Money troubles - please help.

(71 Posts)
Lala1980 Mon 21-Apr-14 17:58:15

Hi - I was wondering if anyone has been in a similar situation before, and could give me/us some advice. DP has 4 children that stay with us EOW and some school holidays. DP pays his maintenance as per the CSA, but on our shoestring budget, cannot afford anymore, although he would love to be able to. I can only go by what the children say, and what we can see, but their mother does not seem to steward this money well in terms of things she has for herself (which I can go into further if you wish), but key things the kids are lacking. For example, DSD told me she was worried about the weather being wet this week, as she has to go to school in her daps. I said, what about your school shoes? She says they broke, and mummy can't afford to buy her any more. It breaks my heart, as we can't afford to buy her any, as DP has no money spare after he pays his maintenance, and puts by the money we need to feed them when they stay with us. What can we do? I suggested he buys some and docks it from his maintenance payment, but he says that is illegal. I know how to live on an extremely tight budget, and know that their mother does have enough money to look after the children sufficiently if she budgeted properly, and prioritized. I can't tell her how to spend her money, and that it not my place, but when I see the children suffering as a result, and we are unable to help, I don't know what to do. Can anyone offer us any advice? I know when they divorced DP proposed paying his maintenance by paying for clothes, shoes, school trips, food vouchers etc and putting any leftover in a savings account for the kids, but this was declined in desire for cash. Is there anything we can do?

nomoretether Mon 21-Apr-14 18:17:59

Nope. The maintenance is exWs to spend the way she chooses. If your DP can't afford anything above CM then there isn't anything you can do at all I'm afraid. Maintenance also needs to cover her rent, heating, electricity, water etc which would all be lower if she didn't have the responsibility of having children 12 nights out of 14.

Not sure what daps are but as long as she has shoes on her feet, that's the main thing. Your DP could mention it to exW in case she hasn't noticed the shoes need replacing but that's about all.

Lala1980 Mon 21-Apr-14 18:29:07

Daps are canvas (non-waterproof) shoes.
Their mother is on benefits - please advise me, as I have always worked to pay my way, so I have no experience of this - is it like on TV and in the media that it is more beneficial financially to be on benefits than to work? Or is the media portrayal only representing a minority of cases?
Their mother seems to be able to afford a number of things that I gave up when times were hard, such as smoking, nights out, new clothes, Sky TV, nicer cars. I guess I just find it unfair on the kids. And why take on a new puppy and get pregnant again, if you can't afford to look after the ones you already have? I am sorry, and expect to be shot down, but it is just my opinion. We would take on the kids in a flash if we could afford the custody battle, and make sacrifices to ensure they were well looked after. We work hard to earn our money, and steward it extremely carefully.

There's not really anything you can do if you can't afford to get her any yourselves. You can get school shoes in supermarkets for £10-15 though, perhaps you could offer £5 towards them?

Lala1980 Mon 21-Apr-14 18:40:10

That's a good idea AppleAndBlackberry. Do you think in voucher form would be okay though, as I don't trust giving cash that it would be spend where it was intended...

nomoretether Mon 21-Apr-14 18:40:36

Her being on benefits, getting pregnant or having a puppy hasn't got anything to do with it and as frustrating as it is, you need to let it go. You cannot control her finances. She could be up to her eyeballs in debt, you just don't know. There's nothing you can do and you're wasting your energy thinking about it - I mean this in the nicest possible way. I know this isn't what you want to hear but you'd be better off putting your energy into generating a bit of income to cover the missing essentials. You can pick up shoes very cheaply from Primark or Asda. Perhaps offer to go halves with the exW.

fedupbutfine Mon 21-Apr-14 19:54:43

hmm. Are you for real?

Malificentmaud Mon 21-Apr-14 22:35:06

Couldn't you say the same for your dp "why have more children if they can't afford it"?

You do need to let go. If there's a serious welfare issue then report her and have the kids

alita7 Mon 21-Apr-14 22:38:56

I totally feel your pain.

Before dp got made redundant and opted to go on carers allowance for a bit while we settle dsd 3 properly (she has ld) and because we couldn't afford to live due to csa. They wanted £80 out of £200 a week because he earned £270 one week when he covered for an ill colleague and they said they assess you on your maximum earnings????
I'm a student nurse and have a small bursary.
If she didn't get dla we wouldn't have been able to pay rent let alone buy food. We couldn't claim maintenance from her mum as she doesn't work. They added money on when they realised dsd 3 was with us not her mum?! They don't consider that the non resident parent of one child might have children who live with them to support and pay rent for or If you live in an area where all 2 beds are at least £800.
And his ex has a car, smoked, sky tv ,goes to the pub so often the kids are always texting complaining they are bored stuck in the pub with mum etc so there were we struggling to feed 1 child and they had 8 between them and could still do all of those things.

