Some questions about maintenance and what you pay for

(90 Posts)
Smo2 Sun 30-Dec-12 22:18:01

When my ex left, he would only allow CSA to assess what he lays...and he lays the bare minimum that they have told him. He works full time, and has alot of lucrative self employed work on top...which he doesn't declare to CSA...until they re assess him at end of tax year....so lots of extra income.

As well as that his partner ( who he left me for after lengthy affair) also works full time and has additional self employed work.they live ins small house, tiny mortgage..having left me with both kids and only a part time job, in a large house, big mortgage and bills.

Is it unreasonable that he should be paying towards childcare?

Or do I...as he tells me regularly the money he pays me is all I'm getting, and I should use that to cover childcare costs...( it only just covers it, leaving me next to nothing towards any other costs for the kids, ie: , clothes etc)

He doesn't buy clothes for them or shoes.

Do you or do your exs or your partners who have ex's contribute towards childcare ON TOP of maintenance?

Thanks xx

Smo2 Sun 30-Dec-12 22:18:59

Sorry...lays should read earns!

Rache1S Sun 30-Dec-12 22:28:49

My hubby pays maintenance of 15% of his earnings and nothing more after his ex dumped him for another man. His ex gets 70% of childcare costs paid for on top of 6.5k per year in tax credits as she has a low income, so unless your part time job is particularly well paid you should be able to claim the similar?

Smo2 Sun 30-Dec-12 22:37:24

No, I'm a teacher so part time job is paid well. I'm not complaining I don't have enough,just rather the injustice of it all and how it is that I have to meet all of these childcare costs...when he is in fact also working, earning substantially more,yet has a fraction of the costs I do. Xxx

bearymerrychristmas Sun 30-Dec-12 22:41:09

I understand what you are saying, but yes, you are supposed to pay for everything including childcare from the minimum payments.

If his lifestyle doesn't match what he says he earns then you can ask the CSA to investigate it - like if he has two houses, expensive cars, lots of holidays and tells them he is on minimum wage then they can look into it.

There is nothing stopping you from asking him to pay more, or help with childcare. Could he have them an extra day a week to cut down your childcare costs?

Have you applied to tax credits - you can get up to 70% of your childcare costs paid for you, dependent on your wage.

Smo2 Sun 30-Dec-12 22:51:38

I have, and they do....it sucks that he'd rather let the state do it...I think what is hard is that he did at one point have them one of the days to support me, but then changed his mind and now refuses, saying he is working...which if he is, it is extra self employed work....so it sucks a bit that a) he is increasing his income b ) he's forcing me to pay an extra days childcare c) he isn't declaring it to CSA and they aren't interested until he does his tax return...likely to be fictitious...and then,,,this is the crazy bit...if he earns more, they will only deduct it out of his wages...which are capped at a certain % and therefore I can't get the extra money, despite him having two extra jobs!!

Rache1S Sun 30-Dec-12 22:52:06

I think ideally the best solution is that both parties sit down and work out an arrangement which is suitable for the circumstances of all parties involved, which has nothing to do with percentages of earnings, just what is best for DC's. Unfortunately though, this rarely happens and it just boils down to money and access after a split.
Unfortunately for you it sounds like he is already paying what he is legally obliged to so you are going to have to prey on his conscience and hope he offers a bit more.
I am obviously on the other side of the fence to you, but my DH finds it so difficult that he only sees his DD on weekends and he feels like he misses out on so much if her day-to-day life, so your ExP may have a fraction of the costs you do but he may also now feel he is a fraction of the parent you are to your DC's.

Smo2 Sun 30-Dec-12 23:10:34

Thanks...actually I'm desperate for him to see them more....and so are kids..but it's all on his terms it's Sunday....if he's not working..he won't meet me without partner....and she seriously can't butt out..

Was really just interested in what other people's arrangements are..thanks x

Rache1S Sun 30-Dec-12 23:18:52

I hope it all works out for you x

NotaDisneyMum Sun 30-Dec-12 23:19:38

Why do you need to meet him? Unless your DCs are infants, all communication can be done via text/email and handovers at a distance, surely?

If you have contentious issues you want to discuss face to face with him, then perhaps mediation is the way to go if he refuses to exclude his DP?

Smo2 Mon 31-Dec-12 00:14:59

My daughter is disabled, my son is 4... There is alot of medical info to exchange. Also contact needs to be arranged month by month so it is flexible for him

I'm not allowed to email or text him, though I do...but he refuses to reply

I've offered mediation, he refuses..

Phone calls are ignored.

rahrahthelion Fri 04-Jan-13 18:41:11

Thus us a HUGE bugbear of mine. I simply can't understand why childcare isn't the responsibility of the other parent too!!!! I mean... Either you claim tax credits (at the expense of the state) and Dad gets off scot free. or you earn 30k upwards (which, if you have childcare costs of 1k a month, is NOTHING) and you have to pay the whole thing by yourself!!! An average UK income for a man means around £200 a month child maintenance to be paid to the ex. Who also has to fund a house, food, bills, entertainment for two on an even lower average income than her ex hmmconfusedhmmconfusedhmmconfused

rahrahthelion Fri 04-Jan-13 18:43:01

In the end, I insisted that my ex pay for child care on his days and that helped somewhat. He was fairly blushblushblush at the costs!!

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 04-Jan-13 22:08:42

Does he end up with a higher bill when he produces his actual earnings or do the csa not ask?

