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.

MadameLeBean Tue 24-Sep-13 06:04:42

Nickname this is partly why I never asked for maintenance I did not want him having a hold over me and I did not realise how much I would need the money.

Driz Tue 24-Sep-13 06:16:17

How can you not want your child's father to pay, but you expect your current Partner to pay for a child that is not his? Do you split all other bills 50:50, except childcare? because if that is the case he is already heavily subsidising your child which is bloody ridiculous.

Driz Tue 24-Sep-13 06:18:15

And he already offered to pay for the car? He is a fool and you are a freeloader. Sleep easy

MadameLeBean Tue 24-Sep-13 06:20:01

Driz he is not subsidising - we are on equal incomes after childcare etc (until he starts new job) and we split other things 50-50. I would not be able to contribute more than 50% to other things as there is simply not enough money coming in! He would not expect me to either! He thinks it's fair that I meet child costs and we split other things equally and I agree with that. Even if I got money from the CSA that would go towards dd's costs.

MadameLeBean Tue 24-Sep-13 06:21:42

Did you mean to be so rude? Partnership is a team! Without his dad's help we couldn't afford to run the car. It makes sense if DP is on more money to meet that cost rather than sponge off his generous dad. I am not in a position to pay for that. It's his choice.

Driz Tue 24-Sep-13 06:22:49

How is he not subsidising? He is helping to pay for your child's food and heat and a roof over their head. He should absolutely sort himself out, whether it be a pension, or other investments or even some fucking fun. Do you really think that it is fair that he has to pay for your child?

Driz Tue 24-Sep-13 06:23:14

Yes I actually did

MadameLeBean Tue 24-Sep-13 06:31:35

He is going to sort himself out with more pension and more fun and all that, anyway. I find it strange that you use this language of subsidising - when we got together he knew he would be taking on dd as well.

Driz Tue 24-Sep-13 06:34:56

Really? Maybe he meant emotionally? Which is a noble thing to do. But seriously why should he subsidise her financially when she has a father who could be paying for her, but you can't be bothered to ask?

MadameLeBean Tue 24-Sep-13 06:48:43

I'm no longer going to engage with your aggressive posts. It's not that I "can't be bothered" to ask, which is clear from my posts. In fact thanks in part to others thoughtful answers I think I need to try and get maintenance. I'm not looking for validation on whether my current situation is fair. DP and I feel it is. That is not up for discussion. I was asking about when circs change.

MadameLeBean Tue 24-Sep-13 06:50:29

And if I get £250 a month maintenance is is not going to mean I suddenly pay 2/3 of all food and bills. It will mean that I can pay for dd's costs without struggling to meet 50% of food and bills.

Inertia Tue 24-Sep-13 06:50:54

It's perfectly reasonable to split bills in proportion to amount earned, and I don't understand why your DP begrudges making a contribution to the household if you are paying child related costs. Do you get CB and if so is that spent exclusively on DD? Is there a danger that DP 's new job will reduce CB entitlement? If so you should carry on claiming and let him deal with his tax return.

It seems wildly unfair that you cannot go to the csa - worth investigating that further.

Driz Tue 24-Sep-13 06:57:37

You needed an Internet forum to help you decide you should seek maintenance? I wouldn't demean myself by expecting my partner to pay for my child/luxuries.

nicknamegame Tue 24-Sep-13 07:06:32

Madame- ignore the foul and aggressive posts from Driz. You are doing nothing wrong in expecting your partner not to leave you struggling while he has disposable income. If you didn't have a child I would (and suspect many others) would be saying the same things. He KNEW you had a child when you moved in together!
As for the maintenence- I know exactly where you're coming from, hence my earlier post. Some parents do not want to pay and make you feel like the scum of the earth for asking. If you can get it, great, but I don't think your partner (or anyone on here) should be forcing you to engage in a battle with someone who made you mentally unwell. That is bloody crazy. confused