So it would make my blood boil to be in your position! People saying could you go halves etc - what if they really can't? and if the mum is in debt and still buying all those things then wtf?
I totally get where you are coming from maintenance is meant to cover child care if her child doesn't have appropriate foot wear then she needs to sacrifice something.

alita7 Mon 21-Apr-14 22:40:23

maleficient it doesn't say he has any more kids?

I agree you probably can't do much about it unless you do talk to her. But it doesn't stop you being able to moan about it!

prawnypoos Tue 22-Apr-14 14:29:00

You obviously care a great deal for these kids. It makes me do mad when I hear about mothers (and fathers) who can afford to go out drinking, drive nice cars, have designer clothes, sky tv and obviously prioritise all of these very materialistic things above their own children. To the poster who said she probably has bills, rent and food to pay for then take into consideration what OP said - she would find that much easier if she stopped all of her unnecessary outgoings (it all adds up) women like this make me so mad. I know from my own experience of having to pay bills and rent and DPs ex is sending DSD in clothes that dont fasten because they are too small or too tight or sending her in a t shirt in the middle of winter, even though she gets £180 a month in maintainence and yes, is on benefits too!!

Malificentmaud Tue 22-Apr-14 19:22:11

Alita.. I meant the four he has with his ex. If he can't afford maintenance then I imagine he couldn't afford to support them all so by Op's logic he shouldn't have had four...

It is annoying when you see CM being spent on nought that benefits the children. My DH hands over 400 a month for one teen and we still have to pay for school dinners, trips, pocket money and mobile phone angry

Malificentmaud Tue 22-Apr-14 19:22:58

OP how much does he actually pay?

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Tue 22-Apr-14 19:37:49

Are you sure that DSD doesn't have adequate school shoes? Could it be either a) her "daps" are trendier so she thought she would bring only those & tell you she has no others OR b) mum can afford more school shoes but wanted your DP to buy them instead so sent DSD shoeless to force you into action (i.e. to buy the proper shoes).

I only ask because I've known of a very similar thing happening with my niece (she had Clarks school shoes at home, but took her trendy shoes to Dad's house claiming they were all she had) grin.

alita7 Tue 22-Apr-14 19:39:57

maud that may or may not be the case, I think we could better afford dsd 1 and 2 living with us than the maintenance.
Also maybe he had a better financial situation then, when they broke up he might have lost the house and now be renting, he may have had to move away to afford rent and had to change jobs. unrelated changes may have occurred.

Malificentmaud Tue 22-Apr-14 22:03:41

Circumstances could have changed too..

Not sure why I'm on one, I'm usually 100% for sm gringrin I think OP's post just sounded a bit as though all the blame is on Mum when in reality, dealing with four kids and an ex who is reluctant to pay maintenance in line with CSA (if in fact mum is aware of that) must be tough going. Just to play devils advocate, she may be on benefits as childcare for four is sooo expensive. Would Ops husband be prepared to pay half of the childcare costs if mum went out to work and could no longer provide the care herself?

I get pissed of with Dh's ex as they only have one, and she's 15 now so no care needed. I feel like four little ones is probably a full time job and as such I wouldn't want to condemn her too quickly

alita7 Wed 23-Apr-14 00:32:48

I see where you're coming from maud - I don't think it's fair if a dad just decides he's not paying when he's got the money, but my experience and that of many people I've spoken to is that csa sometimes think you can pay more than you can (especially if you've got other dependants) so I think they only seem reluctant because they're struggling to live. Does that make sense?

Anyway even if I could afford to live comfortably it would annoy me if I was paying plenty of money to the ex and my kids didn't have enough clothes and shoes while the ex had plenty of luxuries!

Lala1980 Wed 23-Apr-14 08:01:46

FedUpButFine - yes I am for real - I live in the real world where people work for a living, and prioritise their children's needs above their own.
Thank you Alita and Prawny - I do care for the kids and feel incredibly sorry for them. Santas - we know this from the school - DSD didn't come over in daps, but some Ugg-style boots a neighbour had given her, but she isn't allowed those for school, plus I am led to believe they are slouchy and not supportive of the ankle joint.
Maud - DP pays absolutely in line with CSA and has never paid any less, and when he can more. DPs ex is one of these who didn't work even before she had so many children. And once the youngest started school, she still didn't get a job. Just carried on sitting on her arse claiming benefits. That's what annoys me - benefits are for people in real need who physically or mentally CAN'T work. It gives the poor kids a warped sense of real life - the oldest said to me when I asked him what he wanted to be when he grows up, he said "Why would I want to get a job? You and Daddy work hard and don't have any money, mummy doesn't have a job and she has lots of money"...
If the kids lived with us, we would prioritize the available money and put the kids first. You know, I was watching something on TV last night, and Tom Kerridge was on saying "When I was young, my mum was a single mum, and she worked two jobs to support us"... that is the proper old fashioned way - working for a living, regardless of situation. People nowadays seem too happy to sit back and expect to be sorted out by someone else.
I'm sorry I sound idealistic and on my high horse, but it really bugs me, and I came on here to vent, hoping other people might understand my frustration.

