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EXh is now blackmailing me, unless I hand him my Child Benefit

(79 Posts)
MsSavingPennies Sun 30-Dec-12 17:09:05

Sorry its long, I guess I need to vent too...

I hope I can get some advice and support as I am at the end of my tether, I wish my exh would move on, and leave me alone, though I am resigning myself to the fact that he never will :-(

I received a text on Boxing day (probably to deliberately to upset me during the holidays, which it did) It said he didn't want his son dressing like the pauper of his school or begging for clothes?? This was directed at me yet I don't let my ds want for anything. And so I should hand over my Child Benefit to him as he would so a better job! Then on collecting my ds yesterday, he asked me if I had the relevant info ie. my CB number so he can contact HMRC to arrange the hand over my child benefit to him, he told me he doesn't want to contest it through HMRC as all payment would stop (I don't care) otherwise an enquiry will begin? I asked what he meant and he said he will report me to Social Services?? I know this is blackmail. I can't believe he is stooping so low after 6 years! I moved 6 months ago from a rented property into a lovely new home with my dp, things are good, my DS enjoys this home, gets on well with dp's ds from a previous marriage, I am a good mum. I think my exh still wants to control me and will go to any lengths to be a SOB and upset us all. I know him, I'm sure if it is not this, it will be something else

When I left exh almost 6 years ago, I had nothing, it took 12 months to get any money from our separation, I rented an unfurnished flat, I had no beds for my ds and I, not a chair to sit on, nothing. I earned 1/3 of his salary and I struggled to build a home for us. Yet he would turn to me and say I am not giving any money towards a school uniform, shoes, jacket, I am not paying towards his karate classes or school trips, or anything! - he would tell me - 'you can pay for it you get child benefit'. I bought it all myself even though exh benefitted from it.

He said to me yesterday, you didn't want for anything. I was actually treated like a door mat. I did everything, looking after ds, all driving, cooking (I actually had to wake him when dinner was ready), cleaning, shopping, ironing, clean car and servicing etc, I was miserable, I realised he was manipulative and controlling. I could give so many instances when he was just was horrible. And I would be divorced but just to sort the finances cost thousands because he would not agree to anything and because I was working freelance I got no Legal aid. I know it is all Control! He is still single btw.

I won't speak to him on the phone because he is just horrible. I allow text's only to arrange hand over of our DS who is now a teenager. Though his texts of late cause me to get upset.

Would you had over the CB? WWYD? As I said any advice would be gratefully received.

Tell him where to go. His threats are groundless. So what if he calls SS? It's not like you have anything to hide and they're probably well practised in dealing with disgruntled exes.

You might wish to get legal advice regarding a non molestation order against him though.

Of course you shouldn't.

And unless you're claiming benefits while pretending to be a lone parent then he can't blackmail you.

I'd ignore and delete his texts, go through the CSa for child support and have contact agreed by email.

No one can bully you if you don't let them.

Seabright Sun 30-Dec-12 17:12:47

No, don't. You are the primary carer, therefore you get the CB.

I'd be tempted to write to the local SS and HMRC office informing them your ex is blackmailing you and threatening to try & get an investigation started. Might trigger an HMRC investigation into him.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 30-Dec-12 17:12:47

I'm assuming you have nothing to fear from an investigation into your benefits? No, of course you don't hand over the Child Benefit! Report him to the police for harrassment and allow your DS to make his own arrangements to see his dad.

yohohoho Sun 30-Dec-12 17:12:48

Don't hand it over.

Let him call SS. Nothing will happen, if as you say all is well and ds' needs are looked after.

If you tell him no, he probably won't anyway.

What prompted his 'dressed like pauper' comment?

SanctuaryMoon Sun 30-Dec-12 17:14:09

I would not hand it over. Let him call social services, but as your child is a teenager and can speak for himself, I can't see what good it would do your ex.

