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).

CatchingMockingbirds Wed 05-Dec-12 22:47:13

vbisme how much is the minimum CSA payment that your DP will be making until work picks up more?

I can see why she's upset, having the cm dramatically drop just right before Christmas, but it's your DP that needs to get a job. Your money is yours and she shouldn't be asking you for it.

NotaDisneyMum Wed 05-Dec-12 23:26:16

catching isn't it just as much the DCs Mum's responsibility as their Dad's?

If mum and dad were still together and dad was made redundant - wouldn't mum increase her hours from p/t to f/t if the option was available? Or would she refuse to work any more hours herself, and demand that her DP find another job, berating him when he didn't, all the while accruing family debt as she refused to live within their means?

CatchingMockingbirds Wed 05-Dec-12 23:47:38

Of course she should pay her way but I was referring to the OP and her partner. Between them both he should be the one providing for his children by getting another job if his business is failing, not having his partner pay for them.

Also, increasing her working hours may not be the wonderful solution, if she works more her benefits would stop as she's already stated, so she'll need to pay full rent, after school care, and a percentage of income support may stop too which the extra amount of wages may just cover (if she's able to increase her hours at all).

If mum and dad were still together though I wouldn't be saying the father doesn't have to get a job as the mum should just work more.

Athendof Thu 06-Dec-12 00:19:10

I think that NotaDisneyMum is right, I think that's the attitude of many non resident parents: hands on air, can't do more and leave the resident parent to sort the mess.

I know a lot of non resident parents, and all of them are great in many different ways, but I have only met a single one who would go totally out of his way to ensure his DD lifestyle didn't suffer too much when the resident parent was struggling. Interestingly, he ended up spliting with his second wife because new wife couldn't understand/be happy about him paying more than he should, he simply thought that even 20% net of his salary wasn't enough and that he needed to balance the things up given his great salary and his ex wife's limited income.

Athendof Thu 06-Dec-12 00:22:54

Now thinking of it, everytime I managed to get my salary increased the ex would reduce maintenznce (fair enough) but every time it has gone don or disapeared he never put the maintenance back up.

Athendof Thu 06-Dec-12 00:28:47

I agree however that new partners should not be expected to pay maintenance, and also that resident parents should get back to work ASAP for the sake if their children and themselves.

EMS23 Thu 06-Dec-12 01:00:44

Well Athendof it's a shame you don't know my DH.
He has always paid well over CSA, he has gone without for years to maintain his DS's needs and we, as a couple, have given up a lot for my DSS, in order to make his life better.

Now, after giving up our great careers to move across the country to be near DSS, we have 50/50 care and yet still pay the same amount we always have. Now, his ex's costs have definitely gone down as we are doing 50/50 care but she insists she can't afford maintenance to be reduced and despite a good co-parenting relationship with her, my DH is still terrified his son will be taken away from him if he rocks the money boat.

NotaDisneyMum Thu 06-Dec-12 07:09:48

athendof do you think that a NRP who experiences a significant reduction in income (such as through redundancy) has a greater obligation to his first family than his current one?

Should he ensure that his first children are not impacted in any way - even if their resident household has the opportunity to cut back - at the expense of essentials for his current family?

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Thu 06-Dec-12 07:25:46

She has a bloody cheek, and I talk as the resident parent.

She IS still getting the CSA level of maintenance. Anything over that is a bonus, and should not be expected as it can easily stop when finances change.

She is just pissed off that she is not getting what she was.

No, you shouldn't have to pay - your DH is paying what he should, he just can't afford to continue to pay extra. Tough. As long as he is paying what he should be paying according to the CSA, she will have to tough it out, just like she would have to if they were still in a relationship.

As long as your DH is paying what the CSA says is necessary, then it's not your problem or issue.

If she wants extras, she will have to work more hours!

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Thu 06-Dec-12 07:35:33

He will still be paying a barest minimum of £20.20 a week for two DC's, based on an income of £101 a week. Or if his income is under £101 a week, he will be paying £5 a week.

Still paying the CSA minimum.

If he is paying £20.20 a week or more, she will just have to cope.

I would say that if he is only paying £5 a week, he will have to take A job, ANY job though.

My ex is meant to pay £55 a week according to the CSA, for our two DC's. He currently pays £70 a week. I never count on that extra £15 a week, because if his income goes down, I won't get it.

If he wasn't earning enough to pay £20 a week, I'd expect him to look for a proper job, but even NMW FT would have to pay £48.72 maintenance for two DC's!

So IMO, if he is paying the £48 a week that would be the equivalent maintenance for a FT NMW job, she can shut up and cope, and enjoy the extra he pays when he is paid better!

NotaDisneyMum Thu 06-Dec-12 09:56:43

couthy you and I have disagreed about this issue before - what if there isn't a F/T NMW job available? There are some parts of the country in which there are literally no jobs. Should a NRP leave the area, reducing the time he spends with ALL his DC's, in order to ensure that his first family don't have to change their standard of living?

If the minimum that a NRP is required to pay is based on a F/T NMW job, then if they can't secure that, then their partner will be covering that expense.