Malificentmaud Wed 23-Apr-14 09:09:24

Lala, I agree with your last post 100%.

But I do think that four kids is a game changer and that on deciding to have that many kids both mum and dad are in for a lifetime of strife. It's rarely as easy as just getting a job when the youngest goes to school. Saying that, she seems like the type who has never been up for working even with one or none. Which begs the question as to why your DH had four kids with her... Given that it would be him supporting them forever?

I'm kind of in the same boat. My DH moans about how lazy his ex wife is and how he has to support their dd and her as she won't work... But according to his sisters, she has never worked... And I mean never yet he is surprised that after having his child she wasn't one for doing the whole "single mum works two jobs" etc etc that would come naturally to us on this thread

Malificentmaud Wed 23-Apr-14 09:13:54

Maybe they just didn't see the light until they met us gringrin

fedupbutfine Wed 23-Apr-14 10:04:31

yes I am for real - I live in the real world where people work for a living, and prioritise their children's needs above their own.

sigh. Maybe look at it from another perspective: your partner was happy to have 4 children with a woman who had never worked. Not one child....4. He was therefore happy to endorse her not working by having so many children with her. The relationship broke down and she is now left with the uneviable task of bringing up 4 children on her own. If she has never worked, she is unlikely to get a job earning more than minimum wage. Assuming all 4 children need some kind of childcare (ie are primary age or younger), once benefits have been reduced to take into account income, even with Tax Credits picking up 70% of childcare costs, it is highly unlikely she would be better off. Better off in the sense that on paper, there is more money coming in, yes. But worse off because more will have to go out on essentials. That's the reality of the system for single parents with children who require childcare.

Plenty of hard-working people with plenty of money coming in struggle to purchase school shoes if the need appears at just the wrong part of the month. But only single mums on benefits get judged for it. How could you possibly know that mum isn't prioritising her money 'right'? How could you possibly know she has 'enough money' to look after the children 'properly'? Enough money overall, probably. But right now, when school shoes need buying?

Somewhat amusingly, you decline to answer the question about how much is paid in maintenance, choosing instead to say it's what they CSA says he has to pay. The CSA says my ex has to pay £5 a week but this goes no where near the true cost of supporting 3 children, does it?

You may also want to consider the 'red flags' thrown up involving yourself with a man who rather than pay maintenance, considers 'food vouchers' and 'savings' an acceptable form of child support.

And no, I'm not a single mum on benefits. Just a realist who has lived the system and understands that things are rarely what they seem.

alita7 Wed 23-Apr-14 11:41:30

But we don't know that he wanted to have 4 kids with her - she may have engineered accidents and yes he could have tried to be more careful BUT if a woman wants to get pregnant (without fertility problems) then short of the snip there's not much you can do, I've heard of women fetching sperm out of condoms :O

Why do we need to know how much he pays, if he works you can assume that with 4 kids he probably pays 30 - 40 % of his earnings as the max is 40%.
you only pay around £5 if you're on benefits yourself.

I think the point is being missed - they are paying all the can afford in maintenance and the op thinks that the money is not being used for the kids or even things that benefit them like rent, but for the mums luxuries, sure she can have those if she makes sure the kids are clothed and fed appropriately but surely even if she wasn't getting any maintenance she should be looking after the kids before buying herself extras!
How would it be fair for the father to potentially have to go in arrears in rent or go without food (worst case scenario) in order to buy all the things the kids need, on top of maintenance, while the mum can afford extras.

I am also of the opinion that there should be the option for at least 50% of maintenance to be given in food, kids clothing or rent? vouchers.

fedupbutfine Wed 23-Apr-14 12:55:38

No, he doesn't pay 40% of his wages in child maintenance unless he has arrears. The maximum any NRP pays out in maintenance through the CSA is 25%. You only pay £5 if you're on benefits isn't true - my ex works but is self employed and is more than capable of legally manipulating his book-keeping to keep his maintenance liability to a minimum. Plenty of others work cash in hand and declare a minimum income for a minimum liability.

As for the 'we don't know he wanted 4 kids with her'...yes, women are out there, en masse, 'fetching sperm out of condoms' on at least 4 occassions to trick their poor unsuspecting partners into having more children so they don't have to work. Sigh.

