Some questions about maintenance and what you pay for

(90 Posts)
Smo2 Sun 30-Dec-12 22:18:01

When my ex left, he would only allow CSA to assess what he lays...and he lays the bare minimum that they have told him. He works full time, and has alot of lucrative self employed work on top...which he doesn't declare to CSA...until they re assess him at end of tax year....so lots of extra income.

As well as that his partner ( who he left me for after lengthy affair) also works full time and has additional self employed work.they live ins small house, tiny mortgage..having left me with both kids and only a part time job, in a large house, big mortgage and bills.

Is it unreasonable that he should be paying towards childcare?

Or do I...as he tells me regularly the money he pays me is all I'm getting, and I should use that to cover childcare costs...( it only just covers it, leaving me next to nothing towards any other costs for the kids, ie: , clothes etc)

He doesn't buy clothes for them or shoes.

Do you or do your exs or your partners who have ex's contribute towards childcare ON TOP of maintenance?

Thanks xx

NotaDisneyMum Thu 24-Jan-13 22:50:05

There are plenty of alternatives to a full time WOH career if you are prepared to compromise your lifestyle - as I've discovered over the last three years.

If keeping a similar standard of living in terms of housing, food and clothing is important to you, then yes - you will have to work full time to achieve it, and cover the cost of childcare - but it is quite possible for part time work, self-employment, home working or flexible hours to provide adequately for a family who live a frugal life.

You may have times when you struggle - when you buy second hand uniform, sell items on eBay to cover bus money, have to say no to a school trip or tell the DCs to put a hat on if they're cold because you can't afford to put the heating on, but its still a choice.

I'm not saying its fair that NRP get the option to walk away from their financial responsibility - but I don't agree that RP have no choice but to spend thousands of pounds on childcare - that is only one of the options available to them.

thelionessrichie Fri 25-Jan-13 08:13:07

So why can't dad go part time or lower his standard if living?

Petal I know only too well that separated dads can suffer in lots of ways but I'm not talking about all if that. I was talking about childcare costs. That is all.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 25-Jan-13 08:20:22

Are you suggesting a situation where you say to your ex I'll go part time if you will ???

Of course, in an ideal world, both parents will maintain responsibility for their DCs.

But, whatever your ex chooses to do, you have choices too. It just isn't the case that Resident Parents have no choice but to pay thousands of pounds for childcare - they have lots of options open them which they can make totally independently of their DCs dad.

slowlycatchymonkey Fri 25-Jan-13 10:19:10

Lots of options? NADM are you living in the real world at all or pretending you do in order to justify this stance you're taking? Comments like this simply perpetuate the assumption that the buck stops with the resident parent!!!

Pinkshaman Fri 25-Jan-13 13:51:18

I think there may be some assumptions there NADM, and it's not quite as simple as you are suggesting. I'm not talking about thousands of pounds, and I don't work full-time. And it's not about hankering after a lifestyle I used to have - my life improved immeasurably in all ways after I left xh. DD has charity shop uniform, we ask for bursarys for school trips and all my work clothes are from charity shops or Primani.

The point is that any choices that I make will have an impact on the girls. XH doesn't take that into account. And even on my part-time hours I still need some childcare after school and during the holidays (as again he refuses to have her then) and it's an expense he doesn't have. And if chose to work only during school hours and not during holidays there simply wouldn't be enough money to support the girls - no matter how frugal I was (and I'm pretty good at making a pound out of a penny).

NotaDisneyMum Fri 25-Jan-13 14:13:40

pink - apologies for any offence, my posts were in response to another poster who has a 1000 pound a month childcare bill for full time hours with no tax credit support.

It sounds like you've already made choices to find a balance between your future career aspirations and the unfair demands of being a RP with no support from your ex - which is exactly what I was referring to when I said that we all have choices wink

Theydeserve Sat 26-Jan-13 18:58:31

thelionsrichie - you are being baited by NotaDisney and Petal02 who frequent the Step parenting forum with a distinct anti eXW and Steps interfering their lives by one of them. The other is usually more rational.

