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To involve the CSA?

(59 Posts)
pinguthepenguin Sun 07-Oct-12 20:50:43

Hi All,

Hoping to canvass opinion here on whether or not I'm heading down the right road.

Comnunication is not great between my ex and I. We have periods of getting on fine, then for a myriad of reasons, it becomes bad again...and not just a brief falling out, but spectacularly bad. We rarely have shouting matches..his preferred method is to wait til he gets home and then send lengthy from his and his wife detailing all my failings as a parent...and without fail, there will be a reference in it somewhere to how I am paid above and beyond what they have to. This comment will be made in spite of the fact that I have never once raised the issue of money with him.

It never fails to amaze me, given that the maintanence aspect is one thing we have never disagreed about and yet it is routinely thrown into an email in relation to a completely different discussion. Its patently obvious he resents the money, yet he says he takes his financial contribution to his dd 'very seriously'. Exp pays regular maintanence for DD, we have an informal arrangement, and has never missed a payment etc - it just never comes up between us verbally. He pays a set amount, and this hasnt changed in the 5 years since we split. In fact it went down last year by £100 per month after the birth of his new baby. This was suggested by me as I thought it would be the fair thing to do. To be honest, I am always trying to find ways to improve things between us and thought this might be one of the ways to do. As with most things though, he took the reduction, but reminded me it wasn't a 'favour' to him, but something he was thinking about anyway, now that our dd's childcare costs had gone down. (!)

He is notoriously tight, when we were together money was an actual obsession for him, so its clear to me that while he pays the maintanence, it is a source of discontentment between him and his wife. It makes me feel like a money grabbibg shit bag when he throws these comments into the emails or texts - and yet he will not say one word to my face about it. Its so bizzare. I don't think he is trying to scare me about withdrawing or reducing it, because I have a decent job...and in all honesty, if I relied on it, we would have starved by now!
I have never once in all the years approached him for extra money or asked him to pick up any costs for dd outside of his payment

So, my thoughts are.....I have no control over his routine put downs about my parenting, but I am now thinking that I can formalise maintanence so he can shut the fuck up about paying me 'over and above' what he has to. I may well get less by going down the CSA route, but I don't care. He does a 30 mile round trip to collect dd, and she sleeps there twice a week, plus he has a new family, so I'm well aware this will all be taken into account when assessing his contribution. He is self employed and would probably cook the hell out of his books anyway.

As an aside,my own DP wants me to refuse maintanence from him altogether, because he believes that the amount is pathetic and hates the way he batters me over the head with it every time he gets the chance. I will of course not do this as it will play into his hands, but I'm thinking that formalsing our arrangement will remove at least one more thing he can control me with.

financialwizard Sun 07-Oct-12 21:10:24

Hmmm this is a difficult one, and I can see where you are coming from completely because I have similar issues with my exh.

If you think that by going to the CSA you will inflame the situation I would be tempted to stick to your current agreement, but if you don't think it will then I would go to the CSA.

pinguthepenguin Sun 07-Oct-12 21:13:36

I think with wouldnt matter if I told him he could pay 5pence a week...he would still throw it into his nasty emails as part of a totally unrelated issue. I'm not sure if it will improve anything other than my own sense of peace...i just hate the way he uses it to hit me with. It will likely infuruate him, but tbh...communication has all but broken down now anywaysad

McHappyPants2012 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:16:12

Phone the CSA, and tell him why.

He sounds controlling

WildWorld2004 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:16:25

How much does he pay a month?? It must be quite a bit if u reduced it by £100 a month.

If i reduced my csa payments from my ex by £100 id owe him £100 because i get bugger all from my ex & thats through the csa.

pinguthepenguin Sun 07-Oct-12 21:23:05

he pays £200, was £300 until 18m ago

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 07-Oct-12 21:23:32

as hes self employed it will be very very easy for him to not have to pay you anything or just £5pw, it is a real risk that you need to concider even if the csa tell you its not

pinguthepenguin Sun 07-Oct-12 21:26:28

the company he owns went to limited company status a while back - does this mean he isnt sekf employed anymore?

Inertia Sun 07-Oct-12 21:28:07

If he pays on time, I think I would first try to calculate what the CSA amount would be. If going to CSA would lead to a significant reduction, I would keep taking the cash and ignore the emails.

pinguthepenguin Sun 07-Oct-12 21:30:24

trouble is I have no way of knowing what earns. Not a clue.

flow4 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:32:26

If you involve the CSA, be aware they do not move fast and are not efficient or effective. I contacted the CSA when DS was 3, because his dad decided he was "paying too much", so stopped. They still haven't managed to get any maintainance from him. And DS is 17 now. sad

pinguthepenguin Sun 07-Oct-12 21:36:51

I dont want to sound flippant, or like I could afford to lose this amount of money every month, because it would affect me a lot...but I simply cannot stand the way it makes me feel. It would remove one more method he uses to make me feel like shit. And believe me, he has many methods.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sun 07-Oct-12 21:42:08

If you can afford to not get the money, then it sounds like the CSA might make things a bit easier for you.

