If DP loses his job where do we stand with maintenance?

(27 Posts)
LambCallaway05 Tue 13-May-14 15:03:51

Hi everyone,

I'm hoping those of you who are a little more experienced in this area may be able to give me some advice! I live with DP and he has a DD 4 who stays with us Saturday morning to Sunday evening and one night during the week.

DP started a new job about 6 weeks ago and from what I can gather, things don't appear to be going well. More of a case of him just not being right for the role than any fault on either side. I've been coming to the realisation over the past few days that the likelihood of him not passing his probationary period is ever increasing and we need to start planning for this eventuality.

My salary would cover the whole rent and leave us about £300 for the month, out of which would have to come all the bills, food, petrol for job hunting etc. It would be an enorm

WinterLover Tue 13-May-14 15:09:28

Does he pay through the CSA? Currently DP pays nothing due to not being in work and they said no income = no maintenance. he may be eligible for contribution JSA which £5 per week is taken out for CSA

LambCallaway05 Tue 13-May-14 15:26:05

Argh posted too soon!

It would be an enormous stretch but with help from the overdraft I think it could probably done in the short term and I don't think finding something new would take more than a few months. I'm obviously aware that maintenance for DSD is nothing to do with me and if he is out of work for a while he is obviously unable to pay it. Exw is a very low earner and the lack of money would impact her ability to pay her bills. My question is, once he is back in work, does the money then have to be repaid? They have a private agreement and so nothing that can be enforced by the courts, but is more of an ethical dilemma? If exw defaults on her council tax bill, do you think we have a responsibility to repay all or some of the money when he is back at work?

I know this is all a bit hypothetical and not even a real problem, but I'm sat at work after listening to DP sound even more hopeless about his job and thinking that we need to start planning! Any opinions from other sm's or exes would be appreciated!

LambCallaway05 Tue 13-May-14 15:28:29

Hi Winter Lover,

Thanks that's helpful. What is the exes stance on that? Does it cause her any financial difficulties?

needaholidaynow Tue 13-May-14 15:43:07

I know it will be hard for the ex financially, but your ex's maintenance isn't your responsibility. That may sound harsh and nasty and maybe unfair, but everyone will be struggling not just her.

needaholidaynow Tue 13-May-14 15:45:21

And please don't use an overdraft in order to pay maintenance. You're just creating problems or yourself there. Your DP just needs to concentrate on getting another job, and in the meantime everyone just needs to rebuffed and tighten their purse strings a bit more.

TheMumsRush Tue 13-May-14 15:49:28

I think when he gets a job he just starts paying from that point onwards.i don't think he will have back payments as it's a private agreement. In the meantime I think the ex needs to let the relevant people that her situation will also be changing

needaholidaynow Tue 13-May-14 15:50:30

*rebudget

needaholidaynow Tue 13-May-14 15:51:23

*your DP's maintenance.

Grr I can't type today!

LambCallaway05 Tue 13-May-14 15:54:21

Thanks all, that's a really good idea about getting the ex to let people know her situation will be changing. Means she can take on extra shifts at work etc and DP can do more of the school runs. Now we just have to wait until the 3 months is up! Which will be by far the worst part - I'll have got myself into an absolute frenzy by then!

juneau Tue 13-May-14 15:57:33

If you're looking at it from an ethical standpoint then he should warn her so she can budget accordingly - or at least be prepared for what might happen.

LambCallaway05 Tue 13-May-14 16:08:04

Yes, warning her is a good idea. She won't like it but we'll be doing the right thing!

purpleroses Tue 13-May-14 17:43:08

Has your DP been in work for most of the last year or so - ie before he got the new job? If so he may be able to claim Job Seekers Allowance based on National Insurance contributions for zinc months or so. It won't depend on what you earn. Only £70 a week or so but will help. He'd be legally obliged to pay his ex about £5 of it but could offer a little more if you can afford it between you. You're not obliged legally or morally to cover it from your own pay. Yes do for warn the so it doesn't come as a shock to her.

purpleroses Tue 13-May-14 17:43:51

That should read 6 months (zinc months???)

alita7 Tue 13-May-14 17:46:50

Nope he is not legally required to pay any of her bills etc, he is just supposed to give her an amount of money, proportionate to his income at that time. If that income is zero, where is he supposed to get the money to pay her? For that reason he is not obliged to pay anything.
Obviously do what you can to cushion the blow for her, like telling her and maybe make sure that dsd has the essentials she needs like shoes and socks and things while you still have some extra money?