I totally understand where you and the OP are coming from. I have a fab job which pays well and I manage to by throwing everyball in the air at once to keep it, 2DCS and went for the live in au pair option as the easiest simplest solution to my childcare problems.

Does EXtwunt pay for anything - we we are averaging £122 pcm for 2 DCS in the past year!! He has no regualr contact calls at the last minute, tells au pair he will, will not pick them up through out the day and then huffs an puffs when I say no to him having them on their birthdays and Xmas. If I dare to mention time to myself, he says just get au pair to do - forgetting that just by doing school drop off and pick up 4 days per week she has done her hours.

His argument for not paying is that I earn enough and they are not suffering and he has to support his new CU next Tuesday and her two kids. She had also suggested that I pay for my 2 to go on holiday as a happy family with her and EX, as they could not afford to take 4 kids and her two £needed a holiday more than mine. He earns about £70000 pa, she earns about £800 pcm net and gets £800 pcm from her EXP.

What does maintenance cover - I think he should also cover 50% of the swimming lessons he insists on ( I agree with ) cricket lessons etc but fat chance of that and that will change over time and interest changes - or is that the mothers sole responsibility?. But hey, £62 per child per month really does not cover how he wants his DCs to be brought up

I do not see why I have to pay all the au pair costs, so he can work full time, she can do part time and I work full time to fund their lifestyle because that at the end of the day is what I am doing. Paying for his new shag and her children. If he did 50:50 which is what he alleges he wants then fine but... guess what he phoned at 1400 this PM, can not have them tonight there is a problem - ( translation - she does not want them) so bang goes my night out unless I pay au pair more money for his social life.

Do not get me started...........

NotaDisneyMum Sat 26-Jan-13 20:59:16

petal Do you want the label of 'c u next Tuesday' or would you prefer the label of 'new shag' wink I'm way past being offended by those terms - it says a lot about the exs who use it, though grin

I'm not sure really what I've been personally accused of - it seems rather disjointed - but if the argument is that au-pairs are an essential requirement for single RP and that NRP should contribute to half the cost - then I'm speechless.

My life is so far removed from the one that theydeserve and thelions describe as their own that it's as if we live on different planets smile for instance, I've been working all day today - but my DD has been with me, rather than in childcare that I expect my ex to pay half towards. In the past, I've had jobs that I have needed use childcare to fulfil - but I've chosen to change that. It might not be for everyone, but if I'd taken the same attitude as thelion which seems to be "I have no choice" then I wouldn't have known there were other options available to me.

allnewtaketwo Sat 26-Jan-13 21:47:41

"c u next Tuesday" hmm

I'm sure that's supposed to be an insult of some sort but wtaf?

elliebellys Sat 26-Jan-13 22:25:03

Disney with all due respect you have your dd just 2 weeks a month nd receive maintenance from your ex,not every one can work from home like you.its insultin to call it a lifestyle choice,but you just dont get that.

NotaDisneyMum Sat 26-Jan-13 22:40:01

ellie I don't work from home and its no more of an insult for me to suggest that childcare is a lifestyle choice than to insist that full time work/childcare is the only choice available to RP unless they want to be benefit scroungers, which is what lion has done.

And fwiw, my choices have not been made around my DDs contact with her Dad, my work and hours no longer revolve around his care of her - one of the reasons I changed my lifestyle is so that as DD got older, I was able to be more flexible to meet her needs; regardless of her Dads availability or commitment. Given the current economic climate, he may well make the choice soon to move away and be a EOW dad rather than lose his current income.

thelionessrichie Sun 27-Jan-13 09:10:14

I am looking forward to telling my boss tomorrow that I'm working a four day week and bringing my dd in to work with me grin

£180 a month hardly afforded me a lavish lifestyle, I'm no stranger to telling my dd to put a hat on to save the leccy.

Anyway that is all past tense. I live with my partner now and things are much easier.

