Why does she think I should pay CM? (sorry long)

(121 Posts)
VBisme Mon 05-Nov-12 22:55:11

Dh and I have been married for less than 2 months, they've been split over 5 years, and I was nothing to do with the split.

I am fortunate that I have a reasonably good job, DH has his own business which is struggling.

Dh has 2 girls from a previous marriage and an ex wife who isn't particularly nice to either of us, or supportive of the kids seeing DH (although we do travel to see them every weekend, sometimes this is blocked).

DH has finally run out of money and is at his overdraft limit, given that we've both been married before and had difficult divorces, we keep our money completely separate.

I have paid all our bills for the last 4 months to help DH pay CM to his ex at a significantly higher rate than the CSA would expect. But his funds are now maxed out, so he's sent her his last £300 and said that he'll pay her the rest when the business starts making money (which should be in the next couple of months).

I can understand why she'd be annoyed at her income being reduced, but her first e-mail back was demanding that I paid her the money instead "if I cared about the girls at all", and that DH "should get a proper job" or "he won't see his girls again".

DH responded suggesting that she could increase her hours if she was struggling too (she works part time 3 days a week), to which he got the answer "that would reduce my benefits".

In addition to the money DH has been paying in CM I cover all the music lessons, sports club fees, buy the coats and shoes for school and anything they need (clothes toiletries trainers etc when they are with us).

Is it wrong of me to want to save for the future for DH, me and the kids? (I have opened saving accounts for each of the girls for university), or should I just give in and pay her the money so DH gets access to his kids? (which would mean me using my overdraft as well).

izzywizzyisbizzy Tue 06-Nov-12 12:38:57

Maybe if she (ex) had adjusted lifestyles when he lost his job - money wouldn't have run out so quickly though.

anklebitersmum Tue 06-Nov-12 13:27:32

I would recommend DH goes to CSA and asks to be assessed so he can pay an appropriate amount for your current financial situation. If the business improves and he can genuinely afford to do more (or if you feel you could 'top up' if it's really small amounts) then do it, but on an 'additional monies because we're doing the right thing' basis.

If you are currently putting yourselves in financial trouble by paying an excessive CM then that needs to be addressed-after all his ex isn't going to help your family out if the bank says 'give me your overdraft back' is she?

Might be worth pointing out that there's no legal aid type help for 'witholding children' in the event that she starts with the no contact routine..you'd be amazed how fast people get reasonable when faced with £180 per hour fees wink

CheeseandPickledOnion Tue 06-Nov-12 13:38:49

If he's paying the CSA recommended amount, and it's just 'extra' he can't afford then I think she can do one. If you can afford extra you can't, and she'll have to accept that. I wouldn't be plundering savings account for extra money.

Petal02 Tue 06-Nov-12 13:47:18

If he’s paying the CSA recommended amount, and it’s just the “extra” that he can’t afford, then I think she can do one.

Very well put !!! Extras are fine when you’ve got spare money, but not mandatory when you haven’t. If he’s paying the CSA recommended amount, I don’t think she’s got an argument.

theredhen Tue 06-Nov-12 13:51:41

Anklebitersmum, are you sure that's true about legal aid? Surely a pwc just has to site an unhappy child being "damaged" by Nrp and she'll get legal aid to fight him?

izzywizzyisbizzy Tue 06-Nov-12 13:54:36

Here have been recent changes and I believe it is harder to get legal aid now.

anklebitersmum Tue 06-Nov-12 14:03:13

theredhen Obviously if there are genuine fears for the child's safety then legal aid or whatever they're calling it this week is available, but new rules say you can not go into a solicitors office and say "I don't want ex to see my child because he's got a new car/missus/not paid etc".

DH's ex had a very nasty surprise when she tried the "mine" routine. Still had to go to court but she got reasonable fast when she got refused aid hmm

So your dh is still paying the CSA rate,
He lost his job through no fault of his own and is trying to find ways of earning more money by setting up a business,
You pay for loads of extras for your dcs,
You provide clothes etc
You help with childcare
You are saving for their future
Your dh gave her notice of the impending changes...

Therefore, she can get lost, you are doing your best for them already.

EMS23 Tue 06-Nov-12 18:47:04

I know I said different up thread but considering the facts as olibean lists them, I change my view and agree that his ex will unfortunately have to live with the situation as it is now.

Tc80 Tue 06-Nov-12 22:54:36

I think your attitude is amazing. You sound very generous and supportive. Don't fall into the trap of feeling like you aren't doing enough - we all have boundaries and yours sound very reasonable. Leave the wranglings over money to them and if you are happy to put away savings from your own money then fantastic - you will be positively affecting the kids future and can be assured that the money you give them for Uni will be a direct contribution to them from you x

Cloverhoney Wed 07-Nov-12 06:56:52

I believe from March this year you can only get legal aid if you're alleging child abuse or domestic violence in most cases. Pretty sure that's what my DH's husband told him. We're also hoping the ex becomes more reasonable once she's faced with £180 an hour fees....!