GhostofMammaTJ Sun 07-Oct-12 21:59:56

I think, and I know this is easier said than done, that you need to just stop letting him get to you. My ex was always making little digs like this, but it was like water off a ducks back to me. He was the one who left me and needed to justify his behaviour by making me out to be the bad one. Oh well. You have a lovely supportive DP now, so that should make it a little easier.

ATourchOfInsanity Sun 07-Oct-12 22:07:23

I agree with Ghost here. I am currently being taken to tribunal by my ex who hung up on CSA and ignored their post until they had to go to his work to extract the money. He now blames me for jeapordising his job. He is also blaming me for the 5.5k he has spent hiring a solicitor to 'defend' him against having to pay maintenance for his DD. These men will use any excuse to berate you and adding a new ingredient to the pot will only stir it further. I think you just have to be glad he does pay and let him make whatever remarks he likes because actually, it shows it is eating him. Let him get huffy about it, not you!

notmyproblem Sun 07-Oct-12 22:11:33

No advice on what to do (I have no experience with it, sorry) but this sentence in your OP jumped out at me:

It makes me feel like a money grabbing shit bag when he throws these comments into the emails or texts

Do NOT let him make you feel this way! You are giving him way too much power over you and your emotions. You have to start treating this as a financial transaction, no more no less. Rest assured the bank doesn't feel like a money-grabbing shit bag by demanding you pay your mortgage every month, and neither should you for expecting maintenance that you are entitled to.

Whatever actual decisions you make about the money, remember that people can only make you feel bad if you let them. Don't let them! It's their way of controlling you, and in this case the way your ExP controls you. Don't give him that control.

pinguthepenguin Sun 07-Oct-12 22:15:54

i wish i could let it be water off a ducks back...he criticises me relentlessly, and theres little I can do about that. I just figured this might be one small thing I could change.

I am absolutely staggered that a solicitor would 'defend' someone not wishing to pay maintanence for their children? How is that defensible? on what grounds? scares me to think a solicitor would act for someone with that kind of agenda. I'm sure I am a bit green on matters like this....I have just recently inolved solicitors with my ex over another issue, and although I am scared of the repercussions of that, the one good things is that it should cut down on the shitty emails.

pinguthepenguin Sun 07-Oct-12 22:18:05

notmyproblem - thanks. I've been trying for years to let it wash over me. I need to do some work on myself, big time sad

allthefun Sun 07-Oct-12 22:22:21

I agree with your DP.

You can live without it so it won't effect you too badly if you don't get it. As it's for DD,ask that he put the money into an account for a car/house/Uni.

He can then take full responsibility for his DD financially and you don't have to feel anything. If she ends up with £50 at the end of it that's down to him.

LFCisTarkaDahl Sun 07-Oct-12 22:27:59

How about you approach it entirely differently - you say he doesn't say anything to your face so either don't do emails anymore or get your partner to read them. You can just choose not to read them.

I can't imagine how pissed of you could be if he cooks his books out of spite to not pay you at all.

KenLeeeeeee Sun 07-Oct-12 22:29:04

If you can live without the money, them do that for your own peace of mind. But I strongly advise against telling him not to pay anything at all, because really this is your child's money, which he is morally obliged to provide. Tell him to put it into an account for your daughter to access hen he's older. That way SHE still gets the financial support she deserves from her father, but because he isn't paying it to you, he can't use it as ammo in nasty emails.

pinguthepenguin Sun 07-Oct-12 22:35:26

mmm, I could see him loving this idea tnh....He gets to wade in when she;s 25 with a deposit for a house or something, looking like a generous hero, while I am not able to do anything like that for her because I've been raising her.
Still, I guess the issue here is dd, not me. So that sounds like a good idea

Inertia Sun 07-Oct-12 22:41:04

I wouldn't trust him to put the money aside for DD. You can do that for her, if it's not needed to provide for her at the moment.

Just don't read the emails. And I'd be willing to bet that even if you told him to keep his money , he would find another way to harangue and control you - access arrangements probably.

pinguthepenguin Sun 07-Oct-12 22:49:45

can I block emails? not sure its sensible as we need to arrange contact, but I jsut cant bear to see his name in my invix with an attachement because I known it will be a 3 page letter from him and/or his DW and it sucks the life out of me for days.
I sent a sols letter recently over another matter and in it he was told to contact me only through sols, so hopefully I will have a 'reprieve' of sorts for a while. Trouble is, he will prob hire a solicitor himself, so the letters I get now will be prob be very scary indeed

Inertia Sun 07-Oct-12 23:08:26

Can DP read them for you and just make a note of vital information?

Or try sending an email back saying that you are not willing to read a tirade of criticism about yourself but if he wants to post access / communication details separately then you'll read the message.

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