Have shot myself in the foot here

(59 Posts)

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.

Raaraathenoisybaby Mon 20-May-13 20:20:27

Working tax credits?

I don't quality. I get child tax credits. I can't believe he would do hos own children out of money.

PurpleThing Mon 20-May-13 20:53:08

Point out to him that CSA is the minimum that he legally should pay. And that plenty of separated parents pay more than that plus half Childcare because they recognise that raising a child costs more than 15% (or whatever his works out as) of an income.

But he sounds like an arse so he probably won't accept it and will spend the money on himself. If you were really cruel you could say you were going to tell your dcs what he has done when they are older. Bet they will love him so much for denying them new shoes...

You want his first wife to accept lower payments but you want your own payments to stay the same?


Yes, since my dc are still in childcare, hers,aren't. She works full time, I'm part time. So yes, I think our needs are different.

DoYouWannaDance Tue 21-May-13 08:10:07

What you/she earns is irrelevant. Ages of children are irrelevant. The only factor that's relevant in working out maintenance is nrp income/number of children.
Older children tend to cost more as you will find out in time.
How would you feel if he went on to have more children and your payments went down? Because that is a possibility.

purpleroses Tue 21-May-13 08:17:48

I think you have shot yourself in the foot really. Should have left it as it was. But then he could always have decided to reduce payments himself - what you have now is secure at least. And the CSA amount is what most people settle for and what he's deemed to be able to afford - given that he has to also give some money to his other ex. Your DCs don't "deserve" more than that unless he thinks he can afford to spend more on, and chooses to do so. It's not money that is owed to you.

But a bit shocked that you're considering preventing him seeing his DCs as a "punishment" for not paying more than the CSA say he should be making use of the childminder you're paying for shock. That's really not nice. And likely to shoot yourself in the foot further, as there's much more chance of your ex contributing a bit extra here and there if you at least allow him to look after them as much as possible.

He won't contribute anything here and there. DD already doesn't want to go as he shouts a lot. So I'm supposed to pay for a cm place and let him do the pick ups/drop offs instead, am I? He's not doing me any favours.

Barbarashop Tue 21-May-13 08:54:54

So if his payments go back up then will he still be allowed to pick dd up? He's paying what the CSA have recommended as you suggested he do with his first wife. When you were together, if CSA had suggested his first wife's payments drop, would you have been happy for him to top it up? They are all his children.

He did top it up as he was paying for school trips and I used to buy his daughters clothes and shoes. Mine won't get that.

purpleroses Tue 21-May-13 09:09:41

If he used to pay for school trips for his first wife, what makes you think he wouldn't do the same for yours?

kittycat68 Tue 21-May-13 09:26:00

wilst children are not pay for view, i would not be paying extra monies for child care just so it fits in around his work schedule op.

unfortunately CSA payments for alot of women are a joke and go nowear near a reasonable contribtiion to a childs upbring.

I would however talk to your ex and explain the situation tell him you can no longer afford to indulge him in hi work schedules unless he pays the child care fees. I understand you are trying to do the best for your child in promoting contact but that should not come as a finacial oenalty to you. If hes a good dad he will step up to the plate if not.... well at least you know.

Because he has already told me he won't be paying for anything extra.

kittycat68 Tue 21-May-13 09:55:01

Then i wouldnt indulge him in the extra contact op, just tell him what suits you and your pocket. and do it.

iwantanafternoonnap Tue 21-May-13 11:36:56

you wanted him to reduce payments to his first wife????? confused kinda serves you right

ThePavlovianCat Tue 21-May-13 12:47:02

If you were happy with what you agreed, why did you recommend he contact the CSA? If it was so his payments to he previous XW would be reduced (something you shouldn't be sticking your nose into frankly) then that was pretty mean of you. You took the risk and it bit you in the bum. I doubt you are going to get much sympathy.

kittycat68 Tue 21-May-13 15:51:11

O;p you tried to be helpful and nice to your ex and he shafted you! learn from it and dont put yourself in a vunerable position next time.

3xcookedchips Tue 21-May-13 17:22:38

Pay me more money or you don't see the kids!

What kind of woman/mother are you?

balia Tue 21-May-13 17:45:05

Contact should be agreed separately based on what is good for the kids, not as a bargaining weapon to get money. And if you can't believe he would do his own kids out of money, why were you asking him to do exactly that to his other 'own' children?

