Equality with finances with kids

(48 Posts)
raisinbran Sun 05-May-13 09:10:40

I have a DS15 & 9 and 2 DSS 16 and 14. My DP and i have joint accounts but 2/3 of the money is provided by me and 1/3 by partner. Money is tight but so far we have treated everyone the same. They they get a lot less monthly allowance than friends. My ex told my DS how much he paid me in maintenance and my DS is demanding a bigger allowance.

My Ds has some poor behaviour and we row and argue all the time so i don't want to just give in but i do feel guilty that potentially money his father gives is going to the family budget and so providing in effect for my 2 DSS. i have taken a new job so will be contributing even more to the family pot( couldn't do it with out support of partner) If we have to increase all 4 kids allowance i feel that i am working and contributing a lot already, doing with out things and they are just getting a free ride.( not frased quite right but you get my gist).
One option i had thought was to increase my DS15 allowance by the same amount the DSS get from their late mothers policy which goes into a savings account for when they are 18. As my sons don't have that.

My partner recognises the fact that my sons and I have less than when we moved in together and he tries hard to be careful with money. But he feels its unfair to his boys to be different with the monthly allowance. i need to give my ds and answer soon but if is causing ill feeling with my partner. So i feel torn between my son and partner.

BruthasTortoise Mon 06-May-13 11:01:23

But surely there's going to be disharmony when the DSSs reach 18 and get their savings which the OPs DS won't get? It's tragic that the DSS mum has passed away but she did make sure that her children would be financially provided for and I'd imagine there would be uproar if the OP suggested that money be added to the family pot when the DSSs turn 18.

needaholidaynow Mon 06-May-13 11:37:11

NADM

Say the OP's children do have two parents financially supporting them, then that's a good thing right? Why on earth should the OP's ex pay money to her (for HIS children) only for it to go towards her stepchildren??

He's not responsible for them!

NumTumDeDum Mon 06-May-13 11:50:02

What do you want her to do, split the house into two apartments? Utterly ridiculous. He pays what the csa say he should pay and she tops up the rest.

millie30 Mon 06-May-13 12:00:33

I was under the impression that the CSA can reduce the maintenance payments of a NRP if they move in with a partner who has children even if they are not the NRPs biological children. Certainly a lone parent will lose benefits if they move a partner in, even though that partner is not the biological parent. So it seems to be recognised that blended families will have some element of sharing finances and partners supporting children who are not theirs.

Not sure why the OPs situation is any different to this, and if her ex is paying the CSA rate he is unlikely to be single handedly supporting the OPs household, rather just making the necessary contribution to his child, as he should.

BruthasTortoise Mon 06-May-13 12:04:08

You're right about the CSA but many lone parents feel it is ridiculously unfair that their children's standard of living drops because the NRP pays less when they move in with someone else who has children. I can see their point in much the same way as I can see the OPs ex's point.

needaholidaynow Mon 06-May-13 12:08:04

Wasn't saying that at all NumTum. But say the ops ex is highly paid, then obviously his children are going to have a better lifestyle than ops stepchildren aren't they? Sometimes life isn't fair.

needaholidaynow Mon 06-May-13 12:21:08

Also, I am assuming that since the OP has started a relationship with a man with children, then she is taking on some sort of "responsibility" for the stepchildren, as you do. Which, of course, means that her own child now gets less from her as money has to be stretched further to meet the needs of all of the children.

Why must her ex also have to pay for that decision? The decision to form a family with a man who has children? To the NRP his children are the children he has with the RP and it would be fair to say that her stepchildren wouldn't even flicker in his mind. So the money she pays towards her stepchildren, you could say he is "making up".

purpleroses Mon 06-May-13 12:25:44

Living with someone saves you loads over living alone. If the OP lived alone she'd have 100% of all the household bills, and only the food bill would actually be lower. As it is, she says she pays 2/3 of them. So her DS is probably better off than he would be if she weren't living with her DP and DSC.

Having similar aged DCs within a household who being given different amounts of money creates a lot of tension. It's unavoidable in our household as DSC's mum gives them lots directly, but we at least make sure that we try to treat them equally when they're all here.

But child support is not money "for the children". It's money to the other parent so that they can provide for the children. This includes providing a roof over their head, food, and childcare. If the OP's DP is helping out by looking after the kids whilst she goes out and earns money that is really none of her ex's business and her DS ought to be taught that people contribute to a family in different ways and that relationships are about give and take and about not always keeping count of who owes who what.

Can't see any need to be putting money aside just to "match" the money left the DSC by their mother. That money is, sadly, all she'll ever provide for them. Whereas the OP's DCs will hopefully have two surviving parents who can continue to help them out (and leave them money in their wills) well into adulthood if they want to.

BruthasTortoise Mon 06-May-13 12:38:06

Purple the OP has already stated that she and her children have less since her DP and his DSs moved in. And I think the money left by the DSSs mother is relevant although I'm basing that on the assumption that since it is paid monthly, as opposed to a lump sum when they reach 18, the intent behind it was for it to be used for her DSs living expenses. Of course I could be wrong by I know that my and my DHs policies/pensions are set up to pay out an initial lump sum then a monthly figure. If the DP is choosing to hold that money in savings for his sons as opposed to putting it in the family pot then would it not be reasonable for the OP to do the same?

NotaDisneyMum Mon 06-May-13 12:38:34

Wasn't saying that at all NumTum. But say the ops ex is highly paid, then obviously his children are going to have a better lifestyle than ops stepchildren aren't they? Sometimes life isn't fair.