Have you applied for. Variation under undeclared income?

Newmama99 Tue 08-Jan-13 00:59:23

I agree with other posts recommending to approach the CSA and see whether there would be a way for a much fairer assessment.

Finances are often tricky after divorce, especially when the children are young. The financial situation of his new partner should be irrelevant to you. Forget about her, she is not financially responsible for the children you decided to have with your ex.

I'm sorry to hear things are difficult for you. Are you making sure you are receiving all the benefits that you are entitled to? Also, if the house is too big for you (and therefore the bills etc), have you got an option to downsize to help you out? And as others suggested, could it be arranged that the father spends a bit more time with them to allow you to work extra hours if you are able to? could there be any other solutions for childcare? For children clothes and shoes, I found out that it helps me to financially to buy basic stuff from Tesco's/Sainsbury's basic range for socks, pyjamas, underwear, and I always target the sales. Primark is good too to cut the cost down. Actually revising your finances and budget and see where you could get things cheaper could help. That's the things you can control, unlike the actions of your ex.

I personally don't agree that the divorced man who is an nrp should pay for bills/mortages/childcare for his ex, on top of CSA rates. Otherwise, how is he ever going to be able to move forward and start another life/family? He might as well be the parent with residency of the children.

It would be great for you if you could find the solutions that suit you, because you would end up keeping a good asset for your future, and for your children. Childcare will only be an issue until your children are old enough not to cost that much in child care. Wishing you good luck.

thelionessrichie Thu 17-Jan-13 17:29:03

Im a bit late to respond but I completely disagree with "how is he supposed to move on with a new family" There is no "moving on" - your children are your responsibility for life. That includes paying for them to be cared for while you work. Not handing over 15% of your net and expecting your ex to front up often 1K plus a month. Shocking.

NotaDisneyMum Thu 17-Jan-13 18:11:13

'Scuse me?

If a resident parent chooses to spend £1k a month on their DCs then that is their choice - but it is certainly not a necessity!

'Together' families spend the amount they can afford on their DCs - and just because parents are separated doesn't suddenly mean that one parent should bankrupt themselves to maintain their DCs standard of living at the level the RP decides.

Yes, there are lots of RP in poverty whose DCs are going without, but there are lots of 'together' families and NRP households in the same position too.

MisForMumNotMaid Thu 17-Jan-13 18:20:46

My understanding when exH left was that their are two settlements. One covers ongoing child support 20% of all earned income the other is spousal separation and if your children are under 6 this can be up to 50% of salary if you were the principal caregiver so fulfilled this role before separation.

I didn't fight it through the courts with DH he left the house which he signed over (he'd never paid towards it anyway) and paid to the pound the CSA amount for the DC. Needless to say he also doesn't declare his extra earnings that i know he has and girlfriend/ wife. He had the affair with is also working. DS1 has ASD so my working opportunities are also very restricted.
Just love the way proper long term support for your DC is kind of optional in this country.

I don't know how people dumped in it with young children will cope when CTC stop next year.

Petal02 Fri 18-Jan-13 13:25:44

How is he supposed to move on with a new family? There is no “moving on” – your children are your responsibility for life. That includes paying for them to be cared for while you work. Not just handing over 15% of your net income

Children are indeed a responsibility for life, but their upkeep is not the sole responsibility of the nrp, both parents have financial responsibility. This often seems to get forgotten. If a marriage breaks down, why shouldn’t the man go on to have more children with another partner? Providing he still pays maintenance at the correct rate to his ex, then surely it’s OK for him to move on?

”Together” families spend the amount they can afford on the children – and just because parents are separated doesn’t suddenly mean that one parent should bankrupt themselves to maintain their children’s stand of living at the level the RP decides.

Absolutely. If parents are together, they cut their cloth accordingly, not sure why it should be any different for separated parents. I’ve never understood the women who think that their ex can finance two separate households? To quote my DH: “she chose to leave me, not sure why she still thinks I should be her meal ticket ……..”

thelionessrichie Mon 21-Jan-13 13:35:14

notadisneymum you missunderstand me - I was referring to childcare costs of £1000 which are certainly not a choice.
As a stepmother whose husband has an extremely grabby ex, I am certainly on the same page as most of you. But childcare costs are quite apart and if both parents choose to work I don't see why the costs of care should fall on just one.

thelionessrichie Mon 21-Jan-13 13:41:34

My example being such: my ex pays me £180 a month towards our DD. Fine - I can raise her on £360 per month (i.e. his 180 and my 180) I wouldn't expect any more than that.

But we always both worked full time when we were together, he was never under any illussion that I would be a stay at home mum so childcare costs were always a given. They were always around £1000 per month and something we factored in when we discussed if we coyuld afford children or not.

We paid half each of childcare when we were together, along with half the rent, half the food costs etc etc...

When we split up, I was suddenly responsible for the full £1000. Now, I know it was hard for him, as it was for me. Both of our costs doubled over night - full rent, full bills etc etc. Fine. But he had no childcare costs... yet mine were a grand a month... for the child we made together... fair???

I suppose I should have left my career and stayed at home with our daughter while his career continued... confused

NotaDisneyMum Mon 21-Jan-13 14:05:21

Why doesn't he have any childcare costs? Is his contact with your DD limited to when he isn't working?

My ex and I were both working full time when we split - I insisted that he took his share of her care and he paid for childcare when DD was 'with him'.

