:01:05

I think you have to separate the 'rent/mortgage' from his kids needs and your kids needs. Naturally all the kids need to be financially supported but why should your kids suffer because he won't pay to live somewhere. Clearly the arrangement where he paus a deposit but then doesn't pay anything monthly to live in the house isn't going to be fair on your children as you will be taking up the slack and that leaves your kids without the basics.

Don't live in a place you can't afford to pay for alone.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 28-Nov-12 16:06:47

Lady have you considered that you might lose your child benefit as well if he is earning over £50,000 and you share a household?

ChippingInLovesAutumn Wed 28-Nov-12 16:23:51

Were you the OW? Are you why he left his wife?

shrimponastick Wed 28-Nov-12 16:59:36

If DP moves in with the OP he will have some spare cash to use towards the mortgage, as he won't have the the bills he currently has I.e, utility bills, council tax, insurances etc. Those bills will increase when they cohabit, but certainly won't double.

RedHelenB Wed 28-Nov-12 17:40:49

I think it would be an idea to get maintenance form the children's BIOLOGICAL father. I always think it unfair that the biological children lose out financially when their dad moves in with someone elses children but that's the way the CSA works.

Meringue33 Wed 28-Nov-12 17:49:52

Just ask, OP. I think you are feeling scared and like you're not worth it somehow but if he is a good guy and loves you he will see you as contributing equally to the partnership and not feel you should have to pay for everything. I worry a lot of women go into cohabiting like this, somehow feeling guilty or worried you will look like a gold digger, when in fact it is absolutely rational that you should share any new costs incurred by moving in together/ to a bigger house. "Taking on your kids" shouldnt be a big ask either assuming he loves you and your kids are not absolute monsters! Given he is a parent too he should understand you come as a package. Hope it all works out. Just be sensible and don't over stretch yourself and talk talk talk about everything. "How should we split x? Can we afford y? Shall we set up a joint account/ kitty for z?" etc. Mutual trust should come in time xx

trudat Wed 28-Nov-12 19:35:52

chipping what difference does it make if OP is/was the ow?

Not a sarcastic question btw, just curious.

I'm afraid I have no new advice for you OP. Agree you need to sit down with dp and talk it out.

Good luck though. I hope you work it out. You sound nice and your dp seems like a good egg also.

MummytoKatie Wed 28-Nov-12 21:12:24

If you are expecting some free childcare hours next year I'm guessing your younger one is about 2.5? (I have a similar aged dd.)

So two things:-

1. There is no way your ex will get residence of your 2 year old that he has no relationship with so get yourself back to the CSA. That is money from someone who should be supporting your child.
2. You childcare costs will go down in the next couple of years with the free hours and starting school. So either, you live together and cope with having no money for the next couple of years or you wait until your youngest starts school and then live together.

Childcare vouchers get you £243 a month tax free. It may be worth investigating if your dp can get too - I'm not sure what the definition of step parent is but you may be able to.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 28-Nov-12 21:24:15

As far as I can see a big part of the problem is that your DCs fathers are not paying towards their upbringing.

I agree that housing costs are crazy high but the welfare system shouldn't be there to help people get a mortgage.

I hope you work it out OP, you sound a reasonable person, although the sniping at your partner's ex is not becoming.

thisisthewayitis Wed 28-Nov-12 22:42:20

I agree with Meringue33 and shrimponastick. If you are going to be living with this man, it needs to be on a partnership basis, viewing all of your dc as children of the marriage/relationship. That is how things are seen in the law and how the benefits/tax credits support system is worked out. In the eyes of tax credits, the biological origins of the children are irrelevant, it is the household income that matters. So that is how you need to work things out.

If you were married to this man and had his dc, and you were earning a lower wage than him, you would still expect to pool resources and share equally from his salary, so that should continue to be the case regardless of where the dc came from. It's a committed relationship; you should be able to depend on each other and not insist on being financially independent. What would happen if you fell pg with your DP's child, or fell ill and couldn't work, or your dc was ill and you had to stop work to care for them? Would your DP still insist that you paid your share?

It doesn't sound like you and your DP are really seeing your relationship as a partnership, more like two single parents under the same roof, but that sort of arrangement can't exist if you're depending on state support.

ladyjadey Wed 28-Nov-12 23:17:33

All of our kids are fine and well catered for as things stand, no one will lose out they are our number one priority. If living together in a bigger house is out of the question then so be it. I can't do what I can't afford, I will look at working longer hours childcare vouchers and what he can afford ro contribute without taking from his kids. He is a good man and that is why I want to be with him but no one is going hungry for it! A smaller house is out of the question, I would rather stay where I am than pay through the nose for something leas than adequate so we will just have to have a good old think on the situation.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Wed 28-Nov-12 23:27:35

I just wrote a really long post and it's vanished?! Very odd.

