School dinners.

(79 Posts)
needaholidaynow Wed 29-Jan-14 14:35:31

DP and I have decided that we can't afford to pay for DSD's school dinners. It is just an extra expense that we really could be doing without at the moment, on top of the weekly food shop that we do, which lets face it, isn't cheap!

The more I think about it, the more unfair it is. We are struggling with no financial help for DSD even though we have her 50/50. Her mum claims all of the benefits for her and pays for no "extras". And so we have to find money from somewhere (usually our CTCs for the boys that we get weekely) to pay or this.

DP is "scared" of telling his ex that we cannot afford to pay anymore.

Petal02 Wed 29-Jan-14 14:44:01

I'm not surprised that your DH is scared to tell her about this - knowing how pathetic men can be when it comes to standing up to their exes - but fear doesn't pay the bills and it certainly doesn't cover school dinners.

As she gets the benefits for DSD, maybe this could cover the school dinners ?????

needaholidaynow Wed 29-Jan-14 14:52:47

Exactly! The money that we get is to make sure the boys are clothed and fed, etc... and the same applies to her with the money that she gets for DSD and her son with her new partner. I suppose you could say well pay for them with your earnings, but why should I when she gets support financially and I'm not on the best wage in the world!

needaholidaynow Wed 29-Jan-14 14:54:56

Obviously she is clothed and fed when she is here. But as for the school dinners they are not a necessity and packed lunches are more than adequate, so why should I have to pay for them from my wage?

MirandaWest Wed 29-Jan-14 14:55:31

I'm a RP - I get maintenance from XH and so I pay the school dinners. When the DC are with him, if one of them wants a packed lunch then he makes that, but I pay for the school dinners weekly. It seems very unfair you are having to pay for them.

So will you just not feed her when she is with you?

needaholidaynow Wed 29-Jan-14 15:00:47

Madam of course we feed her when she's with us! I meant why should we pay for the school dinners? She will benefit from the food we have in the house, from the weekly shop. And can have packed lunches with that food.

Beamur Wed 29-Jan-14 15:01:03

If you have a 50/50 arrangement then is it not a shared split for dinners? You and your DH should cover half, be that school dinners or packed lunches.

Xalla Wed 29-Jan-14 15:01:50

DH in the same boat - she collects tax credits, she collects child benefit, he pays maintenance, he pay school dinners, uniform and all extra curricular activities.

I wish the CSA would point out to RP's claiming maintenance that it's intended to be used to pay for such things.

Beamur Wed 29-Jan-14 15:02:05

Is there a problem with offering packed lunch?

Xalla Wed 29-Jan-14 15:03:47

Beamur - plenty of so-called NRP's with 50/50 are still paying maintenance! My DH paid it the whole time he had 50/50 as well as everything else. It's not that uncommon. We know of at least three other Dads in the same boat.

needaholidaynow Wed 29-Jan-14 15:05:02

Beamur he's scared of mentioning it to his ex. He's scared of telling her that HE has made a decision WRT their daughter. She calls the shots all the time and he goes along with everything she says.

wannabestressfree Wed 29-Jan-14 15:05:34

I would compromise and pay half the dinners.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 29-Jan-14 15:06:11

Op i would offer 3 days of packed lunches for her which is more than 50% and gives exw the freedom to decide whether to pay for 2 days if school dinners or 2 days of packed lunches.

FeelingTheFire Wed 29-Jan-14 15:11:16

Tell him to suck it up! At the end of the day if you're willing to supply a school packed lunch during your 50% of the time then she should be able to supply a payment for school dinner (or packed lunch - her choice really) for the 50% when DSD is residing with her. smile

Beamur Wed 29-Jan-14 15:14:05

Maintenance is based on more than proportion of care though isn't it? It's not something I know much about, we had the DC's half the time but DP and his ex agreed a one off financial settlement so there was no maintenance. She also earns substantially more than him and she got the child benefit.

Petal02 Wed 29-Jan-14 15:17:59

At the end of the day, if you're willing to supply a school packed lunch during your 50% of the time, then she should be able to supply a payment for school dinners (or packed lunch, her choice really) for the 50% when DSD is residing with her

Exactly. Surely in a 50/50 situation, each parent should cover the costs that are incurred "on their watch", in which case the above suggestion is a neat solution. And even more so given the ex gets all the benefits .....

BrandybuckCurdlesnoot Wed 29-Jan-14 15:28:38

Needaholiday - does he pay all school dinners? Or just for the days she is with him?

FrogStarandRoses Wed 29-Jan-14 15:28:45

OP - why does your DH have to tell his ex? Surely it's a confrontation that can be avoided?

You send DSD into school with a packed lunch. How she chooses to feed her DD when she's caring for her is up to her. Does your DH pay the school directly? Daily? Weekly? termly?

If he pays the lunch money over to his ex to give to the school then I can see an issue, but if not, then don't create drama when there needn't be any - changing what their DD has for lunch is not a major parenting decision and if your DH makes it one then its not a surprise his ex is behaving the way she is.

BrandybuckCurdlesnoot Wed 29-Jan-14 15:29:28

Send a packed lunch on his days. He doesn't even need to discuss it with the ex. As long as DSD is fed, that's what matters.

Maybe83 Wed 29-Jan-14 16:38:26

If you pay for dd lunches directly to school and then decide to provide pack lunches for your days how will she know that dinners will not be provided on her days? So she won't be aware to send lunch if he doesn't tell her.

I would send an email or text no longer in position to provide money for lunches I will of course provide packed lunches on my days. If you want to provide dinners on your days please contact school to arrange.

mumandboys123 Wed 29-Jan-14 18:00:50

will packed lunches some days and not the others be allowed? at my children's school it's either/or, they don't allow a mix and demand that no changes are made within a half term period.

purpleroses Wed 29-Jan-14 18:43:30

If she has the CB then she should be paying for school dinners not you.

If she decides she can't afford to, then the packed lunches will obviously have to be supplied and paid for by whichever house she's leaving in the morning - so you'd have to be prepared to pay half, but that will be less expensive than 100% of school dinners.

I do think it's really out of order to be getting all the child benefits, tax credits, etc but not paying out the costs.

FrogStarandRoses Wed 29-Jan-14 18:46:12

mumandboys I very much doubt any school would refuse a change to packed lunches on the grounds of financial hardship - schools are not unsympathetic to these situations, they just want dialogue between home and school to ensure that the reasons for extra work by the school staff aren't frivolous.

Xalla Thu 30-Jan-14 08:50:22

At my DSD's school they send a menu out at the beginning of each half term and you can select the days you want cooked meals and the days you want packed lunches. It's pretty simple. I'd be tempted to fill out the days for when she's with you, write a cheque if you're ordering any cooked meals and then forward the menu and cheque to Mum for her to complete her days.

Is you DH worried about what DSD will get to eat on days she's with her Mum though needaholiday? One of the reasons my DH started paying for DSD to have cooked meals at school every day was because Mum's idea of a packed lunch generally consisted of a bottle of Dr Pepper, a sausage roll and a chocolate bar and then DSD was being given 'toast' every day for tea. He figured at least if he paid for cooked lunches she'd get a decent meal at lunch time.

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