My DP was not entitled to JSA after 6 months due to my income, but was still required to pay the minimum £5 a week to the CSA (plus a proportion of the CTC we receive on account of my DD living with us 50% of the time). He had no income - so who do you think paid that?

PoppyPrincess Thu 06-Dec-12 09:59:31

I'm not really of the opinion that he should have to get a 'proper' job, yes maybe eventually if after a long time his business isn't making a profit then he'd have to accept its not working and get a proper job. But most businesses make a loss at some point and you just have to ride the storm. There would be few businesses around if everybody threw in the towel as soon as they make a loss. Who knows his business could take off and then his kids will benefit considerably more in the long run.
It's not just about the ex and how she can cope in the short term, you've got to think of the bigger picture.
My ex doesn't work and I only get £5pw in maintenance out of his benefits, I'd love him to work and provide for him, but how can I make him? The only tool I have is our son but I can't/won't stop contact until he gets a job and starts providing, that's just wrong and it's our son who would suffer.

NotaDisneyMum Thu 06-Dec-12 10:28:02

poppy How would you feel about a situation in which the minimum amount that your DP was required to pay (via the CSA) was the amount couthy proposes - the equivalent of a f/t NMW job?
Would you be happy in the knowledge that it was your ex's DP who was supporting your household to that extent?

Thinking about it, I certainly wouldn't be prepared to take money from my DD's stepmum if my ex couldn't pay!

Petal02 Thu 06-Dec-12 10:30:15

Do you think that a NRP who experiences a significant reduction in income has a greater obligation to his “first” family than his current one? Should he ensure that his “first” children are not impacted in any way, at the expense of essentials for his current family?

Excellent point NADM. If there’s less money to go round, then EVERYONE should have their “share” reduced, the money to the “first” family should not be ring-fenced at the expense of the current family, any more than it would be appropriate for the reverse to apply.

PoppyPrincess Thu 06-Dec-12 10:37:44

Tbh I'm just not that bothered about money, my ex actually offered me money for petrol for taking him to his house the other week (it's quite far) but I didn't want it, I told him to keep it and spend it on our DS. I know he's skint and I'm happy knowing that everything my son has, everything I feed him, every where I take him is paid for by ME. It makes me proud that I don't financially depend on his dad. BUT I have never had any money from him in all the 3&1/2 years that he's been on this earth so I just had to get used to it very early, maybe I'd feel differently if I had been getting money and then it stopped.
But no I can't imagine ever wanting his girlfriend's money, in fact she did start working for a while (until she realised she was worse off) and the thought of getting maintenance off her didn't even cross my mind.
But like I said I'm just not that bothered about money, some women seem to think of their child as an extra income.

PoppyPrincess Thu 06-Dec-12 10:45:28

And on the subject of income decrease...my DP pays nearly half his wage in supporting his ''first'' family, then he has debts and expenses like petrol etc so more money goes towards keeping his first family than it does his second. It is frustrating that we're so skint and she's so much better off than us and its ME accruing debts whilst I'm on mat leave but hey...that's just life, we've not got a pot to piss in but I've never been happier smile

Petal02 Thu 06-Dec-12 10:45:57

Some ex’s have really jaundiced views about the whole finance thing. My DH’s ex has repeatedly told DSS that “your Dad could pay us more if he wasn’t having to finance Petal’s lifestyle” which absolutely cracks me up because I’ve got a well-paid full time job, it’s not like I spend my days trawling Harvey Nichols and having facials (chance would be a fine thing ……. ). The ex doesn’t realise (or chooses to ignore) that without my salary, DSS wouldn’t get half as many ‘extras’. But hey – it’s far easier to blame the second wife, isn’t it !!!!

PoppyPrincess Thu 06-Dec-12 10:50:01

Sorry I didn't make that last post clear...he's paying so much to his ex because it was agreed when he was on a better income and living at home with his mum, the ex wasn't earning as much either, but now his wage has gone down, her wage has gone up and his circumstances have changed so now he can't really afford what he pays but he can't really get out of it. Well he will soon as the sale of the house is going through so he soon won't have to be making mortgage payments.

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Thu 06-Dec-12 13:33:15

NADM - I know we disagree about the NMW job thing, but YOU wouldn't have to pay your DP's maintenance if he took whatever NMW job was available.

Yes, they use a portion of your DD's CTC's, but a) CTC is part of your HOUSEHOLD income, not paid individually but based on your household income, and if your DP was employed you probably wouldn't get any anyway, and b) As you have another DC resident in your household to support (your DD), your DP's maintenance receives a reduction to allow for that.

So taking the TC's into account, that you wouldn't be getting if he was employed FT, unless you earn less than £15k pa before tax & NI, is offset by the reduction in payable maintenance to allow for the fact that there is another DC in your household that needs to be supported, your DD.

Give with one hand, take with the other!!

I still think the OP's DH's Ex is taking the piss if he is paying £20-£48 a week. If he is paying more than that, then his Ex is royally taking the piss moaning about losing anything on top of that until he finds a proper job.

However, IMO, you don't have the luxury of trying to build your own business at the expense of supporting your DC's, unless it has been AGREED with the Ex partner (the RP) that maintenance payments will drop during that period.