Lostinsuffolk Sun 27-Jan-13 09:46:27

I've been reading this thread for a while now and have found it interesting on many levels. I do not think NADM or petal2 are baiting at all, merely offering a differ way of thinking and constructive comments as to how they would see things and act. This is forum for discussion after all! Theydeserve u clearly have a differ situation which sounds difficult at the best of times to deal with as I too would be mightily angry if plans got cancelled at the last minute that totally shot my night out to bits. I sympathise with u totally. I have to say ur terms for ur EX's new women are a little offensive but again, I get the aggro factor n see why u feel to use them.

I guess my point is not all EX's are scumbags. Some try v hard to do the right thing and pay for extras on top of basic CM and yes, if they're tight with their time for their own DCs then more fool them as the RP who has tried the best will probably have the best relationship with those DCs in the end.

Maybe I'm naive but my lasting thought is this. The DCs will vote with their feet one day and be the judges of who did their best for them. Regardless of lifestyle, presents etc. don't lose sight of what is the important factor here. U can't buy the love and respect of ur kids. smile

parttimer79 Sun 27-Jan-13 11:12:30

Sorry OP if the thread has moved on but to answer your original question my DP pays his ex CSA rate plus spousal maintenance (until youngest starts school) and she got enough capital in the settlement that she is mortgage free.
He also pays for any activities that the children do when they are with him. Childcare costs are not an issue as she is SAHM and will be until they are both in fulltime education - thereafter it is expected that childcare costs will be covered by CM.

Petal02 Sun 27-Jan-13 14:34:49

It still amazes me that new/second wives are given spiteful titles, such as "new shag" which incidentally doesn't offend me in the slightest. Because, like many other second wives, I played no part in the break-up of my DH's first marriage, I met him a few years later.

allnewtaketwo Sun 27-Jan-13 15:23:11

<<ponders to self>> which is worse, a new shag or an old shag

Theydeserve Sun 27-Jan-13 16:11:34

notadisney - at what point did I say an au pair was essential. For me as a single mum this would the simplest option and the one I felt gave my DCs the best security. The choice of juggling child minders, nursery, school etc and we had a spare room.

petal02- as to why new/second wives are given spiteful titles - let me clarify a few points on the step mum in my DCs life. I am aware that not all step mums are evil, my friend is a fab step mum and the relationship she has with their proper Mum is fantastic.However, lurk in the step forum, which I do to give me an insight to workings of the other sides mind - then there is constant theme of bad real Mums, no discipline, horrible DSCs, thieving stealing exes wanting more money and I deep ingrained wish in most threads that the step children did not exist.
1. She was my friend before.
2. She continued living with her partner and 2 DCS for over a year, telling her EX things were going well and to all around her, including her family - they thought it was great.
3. He found out and kicked her out - prompting after a year for my EX to move out of the spare room and into house with her.
4. She proceeded to text me to tell me EX was upset and about to do something - he had DCS at the time. Would not speak to me, continued texting saying she was coming to save him and would not tell me where he was but he was suicidal - I get hold of him, he is in his car, crying. REsult: I can not trust her or him with either DCS
5. She phoned up my work and made an anonymous formal complaint about me - result me suspended without pay!
6. She texts me to say eldest DC v wheezy can she give ventolin as EXH ignoring and she wants the best for the DCs.
7. My DCs are allowed no toys, clothes or evidence of their existence in the new house- it all comes back for me to wash, look after etc.
8. He has cancelled contact time at a whim for her - how do I know. He paid for their meal out on our joint bank account which is still active for paying the mortgage!!Two distraught DCS who had not seen Dad for two weeks.
9. More lies that I can not even begin to start on.
10. Tells my EX that I should pay for everything - excellent. how about getting off your serene backside and do some more work yourself.
11. This is the third marriage she has wrecked but the first with children involved
12. Latest trick : as one of my parents died a horrible painful death at the end of last year and EX was v close to my mother despite everything, she claimed to be pregnant and suffering first trimester ailments as the funeral etc was planned. On the one occasion she saw DCs, she managed to tell them she was pregnant - they were having enough turmoil in their life with out that timing. Result: 2 distraught DCS and v confused
13. 2 weeks after the funeral - she "miscarries" - fortuitously has D&C whilst EXH on a business trip. I had this confirmed by a mutual friend who she let slip to after a drunken night out!!