Maybe83 Tue 13-May-14 19:06:04

I would expect my dh to make up the at least some of the lack of maintenance that he left his ex without when he found new employment as she would be covering his son full expenses while we weren't contributing. My dh would also let her know if he was expecting to lose his job.

My dd father would do his best to also previously. In our home it's all shared money so my dh wages are spent on my dd and mine his if and when we need to out of our family budget. I know it isn't the same for everyone but that's just how we work it.

We don't really go for the what is legally expected from us stand point so I'm not sure about that. We do more what is needed for each of the children and what works for all of us at any particular time. But we have good relations with each ex so it would be more a case of we don't have it now or can't contribute to xyz but will when we do from either his ex or mine and that would be accepted with out a problem.

Our official maintenance agreements have slipped because we mostly have shared care and expenses are now done kind of adhoc for both children as they are older.

Definitely tell her it's expected so she has a chance to try to alter her household budget in the mean time.Hopefully he ll find a job or things work out better than you expect with his current job so you won't need to worry or go into your overdraft!

Is it a 3mth probation period? Can your DP start saving a bit each week to put towards maintenance if he does happen to be out of work? Something is better than nothing. Not sure how much he pays now. Has he started looking for another job yet? Also best to do this now and not wait until he is possibly let go, as he has a child to support.

Petal02 Wed 14-May-14 12:06:03

Whilst I can’t argue that the OP’s DP has a child to support, if he gets to a point where he doesn’t have any income, then he can’t pay the ex what he hasn’t got. If the ex were still married to him, then she’d have to survive without any income from him, why should it be different now they’re apart?

drivenfromdistraction Wed 14-May-14 12:10:19

Petal - yes, but if they were still married, then the ex could expect the DP to take on all responsibility for child/house care while she earned money. As it is, she's stuffed.

alita7 Wed 14-May-14 12:22:09

She could still ask him to pick up the child from school etc while he's not working, and if they still get on ok, could he do some handy work around the house, most people have something that needs doing.

drivenfromdistraction Wed 14-May-14 12:57:19

Yes, alita. I don't think she should have to ask, I think he should be offering that and a lot more - for example, being on top of the DC's schoolwork, ironing uniform, providing packed lunches, helping with homework, sorting out any doctor/dentist appointments, doing the admin for school paperwork, taking in deliveries etc. Shouldering a lot of the day-to-day stuff.

starlight1234 Wed 14-May-14 13:14:13

It sounds like you are trying to Plan.

Yes tighten your belts now so the impact on the child is less and yes pre warn mother.

If it isn't working he should be applying for jobs now.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 14-May-14 13:24:39

If i knew my job was going to be ending in 3 months i'd start saving towards the cost of my expenses during that out of work period. As you are living with him i assume you have agreed to cover his share of rent, electric food etc until he finds work so that would leave him with only his child to worry about so he can save for the next 3 months to provide for his child in the time he's out of work.

Petal02 Wed 14-May-14 13:51:48

I think he should be offering to be on top of DC’s schoolwork, ironing uniform, providing packed lunches, helping with homework, sorting out doctor/dentist appointments, doing the admin for school paperwork, taking in deliveries etc etc. Shouldering a lot of the day-to-responsiblities.

But surely most of the above is only possible if he lived at the same house as his ex???? Or are you suggesting that if a man loses his job, he moves back in with his ex and becomes her butler til he can pay maintenance again??

And as regards spending the next 3 months saving his wages so that he can pay maintenance while he’s out of work – it’s hard to know how long he’d be out of work, and surely he’s got his own household to keep afloat, whereas surely the ex has some responsibility towards her own household? And what if he can’t afford to put money aside at present? A lot of people don’t have the luxury of having money left over each week.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 14-May-14 14:35:16

Of course petal, if he hasnt got it to save then he cant do it. No way around that. It was a suggestion.

Also, whilst the ex has responsibility towards her own house, she doesnt have sole responsibility for feeding and clothing the child.

And yes, as you say, it's impossible to know how long he'll be out of work but thy doesnt mean it's ok to just not try and save anything if you can.

Like i said, if i expected to be out of work i would be planning for it by cutting back now, saving as much as possible and job hunting. I'm sure most people would do that whether a separated couple, single parent, blended family or whatever.

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