It's called being a responsible parent - you ensure that if you wish to build your own business, you can still afford to support your DC's to the tune of what you would be paying in maintenance in a FT NMW job.

If you can't pay the £48 a week for two DC's that you would be paying if you were working in a FT NMW job, then you are being irresponsible and shirking your responsibilities to your DC's by following your own wishes and dreams at the expense of supporting your own DC's.

Which isn't responsible parenting IMO and IME.

I DO have issues with this, because I am at the other end of that situation, and get just £12.50 a week in maintenance from my DD's father because he is 'building his own business', when if he took a NMW job, he would be paying nearly £37 a week for one DC!

So because he is following HIS dream, I am getting £25 a week less than I should be, and would be if he stood up to his responsibilities, and did what I have had to do at times since having our DD, and work a shitty NMW job to support our DD.

I don't class that as good or responsible parenting - I class it as selfishness, and childishly following your own dreams without thinking about how that will affect your DC's.

And as for the thought that if they were together they would both have to tighten their belts - if I was still with my DD's father, no way would I have agreed to him following a pipe dream of trying to start his own business instead of taking A job, ANY job, even NMW when he has a DC to support.

So why should I accept that just because we are no longer together?

If I as the RP have had to work shitty NMW jobs to support my DD, why the hell can't he?!

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Thu 06-Dec-12 13:41:08

I don't think he is financing his new wife's lifestyle though - she finances that by...working in a shitty barely over NMW job. So I STILL don't see why she has to fund his lifestyle!

irresponsible childish muppet tbh, he is!

I get on very well with his DW, she's lovely, and lives my DD like she is her own, as they only have boys together, so she gets to enjoy more 'girly' stuff with my DD.

But it irks me that I can't afford to do things like give my DD the money she wants to go into town with her friends this weekend, as it is going to cost £20 to do what she wants - and that's only bus fare, a calendar signed by some TV Z-list celeb (she's 14, I despair! grin ), and a McDonalds.

It's not fair that I can no longer afford her gym club because the CTC and ChB barely cover her food, clothes and £10 phone credit a month.

So while I feel it's not my Ex's DW's job to pay the maintenance AT ALL, I get very annoyed that they made a decision that works for THEM (my Ex setting up his own business), without considering the impact on my DD with the drop in maintenance.

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Thu 06-Dec-12 13:43:09

Oh - and we do it by private agreement, and I refuse to include the TC's that they get for their DC's.

So I'm not an ogre - I just wish it was different so my DD could do normal teenage things.

NotaDisneyMum Thu 06-Dec-12 14:03:49

So taking the TC's into account, that you wouldn't be getting if he was employed FT, unless you earn less than £15k pa before tax & NI, is offset by the reduction in payable maintenance to allow for the fact that there is another DC in your household that needs to be supported, your DD.

£15,000? Really?

I haven't earned that in the last 2 years since I was made redundant, despite holding down two p/t PAYE jobs and setting up my own business simultaneously! My DP, after 11 months of unemployment, has finally secured a temporary p/t position that earns him 2/3 of that. No chance of a f/t job (yes, he has been looking), and he was told that if he didn't accept a p/t position, the JSA would stop paying his NI stamp and we would no longer be eligible for CT benefit, either. If you expect a NRP to get a F/T job, then there have to be F/T jobs available, don't there?

You have a very narrow view of the types of jobs and work that are available, couthy - and you carefully avoided totally ignored my point that in some parts of the country, there just aren't f/t nmw jobs available; especially at this time of year, when tourism and agriculture are stagnant. Of course, there is always the solution of the NRP moving away to get a job and spending less time with ALL his DC's; but then he would then be branded a deadbeat Dad who never watches his DS play football, or his DD's gymnastics competition. Whichever way you look at it, NRP are just a waste of space, aren't they?

NotaDisneyMum Thu 06-Dec-12 14:14:14

I DO have issues with this, because I am at the other end of that situation, and get just £12.50 a week in maintenance from my DD's father because he is 'building his own business', when if he took a NMW job, he would be paying nearly £37 a week for one DC!

But if he wasn't setting up his own business, and was registered with JSA because he couldn't find a F/T NMW job, you would be receiving no more £5 a week (CSA minimum), which would be paid by his DW because he wouldn't be earning anything.

PoppyPrincess Thu 06-Dec-12 14:27:59

couthy you should accept it because you have to, the day you and your ex split up you lost any right to tell him what he should or shouldn't do. Why should he seek your approval? It's HIS life, HIS career, you are nothing to him anymore, just his EX.
I don't think you'll be complaining if in 2 years his business takes off and you're receiving more money than you would do if he had a 'proper' job, you probably won't be complaining if in 20 years he leaves his successful business to his child.
Yes it would be nice if every NRP provided a big bag of money to their ex every month but in reality it doesn't always happen and it doesn't make that parent a bad parent, especially not if it is because they are trying to build a business which will ultimately benefit the child.

Petal02 Thu 06-Dec-12 14:31:09

Sorry, but what's a NWM job?

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