He sounds horrible, I am sorry he is still upsetting you x

RyleDup Sun 30-Dec-12 17:14:28

Tell him to go and fuck himself.

tribpot Sun 30-Dec-12 17:14:39

Sorry, I'm confused. Why in the name of ALL THAT IS HOLY would you be considering giving in to his demand for the child benefit?

nkf Sun 30-Dec-12 17:14:58

Hand it over, my arse! Sorry but really. The cheek of the man. No. Don't.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 30-Dec-12 17:15:08

Why would you hand it over? He is lying, bullying you and has no entitlement to the CB.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Sun 30-Dec-12 17:16:15

Report him to the police for harassment and, as others have said, have a word with SS and HMRC. Also, as your DS is a teenager and old enough to arrange contact himself, you can refuse any further contact with your XH. And if your DS despises him as well, he can pretty much stop seeing him.

THe only way to deal with men like this is with icy contempt and total stonewalling. He can be forced by the law to leave you alone.

Sunnywithshowers Sun 30-Dec-12 17:16:16

What an absolute shit of a man.

Let him call SS.

I would laugh at him. He doesn't have a leg to stand on. SS are used to people like him & they can see through the bull.

GotMyGoat Sun 30-Dec-12 17:17:22

Ignore it, I'm assuming you are the main carer, so it's absolutely right you should have the child benefit. That benefit is for things like food and housing too - not just so daddy can go and dress up his son in designer gear.

Don't give him any info, don't be scared - even if he does call HMRC to stir up trouble It will come to nothing.

Call the police / get a solicitor to write a letter asking him to stop if he keeps harassing you.

what a dick.

ItsaTIARA Sun 30-Dec-12 17:18:08

Unless you haven't told the benefit agency you're cohabiting he has nothing to blackmail you with.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Sun 30-Dec-12 17:18:31

For a start, the CB goes to the primary carer i.e. you, and there is no reason whatsoever why that should change. So ignore that particular rubbish.

Second, get a solicitor on the case even if you have to take on extra jobs, beg, steal or borrow to afford it. Bullies will argue the toss with you every time just to make a point but will often back down in the face of a letter from a lawyer. It's vital you separate yourself legally once and for all.

Third, you need to distance yourself and avoid contact at all costs. I'm glad you don't talk to him on the phone and the texts are purely for contact details. However, this isn't preventing the abuse from continuing and, again, I think you need to formalise the access and communication channels through a court if you are to get him out of your hair. Keep a record of all his abusive remarks and communications and take this to your solicitor. He's clearly unstable and it may be that your DS is better off not having to spend so much time with Dad.

yohohoho Sun 30-Dec-12 17:18:51

its only blackmail if he has something to hold over you.

TheSecondComing Sun 30-Dec-12 17:19:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IDontDoIroning Sun 30-Dec-12 17:22:13

No

I would tell him to F off and stay there

Does he pay child support I hope he does, and if he wants his ds to have new branded clothes what's stopping him from buying them for him.

If your son is happy fed clothed attending school regularly and the health / education professionals have no concerns as to his health and well being then I think ss would just laugh at him.

If you are worried speak to the HT of his school and or your health visitor /gp to at least flag this up should there be a malicious allegation made.

Also legally he's not entitled as CB should be paid to resident parent.

MsSavingPennies Sun 30-Dec-12 17:22:28

I have nothing to hide from HRMC, II called them and told them he was harassing me.

My ds loves his dad and wants contact, he is 14 now. It makes it difficult as I live 7 miles away and so sometimes I have to drop him off. I wish I didn't need to go near there.

Xales Sun 30-Dec-12 17:22:55

Don't do it.

Don't engage in any conversation about it.

Keep any texts as evidence and if he becomes nasty take them to the police.

If possible speak to the child benefits office. If he puts in a claim will they will stop yours while they decide to to give it to? Make sure you have what he is attempting to do on record.

Also speak to Social Services. Invite them out to see you. Let them know what he is attempting too. Pull his teeth before he attempts to bite and turn it into a pathetic gummy suck.

AmberLeaf Sun 30-Dec-12 17:23:23

How much does he think child benefit is?!

Is he hoping he can also get any related tax credits?

Hes trying it on, yes tell him to get fucked.

akaemmafrost Sun 30-Dec-12 17:24:17

Still bullying you isn't he? I d tell him to F-off with a face like grin.

If you don't want to swear tell him if he keeps harassing you to commit an illegal act, ie sign over CB to the NONE primary carer you'll be contacting SS and the police yourself.