Driz Tue 24-Sep-13 07:13:05

Struggling to pay the cleaner is not most people's definition of 'struggling' nicknamegame. I don't think her partner should leave her to starve, but it sounds to me that the OP is bemoaning not having enough money to put into her pension, or pay the cleaner, not worrying about having a roof over her head or paying the bills. She chose to have a child, she should pay for that child (along with the other person who brought that child into the world)

MadameLeBean Tue 24-Sep-13 07:13:10

Thanks nickname

I am fortunate to be with a DP who is an excellent communicator and we would not want there to be any feeling of unfairness or resentment on either of our sides so we'll hash it out until we are both happy.

But we have agreed to investigate the legal position as I don't think it's rightthat ex has no financial responsibility. But I did not realise that was weird until recently - I thought that since I get the privilege of dd living with me most of the time her dad shouldn't have to give me money; but I realise that is wrong now.

roughtyping Tue 24-Sep-13 07:14:54

Driz, you're being rude and ridiculous.

I agree with nickname. DH is not my son's biological father, but would do anything to look after DS & I. In fact, because for ages I was working as a supply teacher and has a v variable income, DS's childcare vouchers come from DH's salary.

No one would dream of saying I was 'freeloading' hmm, we're a family unit, all our money is for all of us.

MadameLeBean Tue 24-Sep-13 07:16:39

I have gotten into debt paying 50% of everything on top of covering dd costs on my own because I wanted stuff to be equal. Now DP will have more money I think extra things eg cleaner might have to be paid for by him should he choose to do that to give us as a family a better quality of life.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Tue 24-Sep-13 07:20:08

nickname Each to their own; I don't think I'd want a relationship with a knight in shining armour. Your DP has enabled you to avoid a difficult/unpleasant situation rather than supporting you to deal with it - and in doing so you have chosen to become dependant on him. I want a partner who supports me to face up to the hard, difficult, challenging things in life - not one who steps in and fixes things for me so I can run away.

Dare I ask what your plans are if he was no longer around? I hope any arrangements that your DP has put in place to support you and your DD if anything should happen to him are not to the detriment of any other DCs he has. If that is the case, and anything should happen to him, then you may well find yourself facing another difficult situation, having to fight for what he wanted to happen.

roughtyping Tue 24-Sep-13 07:22:30

China, I know that wasn't directed to me, but - DS's dad pays maintenance; DH and I both have life insurance; our savings (ha) are joint; I have a job of my own. I've lived as a LP before and could do it again.

MadameLeBean Tue 24-Sep-13 07:32:35

He has no dc of his own. If he were no longer around dd and I would have to move house somewhere smaller and I'd manage.

China I agree with you I do not want a knight in shining armour that is why I am questioning all this. I have always been proud and independent that is why I insisted on splitting everything 50-50.

When we got together he supported me in court (ex and I split years previously, court was because I was moving further away so contact arrangement would need to change) and DP and I both understood that I would not be asking for maintenance (my lawyer did not advise me differently)

MadameLeBean Tue 24-Sep-13 07:35:09

Oh and in the years prior to court there was no maintenance as dd lived with me 60% and dad 40% so he paid towards things eg nursery, clothes, in line with that.

Pipparivers Tue 24-Sep-13 07:42:38

Some posts on here are ridiculous.

You are living with a man as a family unit, this is why if you could before you can no longer claim tax credits as a lone parent. Whereas you could if you lived in a flat share. The government/benefits system views you as a team. One of you should not be worrying about money whilst the other is flashing the cash.

The ex should also be paying his fair share of maintenance.

MadameLeBean Tue 24-Sep-13 07:53:44

Good points pippa. If I were alone I could claim tax credits etc. DP is not my housemate. When I lived with one and we shared food shopping I paid 2/3 of it for me and dd. I claimed things as a LP.
DP and I own a house together we are getting married soon. We are a team but I do agree that I should do everything possible to make sure DP is not having to make up for ex not paying a jot

nicknamegame Tue 24-Sep-13 08:09:08

I agree with the previous poster.

