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mother's life style choice above everyone else?

(127 Posts)
Jennin Sat 26-Nov-16 07:51:24

My partner of 7 years has two children who live abroad with their mother. She left this country to marry someone she barely knee then and took the kids with her. At that time, the boy (10yo then) did not want to go and be separeted from his wider family, school friends and above all his dad, whom he worships. Mother works in a job that pays commission only and we found out that she leaves the kids unattended for most of the day (they're now 14 and 12). To help settle into a new country she empty the kids savings accounts (which dad had opened and maintained to pay for their future university studies etc). Meanwhile, dad has carried on paying for child maintenance plus two trips to see them yearly. These expenses are taking its toll on his finances and health as he is v stressed out to met his commitments. We seldom go out as we don't have any money - i do not live at his expenses and we share all the bills. Occasionally, i pay for special treats. When he does, it comes with a heavy cost for his finances and stress levels (one can tell). Everything he buys has to be the cheapest possible/special offer, while i always buy the best i can and pay for it myself (we have a joint bank account just for bills). After they moved moved abroad we spent 3 years without holidays together and this year we won't have any. The pound drop caused a massive loss for him. similarly, the kids never do anything beyond spending time with their friends in their home (or anything that does not involve money). Is it really fair that she makes all the decisions and others (kids, my partner, our relationship) have to bear the emotional and financial costs. Can she carry on working for free while we can barely subsist? I refuse to pay for more as i would be effectively subsidising her. I am at the end of my tether and am willing to walk away from our relationship. I don't have kids but believe that children should always come first regardless of adults arrangements. Yet, it seems that only the mother has rights here. Many thanks for any advice. Ps: at the beginning of our relationship, my partner said to me that he was lucky i did not have kids. Now i see what he meant. How do we deal with this situation? Dad fears that ex will retaliate somehow.

BakeOffBiscuits Sat 26-Nov-16 07:57:07

I'm sorry but I fail to see how anything you've said affects paying maintenance for his children. He would be paying it wherever the children were.

abbsisspartacus Sat 26-Nov-16 07:57:34

Don't get involved with someone who has kids especially if your going to be bothered about your partner spending money on their welfare

Where is your proof she makes no money? What about her partner? And I really wouldn't be concerned about children that age just spending time with friends that's normal

LavenderDoll Sat 26-Nov-16 08:00:57

Maintenance is maintenance
I'm not sure what you are asking

Kr1stina Sat 26-Nov-16 08:05:26

Why don't you partner take legal action to stop her moving abroad with their children ?

Are the kids not attending school ?

I think it's very sad that he wishes he never had kids.

ihatethecold Sat 26-Nov-16 08:06:34

Why don't you see if the kids want to come and live with you.
you won't save money

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Sat 26-Nov-16 08:09:30

I agree, he would be paying maintenance wether they loved 5 miles away or 5000 miles away confused

reallyanotherone Sat 26-Nov-16 08:12:13

Ideally he should have taken legal action to stop her leaving the country to start.

What do the kids want? They are old enough to make the decisionas to where the want to live. If they want to live with dad he needs to go get a solicitor and see if he can get them returned. It will depend on which country she's in.

I do sympathise. Some people on here will jump on you because you've mentioned maintenance hmm, but it can't be easy when his kids have been taken to a different country, he barely sees them, and is all but bankrupting himself.

If it was her choice to leave, she should be expected to pay for some of the costs for him to see them.

LineyReborn Sat 26-Nov-16 08:18:38

Trust me, paying the required amount of maintenance goes nowhere near the costs of raising children.

How far away does she live? Two trips a year doesn't seem like a lot - and it could be argued that as she chose to move I think she should at least cover some if not most of the costs of this.

StealthPolarBear Sat 26-Nov-16 08:24:01

" i do not live at his expenses and we share all the bills."
I don't understand this. If you don't live together why do you have a joint account?

splendide Sat 26-Nov-16 08:31:27

I read that several times Stealth. I think she means he does not pay for her expenses.

They live together, split bills but otherwise have their money separate. Rather than the mumsnet approved equal spending money.

reallyanotherone Sat 26-Nov-16 08:32:07

Why are you all focussing on maintenance? The o/p hasn't said anything about not paying, or it being too much, or it paying for the ex to live the high life, just that the visitation expenses on top are getting unaffordable. Depending on the country and accommodation arrangements two vists could cost a few thousand pounds at least. Added to the stuff the pound is doing since brexit his costs may have ramped up considerably, especially if he's paying maintenance in local currency- she will be getting the same, despite him paying considerably more.

It was the ex's choice to move abroad, and incur the extra costs, so why jump on the i/p about maintenance whivh he is paying and not complaining about.

BillericayDuckie Sat 26-Nov-16 08:33:00

Yes he would still have to pay maintenance whether they lived 5 minutes or 5000 miles away BUT presumably if they were 5 minutes away he would get to see them a lot more than twice a year AND not have to fork out £100's in travelling costs for the privilege.

If that were me, I would feel bloody resentful!

OP you don't mention whether the courts were involved at the beginning of this arrangement, and legal action will be complicated now. The children are of an age where their wishes would be taken into account though, which may help if they do want to return.

MadisonMontgomery Sat 26-Nov-16 08:33:05

He would have to pay maintenance if they lived in the UK though, so is it the cost of the flights that is an issue? How far away do they live?

PapalYoungPretenderMortificado Sat 26-Nov-16 08:35:47

" i do not live at his expenses and we share all the bills."
I don't understand this. If you don't live together why do you have a joint account?

I don't understand this either PolarBear. And nor do I understand why OP seems reluctant to buy anything nice for her DP, or pay foe regular nights out if she has the money. This is hardly "subsidising" the ex. - it is sharing your resources and cementing your relationship.