How can it be fair that the PWC potentially has to go into rent arrears or go without food to pay for everything the kids need whilst the NRP doesn't contribute or contributes a bare minimum? You don't think this happens? You don't believe that in this case there is a possibility that mum simply didn't have the money this week but will buy school shoes as soon as she can?

Ah yes, all PWC should accept control over their spending in the form of vouchers. read it all now

prawnypoos Wed 23-Apr-14 13:19:43

Fedupbutfine I think from the sky tv, the nice cars, nights out and new clothes for herself we can deduct that she is prioritising these things over her children as OP said DSD hasn't got appropriate footwear for school. Drop the sky tv per month and she would be able to afford decent footwear for DSD and probably still have change left over!! Also there are some very reasonable, barely worn shoes in charity shops ( I have bough my own DSD some and they were brand new with the tags/stickers still on for 4.50) that maintainence is for the upkeep of her children and every last penny should be spent on them

Malificentmaud Wed 23-Apr-14 13:20:45

I'd be pretty humiliated if I had to go to a shop and hand over vouchers supplied by my ex. How would it be regulated? Would there be certain shops etc that they would be valid in? And what if you bought some perfume for yourself but it was from a supermarket?

I really really do find it very frustrating to hand over CM that you don't feel being spent I the children. My DH and I keep out money completely separate for this exact reason. We split rent and bills and what ever we have left we choose what to do with.. If that means he wants to be a mug and hand over all his cash to his very demanding dd and ex then fine, I don't let myself worry about it anymore.

I spent quite a few years getting annoyed about every posh new outfit/ holiday/ car that Dh's ex bought whilst claiming poverty hmm it really gets you down after a while but you can't change it so changing your attitude is the most positive thing you can do. In OPs case, if try to imagine having no job, no partner, and four kids to look after relying on the shaky hope that your ex will work hard and provide. Sounds a shite existence to me - whether it's her choice to live that way or not.

prawnypoos Wed 23-Apr-14 13:21:35

There are plenty of parents out there ( me included) who get to the end of the m

fedupbutfine Wed 23-Apr-14 13:28:53

I think from the sky tv, the nice cars, nights out and new clothes for herself we can deduct that she is prioritising these things over her children as OP said DSD hasn't got appropriate footwear for school.

I take stuff like this with a pinch of salt. How can you know, as the partner of an ex, what goes on in her home? My ex's partner says an awful lot of stuff about me which simply isn't true - I dress well (charity shops, sales) so I have 'designer clothes'. I go out with my boyfriend to expensive places ('cos he earns well and he pays) when I don't have the children so I am 'an alcoholic' and 'irresponsible' and 'enjoying the highlife'. The children say they've watched X programme so there is a deduction that I have the most expensive Sky package ever when actually, they watched it on a DVD I got at a car boot...you get the picture. It is dangerous to make assumptions about people who's lives you are removed from.

PeterParkerSays Wed 23-Apr-14 13:30:19

For those who don't know, daps are school plimsols, it's just the Welsh word for them. Think something like this, so not waterproof.

Malificentmaud Wed 23-Apr-14 13:37:22

Oh god my dd has heaps of those horrible things. And they will wear them without socks! yuk.

nomoretether Wed 23-Apr-14 15:13:31

The max CSA is no longer 25% of net pay. It changed in December. There's now a few different levels and it's based on gross pay.

prawnypoos Wed 23-Apr-14 15:26:03

My DPs ex has just bought herself a nearly new 63 plate ford fiesta yet she is sending DSD in clothes that aren't appropriate for the season and clothes that don't even fasten because they are far too small. She sent DSD in a cardigan last week and when we took it off saw that the t shirt she had on underneath it had a massive hole in it! She sends her in clothes that don't fit so that we have to buy new ones for her despite that fact that we have her 4 or 5 nights out of 7, so the majority of the time. Her nights out are very well documented on Facebook, as is the recent photoshoot she had done. She doesn't work although she is more than able to (DSD is at playgroup 3 times a week and we have her the two whole days she isn't at PG an all weekend) she claims benefits and sits on he fat arse doing jack shit. Women like this DO exist, sadly.

fedupbutfine Wed 23-Apr-14 15:44:00

The max CSA is no longer 25% of net pay. It changed in December. There's now a few different levels and it's based on gross pay.

for new cases...I presume this is an 'old' case, but of course I would be wrong. However, 40% or even 30% of gross pay is not how it works, is it?! The percentages are lower now - I believe 12%, 16% and 19% - but I know for some people it works out more each month.

Malificentmaud Wed 23-Apr-14 16:34:29

We did a useful thing which was used the child maintenance options website to work out Dd's and dsds actual costs to each of us.

