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

ChinaCupsandSaucers Tue 24-Sep-13 08:20:43

Why aren't you taking into account the other variables I've pointed out about the stress it causes

Because I share the oft expressed opinion on MN (particularly on the LP board) that there is never any excuse not to pursue a reluctant NRP via the CSA, and that it is a RP responsibility to secure this.

Although you are in the fortunate position to consider £100 a month paultry, not everyone is as fortunate, and one day, your DC may need the emergency fund you could create by saving that paultry £1200 a year.

BTW - I've been there; bullying emotional ex (mine effectively cut me out of my DDs life for a time) and mental health issues - I'm not unsympathetic, just have a different opinion of my responsibilities as a parent.

Pickturethis Tue 24-Sep-13 08:26:27

You had a 60/40 split of childcare.

You moved away from your ex so this had to stop, and it was agreed he wouldn't pay childcare becauseof this. And there was a court case over this.

Is this what was agreed and how it happened?

MadameLeBean Tue 24-Sep-13 08:28:56

Yes although I think I was badly advised to not ask him to contribute financially at all to his child.

MadameLeBean Tue 24-Sep-13 08:32:38

And even had I not moved away there would have ended up a court case over residency because the co parenting became impossible after him and his wife started behaving very aggressively and unreasonably

nicknamegame Tue 24-Sep-13 08:33:16

'Just have a different opinion of my responsibilities as a parent'

This is patronising china. Feeling like its your responsibility to put yourself through the ringer to force money out of your ex does not make you a more superior parent. I don't agree for a second that its my responsibility to make him pay, and when I said 'paltry' this does not mean that I think £100 is a drop in the ocean. It is for him though- he is just a very mean and miserable person who would see it as money to support me, rather than his child. I certainly felt the difference when he stole that money from dd, but I balanced the strain it would cause me against it and decided that I would rather take the hit. It doesn't mean that I have failed I my responsibilities to DD. It means he has.

MadameLeBean Tue 24-Sep-13 08:34:01

So the court acknowledged that the current 60-40 was no longer in the best interest of the child. The fact I was moving away was a catalyst, but not the only reason it had to change

MadameLeBean Tue 24-Sep-13 09:03:32

PicktureThis why do you ask ?

[paranoid emoticon]

ChinaCupsandSaucers Tue 24-Sep-13 09:08:02

Feeling like its your responsibility to put yourself through the ringer to force money out of your ex does not make you a more superior parent

I never said it did. I said it was different.

I couldn't in all good conscience accept my DPs support if I'd not been prepared to use all the available resources to support my own DD first. You can. We're different.

Mojavewonderer Tue 24-Sep-13 09:12:38

I have always been able to use my husbands wages to get stuff for my children if I needed it, even when we weren't living together he would offer to help out. They are not even his children.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Tue 24-Sep-13 09:13:51

It does change the financial dynamics a bit if your agreement to forego maintenance from your ex was linked to a decision to move away (to benefit your career, or your DPs?) and reduce the contact your DD has with her Dad, OP.

Did your DP agree with your solicitors proposal at the time? Did you and he discuss the implications - should you be unable to work, for instance?

You took a huge gamble, moving away and hoping that you would continue to be able to maintain the financial commitment for your DD alone, or relying on your DP; the dilemma you are facing now could have been anticipated, and discussed in advance.

thebighouse Tue 24-Sep-13 09:18:16

I also have a court agreement stating I won't claim for maintenance. Exh is v well off and spent 40x my legal costs ensuring I was left with no financial help.

My dp will need to support my children because of this. Luckily he knows how hard I tried to fight for financial help and saw it was destroying me.

He realises my ex is a bullying knob. The resulting situation does feel awkward though. Sympathies.

MadameLeBean Tue 24-Sep-13 09:19:14

Yes he agreed at the time. You are right it was a gamble and it was a mistake not to have made ex contribute. I feel I was badly advised. But I thought I was doing the right thing at the time. Luckily the agreement is not a court ruling as such it is an agreement which has written into it that it just be flexible and can be changed via discussion. For example should I lose my job or other circumstances change.

As I said the fact I had to move away (to get a job rather than live on benefits as I could not find a job where I was living before) was a factor but I would have been asking for residency anyway as the disastrous co parenting arrangement was impacting dd badly.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Tue 24-Sep-13 09:33:46

The court may have ruled very differently had you not been moving away though - you cannot assume they would have ruled that the same agreement would be best for the DCs if other circumstances were very different.

As I see it you have three choices:

Pursue your ex for maintenance and accept that he may become a more significant person in your DDs life as a result (no matter how difficult that is for your family).

Negotiate with your DP to agree household expenses and a quality of life that you can contribute equally to while leaving you with a reasonable amount of disposable income - and accept that how he choses to spend his 'extra' is up to him.

Acknowledge that your DP would be unreasonable to expect you to incur debt to pay half of the household expenses that he chooses based on his own income and consider your future with him if that is what he is demanding.

purpleroses Tue 24-Sep-13 09:36:37

I think you were badly advised to accept an agreement that gave you no capital and also said you'd make no csa claim. Maybe you agreed to it because you were feeling bad about moving away but that doesn't make it fair.
Sounds like you and your DP have a good team approach to things though. That should make it easier to cope with any stress your ex gives you about contributing smile

Pickturethis Tue 24-Sep-13 09:47:37

Madame- no need to be paranoid, just trying to work out what happened.

