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Should I ask for child maintenance?

(41 Posts)
Shouldiask Sat 20-Aug-11 09:28:36

I am a father with 2 sons, and they live with me.

I've never asked for any child maintenance as it just felt wrong asking for money from their mother.

Looking back now this seems pretty sexist on my behalf, money is getting a bit tight, I've looked at the CSA website and I could get 20% of her salary to help pay for the children's costs.

If I ask for this it would put her in financial trouble. She'd probably end up living back at her parents house.

So would I be unreasonable to ask for child maintenance?

FabbyChic Sat 20-Aug-11 09:30:14

You deserve child maintenance, how she pays that is not really your concern. Ask for it if she says no then go via the CSA route.

Sirzy Sat 20-Aug-11 09:32:32

Course you wouldn't be. You have do what is best for the children

purplepidjin Sat 20-Aug-11 09:33:09

It's not you asking for you, it's you asking on behalf of the children so they get what they need. I would think that, as you were equally responsible for creating children then she should take equal responsibility for their welfare in which case, she should be contributing financially.

I assume you have made many sacrifices in order to care for them? Think of it as her turn!

SuePurblybilt Sat 20-Aug-11 09:33:38

You don't have to worry about how she affords it any more (speaking from experience, it's hard to get over that habit). She has to pay it - end of.

Ask for 20% as a minimum (the website have an exact calculator) as a private agreement, if she won't be reasonable then do the CSA.

nosexpleaseimpregnant Sat 20-Aug-11 09:38:08

Would she think twice before asking you for maintenance? Would any female? No they wouldn't, and if they live with you then why should it be any different? Whether or not she can afford to pay isn't your problem, it would be expected of you to 'afford' it, she is 50% responsible for them and therefore should help pay for their upkeep.

CubiksRube Sat 20-Aug-11 09:41:38

YABU - and I agree with all the previous posters.

A salary is a salary - the bills keep coming whatever gender you are.

Unless she is financially contributing in other ways (i.e. buying them clothes, food etc) you have absolutely every right to ask for child maintenence.

catsareevil Sat 20-Aug-11 09:44:16

Its about her providing for her children, so what is right for them. It seems odd that she hasnt offered. I agree that if a man was in the same situation no-one would question whether or not they should pay.

CubiksRube Sat 20-Aug-11 09:46:26

Just to clarify, when I say 'financially contributing' I don't just mean buying them treats, but a reasonable and measurable contribution to their upkeep.

From the OP it doesn't sound like she is doing this, but just in case.

PhilipJFry Sat 20-Aug-11 09:48:06

You would not be unreasonable at all. You'd be doing the right thing for your children and their security.

nosexpleaseimpregnant Sat 20-Aug-11 09:51:35

Cubik I don't agree with the last bit of your post. My OH pays maintenance (he was the one that sorted it out) but we also provide things that his DD needs (clothing, food etc). He is still paying the same amount now as he was when he was first booted out, despite the fact DD is now 3 and we have her 2 days a week (that was our choice not to inform CSA of changes as we didn't want DD to go without) and I am now pregnant with our/my first baby.

ZillionChocolate Sat 20-Aug-11 10:23:23

You should insist on maintainence for your children. Even if you don't need it for every day expenses, you should save it for bigger things in the future.

ShoutyHamster Sat 20-Aug-11 10:31:29

It is what your children are due from their other parent. Gender doesn't come into it.

As with all resident parents, you ALREADY also take care of the million and one things that don't have a monetary value put on them, that eat into your time, energy, earning power. I'm sure you're glad and privileged to do them!

Think of it this way. When your children are older, they will be asking these questions - did my mum contribute? Did you do it all? Why didn't she do more?

Do your ex a favour too and set up contributions now so that it is at least fair and equitable on that score, and you can BOTH tell your children in the future that you BOTH took responsibility for them.

FreudianSlipper Sat 20-Aug-11 11:11:41

of course it is not about if you can get by or not with or without maintenance, it is about both parents being responsible for their children

and if you can afford to put it in savings or use it to make your life more comfortable do so there is no need to be struggling jsut becasue you are a single parent

i put a little away but the maintenance i receive makes our life more comfortable adn enjoyable and i can afford to spend money on myself too not just ds and bills

Shouldiask Sat 20-Aug-11 14:12:42

Thanks for the responses, you're all probably right, it just doesn't seem right to ask.

But that is my issue.

nosexpleaseimpregnant Sat 20-Aug-11 14:23:24

With all due respect Shouldiask you need to get over the idea that you can't ask because you are a man, you've already broken one gender assumption that only the mothers take the children when a relationship breaks down and, by the sounds of things, you're doing an awesome job so man up and tell her you need her to contribute grin
(The last thing was a joke BTW, please don't take it wrong!)

alphabettyspagghetti Sat 20-Aug-11 14:23:38

There is no difference to you asking her than there is of anyone else asking for help from ex's for the kids.

I can see why you feel weird about it. The roles reversed in this way is not something you come across very often, even though, there is no difference. You are doing this to ensure the kids have everything they need. Something which you both have always wanted for them. I doubt that has changed from when you were together.

You are only doing what is best for the kids and that is all anyone can expect or ask.

groundhogmum Sat 20-Aug-11 14:23:58

YANBU to ask for maintenance - both parents are responsible financially for a child and unless you equally share custody then the non-resident parent should be paying their way.

I can understand your reluctance to ask though, if anything is guaranteed to stir up an argument it is money, however costs for everything are going up and kids only get more expensive as they grow! Your ex must know she should be paying her way, perhaps you will be pleasantly surprised by her response? Good luck smile

ImperialBlether Sat 20-Aug-11 14:28:08

She should WANT to pay for her children. You are depriving it of one of her maternal roles.

Is she opposed to paying? If so, is she saying all her money should be for her, whereas all your money should be for the family?

ImperialBlether Sat 20-Aug-11 14:28:26

Depriving her, not it!

ImperialBlether Sat 20-Aug-11 14:29:24

Why would it put her in such difficulties that she'd have to move back home?

balia Sat 20-Aug-11 14:35:12

Are you concerned she might try to get the kids back if you ask for maintenance? (This was a very real concern for a friend of mine, that's why I ask)

Apart from that, it is the kids money, not yours. You may well be managing now, but do you feel OK about passing up their rights to a little nest egg for the future?

Wabbit Sat 20-Aug-11 14:38:28

Nosexpleaseimpregnant - yes a 'female' would think twice about claiming maintenance. I didn't claim for about a year, then things got nasty about visiting rights and I used a solicitor who insisted I claimed maintenance - then he emigrated and CSA payments stopped and I have not pursued maintenance through REMO though I know I would be successful.

There are many reasons for not claiming maintenance - I just want the bastard out of my life and I'm happy with him being on the other side of the earth - ds has a wonderful relationship with DP and would not be emotionally better off with more contact with a birth father who would rather ignore his existence than feel the shame of what he selfishly and stupidly did when ds was born.

ExP is the type of man who would want 'his moneys worth' of his son if he was having to pay towards his upkeep. We'd rather be skint, self sufficient and free from such a twunt.

I would like DP to adopt ds in the future - they are like father and son.

So... OP, you would not be unreasonable to claim maintenance but, with some people, man or woman, there will be a price to pay. Or at least, that's how it feels to me

Shouldiask Sat 20-Aug-11 14:41:18

It would put her in difficulties as she'll have to pay 20% of her salary to me.
We did do 50-50 so paying maintenance wasn't budgeted for.
I reckon it'd be £380 a month, that's a lot to suddenly lose.

ImperialBlether Sat 20-Aug-11 14:55:39

OP, do you have to pay for childcare?

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