And if the NRP chooses to raise the DCs standard of living when they are with him, then that's great - he can take them on extra holidays, shower them with gifts etc - and of course the remaining DCs will have to live with that injustice (as they see it)

I am struggling to see the benefits to any family members who live in a situation in which some of the DCs are treated more favourably (financially) than others. Just because there is money available to indulge one DC over the other two doesn't mean that is the way it should be.

Oh, and my DDs maintenance is taken into account as part of the overall household income when my DSD applies for a bursary to college so my DD will go without (in our home) in order to fund DSD college expenses.

BruthasTortoise Mon 06-May-13 12:42:55

Sorry scrap my last post! Just reread the OP and it's not clear how the DSSs late mothers policy is paid out! Sorry again smile

needaholidaynow Mon 06-May-13 12:44:35

So the NRPs children are only allowed to feel the benefits sometimes? That's not fair. He is their father and if he is able to provide nice things for them then they shouldn't miss out in any instance, particularly due one of their parents making a big life change that they had no say in. (That's not a dig OP)

purpleroses Mon 06-May-13 12:47:51

Bruthas - yes you're right. It depends whether the late mother's policy was intended to support her DS's after her death, and their dad has just decided that it should go into saving for them, or whether it's money that simply can't be accessed until they're 18.

If their dad has just decided that it should go into savings, but is relying on the OP to help support them in the meantime whilst her own DCs don't have savings accounts, then that is rather unfair.

Viviennemary Mon 06-May-13 12:51:37

I think it's very wrong that maintenance money that an ex pays for his own children is going to support someone else's children. Perhaps part of the money should be now paid in clothing and holidays and so on. This is bound to cause resentment if children know their father is giving money for them and they are not receiving it.

Is this the time to explain what his money goes towards - ie share of mortgage for roof over head, water bills, transport - cost of to/from school, car if he expects to be driven around and dropped off, heating bills and food. He'd be srprised how much he costs to feed. Then there's clothing.

He will probably try and say oh well, I'd rather not have the heating on in my room or something random but he has to see that its not just £x he's not getting. He is getting it!

Clothes allowance - and an expectation of what he has to buy with it - is a good idea (ie you'll pay for one pair of school shoes a year, if he needs/wants more he pays). If you have a family event, he needs to be able to dress smartly ..... set the boundaries for it so he understands how to budget it.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 06-May-13 12:52:58

So the NRPs children are only allowed to feel the benefits sometimes? That's not fair. He is their father and if he is able to provide nice things for them then they shouldn't miss out in any instance, particularly due one of their parents making a big life change that they had no say in. (That's not a dig OP)

But the DCs have already missed out financially because their parents have split! The combined amount of money available to spend on them by parents has dropped because there are now two households to maintain, not one!

A NRP who feels aggrieved that the RP isn't buying his DCs 'nice things' isn't much of a parent, IMO - there are far more important things in life than the latest gadgets and school skiing trips.

Viviennemary Mon 06-May-13 12:54:00

I didn't read about the savings pot. Even more unfair. Perhaps the saving pot money should be split between all the children.

Want2bSupermum Mon 06-May-13 12:57:13

The children should be treated equally but monies paid by the OP's ex should be only spent on their children. Any excess should go into a separate savings account. They will need it when they are older.

I would give a lesson' on money by getting a months pay in pound coins. It will look like loads. Then take out tax, NI contributions and council tax and put the money to the side. After take out mortgage, utilities, food and savings (for that holiday he didn't want to go on - cheeky monkey). He will see there will be a small percentage of coins left to pay for all the other 'stuff' that he thinks he should get.

You are the parent so what you do/say goes. He will have his chance soon enough! He might be 15 but he would struggle to last 5 mins in the real world. He is being a typical teenager who is stuck at the horrible inbetween stage of childhood and being an adult. Sod chores, I would send him out to get a Saturday job. It won't be easy to find work and the rejection might make him a little more thankful for what you provide.

needaholidaynow Mon 06-May-13 13:05:56

Well then NADM, any money left over from the maintenance, could be put away for the OPs child for when they are a bit older. And if she wants to treat her child to something nice with the money then good on her. If it was me in this position and I was receiving maintenance for my two children, then anything I have left over I would put away for them and them only as it would be money from their father.

fedupofnamechanging Mon 06-May-13 13:11:18

I think I would try to match the savings that the step children will have. That way the dc are all on an equal footing both in the home and once they hit 18.

I don't think you can be allowing your ds to dictate how you spend your money.

needaholidaynow Mon 06-May-13 13:11:49

A NRP who feels aggrieved that the RP isn't buying his DCs 'nice things' isn't much of a parent, IMO - there are far more important things in life than the latest gadgets and school skiing trips.

But to that NRP, an "important" thing in life isn't to support his ex's stepchildren.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 06-May-13 13:29:27

My ex placed a great deal of value on DDs relationship with DSS - and will put himself out to ensure that relationship is maintained.

What kind if parent disregards the existence of their DCs step-siblings?

Some of the posts on this thread come across as very 'grabby' - defending a DCs 'right' to live the highest standard of living in terms if material things with no thought as to the quality of life in an emotional and experience sense.

Fortunately, my ex recognises the value of the non-monetary things that our DD benefits from with me - and he financially indulges her when she's with him. Surely she's got the best of both worlds and isn't missing out because I choose to share my life with her SDad and the DSC? DD and I would definitely have a higher standard of living if we lived alone.

Mutley77 Mon 06-May-13 14:02:13

I really think there is a big issue here that you (and your ex) are contributing more but your step-children are getting more (in the way of their trust fund) and your children are effectively losing out. That seems TOTALLY unfair to me. And if your own children realise what's happened they are likely to really resent you too.

I think you need to take action asap to ensure that your children end up with a similar savings pot to that of your step children. The extra from your wage and your ex's maintenance shoudl go directly to that IMO.

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