Obviously a dreadful one! Imagine, wanting to be able to afford to buy a house with a garden. His first wife has managed to send both kids on school skiing trips and go on family holidays to Australia and Peru. I can't afford to go anywhere. So no, I don't feel bad about wanting her money reduced and if that makes me a bitch, I don't care.

balia Tue 21-May-13 19:58:27

Well, how about get a full time job like she has, then you might be able to afford to go somewhere, instead of wanting their money?

I have tried to up my hours, none extra available. She didn't work full time when her children were small, why should I?
I actually can't believe it is seen to be unreasonable to want the same things his other children enjoyed when they were small. All I would gain from working full time is a bigger childcare bill.

MisForMumNotMaid Tue 21-May-13 20:02:37

Are you married? If so there is always spousal maintenance you could go for as part of divorce until youngest is in full time education/ about 6 that potentially you could claim if your deal was you were a SAHM whilst he worked.

iwantanafternoonnap Tue 21-May-13 20:04:46

Oh god you aren't coming across at all nice. You begrudge her children stuff that she works hard for??? Your jealous and bitter about his ex and his other children?? You actually deserved to get your money cut by him as your attitude is disgusting

purpleroses Tue 21-May-13 20:05:41

I can see why you're upset - because you and your ex had reached an agreement on what he would pay, but now that he's found out he doesn't have to pay that much, he's gone back on it and is paying less. Obviously that's really annoying.

But really don't think there's anything at all to gain by trying to get back at him by preventing him doing the school run if he's happy to do it. And regardless of what he's saying at the moment, if he has in the past paid for extras for his first wife's children (despite her earning a lot herself) then it's very likely that he'd do the same for yours too - especially if he's paying out less via the CSA than he'd expected.

I have accepted a deal as part of my divorce that gives me 17k while he keeps the house and both pensions, so it would be easier for him and I can just move on. Also now getting shafted for the maintenance.
According to some of you, I should just suck it up for the sisterhood, pay the childminder for 14 days in a month and only actually send dd for around 5 of those days in order to once again accommodate him.
I think I've been more than accommodating in letting him keep a house with so much equity, but apparently I should bend over backwards some more.

purpleroses Tue 21-May-13 20:09:14

Your ex isn't caring for your DD for 9 days a month "to accommodate him" - he's doing it because he's her dad.

You could try asking the childminder for a small reduction - at least the amount she'd spend on food, etc for the days when your DD isn't there.

It's a flat rate for pick up and drop off. There would be no reduction. Who would pay 120 pounds a month for 15hrs childcare?!

Booyhoo Tue 21-May-13 20:15:04

hang on. so you were happy for her to have to just accept the CSA recomended amount (and a reduction at that) but wanted a different rule for yourself?

Booyhoo Tue 21-May-13 20:25:34

"Imagine, wanting to be able to afford to buy a house with a garden."

erm, plenty of people want that. they dont go round making sure other people get less money out of jealousy and they dont expect their exes to buy it for them. how does her having less money help you buy a house? confused

and when her children were small has nothing to do with your children being small. you are two different families, different circumstances, different reasons for why hers had and yours didn't. you dont get to go through life demanding everything his exwife had. grow up.

Booyhoo Tue 21-May-13 20:28:43

well put it this way, if he wasn't picking her up you'd still have to pay teh childminder so you aren't really helping yourself by refusing him access on those days are you? you're just being spiteful. again.

balia Tue 21-May-13 20:51:45

You aren't being shafted, though, are you? You're getting the CSA recommended amount, just like you wanted her to get. And your reaction is to try and blackmail him by threatening his time with his kids. It's not about sisterhood, just human decency.

You never know, if you behave decently, he might be more inclined to help out with extras, like he did her.

Satnightdropout Tue 21-May-13 21:41:29

My partner and his ex have a private agreement based on the CSA calculator before he went and had two kids with me. Not once have I suggested that he goes through CSA even though it might go down as it'd be shared with my two kids. Purely because I believe that his other children shouldn't go without because he went on and had another family. He can afford to pay what he pays and still support us (I work as well and contribute my share). His ex is happy with the arrangements and I know that even if she thought she could get more through CSA she wouldn't as she has the same values and doesn't believe my kids should go without either.

As for whether she can afford to buy stuff you can't, you should have thought about that before you went and had kids with a guy who already have kids. Of course she mightve been fortunate when it came to staying at home with children when they were younger, having holidays etc...but, he didn't have other children to support (assuming your kids weren't in the picture then). Now he has.