Trudat - I read the whole thread. I wrote a post and deleted it, I wrote another and deleted that - then decided that for me to answer it did rather depend on whether the OP was the OW & was a party to his relationship breaking up. I don't think his children should miss out on things he could have otherwise provided for them, but his ex wife... it rather depends for me. I also wondered if it was a contributing factor to the OP's thought process of keeping things quite separate. However, Ladyjadey doesn't seem to want to discuss it any more, which is her perogative given it's her thread smile I just didn't want to not answer your question.

ladyjadey Thu 29-Nov-12 00:18:45

I am not the other woman, he had been separated for almost a year when we met. I have very strong feelings on that particular subject as the father of my eldest left me for my next door neighbor. I would never in a million years get involved with a married man and I cannot condone cheating, I know the hurt it causes.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Thu 29-Nov-12 00:32:02

Why do you feel so grateful that he's 'taking you on'? He should feel as as lucky to have you, as you do him, otherwise it's not a very good start to a life together is it?

ladyjadey Thu 29-Nov-12 00:34:32

My eldest dd father pays for her, the otherdoes not. I think I am a reasonable person, I think I am sometimes naive, sometimes I say things I shouldn't. I know I'm not perfect and I give myself a bloody hard time that I go to work study iron cook and clean but don't have time to bake for the School fair with the girls and that I'm always so busy that I feel like I wish their lives away as it will be easier when they are older. I just want them to have a stable, happy life with role models that do not change once a month and for them to know they are loved. And if I sound a little testy towards his x its because she has tried yo stop him seeing them because I'm not good enough for him because I didn't go yo private school and she has insulted my children and me because we are not a typical family. Frankly I don't give a rats ass what she does or doesnt do but when I see him broken hearted because she is taking them away at Christmas without consulting him or that they get sent to daddy with clothes that don't fit so he buys them new ones and she takes them back, that gets to me.

ladyjadey Thu 29-Nov-12 00:40:27

Ultimately, as I see it, he can do as he pleases. I have less freedom because I have two young kids at home, he does not need to live with me, will not benefit financially, will get a harder time and more resistance from x wife about having his kids. He will have more work to do, less money, a more untidy house, no peace and quiet and all the rest! I am useful to a degree but I'm sure hookers are cheaper!!

ChippingInLovesAutumn Thu 29-Nov-12 00:59:55

What does he 'please' though? Does he really want this, does he tell you he loves you, loves your kids? Does he say he can't wait until you can live together? Does he want to wake up with you every morning? Will he make this work whatever it takes because it's what he wants... OR is this just a 'life would be easier if we lived together'?

If either one of you doesn't really really really want this - then don't do it - financial stuff aside.

I can understand why you feel like that about his ex.

Why does he overpay what they agreed?

Why does he pay so much if he feels half of it goes on handbags and shoes for her? (or is that just you being pissed off?).

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Thu 29-Nov-12 06:50:14

I am useful to a degree but I'm sure hookers are cheaper!

I really think you should hold off moving in with someone if you are so convinced of your inferiority. You sound like you feel you are not good enough for him sad

ladyjadey Thu 29-Nov-12 08:25:47

That last was a joke, I know he values ourrelationship and me, why else would he want to live with me? My problem is I have spent too long on my own and have been
let down in the past so I find it hard being with a man who is actually decent for a change and I don't want ti feel I'm taking advantage of him, the being viewed as a gold digger comment nailed it actually, that worries me. I know it shouldnt but we all have hang ups.
He overpays because he wants to feel he is doing the best he can for his kids, he knows she wastes the money but if he can't be with them all the time that is the best he can Do for them. He knows they might not see while they are young how much he cares but wants them to know when they are older that he always tried his best. I wish more dads were like him and I'm lucky that my kids will get him too.

coffeeisusuallytheanswer Thu 29-Nov-12 08:30:57

The system is a bit mad sometimes.

I did a calculation the other day based on me leaving DH. Due to his low contributions to family finances and our high childcare costs I would actually have more money if I moved out hmm

IsItMeOr Thu 29-Nov-12 09:10:46

lady - agree with others that you're selling yourself short, and should give that some thought before you embark on this new stage in what sounds like a very promising relationship.

It strikes me that you are seeing DP as a single man with no ties who can "come and go as he pleases", and yet if his life had panned out as he presumably expected, he would be a dad with 2 kids in his home full time. He's got just as much baggage as you, the way I see it.

Good luck figuring it out - communication is the key, as always.

