Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

What do I need to think about now I'm a single parent and how do you arrange amicable contact for DC?

(24 Posts)

I'm clueless in all of the above and still feeling so very fragile.

DH has left, we have had no contact for 2 days now. I caught him out in an EA and after the initial begging for forgiveness but not having the ability to tell me the truth he has cleared his stuff out and gone without any further communications.

We have a mortgage but no equity and nothing but small debts that will need managing.

He works, I work part time, how do I find out if I'm entitled to any help (3 DC) I won't be able to afford the mortgage for our house for example.

Where do I start in this sorry mess sad

Do I suggest days I think would suit the DC for him to visit? We are not at the talking stage yet, infact he is pretending I don't exsist because I won't put up with his lies.

FennCara Thu 18-Jul-13 22:30:20

I've been there not long ago.

Start with a solicitor's consultation, mine was £80 but some are free. They will outline the legal view of your circumstances and it's invaluable to know where you stand. They should put it all in writing but you aren't obliged to instruct them.

Then citizen's advice bureau. Getting an appointment is grim but they can tell you exactly what help you're entitled to. Or look at the Department of Work & Pensions website.

I had a vile split but the separation itself can help forge more amicable, or at least civil, relations. Takes
time and a lot of tonge-biting.

Ok, so I do need to see a solicitor even though we have no money or objects to split? It's all about the right way to behave for the DC.

I won't get help with fees because I'm working will I? Does he have to pay csa for the children when I'm earning (under £17k per year)

Thank you for the reply, I feel like I should be doing something practical instead of sitting around be ignored.

notanyanymore Thu 18-Jul-13 22:39:43

Get straight onto working/child tax credits (Google it) if you're sure this is the end of the relationship. Also as above post, make an appointment with CAB, if you have no equity in your house you may still be entitled to housing benefit (things may have changed!). Personally, I wouldn't do anything re contact until he contacts you regarding it. And then I would try and work out something amicably between yourselves, also with regards to maintenance payments, solicitors tend to advise that route if at all possible.
I know its really hard at this stage, try not to do anything major/rash decisions at this time. You want to make rational decisions not emotional ones as they have a tendency to bite you in the arse later. Try to distance yourself from him as much as you can to give yourself the chance to see straight after such a shock. Best of luck flowers

notanyanymore Thu 18-Jul-13 22:43:07

Yes he still has to pay regardless. Have a look on the CSA website there is a calculator that will help work out a ball park figure on how much he should be contributing. Again CSA will want you to have attempted to do this amicably between themselves before they will get involved (it really is much better this way if at all possible)

HamsterDam Thu 18-Jul-13 22:43:08

do you get working tax credits? you will be entitled now if that's what you earn, call them you can start a new claim over the phone. housing benefit aswel i should think.
sorry you are going through this, it gets easier x

notanyanymore Thu 18-Jul-13 22:43:38

*yourselves even!

I suppose I'm assuming her has gone for good so thought it best to start the ball rolling to make sure the DC have financial stability.

What I really want to do is curl up in a ball and cry for a year.

I can't figure out if he is being a smug controlling bastard or actually staying away with no contact because that is what I asked for?

foolonthehill Thu 18-Jul-13 22:45:22

MONEY
1) Get a bank account in your sole name if you don't already have one ditto credit card and take his name off any joint cards where you are the primary card holder.
2) Tell the council that you are a single adult occupancy home, they will reduce your council tax immediately.
3) go through bills and change them to your name only
4) Change Child benefit to go into your sole account
5) tell tax credit helpline that you are now a single parent and get them to reassess your entitlements and pay into your sole account
6) Go to entitledto.com and check you are in receipt of any and all benefits that you are entitled to

CHILDREN
Contact is for the benefit of the children. If you think you can work out an amicable plan and that you will be able to abide by it, do it. If he is/was an involved father and can keep the adult stuff out of his relationship with the children so much the better (ditto you). Depending on the age of the DC and their needs he can take them out or to relatives or round ot his new home. Don't be tempted to have contact in your home...it will mess with your head and the children's. If you need to talk together then do it somewhere neutral, with no DC.

LAWYER UP...when you are ready
Read everything you can get your hands on. Get familiar with the language of family law and procedure and try to get an understanding of your rights BEFORE you see a solicitor. There is a good little book published by Which...it saved me hundreds of pounds as I went in prepared. Get word of mouth recommendations for family lawyers in your area if possible.
A divorce will not be granted where children are involved unless there are agreed arrangements for finance, and care of the children (“Statement of Arrangements for Children”). It is obviously quicker and cheaper if this can be agreed but if there is no agreement, the Court will make an Order (“Residence and Contact” regarding children, “Financial Order” or “Ancillary Relief” in the case of Finance)

Many family lawyers will offer the first half hour consultation free. Make use of this. Don’t just stick with the first lawyer you find – shop around and find someone you feel comfortable with. You may be in for a long haul, so it helps if you can find a solicitor you’re happy with.

