Childcare costs & maintenance

(21 Posts)
Mrsmindcontrol Thu 14-Nov-13 12:22:47

I'm not sure whether I've made the wrong decision here or not & would welcome some advice.

I split with exH 2 years ago. Divorce currently going through.

We have 3 boys aged 3, 6 & 7. When we first split I was working 3 days a week & exH full time & we shared the not insignificant costs of childcare.

Just over a year ago, I stopped working & was claiming benefits as a lone parent. ExH was paying me no maintenance as he was subsidising mortgage on marital home.

We have now sold the house, with enough equity to settle debts only. I've moved in with my partner & have just been offered a full time job where the starting salary is only just enough to cover childcare costs. Am taking the job in the hope earnings will increase as childcare costs decrease.

Have agreed with exH that he will pay me £250 per month maintenance now house is sold. CSA website suggests £320 ish based on contact but as I moved a fair distance away. I agreed on £250 a month with ex to take into account his travelling expenses to see the kids.

However, I'm wondering whether I ought to be asking for more money from exH to cover some of the childcare costs given he also works full time.

Any thoughts?

MortifiedAnyFuckerAdams Thu 14-Nov-13 12:24:49

How often does he have them? Its to.me that you cover childcare costs on days you have them and he covers childcare costs on days he has them.

Mrsmindcontrol Thu 14-Nov-13 12:27:40

He has them every other weekend fri evening until Sunday evening. Obviously no childcare costs incurred at weekends.

MortifiedAnyFuckerAdams Thu 14-Nov-13 12:29:36

Well, then I think you should pay childcare as you are the one who requires it.

An alternative would be them at yours all one wrek and his all the next and as such both would need to sort own childcare as both would need it.

Mrsmindcontrol Thu 14-Nov-13 12:31:49

Thanks Mortified.
Your alternative suggestion is not workable given ex lives 80 miles away so wouldn't be possible for school.

flowerpotgirl12 Thu 14-Nov-13 13:07:52

I don't think he should be paying childcare, he pays you maintenance and as you've decided to go back to work, you really should be the one to cover the cost of this.

Tuckshop Thu 14-Nov-13 13:35:43

What's going to happen in the school holidays? Is he going to have them then?

chocoreturns Thu 14-Nov-13 13:36:20

unfortunately I know that maintenance via the CSA is meant to cover everything, so you aren't entitled to ask him for more if he's meeting the CSA amount. As he's not currently meeting it, and you have a family arrangement in place, it may be worth sitting down and explaining where you stand financially to him. If he's not happy to contribute to childcare costs (which he doesn't have to) perhaps you could negotiate for him to share other one off expenses - eg, he may agree to do the school uniform shop once a year. Or to be responsible for shoes but you cover clothes, so that some of the bigger expenses are shared. However he doesn't have to agree so it's probably best to budget on that basis.

It's also worth talking to your DP and explaining that a great deal of the help would have come from lone parent benefits such as working tax credits if you were living alone with the children, and look at how you work your household expenses between you as a couple. If he can see you are struggling, maybe he would be willing to carry a little more of the rent/bills until your earnings pick up. It's not his responsibility to pay for your ex's kids, however you and your children come as a package and if the reality of living together means you have a family to pay for as well (that you would have to be supporting via benefits you'd be entitled to if he weren't there) he may be willing to help you.

Mrsmindcontrol Thu 14-Nov-13 14:23:02

Thank you all.

The agreement we have is that he will pay for half of all holiday childcare or take time off during the school holidays.

I did think I'd probably have to suck this up myself but I'm dreading getting my pay slip every month knowing I won't get to see a penny of it hmm

JustAnotherFucker Thu 14-Nov-13 14:34:29

My ex did not agree to sharing childcare costs with me when we first split. My resolution to the problem was that dc's should live with him and I pay him maintenance etc. He said that wasn't possible as he had to work...

He soon stumped up 50% of the childcare grin

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Thu 14-Nov-13 15:32:34

Just, I like your style smile

Mrsmindcontrol Thu 14-Nov-13 16:01:40

I like it your style too Just.

I don't want to stir things up with exH, it's taken me 2 years to get to a civil stage with him but equally, I feel as though I ought to ask him for more money.

MortifiedAnyFuckerAdams Thu 14-Nov-13 18:15:37

Tbf there are a lot of families where both parents work and childcare = one of the salaries. So, really, you arent in a unique position. You do, however, have his maintenance to add to the pot.

littleblackno Thu 14-Nov-13 22:31:34

Do you get tax credits? Could you look into the voucher/ salary sacrifice scheme, I think alot of employers do it now - I don't know much about it as I get WTC, but it could be a way of saving you a bit of money.
I was in this situation when i went back to work after dd. I have found it's paying off now as my salary has increased and childcare decreased (but still alot).

KerwhizzedMyself Thu 14-Nov-13 23:03:08

Unless you are on a high wage, you should be getting tax credits. That could be up to 85% of childcare costs if I'm thinking of the right thing.

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Fri 15-Nov-13 00:06:37

Kerwhizzed, it's up to 70% and dependent on household income. So if the OP's partner is working, it's likely she won't qualify for 70%, if anything at all. It's curious that its acceptable for one parent to shoulder the whole financial burden of childcare despite having 2 working parents. Hopefully the OP's DP is happy to carry the financial burden of keeping a roof over the DC's heads because it's just so unreasonable to expect the other actual parent to pay towards the cost of childcare for his own DC. He should be allowed to expect free childcare while he works shouldn't he? Whether the OP works or not. After all, it's a choice, not a necessity for the OP to work isn't it? And if the OP chooses to stop providing that free childcare, it's got nothing to do with the DC's other working parent. Obviously.

summermovedon Fri 15-Nov-13 07:32:26

I agree, it is madness to say that the resident parent should be responsible for all real costs of bringing up a child and the non resident parent only has to provide a token amount that in reality does not relate to true costs.

But then as a resident parent who does 100% of raising my DC, work so I don't have to rely on housing and income benefits, pay 100% of childcare costs I can work, and get pocket money from the absent parent (who has money haemorrhaging out of his pockets for the latest ipad/business class flights, and whatever else he wants), perhaps I am wrong in thinking that is not quite fair as I walk along in my 10 year old coat, and feeling angry that another adult who made the joint decision to have children is socially allowed to just opt out and isn't pelted on the streets by rotten tomatoes.

KerwhizzedMyself Fri 15-Nov-13 10:01:50

I completely missed the part about having a partner blush

That does complicate things.

Mrsmindcontrol Fri 15-Nov-13 12:34:48

Thank you Tension & Summer for saying exactly what I was trying to say. It ISN'T fair that exH gets free childcare. Not fair at all. The more I think about having to pay 100% of it myself without any help from exH, leaving me in deficit by working, the angrier I get.

wantsleepnow Fri 22-Nov-13 09:59:19

It isn't fair that exH gets free childcare, but doubtless he thinks it isn't fair that he now incurs travel costs because you chose to move a fair distance away. I think you have to factor those costs in, just as much as you do the childcare (as you rightly did in your agreement).

And do please remember that the costs of you moving away are not just financial to him. 80 miles is too far to have mid-week contact so, through your choices, you have taken away his opportunity to have anything other than EOW.

balia Fri 22-Nov-13 18:05:09

It may have changed since I applied, but don't the CSA take costs of travel to see DC's into account?

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