China- quite a lot of assumptions to make there, don't you think?
Knight in shining armour? No. Just no. My ex was paying a measly £100pcm more than he does now before he cut it, so I have not ever been able to rely on his contribution to pay for everything I needed. Sure, £200 was better than £100, but it still didn't touch the sides when my childcare bill was 550 a month, before I so much as paid for a pair of shoes. I owned my own home(still do) when I met DP, own car, professional salary and enough to take dd on holiday etc. Through my DP we have a nicer house, nicer holidays, etc, but I would certainly not be lost without my DP. For the record, if me and DP split, I certainly would not put myself through the strain of chasing my ex down the road for his paltry pathetic £100 that he feels is worth spending on his other children, but not ours.

My DP has no children of his own. He simply sees us as a family and I'm really surprised at your somewhat simplistic and clinical view of a partnership. He hasn't 'rescued me' and to say you'd rather be with someone who 'challenges you -well that's another assumption you've made right there. So if your partner supports you to not chase a reluctant parent to pay for their child, because it will cause untold stress to your family life- that means he isn't challenging me? I simply don't understand this viewpoint. Why aren't you taking into account the other variables I've pointed out about the stress it causes, the mental health issues it has caused the OP.

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.

RinseAndRepeat Tue 24-Sep-13 18:08:56

I mainly meant on The Other Boards Cups.

But you're right, it does become a source of resentment.

OP I think you really owe it to your DP and your DC to force the CSA issue with your ex. It's not really fair on them otherwise if you're expecting everyone to put up with the status quo because you are scared of having the conversation.

thebighouse Tue 24-Sep-13 18:32:08

Iloveweetos: ex is self employed through his own company (sounds like op). Therefore he only has 5k earnings on 100k turnover.

He spent tens of thousands on solicitors and accountants. I gave up in the end.

We do have 50:50 childcare which he insisted on 'so I would never see a penny of his money'.

I gave up my career to raise my babies and I'm now financially shafted. That's the way the system works, it seems.

nicknamegame Tue 24-Sep-13 19:25:00

I made an enquiry to the CSA a year ago about my situation. I explained that ex takes a lot more clients than he declares, therefore his books will not highlight any 'lies' that would be obvious to them. I also told them he had just bought a holiday home but put in his wife's name- they said they could not touch that and wait for it....he had the 'right to be believed' based on the tax returns etc that he would supply.

I chose not to bother with an application after this 'chat' and believe me, my ex had no trouble spending thousands taking me to court, only to end up with essentially what he had, yet won't support our child financially.

I dont believe the CSA are as effective as you think in all honesty.

thebighouse Tue 24-Sep-13 20:54:35

I'm afraid you are right. Self-employed/company accounts and he gets off Scott free. After all, he's only got 5k a year to live on!

ChinaCupsandSaucers Tue 24-Sep-13 20:55:38

I chose not to bother with an application after this 'chat'

And if I were your partner, I would resent you for that.

Applying for CSA help and getting nothing from your ex is very different from not bothering to apply, IMO.

If your DP is happy with the situation, then great - but I couldn't live with myself in either your or your DPs position, sorry.

thebighouse Tue 24-Sep-13 21:01:05

If her husband is self employed he will be declaring an income of around 5k a year. THAT will be what the CSA will use as the figure for maintenance.

Plus he will go to court and dispute the court order.

PLUS he will be fucking furious and controlling, from the sounds of it.

If I was your partner, I'd be understanding and proud that you'd escaped a bullying fuckwit.

nicknamegame Tue 24-Sep-13 22:34:18

What Bighouse said, with bells on.

I was pretty much told there was NO POINT by the very CSA themselves.

He is abusive, he would spend thousands to see me not get a penny. He has already proved this by putting me through hell in court- and I mean hell. You're not actually listening when I say all this, preferring instead to believe I just can't be arsed. If my OP resented the £100 ex has stolen from my child, as you put it, I would frankly be questioning my relationship. I prefer to stay off the anti-depressants than face the backlash that I would get from exp. If you think that makes me a failure, I can live with that.