If your ex is refusing contact then that's a different matter - but you still have a choice to reduce hours if you resent paying so much in childcare.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 21-Jan-13 14:08:04

And the idea that both parents should financially contribute an 'equal amount' is bonkers - that rarely happens in together families. Just because my ex can afford to contribute several hundred £ a month doesn't mean I can - because that's what he gives me, then DD gets a better standard if living than she would on my income alone, but I certainly can't afford what ex can each month!

thelionessrichie Mon 21-Jan-13 18:43:58

That's exactly what I was saying confused that in the end I insisted that he pay for childcare on the days he had his maintenance pro-rated for. He soon found alternatives to a childminder when he had to front up the money and his mum and girlfriend rallied round to take care of DD while he was at work. But technically, as per CSA rules a NRP doesn't have to pay anything towards childcare.
His court ordered time with DD is one evening a week and every other weekend (Fri-Sun). He doesn't work in the evening and he doesnt work weekends, so no childcare costs for him. But she needs cared for during the day time of that evening day, and on the Friday daytime of the night he has her because we are both at work - surely that's his responsibility... I can't see how it's mine.

I don't resent paying childcare for my DD while I'm at work on "my" days. What I resent is paying for childcare for five days a week at £1000 a month while he doesn't have any childcare costs. When we both work. Why would I pay for the priviledge of building our careers that WE BOTH enjoy.

I like the idea that I have the option to decrese my hours grin so does he if that's the theory, if he doesn't want to pay for childcare wink

thelionessrichie Mon 21-Jan-13 18:44:59

"And the idea that both parents should financially contribute an 'equal amount' is bonkers - that rarely happens in together families. Just because my ex can afford to contribute several hundred £ a month doesn't mean I can - because that's what he gives me, then DD gets a better standard if living than she would on my income alone, but I certainly can't afford what ex can each month!"

- It did happen in our family. We both earned the same salary.

Daddelion Mon 21-Jan-13 18:55:00

'His court ordered time with DD is one evening a week and every other weekend (Fri-Sun).'

Does he want more contact than that? Why is it court ordered?

I think if you want to split the costs 50-50, he should do 50% of the caring.
Then it's upto him how he sorts it out.

If he doesn't want more contact he should pay half of the child care costs.

allnewtaketwo Mon 21-Jan-13 20:53:38

Why is his time with DD court ordered? Did he have to go to court to get access or did he want more access than you'd have liked?

thelionessrichie Tue 22-Jan-13 22:04:40

He doesn't want more, he kept changing his mind about what he could commit to and it was exhausting for everyone to not know - so we took it to court, got shared residency which we both wanted, then came up with that spilt.

NotaDisneyMum Wed 23-Jan-13 07:16:51

I think it's difficult to tell without the detail but if NRP's have had contact restricted - in other words, the RP has chosen to take on the role of primary carer, even with the support of the court - then it's unreasonable for the RP to expect the NRP to cover the costs of childcare to enable them to work full time while being primary carer.

Shared care is being ordered more often by the court - but IMO, it's only shared care if the DC experiences 'day to day life' in both homes - if one parents care is limited to weekends and time that they are off work then that's not really 'sharing care'!

It's different if the NRP is refusing to be an equal parent - but they're unlikely to contribute towards childcare in that situation, so the RP has no choice but to pay for childcare themselves if they want to maintain a full time career.

thelionessrichie Wed 23-Jan-13 10:29:03

Well, in this case, I had to continue my full time career in order to be able to afford to raise our daughter. Dad didn't want more than EOW and one day in the week because he said it was too tiring on top of a full time job. So I was doing a full time job, caring for our DD 23 days a month, and paying for her to be in full time childcare. While he worked full time, with no childcare costs, and had his dd 8 days a month (all pro rated in terms of maintenance but with 4 of these being days where her care and meals were all paid for by me)

So I think the least he could do was pay for her childcare on those 4 days a month. I wasn't able to 'move on' from my financial responsibility to our daughter so I don't see why he should. My partner hasn't moved on from his in order to start a life with me. But he pays for his dds childcare on "his" days even though mum doesn't work... Figure that one out grin

allnewtaketwo Wed 23-Jan-13 11:05:41

thelionessrichie - do you get tax credits to cover most of the childcare or do you earn over the threshold?

thelionessrichie Wed 23-Jan-13 13:58:03

Just over....

It's about 1900 a month after tax... Take out 1k CM, 850 rent, 150 bills... Then add on my 180 maintenance and £80 child bens... Gives me £160 for everything else.

I work out that despite earning the same salary, and having the same type of house rent, without childcare he'd have £880 left. Yet I'm the one with our Dd for the vast majority of time. Isn't all that fair really. Still, at least he can move on with a new family when he wants to as he has enough money. I suppose I will just need to find a new man to support me hmmangry

thelionessrichie Wed 23-Jan-13 14:00:48

I can see why so many mothers don't choose to work. But I make the money stretch, and in the end I will have a fabulous career and a lovely daughter so I guess I win overall grin

mumandboys123 Wed 23-Jan-13 22:22:17

allnew - regardless of whether or not a RP gets any tax credits to help cover the cost of childcare, there will always be a shortfall of at least 30%. The more children you have, the bigger this 30% is (assuming you get the full amount which many of us don't).