To me the worst is not that she took her kids abroad (their father should have done something about this), but that she robbed their bank accounts. How? Surely she wouldn't have had access? But even if they were joint with her and children, it was a terrible thing to do.

Maintenance is maintenance - the children are entitled to it. Why don't the children come to stay with their dad a couple of times a year instead of him going to see them (do you go to jennin?). That might work out slightly cheaper and would enable you to have a chance to build up a relationship with them too. I take it she isn't still with this other man?

BakeOffBiscuits Sat 26-Nov-16 08:42:12

"why are you all focusing on maintenance?"

Because most of the post is about money.

reallyanotherone Sat 26-Nov-16 08:46:55

*"why are you all focusing on maintenance?"

Because most of the post is about money.*

Not the maintenance though, more the added costs of her living abroad- exchange rate, flights (whether he goes there or they come here), accommodation, time off work.

Presumably if he doesn't pay those costs to see them, he doesn't see them? As far as i remember from csa if the mother moves a significant distance away cm can be reduced to accomodate travel costs.

The o/p has not said he shouldn't pay maintemance.

Inthenick Sat 26-Nov-16 08:49:21

Wait a second. You say maintenance but what exactly is he paying?

You say about her working for free, do you mean he pays for her to live too? So he pays the child maintenance but also all their family costs?

abbsisspartacus Sat 26-Nov-16 12:10:45

The op still hasn't answered how she thinks his ex is working for free when she gets commission? Was there a reason she was able to remove them from the country? Normally if he objects she cant go so did he even object?

Jennin Sat 26-Nov-16 20:40:14

Perhaps i may not have explained myself properly. English is not my mother tongue. Apologies for any misunderstanding.
I have nothing against paying whatever is needed for the welfare of kids. That's not the point and have not focused on maintenance payments, i think.
The issue is that the mother gives herself the privilege of working for no pay and on top leaves the kids unattended for long periods of time while doing voluntary work (but not for the poor!). Meanwhile, father has been having high levels of stress, high blood pressure, working all hours to meet all the children's needs - He also pays for their education and health insurance - besides his own (travelling expenses and time). it's not all about money, thanks god!. Is that fair that she can make choices alone while others have to bear the emotional and financial costs? I thought that responsibility over children should be shared equally between parents but most people here seem to disagree. I am not expecting much sympathy anyway. I am just a step mother and as such i too have to bear the costs (emotional and financial) of someone who has emptied her children's savings (without consulting the father, the only one to contribute for it). I have started paying for more of the share of food and other common expenses so that he can shove as much as he can up her... Meanwhile she can afford not to be paid for work at all. I don't think i have stressed too much the money thing but it's one measurable (unlike health) and not an infinite matter that grows in trees and one picks up as one pleases. Anyway not expecting much sympathy from the mummy's brigade. I am just a step mother...who fortunately is liked by the dad's children.

Jennin Sat 26-Nov-16 20:50:55

I would have had no problems if the kids ever decide to live with us but legally this is not an option. Mother has the upper hand on that, even though son does not want to be there. Also, we don't think it would be a good idea to separate the kids (boy living with us and girl with mother) as they are v close to one another. Perhaps, You would have also more sympathy for the kids and should hear the way the son talks about his mother whom he barely sees and who is the sole responsible for taking them away from their much loved dad. As seen, it's not all about money.

Jennin Sat 26-Nov-16 20:54:29

Not, dad did not fight in a court of law to prevent kids from leaving. Most likely, as he was advised by a solicitor, he would have lost the case and caused additional problems for the kids.

user1479305498 Sat 26-Nov-16 20:58:41

I do have real sympathy here but I think part of the problem is you clearly disaprove of whatever lifestyle she is choosing and the fact she can afford to chose it because of your partners contribution. I think you mentally have to "put that to one side" which I know is difficult. I am wondering here though if he is paying over and above what he needs to , you say he is paying for health care and education? was that part of the deal or is it something he feels he has to because he feels guilty about something? and what about her husband? is he still around? If he is paying over and above what he "has to" by law then I think he should discuss with her about them coming back-- as he wouldnt pay this if they were in the UK. I suspect he is as I cannot see that being part of an original arrangement. Also , would it not make sense for them to come back and stay with you for say 4 weeks in the summer, 10 days at EAster and a week around Xmas/New Year. They are of an age where they could fly to be honest and have somewhere to stay, which cuts the cost down.

Jennin Sat 26-Nov-16 21:04:23

Finally, my views are shared by my partner who claims to be drained emotionally and physically for overworking and concerns for his kids. There is just one person here who seems to be happy: the mother. Mothers, let's stop this sanctimoniously crap that mothers wish no harm to their children. News are full of women who simply disregard what is best for their offspring. I am in no doubt that she is one of them, according to the children's dad. I would not have had these views without his input.

user1475501383 Sat 26-Nov-16 21:07:50

It sucks, it's a difficult situation. flowers to you.

Both me and XH have always had dreams/thoughts of living abroad. In fact we met in my home country (not UK) and then I moved to UK (XH's home country) when DS was small. I have always believed that if one of us would decide to move abroad from the UK where DS is settled, it would be on their conscience and should definitely not make it worse for everyone by taking DS with them. I suspect XH currently fights for sole custody because he indeed still plans to move abroad and wants to take DS with him

It is such an unfortunate situation for everyone, and very selfish from your DP's ex's part. I understand your resentment, she seems to be getting everything her way, where the DP funds for her lifestyle abroad and sees the kids extremely seldom.

I have no advice but a lot of sympathy for you OP and your DP, as well as the kids if they do not want to keep living abroad in the current circumstances.

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