You apply the costs for food/ childcare/ entertainment etc. depending on how many days the kids are with you and the ex. Then split the difference so the one with less costs evens the two amounts up by paying maintenance to that value.

Turned out my ex's 180 a month to me was pretty much on the nose in order to even up our costs. That was with one child.

The amount my DH pays his ex was about six times what it would take to even up the costs which was a tad annoying I have to say!

OP, could you and your DH sit down with this form and work out the costs? I'm not sure but you might be surprised by how quickly it goes.

Of course it won't help the fact that what his ex does receive doesn't seem to go on the kids, but it might make you feel more at ease with the costs etc?

swissfamily Wed 23-Apr-14 17:17:45

Where is that form Malificent? Sounds good.

swissfamily Wed 23-Apr-14 17:20:15

I feel your pain, we have a similar problem, not so much money but low level neglect(which has improved since his mum married, because her husband does a lot) and stuff going missing. Hard as it sounds, you have to detach, because it will chew you up otherwise.

Is eBay an option for shoes?

Malificentmaud Wed 23-Apr-14 20:50:22

http://m.direct.asda.com/george/school/shoes-trainers/boys-school-twin-strap-shoes/G004069416,default,pd.html

Chumhum Wed 23-Apr-14 21:01:30

I remember my SM being surprised at the 'state' of my clothes and wondering where the money went, it made me feel shit. My DM was absolutely stoney broke and I knew that we didn't have a penny extra. Even if my DM did spend some on herself it would have made me feel crap, so please don't have these sort of conversations with the children.

alita7 Wed 23-Apr-14 21:51:02

fed up, I think it is extremely narrow minded to assume that the mother has to be the one struggling, the system is hugely skewed in the favour of women even if the father has custody.
There are men out there that refuse to pay or barely pay anything etc And leave the mum without enough money and all the responsibility. But this is clearly not the case from the info given by the op so it is irrelevant to the thread.

He pays what he is supposed to pay given his income and I'm not surprised to op Isn't quick to divulge their financial details, she'd have to tell us income and expenses (rent costs vary massively across the country) in order to make the amount he pays meaningful. eg He may pay £20 a week but if he only earns £100 a week then that's would be a lot! Why come on here and say such negative stuff, the op is worried about her dsd and can't afford to help while from the sounds of things (we could be wrong) the mum can.

fedupbutfine Wed 23-Apr-14 22:55:22

a bit rich coming from someone who had the the woman 'sperm stealing' at one point in this thread!

And yes, it is relevant how much is paid in maintenance. Most people would acknowledge that £20 a week won't go far on 4 children, even if that is the legal amount an NRP is asked to pay towards their children. Most people would acknowledge £1,000 a month would be more than enough maintenance to be able to buy decent shoes. Outgoings are irrelevant unless the OP's partner is paying under the CSA 1 system which is unlikely given the information she has provided as they are not used in the maintenance calculations.

And no, the system isn't 'hugely skewed in the favour of women'. I lost more than I could afford to in divorce and I know of plenty of women who have had similar experiences. The system has yet to make my ex pay even the £5 a week he is assessed as being liable for. Our home was repossessed from under me whilst my ex took exotic holidays. I work full-time and manage 3 children on my own whilst my ex fannies about with his 'self employment'. I sure as hell didn't 'win' and there is no skewing that has made my life 'good' or 'easy' or 'better' post divorce.

Custody is a term that hasn't been used in over 20 years now.

Mum is on benefits. A huge fuss has been made by the OP about what a terrible person mum is because of it. Despite attempts, not only by myself, to say that perhaps things are not as they first seem, I am ignored because it doesn't suit popular interpretation of how the ex is behaving. You yourself have made spurious, uniformed comments about child maintenance which I have told you are wrong - no apology, no acknowledgement, no understanding on your part. Just another attempt at making the ex look bad to justify the OP's comments. Support forms don't exist so that people always hear what they want to hear, do they? I might be very wrong. I may also be very right. It should be helpful to hear another opinion and to consider things from a different perspective. Life isn't, usually, black and white.

alita7 Thu 24-Apr-14 00:08:04

I did not say she was a sperm stealer, I said it was unfair to question why the ops partner had 4 kids with the woman as we don't know the circumstances of their conception.

What's happened here is clear, you've had a bad experience with a man, divorce and maintenance and are coming to a thread where the situation is totally different and critising someone based on you experience.
It is totally unfair, the op has voiced concern that the children are suffering because the maintenance money appears to not be being used on the kids which does happen and how much money he gives is irrelevant if this is the case.