ClareMarriott Thu 29-Nov-12 09:27:37


You have'nt as yet, said anything about what your exh/exp pays in maintenance to you , if anything. You also say your dp can sell a mortgage free house. If this is the case, rather than buy a house together, can you and your 2 DC's go and live with him and his DC's in that house . Or does the ex have a say in it? How old are your DC's ie how long do you still have to pay for childcare ? I don't think this is a case of being wealthy or not, it is a case of using your money well, like all the other parents and grandparents who housed, clothed , fed and educated generations of children on just one wage.

ladyjadey Thu 29-Nov-12 10:43:20

I mentioned earlier that I get £39 a week for dd1 I get nothing for dd2. They are 6 and 2. We have looked in to living in his 3 bed semi but no way we can fit 6 of us in. Although his 2 won't live with us they will stay at least 2 nights a week. He has a bit and a girl so ds would need own room and there isn't enough space for 3 girlstto share. Also they are all under 6, one bathroom and toilet just isn't enough! We have looked at extending his or loft conversion but for the cost it would not make sense financially, we would never see the money back in a future sale so its cheaper and more sensible to buy a house already big enough. Ideally we would like a house with enough space that we could stay long term and not have to nice again in a few years when we will likely be better off, I hope to be promoted un the next few years and childcare should reduce. Dp has wealthy parents who are prepared ro help us with some of the cost towards a new house which is great but I don't want to take advantage of them too much, would rather see what we can manage on our own

ChippingInLovesAutumn Thu 29-Nov-12 11:35:35

Personally, I don't see why, for two nights a week the kids can't share. It's only two to a room - lots of kids share like that permanently. They are all under 6, it doesn't matter one tiny bit that one of them is a boy and wont for a good few years. Lots of families only have one bathroom. You can move when you are 'better off' - honestly, you want to run before you can walk and wonder why the state wont help you fund it?! More importantly, if you loved each other enough and wanted to be together enough, none of this would matter so therefore I think it's not a good idea to move in together anyway. Just my 2p for what it's worth.

QuickLookBusy Thu 29-Nov-12 12:15:45

Chipping i don't think it's a bad thing to think about practicalities of 4 dc in a 3 bed house, it might just not be possible.

Lady I do wonder about extending your DPs house. It might be worth getting some estimates.

It's almost always cheaper to extend then to move. When moving you have to factor in estate costs for Dps house, legal bills, then stamp duty for the new house and surveys etc which usually ends up being a huge amount. An extension would mean probably not much more, which would mean just borrowing that small amount for a mortgage. So the monthly payments would be far more manageable.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Thu 29-Nov-12 13:02:06

QLB - of course it's possible, lots of people live that way 24/7, they are only going to have 4 kids 2 nights a week.

ladyjadey Thu 29-Nov-12 13:23:54

We looked into the extension and had an architect involved, It won't be possible without significant structural work to the rest of the house making it not viable. The house is not big enough for the 4. On the rare occasions we stay all together the eldest two share a bed and youngest sleeps in a travel cot. That is not sustainable for any length of time.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Thu 29-Nov-12 13:33:48


I'm sorry, I should probably stop posting now, it just feels to me that if you loved each other enough you would make it work. It is two nights a week, for a couple of years. The kids are all small, they could share if it was important to you both to live together. IMO.

thisisthewayitis Thu 29-Nov-12 16:34:50

IsItMeOr has a good point, the language you use to frame your relationship is very worrying. It sounds as though, in your desperation not to appear to be a gold-digger (what a terribly misogynistic term!), you are putting your DP on a pedestal and you're tip-toeing around his needs, quite possibly to the detriment of your own and your Dd's needs. I would think about posting in the relationships section of the boards as that seems to be the major issue here, rather than the money side.

Your DDs will benefit from being in a family structure and having a male role model. Your DP will benefit from your role in the home, your companionship and support, as well as the wage you bring in. Your DSSs will benefit from your role as a stepmother (I am sure you will take on a lot of the caring role when they come to stay). There is much more to balancing needs within a family besides the financial costs.

Families make this sort of move all the time regardless of the financial costs - because ultimately what they care about most is being together. Even traditional families (I mean not step-families but where all children are living with both biological parents) have to accept that there will be less space and fewer resources when more children arrive; this rarely results in resentment of younger siblings and shouldn't cause resentment just because they are step-siblings in this situation.

WildWorld2004 Fri 30-Nov-12 22:19:58

But if his ex gets a job like she should & he cuts his maintenance his kids wouldnt be missing out financially because their mother would be providing for them. And if it is true about her spending the money on designer stuff for herself & not dc then his kids arent benefitting from the maintenance money.

You need to sit down with your dp and have a serious discussion before doing anything.

WildWorld2004 Fri 30-Nov-12 22:28:30

How can you not fit 6 people into a 3 bed house? Especially when 2 of them are only there a few days of the week. I shared a bedroom with 3 of my siblings & we didnt suffer.

RedHelenB Sat 01-Dec-12 08:54:40

Why should his ex get a job as well as look after the children just because he has taken on a new woman & kids that aren't even his? His ex hasn't had a say in it has she?

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