But when his first wife's children were small, he was only supporting HER children. Now there are two more!

Her payments probably reduced when your children came along, why should they reduce even more just npbecause you are jealous she has holidays. For all you know, the grandparents might pay for trips for them.

When you children are older you will be able to work full time and have holidays too.

sanityseeker75 Wed 22-May-13 11:47:43

MatchsticksForMyEyes I think you are completely missing the point. Nobody thinks you are a terrible person for wanting more for your children - that is a common bond we all have. I think what is making people upset is the fact that you are willing to use your child as weapon against your ex.

So annoyed he could cheat his own children out of money they deserve.

Yet you can't understand that you are cheating them out of something so much more important - a meaningful relationship with their father.

DD doesn't want to see him anyway He does not sound like an unreasonable bloke and has proved by his care of his other children that he is capable of being a good dad even if he isn't with the mother of his child - my guess is that this is more to do with the poison you are now feeding them than based on his care for them.

I would think very carefully about how you handle this situation because if you are struggling now on reduced money just how do you think you will cope financially if he drags this through court and you have to pay your own legal bills?

megandraper Wed 22-May-13 11:53:54

Nobody thinks you are a terrible person for wanting more for your children

But I do think you're not very nice for wanting less for your DH's other children. How will you feel when he has children with someone else, and that woman then suggests he cuts down payments to you?

Booyhoo Wed 22-May-13 12:42:46

i agree megandraper

telling him to call the CSA so he can reduce payments to his first wife isn't getting more for your children, but it does now mean less for his other children. (and backfired on you)

telling him he cant have DD on the days he finishes work early isn't getting more for your children (or you as you have to pay the CMer anyway) but it does now mean less time for your DD with her dad.

can you tell me who is benefitting out of any of this? it's not your children they now have less money and less time with their dad. it isn't you as you have the same costs but less money to pay them with and a horrible bitterness eating away at you.

the only person 'benefitting' is your ex as he is now paying out less to both ex wives however he's losing out on time with his dcs. and he's not even osing that time so they can spend it with you. he's losing it so DD can sit in her CMers house for a few extra hours so you feel you're getting value for money. does that make any sense at all? it doesn't to me- not if the aim is wanting the best for your dcs.

lostdad Wed 22-May-13 13:27:39

Forget money because there is no link between maintenance and contact. Concentrate on what is in the DC's best interests (and I'll say it not - if you're stopping contact on the basis of cash you are depriving them of their father...not `stopping his access').

If he's paying you the going rate as per the CSA there is nothing you can do in short.

If caring for your DC is making it harder for you to earn more - why not approach your ex and suggest he care for them more. He has an obligation to them in terms of basic care as well as finance...

butterflymeadow Wed 22-May-13 23:00:04

I haven't read the whole thread (too tired), but am also in a situation where XH has child from previous relationship. Do you know, I think the easiest thing to do is just concentrate on your own family unit (that is you and DCs) and what is best for them. It is nothing to do with his first family and what they got/get. Yes, he would be paying more maintenance if they didn't exist, but he could equally be like my first husband and pay nothing anyway. The law tries to make things fair for everyone.

In other words, you make the decisions which you think are in your dcs best interests (however many hours you work, for example, and whether they go to childcare). Personally, I think there is an argument for consistency, so if you don't want him picking and dropping dcs as it suits his shifts, try and agree a consistent pattern which means that you can arrange regular childcare. That is an argument which has its own merits, and is nothing to do with maintenance or his ex-wife1.

If your DD does not want to see him as he is shouty, that is a problem to address in itself, and not tied with maintenance. If you think he should be paying towards childcare over and above maintenance, then make that argument in its own terms, not in relation to what ex-wife1 got. And so on. It really does not matter what his ex-wife got or his first set of dcs got, becuase the point is that you are building up your own family life separate from him and his past.

Lioninthesun Wed 22-May-13 23:57:48

Shows how few women understand how CSA works when they pick up men with kids already in the system.
15% is a pittance. We all know it. Now we have another family in the poverty pot in UK. Excellent.
There should be national ad campaigns warning women about men who have serial families!

