Division of money question

(89 Posts)
MadameLeBean Mon 23-Sep-13 15:12:27

DP does not pay anything towards my dd's childcare costs or school clubs etc, or clothes. I am fine with this, he is not her dad and her actual dad does not pay maintenance (I did start a thread about whether to go to the CSA but that's a whole issue in ideals) so why should DP have to pay anything.

So far so good. It worked because I earn about 1/3 more than my DP and I spend that "extra" on childcare clothes etc for dd. So we have a joint account for bills to which we contribute equally and about equal spending money (not very much!).

However he has got a new job offer which means he will be making the same money as me - so the huge amount of money I spend on childcare etc, he will have sloshing around "spare".

I have always been one to split things equally but I will not be able to contribute my half of anything more eg the cost of a cleaner. Wibu to ask him to pay for the cleaner as I have this huge overhead which he does not have and now we are on the same money? Should I ask him to pay a little bit towards dd's costs? I feel that would be wrong but on the other hand it feels unfair that he will have loads of spare cash while I struggle to pay my half of the cleaner, can't afford to save a pension etc

MadameLeBean Mon 23-Sep-13 15:14:38

And please don't just all say "go to the CSA" because my ex has a stepchild and another child so I would probably get minimal help from him for a lot of hassle. I have no idea how much he earns. Maybe 40-45k perhaps?

purpleroses Mon 23-Sep-13 15:19:40

I think it's probably best that you go on paying for your DD's childcare. But if there are things that your DP wants to have now that he has a higher paying job - cleaner, holidays, going out for dinner, etc - then it would be fair enough for him to pay more than half of these, or even 100% if he is the higher earner.

I earn a lot less than my DP but always regard childcare costs, clothes, etc as something that I alone pay for. They'd be at the bottom of my list of things I think we should split the cost for.

Or if there's things you currently split 50-50 you could instead split the cost inline with your relative disposable incomes, after the costs of childcare, etc have been taken off.

(But if your ex does earn 45-50K, I do think you should go to the CSA. It's not really any hassle - you pass on details, they do the rest. Even after taking off for 2 kids living with him you'd be looking at around 10% of his net income, so around £3000 a year)

MadameLeBean Mon 23-Sep-13 15:25:00

Thanks yeah the things we currently split 50-50 I might suggest we split in line with our incomes after childcare. I still feel a bit weird about that though!

I am considering the CSA .. I spend about £16k a year out of net income on dd's childcare and travel to see her dad (excl food clothes etc). He pays approx £150 a year on travel costs. That's it. angry

MadameLeBean Mon 23-Sep-13 15:27:18

Ps but is your DP your kids dad? then why do you regard childcare as a cost you alone should bear?

purpleroses Mon 23-Sep-13 15:44:42

No, my DP is not my kids dad. Which is why I consider it somethign that I alone pay for. Sorry - should have made that clear.

The very least your DD's dad should be paying for is the travel costs to see her, or have her brought to him

MadameLeBean Mon 23-Sep-13 16:01:48

Okay thanks, that makes sense and that is how I feel too. DP is resistant to paying more than half of bills and more than half of luxuries because (a) he feels dd dad should contribute first and (b) he should get some upside for his career progression

But he does see how it would feel a bit unfair if he has loads of disposable income and I have none! It's tricky because I don't want him to feel resentful and I also don't want to feel like he gets the life of Riley while I struggle

Kaluki Mon 23-Sep-13 16:04:43

I earn about 3/4 of what DP does so the bills are split 75:25 but my child support isn't included in this so I use that to pay for child related stuff.
Also DP has a lump of money from the sake of his house so he usually pays for bigger things outright like cars, holidays etc
Have you asked DP what he thinks is fair?

purpleroses Mon 23-Sep-13 16:10:31

Sounds like you'd be worth going through the CSA to get whatever you can off your ex. Because even if you get next to nothing, it might help your DP to be more accepting of the situation if he could see you'd done all you could to get her dad to pay his share - rather than expecting him to whilst he sees her dad swanning around with no financial responsibility for her at all. Otherwise he's going to feel as if his nice new pay rise is effectively going to support your ex's lifestyle. And 45-50k is not exactly in poverty. He should be able to contribute something reasonable on that salary.

MadameLeBean Mon 23-Sep-13 16:28:11

Exactly - he sees it as ex should not get to evade responsibility only for dp to pick up the tab.

DP has now offered to pay for running the car out of his pay rise for the moment. But says he wants me to get ex to contribute before he'll do more from his side.

