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child maintenance- advice needed

(61 Posts)
leanny Sat 11-Jun-11 16:05:34

hi there, i have twin girls who are 8, their dad lives in reading we live up north i also have 2 sons with my partner. Since my girls were 3 their dad has been payin £200pcm maintenance via a private agreement, however a few months ago i discovered he had a change of job and was earning a lot more so i asked him to up the maintenance to which he said no, so i got in touch with the csa to ask them to calculate what he should be paying. i told the girls dad what i was doing in hopes that it would keep things amicable which it did for a while, he basically told me he should be paying £750pcm but after all the 'extra costs' were taken off it would go down to £500, anyway he deducted £250 for his travel, accommodation and food for while he is visiting the girls which is once a month. anyway so far i have recieved 1 payment of 500 and am still waiting for the csa to get back to me with a final amount, its taking longer than usual as he's applied to have the variation costs taken off. the problem i have at the minute is that now he is telling me he is takin money out of the 500 he gives for when he sees the girls to take them places etc and do activities. also they are going to spain with him n his girlfriend at the end of jully, my partner and i had already agreed that 50 is a sufficient amount of spending money for an 8 yr old to take on holiday for a week, however their dad is saying he is taking 200 out of the money he gives me for their spendingnmoney etc, food, icecreams......
to me this strikes me as a bit unreasonable, it seems he is still trying to issue control over the money side, and me, he doesnt like paying what he does but legally its what he should right? can he deduct money thhis way or am i being unreasonable?
many thanks, leanne

leanny Sat 11-Jun-11 16:16:08

would appreciate hearing others thoughts on whether he can do this....many thanks x

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 11-Jun-11 16:18:26

He shouldn't be making his children pay his travel and accommodation costs while he visits, but it would be reasonable for you to share these costs if you moved away from him. It's also reasonable for there to be a cut in maintenance while he has them on holiday, but that sounds like an excessive amount.

Snorbs Sat 11-Jun-11 16:22:36

The CSA can take account of travel costs but by no means do they deduct the entire amount. I'm not sure exactly how they work it out but I have heard that if, for example, it costs the non-resident parent £100 a month to travel to see the children then the CSA may knock £15 or £20 off the amount they should be paying. I really don't think that the CSA would give a hoot about his accommodation or food costs and it's not on that he is saying he'll deduct even more to cover activities. Those are his costs to bear. If he can't afford to do that then he can find something free to do with the girls.

Similarly, he has no right whatsoever to choose to deduct £200 out of the maintenance to cover holiday spending money. If the children spend more than 52 nights a year with him then he can apply to get maintenance reduced pro-rata to account for that, but arbitrary costs such as spending money, ice-creams etc are supposed to be his costs to bear. It's not like you'd expect him to pay extra if you're taking them on holiday, is it?

Keep the CSA informed of what he's up to and badger them regularly otherwise they take bloody ages. You might also want to consider asking the CSA to collect the money off of him. It takes longer as the CSA doesn't even bother to start chasing until the money's a month late, but it does mean that you don't have to contact him about money directly and he'd have to argue with them rather than you. It can be a very effective way of getting out from being controlled.

leanny Sat 11-Jun-11 16:24:22

we were at university in northampton when i found out i was pregnant and as he wanted me to terminate the pregnancy i moved back home to be with my family, after he gratuated he moved to reading, when you say its also reasonable for there to be a cut in mantenance while he has them on holiday, basically the maintenance stops for that week? i didnt think it would be reasonable for them to have to take money for their own food icecreams etc as theyre on holiday with their dad...obviously theyre at an age where they want their own spending money to but little things they want.thanks for your input =)

balia Sat 11-Jun-11 16:28:22

Until the CSA sort out the final payment it is going to be a bit tricky, isn't it? When you involve the agency, you have to apply all of the rules, which means yes, he is going to get reductions for costs involved with travelling to see the kids and if he and/or his g/f have any children etc. However, once they come up with the final figure he will have to pay you that every month, regardless of any activities he does with the girls.

In terms of the holiday, though, it doesn't seem unreasonable that as both girls would be with him for the entire time that there is a reduction in the maintenance, specially if his plan is to treat the girls with it.

leanny Sat 11-Jun-11 16:30:36

snorbs-yes im definately going to collect the money through the csa as i really am finding his awkwardness incredibly stressful at the minute, he;s actually asking the girls to ask me for money for him to take them places when he's with thm, and when the girls ask why he says because i take all his money. obviously i want them to do fun things when they are with him but i cant be doing with the constant guilt trips off of him of 'you dont hasve the girls best interests at heart do you' which is what he always says, he;s the same bully he used to be, im definately going to keep ringing the csa to find out whats going on, although i think theyre sick of me by now!!

bleedingheartlefty Sat 11-Jun-11 16:44:11

CSA have details of travel cost variations on their website. My ds's father had airfares, car hire, parking costs, etc taken into consideration. He didn't pay anything for years because of that. Good luck with yours.