In fact, I would have to pay to launch the application, more insult to more injury.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Tue 24-Sep-13 23:04:25

In fact, I would have to pay to launch the application, more insult to more injury.

Nope. You wouldn't, unless you have 4 or more DCs with your ex and have never opened a claim before.

I'm refering to the current CSA system in the UK - as is the OP. Which system are you subject to?

MadameLeBean Tue 24-Sep-13 23:05:46

Ex is not self employed. I can see how that would make it harder to make a claim. My sympathies are with those of you who are having to deal with someone who can evade their responsibilities that way.

nicknamegame Wed 25-Sep-13 09:05:03

My understanding of the new legislation was that parents were required to pay a fee to the CSA if they couldn't agree it between themselves. Have I got that wrong?
Based on this thread, i asked ex last night whether he was still self employed, he informed me (in between a load of nasty agressive texts) that he had moved to being a limited company. This means I can now check company house, although having been with him for a long time and knowing his not very scrupulous business practices - he will not be providing the CSA with figures that make him look like anything other than a pauper.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Wed 25-Sep-13 09:21:53

My understanding of the new legislation was that parents were required to pay a fee to the CSA if they couldn't agree it between themselves. Have I got that wrong?

The new rules are being rolled out gradually; currently only new cases involving 4 or more DCs all with the same NRP and no additional DCs to consider are being assessed under the new rules. It'll take years for it to be rolled out to all new cases, never mind existing ones!

If you call the CSA, give them details of your ex, they will put the wheels in motion. Yes he might gloat and brag you won't get a penny, but ignore him!

With greater co-operation between the CSA and HMRC these days, and more willingness on the part of the CSA to make adjustments based on lifestyle, you've got nothing to lose, and your DCs have a great deal to gain.

I think it's the responsibility of every RP to keep up to date with systems and benefits that are designed to help them - its morally reprehensible, IMO, to rely on the state (or someone else) to support your DC because you choose not to find out about what help and support you are entitled to.

purpleroses Wed 25-Sep-13 09:22:04

I think the new system hasn't come in yet for most people. So no fees yet. Even if your ex is earning £5000 a year on the books you should still get £5 a week, which can pay for something useful (a club or something for the DC that you might not otherwise be able to afford)

basgetti Wed 25-Sep-13 09:59:56

It is morally reprehensible for NRPs to fiddle their finances and refuse to support their DCs.

It is a bit arrogant to tell a poster they have 'nothing to lose' when they have clearly stated the emotional abuse and legal battles to which they have been subjected. Sometimes people need to be able to move on for the sake of their own sanity and if this means accepting less or no money then so be it. It is rare for a lone parent to be so wealthy that they can easily write off such money so I would assume the alternative had been pretty awful and give them some sympathy.

Put the blame where it belongs.

nicknamegame Wed 25-Sep-13 11:08:30

Thanks for that basgetti- it feels to me that there is some serious misappropriation of the blame here.

China- Morally reprehensible? You cannot be serious! For one,( and I've already said this) I do not rely on my DP. I was a homeowner before I met him, have never ever claimed on benefits (but thank god the option would be there if I needed to) and the absence of my DP would not prompt me to start the CSA process. My ex pays £100. He used to pay £200. The loss of the £100 is something I've sucked up - and would continue to suck up if my DP left.

I do however stand by what I said in response to the OP, that my DP considers us a team, and because he earns more than me, we have a better standard of living because of him. I earn a decent salary however, and would still live a good enough life without him. If he considered me morally reprehensible because I don't want to go through the inevitable anguish that yet another legal battle would cause, I would actually end the relationship.

In fact, my DP paid for my 12k legal battle when my ex dragged me to court 3 times. Every single penny of it.

Is that morally reprehensible too?!

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