I'm scared of the aggro. confused (from ex I mean)

Mueslimorning Mon 23-Sep-13 17:56:35

I understand your position Madame, it's the same for me.
Dh1 has been paying a minimum amount in childcare and the exact same amount for over 12 years now. I know the sum is ridiculous but as he and sm have always been flexible re visiting etc. I also do not really want the hassle. And ds has always been grateful that there is no aggro between us (like he sees with dh2 and his ex, who screws him mercilessly for every penny on top of maintenance).

MadameLeBean Mon 23-Sep-13 18:12:18

Yes at the moment he doesn't give me any hassle although we don't talk and I organise and pay for everything I'm worried he might become uncooperative and interfering and he is a passive aggressive bully

ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 23-Sep-13 18:15:36

I admit I'm struggling with this - surely you can't feel comfortable expecting your DP to support/contribute to your and your DC's life just in order to avoid aggro with the man you chose to have a DC with?

Sorry, but to me it's simple - if you are not prepared to seek support for your DC from their father, then you have to live with the consequences of that, even if it means not having as much disposable income or a reduced quality of life. Expecting someone else to maintain your lifestyle in order to avoid anticipated unpleasantness is really just fancied-up freeloading, surely?

The CSA was set up to work on behalf of DC's like yours, whose parents cannot agree between themselves how to financially support their DC's. You clearly live a comfortable life if you consider the CSA contribution of over £250 a month you would get from your ex to be "minimal"; perhaps there are some luxuries you can cut back on in order to avoid the hassle of upsetting him?

And, as an aside, your DP sounds great; very clear about his boundaries and a healthy understanding of what being a parent should be about. Don't throw that away!

MadameLeBean Mon 23-Sep-13 18:58:37

China you are right - I think it would be wrong to expect DP to contribute while dds dad does not. And I would not want to be freeloading on anyone!

If the CSA I would get is indeed of the order of 250 a month then yes that is a lot and will help. We do not have luxuries (we may finally get a cleaner when DP starts new job but that's the first thing - our car is paid for by dp's dad, my mum pays for dd's mandatory school clubs - we need to meet these costs ourselves first) and we both work 50-60 hours a week.

However it's complicated by the fact that I have a court agreement stating I will not ask for maintenance (over 2yrs ago now so apparently you can apply anyway but I need to get legal advice on this) and it isn't a little bit of "aggro" I am talking about - I was on antidepressants for two years because of the bullying that dd's father and his wife subjected me to.

theredhen Mon 23-Sep-13 19:00:02

I can see both sides of this. I didn't really push for maintenance for years when I was single and received £80 in school uniform as the only maintenance i received in 7 years (although be did at least bear the cost of his contact). I have no family and therefore felt I couldn't jeopardise the relationship ds had with his dad and the only family he did have.

Ex is notorious for being "dodgy" with money and has previous form for not paying maintenance and giving up contact with other children.

With hindsight the "protecting" I did was wrong of me. I effectively painted a false picture of my ex to my son.

When I met my dp he encouraged me to push for maintenance. I did and I now receive some money from him (albeit a small amount).

With your dp support you can deal with whatever crap your ex throws at you. Don't let yourself be blackmailed. I know it's incredibly hard but I think you owe it to yourself to do it or you are going to feel the injustice of the arrangements financially. If you push for maintenance and then don't receive it or receive a minimal amount, I think it would be time for another talk with your dp about rearranging the finances. If he then refused to change things, then I think your dp would be treating you unfairly too.

MadameLeBean Mon 23-Sep-13 19:06:51

Yes. If getting maintenance turns out to be not possible (eg if it means court and thousands in legal fees; or if ex earns less than I think and doesn't need to pay) then I feel I can reasonably say to DP "can you pay for the cleaner as I'm snowed under here" for example; but I still would not ask him to contribute to dd's costs.

But you are right I need to at least try and get maintenance first. If I'm not prepared to do that then I can't expect DP to pay the price.

Thank you all for your thoughtful replies.

purpleroses Mon 23-Sep-13 19:48:01

If you have a court agreement stating that you will not apply for maintenance, then I think you'd be best to seek legal advice before you apply to the CSA.

I'm not sure about the legality of a court order preventing you claiming via the CSA - My DP has one with his ex stating that she must pay him anything she claims from the CSA which he thinks is worded that way to get round the fact that you can't order someone not to go to the CSA. His court order does however also state that he pays her an amount which is slightly over the CSA amount anyway - so in his case the ruling on her having to pay it back is just to stop her being paid twice over.

Well worth causing aggro with your ex to get quite a substantial sum of money off him and make your DP feel happier about things. But if the court order made when you split was heavily in your favour (in terms of capital) at the expense of you being able to claim any maintenance, then you might risk causing aggro and NOT getting any money at the end of it, which would be the worst of all worlds.