In many many cases the woman is favoured, my close friend had to pay hundreds of pounds for a dna test to find out the child wasn't his, after his ex took him to csa after constantly saying he was or wasn't the father, refusing contact and she hadn't put him on the birth certificate yet was able to claim csa from him, why didn't she have to pay to prove it was his child as she was claiming... especially as it came out that it wasn't! similarly in our case they don't care that his other child lives with us - she doesn't matter because she lives with her dad and they put up the csa amount...
But my experiences are equally irrelevant... The op wants support not people telling her dp obviously can't be paying enough if the mum can't afford her handbags, nice cars and sky tv as well as to look after the kids . I don't care if she's on benefits I haven't mentioned that in my posts, she should be making sure her child has appropriate foot wear, or at least asking if the ops dp could get some if she actually couldn't afford it.
How you think £1000 is an appropriate amount I don't know.... He might not even earn £1000 a month. If he earned £3000 then that might be reasonable... But if they're struggling as much as the op says they are probably earning just over the threshold for most benefits.

I just feel very strongly that judging the op is inappropriate and mean when she clearly means well and is in a difficult situation.

alita7 Thu 24-Apr-14 00:11:26

And as for food vouchers, you get these when pregnant if you have a low income and it's not an issue...

obviously most women would just get normal money, but I think if you feel your money is not being spent on the child then you should have the option apply for money to be given in vouchers or in items (and then if those items were not provided the mother could complain and the father would have to provide evidence they bought those things or have to go back to paying in money.)

Malificentmaud Thu 24-Apr-14 08:00:41

Wouldn't you be embarrassed to hand over food vouchers so everyone knew the father of your child had such little trust in you and your ability to parent? I think a lot of women, myself included, would just say no thanks.

there are flaws in the system but punitive measures like vouchers aren't the answer.

alita7 Thu 24-Apr-14 08:32:36

Maud assuming you spend your money appropriately then it would be fine, I just think they need to find more ways to ensure the money is spent on the kids. obviously it doesn't matter what actual money they spend on them as long as money to that value is used to benefit them. I'm sure most mums do spend the money appropriately BUT I do hear of and see (at work) quite a few single mums that appear to have luxuries while their child is in clothes with holes in. If not vouchers then something needs doing, but unfortunately my view would be that if an investigation(not sure how you'd do it) was to find the money was not going towards rent and kids then I would not be putting the mothers embarrassment first, actually I think vouchers or similar might be a good deterrent.

Malificentmaud Thu 24-Apr-14 08:43:33

Well yes but a lot of NRPs have no idea of the costs I raising children and would love the control of issuing vouchers to their ex like food stamps. My ex would go down that route because he's a twat and there's no way on earth I'm standing in Waitrose with food vouchers shock

Maybe that makes me a snob smile

Anyway, are these kids going without food and clothing? Really? If that is the case then in all seriousness it is a welfare issue and OPs partner needs to apply for residency and make a CAHMS report.

Peacesword Thu 24-Apr-14 09:07:14

Would you make that across the board? Every family whether together or not had to evidence what they spent their money on or would it just be single parents?

Perhaps alongside the scheme NRPs who claim they cant afford maintenance or just won't pay could be investigated too.

4 children must be expensive and a lot of work. We have no idea whether the maintenance is half of those costs or not. If I got any it wouldn't even cover half of dd's housing costs! I agree with everything fedupbutfine has said.

You just have to let it go. Pay what you are meant to and forget it. There is nothing you can do, you'll be wasting energy on something you can't change.

alita7 Thu 24-Apr-14 09:33:43

peace word nrps are investigated, they take info straight from hrmc, the only way you can fiddle it is if you're self employed and if there's any doubt I agree they should also be investigated.

of course 4 kids are expensive, and it sounds like the op has no issues paying just wants the money spent appropriately.
It may be nothing can be done, but that doesn't mean the op can't comw on here and vent about it even if no solution can be found. she's been shot down with nasty comments for no reason.

swissfamily Thu 24-Apr-14 10:00:15

If your DP can't pay anything over his maintenance payments there is nothing you can do. In an ideal world there would be some way to ensure the RP uses maintenance for what it's intended for but this isn't an ideal world.

My DH has frustrations similar to your DP; it's very evident that his maintenance money isn't spent on his DD. Mum has two other children by two men who don't pay any maintenance so there isn't any question that his maintenance payments also help support two kids who have nothing to do with him. Mum is always in debt. He's actually had texts that say things like "I need advance on next month's maintenance otherwise my SKY is going to be cut off".

DH deals with it by paying extra; in addition to maintenance he buys DSD's uniform himself, pays for her school lunches directly, pays for school trips directly and pays for her clubs directly. It's a struggle (sometimes I have to help out with the extras) and I'm in no way suggesting your DP should start doing something similar but it's the only way my DH has found to ensure DSD has what she needs.

