Suggested to ExH as we are sorting out our consent order that he ring the CSA so they can adjust his 1st wife's payments, knowing that he is also supporting our two children. Thought he could just tell them we have a private arrangement and they would adjust her payments. However, they've calculated that he will need to pay me £180 less a month. He is, of course, pleased as punch about this. His answer to my fury ( as the money will come nowhere near the cost of childcare, let alone everything else), is to ask me to come back. I am going to ask him to make it up to what he'd previously agreed to in a standing order, or stop him doing the school runs when his shifts allow, as I am paying the cm for those days anyway and I might as well get the service I'm paying for. DD doesn't want to see him anyway. So annoyed he could cheat his own children out of money they deserve.
I think there's two options 1) you split the time more or less 50-50, you split childcare and other costs this way too, and no money changes hands between parents (ie no CSA involvement) OR 2) One parent is essentially the breadwinner and the other is the RP. The RP gets some financial support from the NRP in recognition that they responsible for most of the child's costs. They get to choose how they spend this money. If the RP isn't able to earn enough money to live, the state helps out. The NRP sees the kids regularly at weekends, etc.
I don't think either of these models is automatically best - just as the best thing to do in a together households isn't necessarily for both parents to work half time and do half the school pick ups. DCs can have a good and important relationship with both parents without having to spend 50% of their time with each. And in many ways it's much easier to organise their lives if they have one main home, one parent who knows it's their responsibilty to buy clothes, take to GP, etc, and another parent who knows that they are free to take on whatever work comittments are required to ensure they can help support their DCs financially. I don't think that model is necessarily inferior.
A lot of parenting charities (like Fathers Need Fathers) campaign for a 50:50 division of a child's time as the starting point of negotiation - not an ending one.
The problem they are faced is misinformation: People like Alan Beith and Butler-Sloss are both on record misrepresenting this view, arguing that a 50:50 arrangement is seldom in the best interests of the child.
Which is definitely true...but not what is meant.
Parents should negotiate with each other when their relationship ends - not one unilaterally deciding to be the RP and the other condemned to being the NRP. If you are the RP, are happy with that and know that by refusing to negotiate things will stay the same...why would you???
Both parents should have a responsibility to provide for their child in terms of money, childcare time, whatever. Children benefit most from parents working together and having both of them in their life for a meaningful amount of time.
And yes...I'm well aware there are fathers out there who fail to meet any of their responsibilities as parents. I would sincerely like to have a word with them too...
Booyhoo - `or one deciding unilaterally to be the NRP and the other being condemned to be the RP.'
You can imagine my feelings that people like me have fought tooth and nail to be part of their kids' lives and then see others who can't be bothered to take responsibility and be a fully involved parent.
i agree, i dont think it's down to dad's being shit or mum's being controlling. i think it's down to lost of people being selfish and not playing fair. of course emotions run high and in the midst of a break up it is so easy to fall into that trap of pointscoring and wanting to 'make them suffer' but i dont think that can be used as an excuse- we know how we feel, and we know what we would like to do to him/her but more important is what we should do for our dcs and for the other parent of our children. when we decide to have dcs with someone we are comitting to be a co-parent with them but i think some people dont realise that this means even if you split up and it's not a case of 'all bets are off' just because you aren't in a relationship anymore. you have to be fair to each other and consider their position aswell. hard at times i know.