Iwishitwouldgetwarmer Thu 23-May-13 09:17:45

Couldn't your ex have the children on certain days then he is responsible for sorting out childcare. Then it's up to him to pay for childcare on these days if he can't pick them up due to work. That way he pays a share of the childcare.

kittycat68 Thu 23-May-13 09:36:37

I think i should be law that each parent pays 50% for childrens costs. If NRP were forced to pay a reasonable amount the state would not have to keep picking up the costs! Parents would be forced to only have children they can afford . Its a joke that NRP can get away with paying a pittance in Child Support go on to have more children and continue the cycle.

Lioninthesun Thu 23-May-13 11:55:01

kitty precisely - and who gets all the blame in the media? Single Mothers, of course! Not the guy who left and doesn't look after the kids. They get a pat on the back from their mates for trying to avoid paying for them. Women do all of the childcare without being able to achieve as high a pay bracket as men if they manage to work, yet it is clearly not the man's fault - the woman should be persecuted and feared by society while the man gets to sow his seed elsewhere.

Dadthelion Thu 23-May-13 11:59:34

I'll go along with the 50-50 costs.

But i think children should live 50-50 with each parent.

Lioninthesun Thu 23-May-13 12:08:16

Dad in an ideal world that would be the case. However the child needs to go to school and will have friends wherever their main residency is. Not to mention doctors etc. If you drew a line down the middle you wouldn't always be putting the child's needs first.

sanityseeker75 Thu 23-May-13 12:36:06

I don't think that she is putting the child's needs first anyway. She did not want his ex to have even the 15% never mind 50% From everything she has said (unless I have missed something) he has supported ALL his children and now he is the bad person because he is paying the 15% to her because she tried to get his payments reduced to the other ex. If he agreed to pay 50% and lived in the next road to her ie next to doctors school etc then can he have kids 50% of the time? I doubt it.

I have step kids who we pay more than the CSA amount for and I also have an ex who does not pay the 15% despite me giving him our family home with over £50,000 equity (which he then lost and now pays over the odds in rent) so actually can see it from both sides. But I do not agree that the kids are then used as a bargaining tool to secure more money

Booyhoo Thu 23-May-13 14:27:11

i think that 50/50 care should be the default and the point to work from if there are issues like distance or shift work. of course 50/50 doesn't suit all children so you would adjust the arranegment to be as close to 50/50 as possible but without meaning the child is suffering as a result.

my dcs could do 50/50 (distance, school + workwise) and i've asked their dad for this but he wont. which means i'm his free childcare for 50% of the week. and i'm limited wrt to what work/hours i can do but he isn't in any way. it sucks but that's apparently acceptable in 2013.

Lioninthesun Thu 23-May-13 14:36:24

Booyhoo I hear you. Ex hasn't seen DD since she was 6mo, so I get no downtime at all!

Booyhoo Thu 23-May-13 14:44:51

yep- been there too. it's hard. exp has just in the last 2 months started having dcs (7 and 4) eow so i absoloutely know how lucky i am to get that break having never had it until now. he did almost get himself killed after the first weekend he had them when he dropped them back home and said "you could at least say thanks" hmm

purpleroses Thu 23-May-13 14:57:07

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)
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.

lostdad Thu 23-May-13 16:07:52

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...wink

Booyhoo Thu 23-May-13 16:18:21

"not one unilaterally deciding to be the RP and the other condemned to being the NRP. "

or one deciding unilaterally to be the NRP and the other being condemned to be the RP.

i agree. 50/50 should be the assumed arrangement when a couple split up and they use that as the point to work from get the best balance for the dcs.

lostdad Fri 24-May-13 09:34:02

Booyhoo - `or one deciding unilaterally to be the NRP and the other being condemned to be the RP.'

Most definitely.

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. envy

Booyhoo Fri 24-May-13 09:53:37

Indeed. I cant for the life of me understand how anyone can just walk away. I just can put myself in that place. It hurts to think of not seeing them so i can only imagine what you went through.

Booyhoo Fri 24-May-13 09:54:11

Oh that makes it sound like i think yu walked away! I dont mean you i mean people like my exp

3xcookedchips Fri 24-May-13 12:18:32

Excellent, fathers and mothers agreeing - isn't it a shame you're not the ex of each other...:-)

lostdad Fri 24-May-13 12:25:30

It's not the fault of mums or dads...it's the faults of tossers of either gender!wink

My ex would say black was white if she thought it would be demonstrating to me that she's in control...

Booyhoo Fri 24-May-13 12:44:01


we would be the perfect parenting combo lostdad!

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.

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