NigellasDealer Thu 24-Apr-14 10:17:51

And once the youngest started school, she still didn't get a job. Just carried on sitting on her arse

oh yes because it is so so easy to walk into a job that pays at that point isn't it?

BTW both my children wear "daps" it is all I can afford. And I would not dream of buying 'hardly worn' shoes in a charity shop, that is just minging.

TBH people like you piss me off. She didn't have four immaculate conceptions did she? No, your lovely partner inseminated her; why do that if you cannot afford kids?

BTW how much maintanance does the ex pay?
�5 a week is it?

Impatientismymiddlename Thu 24-Apr-14 10:19:54

I don't know why the OP is getting such a hard time. She has vented her frustrations at not being able to afford to buy the things that her DSD needs and at her frustration that her mother prioritises things like sky over her children's basic needs. Would it better if she didn't care about her DSD and whether she has appropriate shoes?
Daps are not suitable for wearing in the rain. They are not really suitable for anything other then wearing in the summer or doing PE in the school hall.
A single mother on benefits should be able to afford to buy something other than daps unless she lives in an area of very expensive housing (which she might and in which case she will be struggling). Benefits are calculated so that a single mother should be able to meet basic needs of the children and therefore the child maintenance is over and above the basic need level.
I do agree with what somebody said upthread about the possibility that mum is deliberately sending the children with unsuitable footwear to make dad buy new shoes and save herself from needing to do so.
I think that dad needs to go and talk to mum about the unsuitable footwear and any other financial issues concerning the children and see if there if is a genuine cash flow issue. At the end of the day the child is the one going without.

NigellasDealer Thu 24-Apr-14 10:20:27

and yes I am sure that with 4 kids she spends the day 'sitting on her arse'.
where is the vomiting with disgust emoticon?

alita7 Thu 24-Apr-14 14:20:18

Nigella, someone else's ex on the thread pays £5 a week, we don't know how much the ops partner pays but it is probably proportionate to his wages.

I still don't see why the op isn't allowed to be concerned and annoyed that the money appears to be being spent on things that aren't necessities rather than things like school shoes. If they are only paying a tiny amount then I would assume they wouldn't complain...

NigellasDealer Thu 24-Apr-14 14:21:47

assume nothing alita -

prawnypoos Thu 24-Apr-14 14:38:18

Nigella, your attitude is 'minging.' There are many reasons DP may not want to disclose how much maintainence her DP is paying. At least he is paying some, there are many fathers (mine included) who have never paid a penny and 20 years of Christmases and birthdays never even acknowledged. By the way, the shoes I bought from the charity shop were brand new, with tags and stickers still on. The woman who ran the shop told me that she had bought them for her daughter but they didn't fit. She didn't send them back because she lives a distance away from the town in which she bought them on a day off work and didn't see the point.

NigellasDealer Thu 24-Apr-14 14:46:08

yes I have bought shoes like that as an exception, you do what you have to.
but it does grate a bit to hear about this mother of 4 'sitting on her arse'.
I would bet my bottom dollar that the reason she wont disclose how much her partner is paying to the ex is because the amount is pitifully small.

Impatientismymiddlename Thu 24-Apr-14 14:56:49

If he is working, even on minimum wage then he will be paying 25% of his income (I think that is the amount for 4 children) which is enough to buy shoes. Plenty of single parents, even those on unemployment benefits, don't get any maintenance because the NRP is totally feckless but the majority still manage to buy shoes.

alita7 Thu 24-Apr-14 15:49:24

Well whether or not she is sitting on her arse depends on a lot of different factors which we have no information on, but that the op is more likely to know about, the only way we can comment on a thread is to assume that what the op says is based on things she knows about her. (things like kids ages, if they have disabilities, availability of childcare, if she does volunteer work) don't forget plenty of mums of 4 worked, personally I wouldn't judge her for not working but the opknows the woman, she may have an attitude towards working that makes people think she is sat on her arse.

alita7 Thu 24-Apr-14 15:51:05

Exactly inpatient, even if the ops dp isn't paying much due to a low income (which is fair enough, he needs to live too!) then the money she is given in benefits should cover school shoes or a pair of cheap wellies to wear on the way there.

NigellasDealer Thu 24-Apr-14 15:53:39

why would a pair of cheap wellies be better than the sports shoes the mother has already provided (is that not what OP means by "daps")?

alita7 Thu 24-Apr-14 17:07:21

They're those canvas shoes I think, I've had various pairs by different brands, from cheap Primark ones to converse and they are certainly not water proof... her socks and feet would get soaked in the rain (which was the initial worry!) wellies are waterproof, even cheap ones.