thelionness - I feel for you. I have three primary aged children and work full time. I have to maintain 3 places in afterschool and breakfast club and have the addition of the nursery fees for the youngest. It's a small fortune, even with the tax credit support. My ex benefits - he works full time as well. He is self employed and pays no maintenance at all. He had the audacity recently to tell me that I didn't need to pay for childcare on his days - same man who regularly has an appointment or his car breaks down (once a month at least) on 'his' day. He doesn't have a bloody clue.

allnewtaketwo Thu 24-Jan-13 06:00:23

Mumandboys I am aware of that thank you

Petal02 Thu 24-Jan-13 09:16:12

With maintenance payments, surely a line has to be drawn somewhere? Otherwise you could go on forever saying that x/y/z should be paid for in addition to the maintenance payments.

thelionessrichie Thu 24-Jan-13 13:00:28

Agreed Petal. The line is drawn under childcare costs. It's a completely different kind of cost than everything else. I accept that the 15% covers the NRPs share of "maintaining" the child. Clothes, food, trips, entertainment, etc etc. but childcare costs are totally different.

NotaDisneyMum Thu 24-Jan-13 13:28:43

But requiring childcare is a lifestyle choice!

I realise that when you are a couple and have DCs you may come to a joint decision about careers and childcare etc, but once the marriage ends, then those decisions have to be revised!

If one parent chooses to be a NRP with EOW contact only, then the other parent is left with the choice whether to continue with their career or adjust their lifestyle in line with their new circumstances. What would happen if one parent became incapacitated and was unable to work or care for the DCs? Would the other parent continue to insist that the unwell parent somehow paid towards childcare in order to allow them to work full time?

The only way to guarantee that you can pursue a full time career without incurring what you think is an 'unfair' proportion of the childcare costs is to not have DCs in the first place!

thelionessrichie Thu 24-Jan-13 13:36:53

That is THE MOST ludicrous thing I have ever read.

Needing childcare isn't a lifestyle choice. It is what is required when you need to earn money to raise your children. Of course if one parent was incapacitated then things would be different but two, healthy parents with equal ability to earn money... confused

Why should the NRP have the opportunity to pay in to a pension, and continue their career as if childless, with cash to spare, while the other stays at home with children forfeiting their financial independence and security. Thank goodness my ex was more reasonable in the end, I'm sorry some if you seem to feel such sole responsibility.

thelionessrichie Thu 24-Jan-13 13:39:05

Mumandboys that must be so costly for you... While he swans in and out of the office as he pleases. Of course, it's not just the cost of the childcare either is it, it's the fact that you have to leave work on the dot to collect kids... While the majority of men in whatever given industry, can stay late schmoozing clients and impressing the boss.

thelionessrichie Thu 24-Jan-13 13:40:05

No wonder the gender pay gap is so horrific given the mummy martyrdom that goes on angry

millie30 Thu 24-Jan-13 13:45:46

Childcare isn't a lifestyle choice, it's a necessity for many parents to hold down a job. Not even necessarily a full time career, but even those working part time minimum wage jobs often need some form of childcare. I usually like your posts NADM but that assertion is just ridiculous.

Pinkshaman Thu 24-Jan-13 13:51:56

Childcare definitely isn't a lifestyle choice in the scenario we are talking about. For me it's a necessity - without it I couldn't work and if I didn't work we'd have no money. Everything that is being provided for my two girls is provided by me - their Dad refuses to support them.

The NRP ends up with all sorts of choices that just aren't available to the RP in a situation like these we are talking about. My ex has just gone back to college. He can afford to do that as he doesn't have to concern himself with keeping an income coming and keeping his children housed and fed. He can opt to do overtime because he doesn't have to worry about being at home for the children, picking them up from childcare, taking them to hobbies. He just says "no, I can't" if I ask him for any help with things like this. Or will agree and then let me down. He has agreed to have dd so I can work at a weekend, then with a few days' notice told me he wouldn't. His contribution towards the children's unbringing either financially or emotionally is completely optional to him - as he has frequently demonstrated.

NotaDisneyMum Thu 24-Jan-13 13:53:54

There's a damn sight more to life than the amount you get paid, IMO!

Mummy martyrdom is a million miles from where I am - what a condescending phrase!

It was separation from my ex that provided me with the motivation to look at alternatives.
If its what you want to do, then that's great - but working full time and relying on expensive childcare is not the only way to feed DCs and keep a roof over their heads.

Pinkshaman Thu 24-Jan-13 16:38:20

Well of course there is, but how else do you provide for your children - where does the money comes from if you aren't earning it? I'm not sure I understand what you mean.

I need childcare because I work. I wouldn't be able to house and feed my children if I didn't work. It's not a lifestyle choice, it's a necessity.

purpleroses Thu 24-Jan-13 16:49:18

lioness - with the figures you've given would you be much better off financially dropping down to 4 days a week so your earnings fall below the tax credit threshold and you can get £140 a week tax credits just towards the childcare? You'd also get a day a week to spend with your DD and probably find your career doesn't suffer too badly.