What a tosser. My ex used to whine about not being in the know about ds's DLA. I made it quite clear he should get happy with the status quo as it wouldn't be changing anytime soon.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Sun 30-Dec-12 17:24:45

So see a solicitor. After six years there can't be much in the way of financial issues to sort out. In your shoes I'd be happy to walk away with the shirt on my back and £00.00 if it meant getting that bastard out of my life for good.

BluelightsAndSirens Sun 30-Dec-12 17:25:05

What does he have to blackmail you with?

HecatePropolos Sun 30-Dec-12 17:26:25

No. Don't.

And is there any way to alert HMRC to the fact that no change should be made? In case he tries to go behind your back and claim anyway.

fergoose Sun 30-Dec-12 17:26:32

and also you could call Woman's Aid for advice - plus csa - does he pay maintenance?

MsSavingPennies Sun 30-Dec-12 17:29:08

To hohoho - he was complaining as I hadn't bought him a winter jacket and he was wearing a lighter weight one. The fact is he is between sizes and having gone round 6 shops and ordering from 3 online companies I was strugglingto get one to fit, DS knows this as he hates trying on clothes. Of course it gave my exh something to complain about.

He hasn't bought our DS any jacket in over 5 years!

yohohoho Sun 30-Dec-12 17:30:41

It that case, why are you worried. Your ds is at an age where as would take what he said as the main evidence.

If you don't give him the CB what's the worst that will happen? What are you afraid of?

IDontDoIroning Sun 30-Dec-12 17:31:37

I missed that he is a teen.

You don't have to facilitate their relationship at his age. Let ds and his (d)f arrange contact between themselves.

Why do you have to take him anyway ??

however if you have to do this- in future just drop him to his door. Surely you can stop, ds can get out of car, go to front door and you drive away without seeing ex. Reverse at pickups. You agree a time and ds waits on doorstep you drive up he gets in you drive away.

MatureUniStudent Sun 30-Dec-12 17:32:16

If you have to drop your DS off, do it in a public place, Supermarket car park or recreational ground (the park). Arrange that your son gets out of the car and you remain in the car, engine on, he gets into his DF car and off you go.

Don't allow him the ability to talk to you or bully you. Your DS seems keen to see his dad, so you must protect yourself.

Don't reply to his complaints and DON'T justify yourself/your son's jacket etc to him. You will not change his bleak opinion of you so why waste the emotional effort?

izzyizin Sun 30-Dec-12 17:32:52

You are not required to tell the Child Benefit Agency that you are co-habiting and your entitlement to this particular benefit in respect of your ds remains unaffected by you having moved in with your dp.

Tell the entitled knob who, unfortunately, is still your h in the eyes of the law to do one.

Out of curiousity, does he make regular payments in respect of child support or maintenance?

After you have been separated for 7 years, you can divorce him online for little cost without his consent. Not long to go! smile

Xales Sun 30-Dec-12 17:33:30

Your ex only has the power to make you worry and feel scared if you let him.

Don't communicate, don't reply, don't respond.

If he doesn't get bored and stop, use legal powers to get him off your back.

MsSavingPennies Sun 30-Dec-12 17:37:11

He is just horrible. I would invite SS to my house tomorrow to talk to us all. I wonder what he will say to them. I know, that my 14 year old son is home alone from 4pm till 6pm when I get home from work.

Exh is even twisting DS, who turned to me a few weeks ago and said you have to pay for that because you get CB :-(

I would go without anything if it meant my ds got what he needed.. Exh can't say that, I know he can't.

Darkesteyes Sun 30-Dec-12 17:38:52

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OldLadyKnowsNothingSun 30-Dec-12 17:12:47

I'm assuming you have nothing to fear from an investigation into your benefits? No, of course you don't hand over the Child Benefit

Except for them being suspended WHILE the investigation takes place. The benefits system unlike the courts work on the premise of gulity until proven innocent.
And im willing to bet this abusive ex KNOWS this. But whatever you do DONT hand the CB over. Greedy fucker.