LouiseAderyn Thu 24-Apr-14 17:57:00

alita I think it's safe to assume that if the OPs dh was tricked into one pregnancy, then he should definitely not put hinself in a position where he could be tricked into having 4! I'd say he most definitely is as responsible as his ex for the fact that he is a father of four dc.

As for the payment in vouchers bollocks, I think it would be great idea if your employer or your dh's employer paid you in vouchers, just in case you buy something which some total stranger, (who has no business being involved in your life), doesn't approve of!

swissfamily Thu 24-Apr-14 18:38:02

The NRP isn't a total stranger though.

Voucher idea not workable but God, it's not unreasonable for the NRP to want to know that their hard-earned maintenance payments were actually being spent on their child's well-being.

LouiseAderyn Thu 24-Apr-14 19:07:08

The wives of nrps are though, as far as the ex is concerned. If a person wouldn't like theirbown money being paud in vouchers snd subject ti someone else's approval then they shouldn't advocate it for another person. I doubt very much if anyone here would like their wages to not be paid in actual money.

If a nrp feels their dc are being neglected by the rp then they ought to address that with social services or by challenging the residency agreement via the court.

LouiseAderyn Thu 24-Apr-14 19:07:49

Sorry for all the typos - have fat fingers!

Lala1980 Sun 27-Apr-14 18:19:49

Thank you for the constructive advice and information from some of you. It was really helpful and gave me other options and perspectives.
For those of you in disbelief that I might have a man who actually cares and does pay his dues, and live in a household where we are wise with our money and make ends meet, please feel free to PM me your email address, and I will email you our household accounts.
Any information I have stated regarding the ex-wife's use of finances and lifestyle is based on fact, not presumption (unless otherwise stated), and where we have welfare issues, we have reported those, and social services are currently involved.
I won a little money on our staff lottery this week, so I had DSD's feet measured properly and brought her a decent pair of Clark's school shoes.
I came on here to vent, and share other people's experiences. It is hard when people shoot you down based on their own experiences, and presume all men are likes their ex-DPs.
For whatever reason, everyone has a past. MY DP had four children out of choice with this woman - I never once accused her of sperm stealing. Their marital demise was based on her infidelity, and I was not the Other Woman. The residency (I believe) was at the time based on the fact that my DP was working nights, and his ex was better placed to have the children. She has subsequently gone off the rails, denied offers of help, and we have social services involved, and will be challenging residency, now that DP is in a different situation. I personally (knowing all the figures involved) know that we could organize a budget that would put the children and their needs first. It just involves prioritising and making sacrifices.
I know you cannot come on this website without being shot down by someone, but please do try and be sensitive to genuine people - not all of us are bad, and not all men are like some of your exes. Some people just want some help and advice. Thank you to those that gave it.

fedupbutfine Sun 27-Apr-14 20:36:11

it's not unreasonable for the NRP to want to know that their hard-earned maintenance payments were actually being spent on their child's well-being.

only amongst new partners is this level of control acceptable. If I were in relationships and expressing concern that my partner wanted to know what every penny was spent on, was demanding a detailed budget, and wanted to know why I had been unable to buy school shoes that week from the money he gave me, I would be told quite clearly that I was being abused and that I should consider getting some outside support and/or leave him as soon as possible. Instead, it's OK to expect a PWC to provide detailed budgets and receipts to 'prove' that they are capable of looking after their children.

For what it's worth, I have just gone through my monthly budget and cutting essential expenditure like activities, childcare, and then splitting gas, food, insurances, electric, water etc. into equal portions, I spend around 80% of my income (after tax and forced pension contributions but including child benefit and tax credits) on my children each month. I'm not sure any NRP who pays the CSA minimum has much of a leg to stand on, do you?

Lala1980 Sun 27-Apr-14 23:10:15

fed up not sure at what point you are going to realize our situations are NOT the same, and that I am not likening DPs ex to you, so no need to take it personally.
Gutted tonight as sent DSD home with the new shoes, no thanks just why didn't I get them all new shoes while I was at it...

Lala1980 Sun 27-Apr-14 23:10:39

fed up not sure at what point you are going to realize our situations are NOT the same, and that I am not likening DPs ex to you, so no need to take it personally.
Gutted tonight as sent DSD home with the new shoes, no thanks just why didn't I get them all new shoes while I was at it...

alita7 Sun 27-Apr-14 23:59:08

Considering our csa minimum was deemed £80 out of £200 and we have his other daughter living with us I think they do have a leg to stand on.

swissfamily Mon 28-Apr-14 08:52:58

fed up

There's difference between wanting assurances that maintenance payments are directly benefitting the said child and demanding a detailed budget!!!

swissfamily Mon 28-Apr-14 08:54:53

Lala - if I were you I bloody well tell the ex that I'd just spent my own money buying her child new shoes and a "thank you" wouldn't go amiss wine

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