I also think your attitude is amazing. I would never pay my DH's maintenance for him. That is money going directly to the ex. Like you I do pay for food, clothes, toys, toiletries etc for my SC and I would help my DH out in paying for their school dinners, extra curricular activities, parties etc because I'd know that was going to directly benefit them. I also match what my DH puts into my SC's savings account each week. We each put the same into all of our kids savings accounts regardless of whether they're SC or BC so they'll all have the same amount when they're 18 to go through uni or whatever.

I don't think I could ever give the ex hard cash. Sorry I just couldn't.

Kaluki Wed 07-Nov-12 08:40:22

I misread your earlier posts OP.
Of he is still paying the CSA amount then anything else is a bonus!
You are already doing more than I would!!!
smile

theredhen Wed 07-Nov-12 09:48:17

Op, I agree with the other posters, you are already being generous, don't be guilted into paying more.

The cost of bringing up the kids also falls to the mother too you know! wink

On the legal aid thing, what happens if pwc alleges abuse (untrue and police and ss refuse to get involved) and stops kids having contact. Nrp is them forced to take the legal route. Would pwc get legal help in those circumstances?

Cloverhoney Wed 07-Nov-12 10:17:31

My DH is half expecting this to happen and has been told there would then be something called a Finding Of Fact hearing where the court would establish whether there was indeed any abuse happening. If there wasn't any reasonable proof then my understanding is the allegations would be thrown straight out and the pwc would get a talking to from the judge. My dh was told even if it does happen, although it wastes precious time and money it would have the benefit of ensuring the court saw his ex's true colours...

All very depressing if you ask me :-(

Petal02 Wed 07-Nov-12 11:31:12

The cost of bringing up the kids also falls with the mother too you know

Very good point, and one that often gets forgotten !!!!! In a 'together' family, if the man loses his job, then everyone has to tighten their belts accordingly, so surely logic dictates that the same applies, even if the man/woman are now apart. So many women seem to think that excessive maintenance payments should be 'ring fenced' and not be subjected to normal economic fluctuations.

anklebitersmum Wed 07-Nov-12 11:57:14

Cloverhoney DH's ex alleged 'abuse' hmm and it went via the court social worker phoning DH and ex. They tell each party that whatever you say will be passed on to the other party and recorded for the courts so at that point you'll often find that they back off with the slanderous bull fibbing. DH's ex certainly stopped with the 'poor me she's a cow' routine at that point.

Bear in mind that pwc will have to sign a solicitors agreement regardless wink

izzywizzyisbizzy Wed 07-Nov-12 17:38:51

I know maintenance at CSA rates isnt often a lot, but NRPs also have costs, housing (bigger house to accomodate kids), clothing for in his house etc.

RPs get all the benefits, CB, CTC, WTC, HB etc, if they are entitled (I didnt get a penny as a single parent), NRPs can have their children 40% of the time, with no assistance.

Its about time the government woke up to shared care.

elliebellys Wed 07-Nov-12 17:49:03

Izzy,they are wakling up to it ,as from next year if you have 50 50 carethen no maintenance due.

ghoulygumdrops Wed 07-Nov-12 17:59:30

Is he paying a csa amount based on his 'not much' income (i.e. a fiver a week or similar) or on your household income?

EMS23 Wed 07-Nov-12 18:29:04

izzywizzy - I couldn't agree more re costs for NRP etc..
My DH has a direct arrangement with his ex and we pay well over CSA anyway but in the last couple of years circumstances have allowed us to move to 50:50 care but she would never accept a reduction in maintenance. It's do ingrained in how people perceive things that no one ever appreciates that the NRP incurs considerable costs themselves.

catsmother Wed 07-Nov-12 19:09:39

I know it's all relative and everyone's different of course but the CSA sum remains the same whatever the circumstances of the RP. So, for example, if they left the relationship with an almost or totally mortgage free house, then the CSA money would obviously stretch much further as their housing costs would be so low. People also forget that many NRPs must spend £££s on travel expenses if their ex lives a long way away. My DP's ex moved 140 miles away and then broke all her promises to share driving. She won't move an inch. Every contact visit costs £80 in petrol alone and if the CSA graciously allows you a reduction in respect of this it's something like 5p in the £. Gee thanks that makes a real difference. It's never black and white and despite the cliched idea of deadbeat dads etc many NRPs do indeed incur considerable costs .... when ex has been left with minimal housing costs, it almost always means NRP has to effectively start again from scratch too (unless mega rich).

Cloverhoney Wed 07-Nov-12 19:11:20

izzywizzy - I'm interested in what you say about NRP's being able to have their kids 40% of the time with no assistance. My DH has his DD at least 45% of the time...can he get assistance?? He doesn't get any. And he pays well above CSA rates to the ex.

NotaDisneyMum Wed 07-Nov-12 19:25:42

ghouly the CSA will assess the income (if any) of the NRP, plus any CTC the household receives, and possibly half the WTC as well, so it won't just be the NRP contributing.

izzywizzyisbizzy Wed 07-Nov-12 19:39:59

No Clover, he cant, thats what I mean, he is basically carrying half the costs of raising her himself, then paying maintenance, its simply not right or fair, the mother has the SAME costs, but all the benefits and maintenance.

Cloverhoney Wed 07-Nov-12 19:48:49

Sorry I misunderstood you. That's what I thought. It is ridiculous.

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