MsSavingPennies Sun 30-Dec-12 17:45:07

My problem is I'm too soft, I need to grow balls. His profession means he is good at manipulating and finding your weak spot. I know that. That is what he did to me when we were married. I should not fear him. I'm know a worrier!

IDontDoIroning Sun 30-Dec-12 17:46:02

Your ds isn't too young to know just how much things cost. Tell him how much your rent/ bills shopping etc are and then he can see how much of a drop in the ocean the CB is.

I suspect that your ex is manipulating your ds if he is coming out with comments like that.

If you aren't divorced I think you should do it and you should make sure you have a will too.

MrsTomHardy Sun 30-Dec-12 17:47:26

Do not give him anything.
Do not engage with him at all, ever.

MsSavingPennies Sun 30-Dec-12 17:49:39

Darkesteyes - The only benefit I get is child benefit and I am well within the new £ limit, as is my dp. I don't claim or receive tax credits or anything else.

tribpot Sun 30-Dec-12 17:50:20

You surely don't need to engage with him when dropping off a teenager. Let him out round the corner if it comes to it!

And certainly let your ds know how much child benefit is and what you spend it on.

Even if you were crazy enough to hand it over, would he even qualify under the new rules? Wanker.

fergoose Sun 30-Dec-12 17:52:23

and what actually does he think gives him the right to the child benefit - it is utterly ludicrous isn't it. Call child benefit yourself, tell them you don't want the claim changing, and tell them if he attempts to make the change he is committing fraud.

Tortington Sun 30-Dec-12 17:53:55

my kids had a time when they would say 'but you get child benefit' so i sat them down and budgeted to show them - that actually you can't pay for a lot out of what you get.

id dell him to buy the fucking coat or do one, knob

MsSavingPennies Sun 30-Dec-12 17:54:12

Amberleaf - I was wondering the same, will he try to claim other benefits.
If he has child benefit would this make him look like the main carer. I wonder if there is another agenda as well as bullying me.

fergoose Sun 30-Dec-12 17:55:00

and does he pay child maintenance to you - if he thinks you don't have enough, maybe he should actually increase your maintenance?

DontmindifIdo Sun 30-Dec-12 17:56:25

Explain to your DS that child benefit is to buy his food with, and that he eats more than you get in CB each week anyway, and that CB goes to the primary carer, so that's you, not his Dad. At 14, he's old enough to understand that.

mercibucket Sun 30-Dec-12 17:57:37

Obv don't give it to your ex, and obv he is a total dick, but I'd pull your ds up on that comment about cb. Have you ever thought about giving part/all of it to your ds and letting him buy his own clothes - give him an idea of how far it really goes? Obviously this could be impractical if you also need it for his food etc, but you could give, say, half as a clothes allowance? Just an idea, feel free to ignore smile

mercibucket Sun 30-Dec-12 17:57:37

Obv don't give it to your ex, and obv he is a total dick, but I'd pull your ds up on that comment about cb. Have you ever thought about giving part/all of it to your ds and letting him buy his own clothes - give him an idea of how far it really goes? Obviously this could be impractical if you also need it for his food etc, but you could give, say, half as a clothes allowance? Just an idea, feel free to ignore smile

Xales Sun 30-Dec-12 18:01:10

Write down how much stuff for your DS costs and show him it in B&W. Then let him see how much the CB is for a month.

Ask him where he thinks the difference comes from.

He is old enough to know this sort of thing now. Do not let him be twisted by his dad!

MsSavingPennies Sun 30-Dec-12 18:08:43

In 2 years I can divorce him without going to court. Because exh is such an arse my solicitor said it would mean court to sort out my sons care agreement which be a minimum of 10k.

I feel so much better for reading your replies. I kept waking up at night and thinking what should I do...

MrsMargoLeadbetter Sun 30-Dec-12 18:09:14

He doesn't sound like he has ever been reasonable....but is this related to the fact you have recently found happiness with your dp?

Has he paid all he should have based on Csa workings? If not perhaps a letter from solicitor saying that if he wishes to review finances including CB across the years you'd be open to that including any arrears etc.

Agree to a different drop off senario that protects you.

Hope you find a solution.

MsSavingPennies Sun 30-Dec-12 18:10:40

Xales - that is a good idea as I'm sure he has no idea of what things cost.
As we all know a pair of shoes and trainers and almost all the cb is gone.