Petal02 Thu 24-Jan-13 16:50:32

Financial inequalities after a divorce come in all shapes and sizes, not just child care. Take the non-resident father who needs a house with sufficient extra bedrooms to house children who only use them 1 or 2 nights per week, or the father who has to drive miles and miles for access pick-ups/drop-offs because the ex refuses to help with lifts. Or to draw on my DH’s experience, he has an ex who clearly never spent the maintenance payments on DSS, meaning DH not only paid maintenance but bought most of his clothes, nearly all shoes and 100% of school trips. Women don’t have the monopoly on being unfairly treated.

elliebellys Thu 24-Jan-13 17:15:53

Heard it all now.if childcare is a lifestyle choice,then i think all mums should give up workin nd if your single depend on benefits ,that way i could be at home with the kids, and not work til theyv,e left home.such a brilliant idea.

slowlycatchymonkey Thu 24-Jan-13 20:35:37

Oh my word NADM, are you joking? Lifestyle choice?

mumandboys123 Thu 24-Jan-13 20:42:08

But requiring childcare is a lifestyle choice!

seriously? I can just see the posts if I said I'd prefer to sit at home on benefits for the forseeable and that's my lifestyle choice 'cos childcare costs a fortune so I won't bother working anymore.

I have NO CHOICE but to go out to work full-time in order to support my children. I would prefer a balance of part-time work or work during school hours but unfortunately that isn't going to happen as although my children have two, healthy, working age parents, only one of us is contributing to their upbringing.

Unbelievable.

NotaDisneyMum Thu 24-Jan-13 22:50:05

There are plenty of alternatives to a full time WOH career if you are prepared to compromise your lifestyle - as I've discovered over the last three years.

If keeping a similar standard of living in terms of housing, food and clothing is important to you, then yes - you will have to work full time to achieve it, and cover the cost of childcare - but it is quite possible for part time work, self-employment, home working or flexible hours to provide adequately for a family who live a frugal life.

You may have times when you struggle - when you buy second hand uniform, sell items on eBay to cover bus money, have to say no to a school trip or tell the DCs to put a hat on if they're cold because you can't afford to put the heating on, but its still a choice.

I'm not saying its fair that NRP get the option to walk away from their financial responsibility - but I don't agree that RP have no choice but to spend thousands of pounds on childcare - that is only one of the options available to them.

thelionessrichie Fri 25-Jan-13 08:13:07

So why can't dad go part time or lower his standard if living?

Petal I know only too well that separated dads can suffer in lots of ways but I'm not talking about all if that. I was talking about childcare costs. That is all.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 25-Jan-13 08:20:22

Are you suggesting a situation where you say to your ex I'll go part time if you will ???

Of course, in an ideal world, both parents will maintain responsibility for their DCs.

But, whatever your ex chooses to do, you have choices too. It just isn't the case that Resident Parents have no choice but to pay thousands of pounds for childcare - they have lots of options open them which they can make totally independently of their DCs dad.

slowlycatchymonkey Fri 25-Jan-13 10:19:10

Lots of options? NADM are you living in the real world at all or pretending you do in order to justify this stance you're taking? Comments like this simply perpetuate the assumption that the buck stops with the resident parent!!!

Pinkshaman Fri 25-Jan-13 13:51:18

I think there may be some assumptions there NADM, and it's not quite as simple as you are suggesting. I'm not talking about thousands of pounds, and I don't work full-time. And it's not about hankering after a lifestyle I used to have - my life improved immeasurably in all ways after I left xh. DD has charity shop uniform, we ask for bursarys for school trips and all my work clothes are from charity shops or Primani.

The point is that any choices that I make will have an impact on the girls. XH doesn't take that into account. And even on my part-time hours I still need some childcare after school and during the holidays (as again he refuses to have her then) and it's an expense he doesn't have. And if chose to work only during school hours and not during holidays there simply wouldn't be enough money to support the girls - no matter how frugal I was (and I'm pretty good at making a pound out of a penny).

NotaDisneyMum Fri 25-Jan-13 14:13:40

pink - apologies for any offence, my posts were in response to another poster who has a 1000 pound a month childcare bill for full time hours with no tax credit support.

It sounds like you've already made choices to find a balance between your future career aspirations and the unfair demands of being a RP with no support from your ex - which is exactly what I was referring to when I said that we all have choices wink

Theydeserve Sat 26-Jan-13 18:58:31

thelionsrichie - you are being baited by NotaDisney and Petal02 who frequent the Step parenting forum with a distinct anti eXW and Steps interfering their lives by one of them. The other is usually more rational.

I totally understand where you and the OP are coming from. I have a fab job which pays well and I manage to by throwing everyball in the air at once to keep it, 2DCS and went for the live in au pair option as the easiest simplest solution to my childcare problems.

Does EXtwunt pay for anything - we we are averaging £122 pcm for 2 DCS in the past year!! He has no regualr contact calls at the last minute, tells au pair he will, will not pick them up through out the day and then huffs an puffs when I say no to him having them on their birthdays and Xmas. If I dare to mention time to myself, he says just get au pair to do - forgetting that just by doing school drop off and pick up 4 days per week she has done her hours.

His argument for not paying is that I earn enough and they are not suffering and he has to support his new CU next Tuesday and her two kids. She had also suggested that I pay for my 2 to go on holiday as a happy family with her and EX, as they could not afford to take 4 kids and her two £needed a holiday more than mine. He earns about £70000 pa, she earns about £800 pcm net and gets £800 pcm from her EXP.

What does maintenance cover - I think he should also cover 50% of the swimming lessons he insists on ( I agree with ) cricket lessons etc but fat chance of that and that will change over time and interest changes - or is that the mothers sole responsibility?. But hey, £62 per child per month really does not cover how he wants his DCs to be brought up

I do not see why I have to pay all the au pair costs, so he can work full time, she can do part time and I work full time to fund their lifestyle because that at the end of the day is what I am doing. Paying for his new shag and her children. If he did 50:50 which is what he alleges he wants then fine but... guess what he phoned at 1400 this PM, can not have them tonight there is a problem - ( translation - she does not want them) so bang goes my night out unless I pay au pair more money for his social life.