Nullius Sat 11-Jun-11 17:08:11

Its odd isnt it, because I know if I, as a mother, said well sorry DD, but I cant send you with dinner money for school because it costs me that much to travel there and pick you up, social services would have something to say about it.

It seems the world has forgat maintenence is there to pay for the things needed to raise a child, food, clothes, shelter, and if you couldnt afford those things you wouldnt be going on holiday to spain! But as a dad, you can pick and choose what you spend your cash on with regards to your own children.

You may have guessed, I think hes being unreasonable, but sadly, I dont think the CSA will do much about it. Good luck.

leanny Sat 11-Jun-11 17:54:46

yes thats very true nulelius, although he claims the reason he didnt make me aware of his new job and pay rise sooner was because infact he was using the extra money he should have been paying to pay for the girls to go on holiday with him! the way i understand it he should be paying hispayments then anything else he wants to do should be sorted after that. he also has a baby on the way with his girlfriend so i can obviously understand his concerns but i cant help but think she has something to do with all this awkwardness. my partner has a 7yr old, he pays 200 a month for him, its almost like him taking him out for tea and asking his ex for the money to pay for it, thank you =)

jumpforjoy Sat 11-Jun-11 18:25:24

Hi Leanny, sorry I haven't really got any useful advise as I'm in a very similar situation to yourself.
My Ex does the opposite journey your ex does, but still complains how much petrol it is costing him.
My Ex has the children 1 week during the summer holidays, and always chooses to take them to Turkey on and all inclusive hoilday (very nice if you can afford it). One year I gave them £20 each to spend, as its all inclusive didn't really need any, and Ex used their spending money to buy the £10 visa to get into the country. I was fuming when I found out.

They make you feel like your are taking all their money away, but if they can't afford Spain (or Turkey) then they shouldn't go.

I bet you still have the costs of buying toiletries, sun cream and new clothes which they don't seem to factor into the situation.

Always poor poor old me.

Hope your girls have a fab time, and wish you luck with the CSA

leanny Sat 11-Jun-11 18:34:23

thanks hun =) yes thats correct, although id provide their toiletries anyway its the way he goes about droppin it into conversation and says it, i presume he will be using the same suncream and a high factor so why do they have to have their very own! i have completely kitted them out with clothes for the holiday! its just like now obviously 'i owe him!'
i hope ur situation gets sorted too hun, its not nice is it, my stress levels are sky high (currently 19 weeks pregnant) and he has 100per cent caused this x

zukiecat Sat 11-Jun-11 18:45:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Snorbs Sat 11-Jun-11 18:58:37

bleedingheartlefty, was your case under the "old rules" CSA or the "new rules" one?

FabbyChic Sat 11-Jun-11 19:02:14

What was wrong with £200? That was a fair amount it doesn't cost you more than that a month to look after your girls, only fair he pays half their costs and it certainly does not cost £400 a month. Perhaps your greed has back fired.

jumpforjoy Sat 11-Jun-11 19:15:39

Fabbychic, not sure if your joking or not!!

He should pay 20% of his net salary, I'm sure the OP is only asking for the children's entitlement.
It is his choice to take the kids on holiday and perhaps he should factor cost of feeding them when he books the holiday.

The OP has offered to give her DDs £50 spending money, together with other costs she may not have budgeted for.

LadyGoneGaga Sat 11-Jun-11 19:23:34

Erm, on what planet are you living on exactly, Fabbychic? hmm

youngermother1 Sat 11-Jun-11 19:25:07

If £750 a month is 20% of net salary, then he is earning £3,750 a month net, around £68k before tax - does this sound right in new job?

Jemma1111 Sat 11-Jun-11 19:38:25

Fabbychic, so you think £25 per week for one child is more than adequate for an absent father to pay?.

You are not in the real world by the sounds of it hmm

DoMeDon Sat 11-Jun-11 19:42:57

He is utterly taking the P. He has no right to take any money back from you for his maintainence and should be paying 20% of his earnings. He is their father and should be glad to take them on holiday. What an UTTER loser.

As for Fabby - IDIOTIC comment.

altinkum Sat 11-Jun-11 19:51:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jemma1111 Sat 11-Jun-11 19:55:25

Lets hope you don't become a single mum then altinkum as you realise that kids do cost alot of money!

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 11-Jun-11 19:56:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

altinkum Sat 11-Jun-11 19:59:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

saffy85 Sat 11-Jun-11 20:05:31

Fabby are you actually suggesting that it only costs £50 a week to raise a child? Food, clothes, travel expenses, activities etc? Bullshit. I swear you're a wind up merchant at times hmm

I can't offer advice OP but will say good luck. The CSA are useless, always have been. However absent parents who lose sight of what's important, ie, their childrens' welfare are worse. If their dad can afford to pay more than £200 a month for them both then he bloody well should imo. Or failing that, be able to prove he is saving up for them both in the future like for uni or whatever. My dad spent 2 years fighting my mum in court over how much maintenence to pay for my sister and I, always trying to pay the least amount possible, always an excuse as to why he couldn't/shouldn't pay more. And it was always to make sure my mum "didn't get too much." hmm It was child maintence not ex-wife maintence.

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