Offred Sun 30-Dec-12 18:15:07

Hmm, I'd be extremely worried about him alienating you from ds if I were you. I think this should be the main worry actually. X should not be slagging you off to ds directly or indirectly.

I'm surprised no-one else has picked up on what seems the obvious indication he is being a shit; he claims you aren't caring for ds properly and he is going to phone social services unless you give him the child benefit so he isn't worried about ds at all is he? He just wants the money.

You need to get him out of your life completely, have a set contact arrangement, no communication from him, you need to involve outside agencies like the police to protect you from him and show ds this behaviour from him is not acceptable (otherwise he will think it is because you and his dad are behaving as it is). I think you are avoiding answering about CSA because he doesn't pay anything, you need to sort this out ASAP, open a claim with CSA for the money ds is entitled to, also you need to claim any tax credits you may be entitled to or he may try to claim them and claim he is the main carer to substantiate a claim to child benefit.

AmberLeaf Sun 30-Dec-12 18:17:42

^Amberleaf - I was wondering the same, will he try to claim other benefits.
If he has child benefit would this make him look like the main carer. I wonder if there is another agenda as well as bullying me^

Yes he would have to be named as the main carer in order to claim child benefit.

As it is not a huge amount for just one child, I do wonder if he has ideas about either claiming tax credits or something to do with your divorce settlement

AmberLeaf Sun 30-Dec-12 18:18:59

If he is down as the primary carer he wont have to pay child support will he? you will

Do not hand over the child benefit! he cant make you so dont worry.

Offred Sun 30-Dec-12 18:19:36

Otherwise you are colluding with x to raise ds to think x is what a father should be, he will emulate your relationship in his own life. The way to break the cycle of this is to firmly demonstrate when unreasonable behaviour is unreasonable. The best way of doing that is to use outside agencies to give credibility to your view that the behaviour is wrong.

Give hs details to the CSA

Ignore his texts, read laugh & move.them to a separate folder to keep as.evidence.

Get DS to arange access as &when he wants it - within acceptable limits that fit jnto.your family life .

Could Dp do the drop off for a.bit?

MsSavingPennies Sun 30-Dec-12 18:25:07

Offred - I did ask re tax credits and he said he's not entitled. It does seem all about money :-( and no I dont claim any payments from him.

Amberleaf - as I was writing I was thinking about our divorce, there may be more to this. I think I need to speak to my solicitor. So if he got CB he would be seen as main carer. This could be more than money. It wouldn't surprise me if he then tried to claim maintenance from me!!

AmberLeaf Sun 30-Dec-12 18:27:58

It wouldn't surprise me if he then tried to claim maintenance from me!!

Exactly that!

Yes, I think it would be wise to seek legal advice and hold on tightly to the child benefit.

He would absolutely be seen as the main carer if he was getting the child benefit, that is how main carer is defined.

fergoose Sun 30-Dec-12 18:28:36

why don't you claim any maintenance from him - it makes no sense?

Offred Sun 30-Dec-12 18:29:21

So he thinks he can claim the CHB and the try CSA from you. He may even be trying to build a case to have custody of ds which sounds like it would be a terrible idea if all he is bothered about is money.

Offred Sun 30-Dec-12 18:31:51

If you have child benefit and a CSA claim against him he will not be able to claim he is the main carer for either of those purposes or to keep hold of assets/take your assets from you that you and ds should be entitled to in the divorce.

MsSavingPennies Sun 30-Dec-12 18:32:11

Thank you, I will get an appointment my solicitor.

AmberLeaf Sun 30-Dec-12 18:35:46

Also start a claim through the CSA.

ItsaTIARA Sun 30-Dec-12 18:36:30

Offred is bang on. If he genuinely thought you were a bad carer to his son then a decent parent would do something about it (eg report to SS / fight for custody). "Feel free to carry on being a crap parent to my child as long as you pay me off" = truly dreadful human being.