I think you should go to the CSA. I didn't think you could be allowed to have an agreement to never pay child support.

I thought court orders for child maintenance lasted a year, then you could apply for CSA.

MadameLeBean Tue 24-Sep-13 09:49:13

Yes china you are right they may have ruled differently. but I doubt it. The court acknowledged the current 60-40 split was no longer in best interest of dd and also stated that ex was unable to provide appropriate accommodation for dd; among other things.

But I can't know for sure and right now my best option is to get legal advice and take it from there.

Once that is determined I can come to an agreement with DP as you mentioned. I would like to pay half of our essentials and still have enough to get by wrt disposable income. He is not demanding that I pay half of extra things that only he can afford - he is not unreasonable! But if we make decision eg to get a cleaner then we can only do it if I can afford to pay half - or if he decides he wants to spend his money on providing that for our family if I cannot afford it.

MadameLeBean Tue 24-Sep-13 09:51:20

Thanks Pickture I am going to get legal advice to find out what my options are. It may be the case that court orders only last a year but this was an agreement between us, written by our solicitors rather than the court ruling what should happen.

iloveweetos Tue 24-Sep-13 10:10:33

the bighouse sorry to pry but how did ExH have that agreed?
Sounds horrid

OP go to CSA! It may take time but CSA can do alot to help you. Your DP sounds nice, talk to him about how you feel re: luxuries.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Tue 24-Sep-13 10:26:08

It may be the case that court orders only last a year but this was an agreement between us, written by our solicitors rather than the court ruling what should happen.

My understanding is that these 'agreements' are not legally enforceable in England and Wales at least - if you decide not to follow it anymore, then your ex's only recourse will be to ask a court for a legally binding decision.
Obviously, your decision to agree/sign when you did will be one aspect the court will consider, as will any costs your ex incurs to maintain contact with his DD - but a court can't overrule the CSA at the moment, that much I am almost certain of.

MadameLeBean Tue 24-Sep-13 10:47:48

Thanks it was in Scotland although I live in England now. I am going to get legal advice. I currently meet 90% of costs to enable dd to see her dad and this is over £100 per month so a big chunk of his maintenance would go to pay for that anyway.

Tuckshop Tue 24-Sep-13 10:56:37

Yes, I would suggest having a really frank discussion with your dp and deciding between you what you are going to do. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and you did the best you could at the time.

I don't think it's off the wall for your dp to pay for things for your children. I always helped support dsd, in fact do so solely now she lives with me. I've accepted it and am generally at peace with it. Dsd is the second dd I never had. But I'd be lying if there were never times when it stuck in my throat that neither of her parents were supporting her.

I think it's reasonable to explore claiming maintenance but I do think, given the history, that a full discussion is needed. If you get ill again it'll be no good for anyone, and I can totally understand why you'd not want to rock the boat there.

nicknamegame Tue 24-Sep-13 11:03:14

What resource would I have, do you suggest China, when he is self employed and will ruthlessly lie to the CSA? I would be chasing a dead end at practical and emotional cost to my well being. I maintain that it is my ex who is lacking responsibility, not me.

Agree with previous poster who said about rocking the boat. OP if you think you could stomach it, by all means pursue your ex, he has manipulated you to agree a deal that sees him shirk his financial commitments, but I know all too well what it can do to you to deal with someone this devious, so only you can decide. I think you definitely need to have a chat with your DP, especially if you are to be married. I wish you the best.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Tue 24-Sep-13 15:33:53

What resource would I have, do you suggest China, when he is self employed and will ruthlessly lie to the CSA? I would be chasing a dead end at practical and emotional cost to my well being

I'm not sure how you think the CSA works, but if you call them and open a case - there is nothing more you need to do. No chasing, no stress, no hassle - just a phone call.

If he lies and dodges the system, then you've done what you can.

You seem to be refusing to pick up the phone because your ex is a deadbeat and avoids his responsibilities - which is exactly why the CSA are there and they are fairly good at extracting money from reluctant NRP, despite the bad press.

RinseAndRepeat Tue 24-Sep-13 17:28:32

I don't understand some of the responses on this thread.

I earn a bit more than DP. We split everything in our house, and by default that means I pay half of stuff for DSD - holidays, activities, clothes, food, toys, etc.

Despite being the default RP (because of ex's flakiness), DP pays maintenance to his ex out of what I consider family money as well. I'd much rather he didn't and I got to keep the differences in our salaries to spend on myself. But if I've ever expressed that on here in the past I get told I'm a terrible, selfish person.

Besides, if you live together as a partnership, surely all money becomes 'family money' eventually. What would happen if you and your DP had kids together?

ChinaCupsandSaucers Tue 24-Sep-13 17:37:55

rinse I can't remember anyone criticising you for not wanting to support your DP to pay your DPs ex maintenance while also supporting your DSC resident in your home?

I would be suggesting your DP sort it out though; it's no more fair on you to support your DSC mum in this way as it is for the OPs DP to support her DC. Fine if everything has been done to reduce the financial impact on the stepparent, but otherwise, likely to lead to resentment and frustration.

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