If you can’t find any local recommendations, always see a solicitor who specialises in Family Law. You can search by area here:
www.resolution.org.uk/

Mediation
You will be encouraged to attend mediation to agree finances and child contact arrangements if you can't do this between yourselves. It's cheaper than lawyers or courts battling it out and effective where there is no abuse in the relationship

DirectGov advice on divorce, separation and relationship breakdown:
www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/Divorceseparationandrelationshipbreakdown/index.htm

Legal Rights
www.rightsofwomen.org.uk/legal.php#children_relationship_breakdown

Handy 5 Minute benefit check, tax and housing benefit calculators:
www.moneysavingexpert.com/family/

Child Maintenance Calculator: https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-child-maintenance

Support and information.www.gingerbread.org.uk/

I am sorry this has happened, i hope you will find your way through the mess, both emotional and practical and will be able to come out the other side ready for a new and better life.

Skillbo Thu 18-Jul-13 22:45:59

Just a quick one but depending on what work you do, your employers may offer an Employee Assistance Programme which is basically a free service you can call for advice on all sorts of things, including legal matters. Mine was a godsend.

We don't get any wtc just cb and I don't think we should be getting that tbh.

His salary is based on annual bonus ie they pay a certain amount as his salary and then top ups 4 times a year, say £45k and then an extra £24k in bonus. Would I use the calculator based n his basic because his bonus per quarter isn't guaranteed?

His is due another one this month and we planned to pay off my CC because we have used it in regards to points for shopping/senior school uniform etc, I'm going to be stuck with a maxed out card and its my only one...

Thank you for the help, it's nice to talk about it because not many in RL know yet.

fool massive x post but thanks will take a read now.

Thank you all so much

notanyanymore Thu 18-Jul-13 22:51:51

You said it was an EA? And you asked for some space and for him not to contact you? He might be doing just that in the hope you will calm down/miss him and then be ready to talk and try and work things through? Like I said, try and not do anything hasty right now you've had a big emotional shock and its still early days. Have you decided you want this relationship to be over? I might be wrong but it doesn't quite sound like you have...

Thank you not I'm all over the place tbh, what made you say you you don't think I have decided its over? Just curious so I can look at everything from a different pov.

I'm glad he isn't here because he was twisting things and making me confuse myself and feel helpless, quite controlling in a way.

But I do miss him, but is that because he is not texting/calling me like he did when it first all came out?

I packed his bags n Monday but he was back by Saturday. Massive row on Sunday because apparently it's so unimportant he can't remember the details.

Came home on Monday and he has taken everything and left, no contact apart from a text or two to DD.

I've derailed my own thread!

Those links are great fool

Noregrets78 Thu 18-Jul-13 23:45:09

Not wanting to answer a question directed to someone else... But I also wondered whether you'd decided it was over. Because you said you assumed he was gone for good. My instant reaction was - does it matter - if he comes back would he be welcome?

The reason it matters is that this is 2 days in - if you end up getting back together it would be a lot of effort to unpick the separating activities that you've done.

On the other hand - if it's definitely over, then whether or not he comes back is irrelevant.

fool nothing to add what a great list.

He isn't welcome right now mainly because he is lying to me, trying to make me doubt myself.

We are better for now without him but I know we can't afford to be here without him so thought I should start being practical sour it all but maybe im being hasty, I only have DCs best interests at heart.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 19-Jul-13 06:51:41

Getting started on an actual divorce might be 'hasty' in the circumstances, but there's no point delaying things like making sure you can pay the bills on time. I think you crack on with that, therefore, and applaud you for being so practical. Some solicitors offer a free initial consultation which can be a useful way to find out what is reasonable and unreasonable to agree to. Good luck

foolonthehill Fri 19-Jul-13 12:04:08

being alone and able to think for yourself feels strange when you have been in the middle of a life crisis....it's not that you want the drama but life can feel oddly empty without it.

Give yourself plenty of time and space, give yourself some gentle calm enjoyable things to do. Allow yourself to just feel and be. A couple of weeks or more of non-contact will do you the world of good, no matter what the future holds.

If you are typically a "responder" rather than an initiator then you will need this all the more or you will just find yourself reacting to his latest communications.

It won't hurt the DC to have a little down time...but if you want to get some contact going make it defined (ie definite times and days) quickly and don't use it to assess or talk with him. That is a separate thing.

I'm glad you mentioned calm and enjoyable things to do because I've been out a bought myself a bikini and I'm currently lying in the garden in after eaten a sub for my lunch.

I'm normally so busy working and being there for him and the DC it feels really strange but nice to just think about me for a while.

He was a total arse today not only did his miss mass last night he missed last day because I didn't re invite him after he moved out hmm

I'm sitting here with all the house paperwork sorting out what's important and current, not sure why but its giving myself something else to do instead of fume after him.

foolonthehill Sat 20-Jul-13 13:55:33

get him as far outside your head as you can.

Remember that he is an adult and is responsible for himself...his spiritual journey (and mass attendance) is for him and his priest not your job!

You are not responsible for him
You are responsible for yourself and your DC,

practical is good....but don;t forget that anger is allowed...just find a safe place and way to express it (do you play darts??????)

I don't play darts but I have just signed up for a new boxi. Club that has opened in our area!!

It's just a few pounds paid weekly and really close to home and a friend has agreed to have the DC, I. Years of old I used t kick box and work out regularly because I worked as security in pubs and nightclubs - not that. Needed to work out, every ne was s drunk you could just steer them out grin

I have applied for WTC and CTC today and worked out how much HB & CT I'm able to apply for - its daunting isn't it?

foolonthehill Sun 21-Jul-13 12:00:13

very daunting but doing practical will make you feel like you can still move forwards.
like the boxing

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now