Offred Sun 30-Dec-12 18:36:49

Please consider going to the police about this blackmail too. He is not the main carer and is trying to blackmail you into committing a fraud since he pays no maintenance and is not the main carer he is not entitled to the child benefit; www.hmrc.gov.uk/childbenefit/start/who-qualifies/what-is-childbenefit.htm

Offred Sun 30-Dec-12 18:39:26

If you are entitled to any tax credits I would advise claiming those too as it further records your position as the main carer and him as the non-resident. If he knows he is not entitled then he has checked this hasn't he?

izzyizin Sun 30-Dec-12 18:42:57

I kept waking up at night and thinking what should I do...

If in doubt, do nothing... and post on mumsnet in the morning smile

Start counting the days down till you can divorce him online and, in the meantime, set the CSA on to the fucker - they're well versed in dealing with manipulative twunts.

fergoose Sun 30-Dec-12 18:48:04

please go to the csa - take back the control. This again will prove you are the main carer. I cannot understand how he can get away without paying a penny for his child plus try and blackmail you for your child benefit - I would also speak to the police about the blackmail, and Woman's Aid. They can point you in the direction of a decent solicitor who is well versed in abusive ex partners and their scams.

MsSavingPennies Sun 30-Dec-12 18:52:45

Stupid, stupid me - when I asked if he was having money problems he said 'it's not about the money' how did I miss that! < kicking myself > it may well be custody he's after. Yes and money!!

fergoose Sun 30-Dec-12 18:53:47

so you need to go to a solicitor and the csa - get it on record you are the primary carer.

your son won't want to go and live with him anyway - and no judge will make a teen go and live with a parent they do not want to live with

IDontDoIroning Sun 30-Dec-12 19:01:01

If he's so concerned about his clothing and he's not paying CSA then he should jolly well buy him a jacket and you should tell him so.

It wouldn't be a bad idea to gently tell your ds that his dad doesn't actually pay a penny towards his upkeep.

Don't hand over the CB I doubt he has genuine concerns about ds welfare as if he was a good dad he wold have paid something in CM for the years you have been separated.

He either has got money problems or has his eye on the fact it's a passport to other benefits or to enable him to go to the CSA on you.

MrsFlibble Sun 30-Dec-12 19:16:54

I'd claim CSA before he does, then its on file about when the last time he paid was and how often he has DS for overnight visits, then you have some proof over his non concern.

clam Sun 30-Dec-12 19:22:46

Why on earth aren't you pursuing him for maintenance? Report him to the CSA. Then you'll have a bit more cash to kit him out as your ex might like - not that that's got anything to do with it. He's clearly got another agenda.

financialwizard Sun 30-Dec-12 19:42:39

My exh was/is exactly like yours. My DS is also kitted out with what he needs, when he needs it.

For your sake you must go to the CSA as everyone else has suggested. It will secure your position.

By the way most judges do not like breaking the status quo with regards to children's residence unless absolutely necessary.

Sunnywithshowers Sun 30-Dec-12 20:09:02

I'd suggest calling the police too - they take blackmail very seriously. They know that abusive partners / ex partners use it.

My XH used blackmail against my family to try to get me to go back to him.

Inertia Sun 30-Dec-12 21:04:51

Agree with above - do not give him CB, and ring them to explain what he's threatened so they have it on file. He is after the money and may well be planning to then try for custody and pursue you for maintenance.

You should put a CSA claim in, even if you don't think he'll end up paying.

I would report the blackmail threats to the police, so that that's also on record if he puts forward any malicious allegations.

As you are not divorced, do you have a will ? Otherwise , if anything happens to you, your ex has a claim on your property.

perfectstorm Sun 30-Dec-12 21:28:42

File a CSA claim! That isn't your money, it's for your son! He is entitled to it. And next time your son says you should pay for something, you get the CB, fire back that actually as his father has never paid a penny in child support you very much disagree. All kids that age know dads are meant to pay that. And no, I don't usually agree with involving kids at all, but at 14 you need to nip that attitude in the bud, as otherwise his beloved papa is going to warp his son's attitude towards women and mothers, and another woman may well reap the consequences later on down the line.

Please stand up for yourself. He's bullying you because you always roll over. Stop.

perfectstorm Sun 30-Dec-12 21:29:28

Agreed on the will, and also that you need to report all this to protect yourself.

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