Might be worth posting in legal about that, or see a solicitor.

MadameLeBean Mon 23-Sep-13 20:02:29

I'm going to get legal advice. I did not get anything financial (capital or assets) as a result of the court agreement. I did not ask for maintenance because I did not want to make things more acrimonious bit too fucking late

I need to check the wording of the agreement. Then I'm going to see a solicitor.

nicknamegame Mon 23-Sep-13 21:33:18

I have to say...I don't agree with China in that you would be freeloading at all. You live together, you're a family, a team. The idea that one of you struggles while the other has plenty spare baffles me??

MadameLeBean Mon 23-Sep-13 21:44:19

But if dd's dad is not contributing (& I have not determined whether that is out of the question) surely it's unreasonable to ask DP to make up for that? Even if he has plenty of spare cash? But yes I'd like to think we are a team so him spending money on himself while I cannot pay into my pension feels unfair. Hence the dichotomy - hence my OP

ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 23-Sep-13 21:45:02

nickname but one of the team is working hard and progressing in his career, while the other isn't doing all she can to get her DDs Dad to financially support his DC.

Yes, of course a couple works as a team - I've supported my DP and his DCs and vica-versa; but I'd make damn sure that DDs dad was fulfilling his legal obligations too!

Anyway, the OP is going to seek legal advice. For what it's worth, OP, my ex is a PA bully as well, and once I faced up to him, and learnt techniques to manage my reactions to his behaviour, it all became a non-event; we don't like each other, but now we've accepted that, things are a lot less difficult.

MadameLeBean Mon 23-Sep-13 21:46:12

Thanks china

nicknamegame Mon 23-Sep-13 23:55:29

China, my exp pays £100 PCM now, having unilaterally cutting it in half recently and this is in spite of him owning two homes, has a full time nanny, has his own business and his partner being a surgeon. (Yes I know what she earns is nothing to do with me, I'm just providing some context).

The trouble is though, he cooks the fuck out of his books and has warned me that this princely sum is all he has to pay, according to advice provided by the CSA. He has also dragged me to court over contact 3 times and put me through sheer hell. He harasses and bullys the hell out of me regarding my parenting and I simply cannot take the man on in yet another fight. For these reasons, I refuse to contact the CSA and put myself through it (have also needed AD's and suffered terrible anxiety as a result of the bullying).
My DP does not even want me to accept the £100 from ex because he feels there is no dignity in it. He has pleaded with me to stop accepting it, but I just can't absolve my ex like that. I like to think he would feel shame in knowing my DP fully supports his child, but I'm just kidding myself, because exp must know that DP is already picking up his slack and isn't one bit bothered.

Ex tries to tell me how to spend this £100 fortune, and his reasons for it being so low, is because he and his wife are resolute (and I mean utterly convinced) that they have the same costs for our child that I do, despite there being only a 4/14 arrangement and despite their beliefs being contrary to the principles behind tje concept of 'maintenance' as set out by the CSA. It's widely accepted by almost every other normal non-resident parent around, that the costs to the NRP with a 4/14 arrangement are not the same, yet this is lost on my ex. He will not even buy her a spare uniform from Asda, such is his belief that his contribution has covered his commitment to our child.
How they've managed to convince themselves of this baffles me, angers me etc, but I know I would get NOWHERE with the CSA.

My DP, whilst not actually paying for my child's after school care or direct costs for clubs etc, pays most bills in the house, all our holidays, and socialising/meals out etc. He simply would not dream of seeing me struggle while he earns more than me (and I am on a good wage as well). We are a family in his eyes, and thank god too, because I could not exist in the clinical set up you describe. I would feel isolated to be honest.

OP, sorry, hope you don't think I've hijacked. I just wanted to give you another perspective. In all honesty, nothing you've said to me smacks of freeloading or anything else.

I rather see it like 'cherry picking'. My DP wouldn't get to pick the best bits of family life and then check out of the bits he doesn't like. That's just my opinion.

SoonToBeSix Tue 24-Sep-13 00:09:54

I think dc should come as part of the package if your dp wants to be in a relationship with you and you are all living as a family I think he should support your dd financially.

MadameLeBean Tue 24-Sep-13 06:03:46

It out of the question before when I was the (significantly) higher earner. Now that is no longer the case, I'm not sure DP should not help if im struggling.

we talked last night he agrees with that in principle but we are going to investigate our legal position as there is no harm in finding out what our position is. Then we can decide if we want to take it further and make that decision jointly and take it from there.

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