So I will call my DCS, step every name under the sun, but never infront of them

I am also aware my EX makes the choice to put her above his DCS which is inexcusable, I can not change their father but I can wish her every evil painful retribution known to man.

allnewtaketwo Sun 27-Jan-13 17:19:48

They deserve -whatever she is guilty of, she did not wreck your marriage. Your ex husband did that

JumpingJackSprat Sun 27-Jan-13 18:51:10

one thing i would say is dont assume you know what his finances are like. my dp's ex assumed his earnings which changed since they had broken up and presented him with a request for x amount a month extra based on csa. she was way off what he earns. his new partners earnings have nothing to do with it.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Sun 27-Jan-13 19:33:59

JumpingJack is absolutely right. Best thing to do is not assume to know his income. If he buys a new car it doesn't mean he's in good money, he could have a new partner with a good wage. And that's another good point, new partner's earnings are irrelevant. The nrp could be working in McDonald's and his partner could be a doctor, but maintenance will only reflect his earnings and not hers.

Catchingmockingbirds Sun 27-Jan-13 19:36:09

DS's dad pays the bare minimum CSA (when they can get it off him!) and nothing else.

Petal02 Sun 27-Jan-13 20:20:10

theydeserve you've clearly had a really dreadful time, but please don't let this distort your judgement of other people's situations. Don't tar us all with the same brush.

Theydeserve Sun 27-Jan-13 20:40:03

They both wrecked our marriage - the circumstances of the affair starting would out me to easily, so enough said on that.

He made his choices and my views on that are for him and me.

I have not spoken to her for 2 yrs and have no wish to. I want my DCs to see their Dad - which he fails to do, that is again his choice but he is influenced by her. I would like the lies to stop, the histrionics and the cruelty to my children. I would like some financial responsibility, not influenced by her. I never slag her off to the DCs, ( believe me eldest over heard me on the phone to my Best friend calling her the whore - I was then asked why she was a whore!) it brought me up short and since then have been exceptionally careful.

When the Ex gets slagged off by the steps and the one who left ( be that male or female) it really annoys me. We still have mutual friends, so am well aware what is sprayed around. eg, I was allegedly sitting outside her house all evening and follwoing her in my car - told to a mutual friend - problem was I was sitting with said friend 120 miles away in my own house!!!!

thelionessrichie Mon 28-Jan-13 07:11:57

To me, this isn't about tarring anyone, good dad/bad dad/home wrecker etc and I think (although your story is horrible deserve) that talking about specific dads doesn't prove anything about other dads or how fair or unfair things are for separated mothers.

It is widely accepted by people who believe men and women should have equal rights, that in a relationship where both parents are working, the cost of the childcare that is necessary falls on both parents and not just mum. So where there is a separation I see no reason why mum should be required to either pay the full amount, or have to take the decision to halt/ hinder her career and financial security in order to reduce childcare costs, while dad continues to work scot-free. It is a complete nonsense.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 28-Jan-13 08:55:44

lioness Men and womens rights aren't the issue - its the DCs rights that are paramount.

If a court has judged that the best thing for your DCs is that you are their primary carer, with regular contact with their Dad, then how you each achieve that is (imo) your own responsibility.

Its clear that you resent the financial burden that the court order has placed on you. If your solicitor had made it clear in court that you weren't able/willing to provide the care for your DCs that CAFCASS were recommending because you are committed to your career and the financial implications were too excessive, then I'm sure that the order would have been different and care would have been more equally split - courts rarely place DCs in the primary care of an unwilling parent.

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