Do not get me started...........

NotaDisneyMum Sat 26-Jan-13 20:59:16

petal Do you want the label of 'c u next Tuesday' or would you prefer the label of 'new shag' wink I'm way past being offended by those terms - it says a lot about the exs who use it, though grin

I'm not sure really what I've been personally accused of - it seems rather disjointed - but if the argument is that au-pairs are an essential requirement for single RP and that NRP should contribute to half the cost - then I'm speechless.

My life is so far removed from the one that theydeserve and thelions describe as their own that it's as if we live on different planets smile for instance, I've been working all day today - but my DD has been with me, rather than in childcare that I expect my ex to pay half towards. In the past, I've had jobs that I have needed use childcare to fulfil - but I've chosen to change that. It might not be for everyone, but if I'd taken the same attitude as thelion which seems to be "I have no choice" then I wouldn't have known there were other options available to me.

allnewtaketwo Sat 26-Jan-13 21:47:41

"c u next Tuesday" hmm

I'm sure that's supposed to be an insult of some sort but wtaf?

elliebellys Sat 26-Jan-13 22:25:03

Disney with all due respect you have your dd just 2 weeks a month nd receive maintenance from your ex,not every one can work from home like you.its insultin to call it a lifestyle choice,but you just dont get that.

NotaDisneyMum Sat 26-Jan-13 22:40:01

ellie I don't work from home and its no more of an insult for me to suggest that childcare is a lifestyle choice than to insist that full time work/childcare is the only choice available to RP unless they want to be benefit scroungers, which is what lion has done.

And fwiw, my choices have not been made around my DDs contact with her Dad, my work and hours no longer revolve around his care of her - one of the reasons I changed my lifestyle is so that as DD got older, I was able to be more flexible to meet her needs; regardless of her Dads availability or commitment. Given the current economic climate, he may well make the choice soon to move away and be a EOW dad rather than lose his current income.

thelionessrichie Sun 27-Jan-13 09:10:14

I am looking forward to telling my boss tomorrow that I'm working a four day week and bringing my dd in to work with me grin

£180 a month hardly afforded me a lavish lifestyle, I'm no stranger to telling my dd to put a hat on to save the leccy.

Anyway that is all past tense. I live with my partner now and things are much easier.

Lostinsuffolk Sun 27-Jan-13 09:46:27

I've been reading this thread for a while now and have found it interesting on many levels. I do not think NADM or petal2 are baiting at all, merely offering a differ way of thinking and constructive comments as to how they would see things and act. This is forum for discussion after all! Theydeserve u clearly have a differ situation which sounds difficult at the best of times to deal with as I too would be mightily angry if plans got cancelled at the last minute that totally shot my night out to bits. I sympathise with u totally. I have to say ur terms for ur EX's new women are a little offensive but again, I get the aggro factor n see why u feel to use them.

I guess my point is not all EX's are scumbags. Some try v hard to do the right thing and pay for extras on top of basic CM and yes, if they're tight with their time for their own DCs then more fool them as the RP who has tried the best will probably have the best relationship with those DCs in the end.

Maybe I'm naive but my lasting thought is this. The DCs will vote with their feet one day and be the judges of who did their best for them. Regardless of lifestyle, presents etc. don't lose sight of what is the important factor here. U can't buy the love and respect of ur kids. smile

parttimer79 Sun 27-Jan-13 11:12:30

Sorry OP if the thread has moved on but to answer your original question my DP pays his ex CSA rate plus spousal maintenance (until youngest starts school) and she got enough capital in the settlement that she is mortgage free.
He also pays for any activities that the children do when they are with him. Childcare costs are not an issue as she is SAHM and will be until they are both in fulltime education - thereafter it is expected that childcare costs will be covered by CM.

Petal02 Sun 27-Jan-13 14:34:49

It still amazes me that new/second wives are given spiteful titles, such as "new shag" which incidentally doesn't offend me in the slightest. Because, like many other second wives, I played no part in the break-up of my DH's first marriage, I met him a few years later.

allnewtaketwo Sun 27-Jan-13 15:23:11

<<ponders to self>> which is worse, a new shag or an old shag

Theydeserve Sun 27-Jan-13 16:11:34

notadisney - at what point did I say an au pair was essential. For me as a single mum this would the simplest option and the one I felt gave my DCs the best security. The choice of juggling child minders, nursery, school etc and we had a spare room.

petal02- as to why new/second wives are given spiteful titles - let me clarify a few points on the step mum in my DCs life. I am aware that not all step mums are evil, my friend is a fab step mum and the relationship she has with their proper Mum is fantastic.However, lurk in the step forum, which I do to give me an insight to workings of the other sides mind - then there is constant theme of bad real Mums, no discipline, horrible DSCs, thieving stealing exes wanting more money and I deep ingrained wish in most threads that the step children did not exist.
1. She was my friend before.
2. She continued living with her partner and 2 DCS for over a year, telling her EX things were going well and to all around her, including her family - they thought it was great.
3. He found out and kicked her out - prompting after a year for my EX to move out of the spare room and into house with her.
4. She proceeded to text me to tell me EX was upset and about to do something - he had DCS at the time. Would not speak to me, continued texting saying she was coming to save him and would not tell me where he was but he was suicidal - I get hold of him, he is in his car, crying. REsult: I can not trust her or him with either DCS
5. She phoned up my work and made an anonymous formal complaint about me - result me suspended without pay!
6. She texts me to say eldest DC v wheezy can she give ventolin as EXH ignoring and she wants the best for the DCs.
7. My DCs are allowed no toys, clothes or evidence of their existence in the new house- it all comes back for me to wash, look after etc.
8. He has cancelled contact time at a whim for her - how do I know. He paid for their meal out on our joint bank account which is still active for paying the mortgage!!Two distraught DCS who had not seen Dad for two weeks.
9. More lies that I can not even begin to start on.
10. Tells my EX that I should pay for everything - excellent. how about getting off your serene backside and do some more work yourself.
11. This is the third marriage she has wrecked but the first with children involved
12. Latest trick : as one of my parents died a horrible painful death at the end of last year and EX was v close to my mother despite everything, she claimed to be pregnant and suffering first trimester ailments as the funeral etc was planned. On the one occasion she saw DCs, she managed to tell them she was pregnant - they were having enough turmoil in their life with out that timing. Result: 2 distraught DCS and v confused
13. 2 weeks after the funeral - she "miscarries" - fortuitously has D&C whilst EXH on a business trip. I had this confirmed by a mutual friend who she let slip to after a drunken night out!!

So I will call my DCS, step every name under the sun, but never infront of them

I am also aware my EX makes the choice to put her above his DCS which is inexcusable, I can not change their father but I can wish her every evil painful retribution known to man.

allnewtaketwo Sun 27-Jan-13 17:19:48

They deserve -whatever she is guilty of, she did not wreck your marriage. Your ex husband did that

JumpingJackSprat Sun 27-Jan-13 18:51:10

one thing i would say is dont assume you know what his finances are like. my dp's ex assumed his earnings which changed since they had broken up and presented him with a request for x amount a month extra based on csa. she was way off what he earns. his new partners earnings have nothing to do with it.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Sun 27-Jan-13 19:33:59

JumpingJack is absolutely right. Best thing to do is not assume to know his income. If he buys a new car it doesn't mean he's in good money, he could have a new partner with a good wage. And that's another good point, new partner's earnings are irrelevant. The nrp could be working in McDonald's and his partner could be a doctor, but maintenance will only reflect his earnings and not hers.

Catchingmockingbirds Sun 27-Jan-13 19:36:09

DS's dad pays the bare minimum CSA (when they can get it off him!) and nothing else.

Petal02 Sun 27-Jan-13 20:20:10

theydeserve you've clearly had a really dreadful time, but please don't let this distort your judgement of other people's situations. Don't tar us all with the same brush.

Theydeserve Sun 27-Jan-13 20:40:03

They both wrecked our marriage - the circumstances of the affair starting would out me to easily, so enough said on that.

He made his choices and my views on that are for him and me.

I have not spoken to her for 2 yrs and have no wish to. I want my DCs to see their Dad - which he fails to do, that is again his choice but he is influenced by her. I would like the lies to stop, the histrionics and the cruelty to my children. I would like some financial responsibility, not influenced by her. I never slag her off to the DCs, ( believe me eldest over heard me on the phone to my Best friend calling her the whore - I was then asked why she was a whore!) it brought me up short and since then have been exceptionally careful.

When the Ex gets slagged off by the steps and the one who left ( be that male or female) it really annoys me. We still have mutual friends, so am well aware what is sprayed around. eg, I was allegedly sitting outside her house all evening and follwoing her in my car - told to a mutual friend - problem was I was sitting with said friend 120 miles away in my own house!!!!

thelionessrichie Mon 28-Jan-13 07:11:57

To me, this isn't about tarring anyone, good dad/bad dad/home wrecker etc and I think (although your story is horrible deserve) that talking about specific dads doesn't prove anything about other dads or how fair or unfair things are for separated mothers.

It is widely accepted by people who believe men and women should have equal rights, that in a relationship where both parents are working, the cost of the childcare that is necessary falls on both parents and not just mum. So where there is a separation I see no reason why mum should be required to either pay the full amount, or have to take the decision to halt/ hinder her career and financial security in order to reduce childcare costs, while dad continues to work scot-free. It is a complete nonsense.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 28-Jan-13 08:55:44

lioness Men and womens rights aren't the issue - its the DCs rights that are paramount.

If a court has judged that the best thing for your DCs is that you are their primary carer, with regular contact with their Dad, then how you each achieve that is (imo) your own responsibility.

Its clear that you resent the financial burden that the court order has placed on you. If your solicitor had made it clear in court that you weren't able/willing to provide the care for your DCs that CAFCASS were recommending because you are committed to your career and the financial implications were too excessive, then I'm sure that the order would have been different and care would have been more equally split - courts rarely place DCs in the primary care of an unwilling parent.

thelionessrichie Mon 28-Jan-13 09:08:07

Oh please do one. I'm hardly an unwilling parent. Don't be so patronising. I'm pleased you've found some way of supporting your child with you alternative means of earning that doesn't involve doing what everyone else has to. Maybe you should write a book as you seem to have discovered something that the rest of us are clearly too stupid to see. Maybe it's just easier to manage a cupcake empire or Avon round or whatever it is when your ex is willing to take 50/50 care.. I don't know, but back in the real world, I'm not ending up with no pension or assets to leave my dd/ earn income on to put her through uni etc while her dad profits from the free care I would give. Nor was I wiling for dd and I to live on peanuts while, again, he had no childcare issues. It IS a women's rights issue. Woman are turned down for jobs often because if the assumption that childcare will fall on them, or that they'll be asking for 3/4 days a week once their feet are under the table.
Get your head out of your arse and start expecting more.

allnewtaketwo Mon 28-Jan-13 09:17:46

I really do think NADM has a good point there though. Often, courts award residency to the mother based on her wanting majority residency. If she felt she was unable to afford this and Therefore that responsibility would be more equitably achieved with day 50:50, then that ought to have been the goal rather than majority care. Now clearly if the father wants only minimal time with the children then that is a different issue. But a mother wanting majority care but also wanting to dictate how the father pays for this, whilst he really wanted more time with the children, does have a "wanting your cake and eating it" ring to it

thelionessrichie Mon 28-Jan-13 09:25:02

I'm fairly sure I said a few times down the thread that he didn't want more than what he has as it didn't fit in with his work commitments.

allnewtaketwo Mon 28-Jan-13 09:31:26

The lioness, young well have, but this isn't actually your thread wink. I was addressing the generic point made by NADM

allnewtaketwo Mon 28-Jan-13 09:31:55

"you may well have"

thelionessrichie Mon 28-Jan-13 10:08:55

I thought you meant that she had a point in her argument with me... That's how it read.

Petal02 Mon 28-Jan-13 10:10:39

But a mother wanting majority care but also wanting to dictate how the father pays for this, whilst he really wanted more time with the children, does have a “wanting your cake and eating it” ring to it.

Excellent point.

Xalla Mon 28-Jan-13 11:55:07

I'll second that Petal. It is an excellent point.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 28-Jan-13 12:37:04

get your head out of your arse and start expecting more

If financial security, assets and a pension are accompanied by such rude intolerance, you can keep it, thank you!

You've made your choice and I've made mine; but you clearly think that I'm somehow letting the sisterhood down by having such low aspirations, and that all single mothers should do it your way, and be supported by their DCs Dad wink

I no longer have the desire to pursue the things you refer to; I would prefer to give my DD other things in life - but whatever my choice is, I do not expect my DDs Dad to agree or support me to do it.

Pinkshaman Mon 28-Jan-13 13:18:35

But we're not talking here about a woman who wants her cake and eat it too. It's a man who doesn't want more contact, and is able to earn as much or as little as he likes and he doesn't have to take into account the additional expense of childcare. Same as my ex - he can do whatever he likes and doesn't have to take into account what effect it will have on his children and how they are going to be cared for.

And even if there is a court order which means that by having majority care someone has effectively agreed to that additional "financial burden", it doesn't mean that you feel that having that additional expense is fair. It's still ok to say "yes, but this part of it is not right" - and it far from means that someone who thinks that way is an unwilling parent. The unwilling parent is the one who doesn't consider the childrens' needs and care while making their decisions.

thinksobutnotsure Mon 28-Jan-13 13:25:45

"And even if there is a court order which means that by having majority care someone has effectively agreed to that additional "financial burden", it doesn't mean that you feel that having that additional expense is fair. It's still ok to say "yes, but this part of it is not right"

I really don't agree. With every decision comes consequences. Sometimes a great decision has some personal disadvantages - that's what decisions are about, weighing up the pros and cons. Not just expecting the pros and pros

thelionessrichie Mon 28-Jan-13 19:00:07

That's a real shame notadisneymum, not least for your daughter.

allnewtaketwo Tue 29-Jan-13 07:39:59

thelioness I'm sure NADM's daughter does not need you to feel her mother's choices are a shame for her hmm

How smug and self righteous to assume NADM's choices for her child are somehow inferior to your own

Pinkshaman Tue 29-Jan-13 08:31:21

I agree thinkso, that isn't what I meant though. You can be fully aware of all the negatives of something you agree to. You "suck them up" because overall it's the best decision - it doesn't mean that you agree with them.

Itssnowingagain Tue 29-Jan-13 08:38:21

Allnew, great point on cake etc.
Dh ex really thought she had it made: she wanted and was awarded prime residency, therefore receiving max cm, she also wanted to continue to work full-time so dc were put in private schools offering tutoring and activities until 6 pm, for which dh still pays half the costs, on top of v generous cm. she also got him to pay half for summer activities planned for her time with them, half for every damn thing she could think of in fact. Oh, yes, that included services of au pair, too, as she loves socializing and is hardly home during work week. She hates me because I made it clear to dh I was not funding our new life together alone (met 2 yrs after their divorce) and he had better stop pandering to her nonsense. She also had him mind dc twice a week at her place until midnight, on top of eow. Her parents jump in now as dc stay overnight once a week with us instead, and eow.
Sorry, long rant. Dc now 12 and 16, so au pair gone, all extras funded from cm, private school still funded extra, but part of divorce settlement. Her dc reward her selfishness and obvious greed by pushing to move in with us, and yes, we have a simple lifestyle, we don't own bikes, let alone a car! Dc also hate being incarcerated all week, oldest dc already changed schools, younger waiting to follow.
Don't want to offend anybody here, just want to point out there are plenty of b****es on both sides of parenting spectrum and we should not be attacking each other here. Obviously those who are doing well for themselves feel NO NEED TO POST HERE.

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