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to tell partner that he can't live with me unless ex-wife contributes to school fees?

(72 Posts)
oldeposter Tue 08-Jan-13 08:23:24

I've divorced and been with my partner for several months and I love him and his dss to bits.

However, he is terrible with money. He is separated and in the separation agreed to pay all his sons' school fees AND maintenance to his ex-wife.

After his rent and bills this leaves him with £600 a month. He is getting into debt every month to the tune of around another £1000 - a lot of which is spending on his boys - phones, trips etc. He has no savings and no capital.

AIBU to tell him that he can't live with me until he has come to an agreement with his wife about her maintenance/contributing towards school fees?

I don't want to have to subsidise him because of this. I want to trust him not to get into debt before I commit myself to being a part of his life in the longer term. My last partner was a fuckwit and I want a more secure future.

AIBU because I think he thinks that I am.....?

Shakirasma Tue 08-Jan-13 08:26:38

You will never have a secure future with somebody who is so crap with money, regardless of school fees.

You need to have a long hard think about what exactly this man can offer you. Stress and debt in spades IMO.

Ragwort Tue 08-Jan-13 08:31:42

Agree with Shakirasma - persumably this man is an adult, if he has got to this stage in his life and cannot budget/control his money he is very unlikely to ever learn ................ you will end up subsidising him for life, he will never provide you with a 'secure future' and you have said this is what you want.

If you enjoy his company just keep him as a 'boyfriend' but don't let him move in with you.

lottiegarbanzo Tue 08-Jan-13 08:32:30

After rent and bills I could live very comfortably on £600 a month, as could many people. He needs to learn to budget and live within his means. YANBU to make sure he is doing this before linking your finances.

Presumably you are counting school fees as bills, in which case he has a very good income. He's just got used to living at a standard he can no longer afford.

You can pressure him, not his ex. They have an agreement which he must have signed up to. You can ask if he can try to renegotiate but the issue ans responsibility lie with him, not her.

ZillionChocolate Tue 08-Jan-13 08:32:50

It sounds as though he has already come to an arrangement about school fees. How was that reached? Did he have any legal advice?

It sounds like the two of them can't afford school fees on top of running two households.

I think you're absolutely right not to move in with someone who is so financially unstable.

VoiceofUnreason Tue 08-Jan-13 08:33:50


After all my mortgage and bills, I am left with around £300 per month. I have never been in debt (other than mortgage), own my own car, and have quite an acceptable standard of living. I have savings of around £10k plus a pension. I don't own a credit card.

I do not understand how after paying his rent, his bills, his wife's maintenance, his sons' school fees he can't cope financially on £600 per month. How on earth can one go into debt of £1000 each month and still have access to be able to continue doing that and not be bankrupt?

He is feckless and financially irresponsible and I can't believe he wouldn't sponge off you. Sorry, this guy is not a catch and I'd be kicking him into the long grass with the proviso that if he genuinely sorts his shit out, you might consider a relationship with him then. I wouldn't even be dating him, let alone allowing him to move in.

SantasENormaSnob Tue 08-Jan-13 08:39:03

I would run a mile from this man.

oldeposter Tue 08-Jan-13 08:39:51

Zillion: He had no legal advice about the separation agreement: it's all informal. His wife is the same as far as I can see and they had massive debts together.

Voice: I am the same as you in terms of money and I'm ok financially. I just don't spend what I don't have. He seems to not worry about £100 here, £70 there. I feel like he doesn't get that it just all adds up to debt.

lottiegarbanzo Tue 08-Jan-13 08:42:00

To put this in perspective, the £1,600 he is treating as disposable income each month is, approximately, the total take home pay of someone on the average, mid-£20ks wage.

Obviously this is about attitude, responsibility and being an adult, not numbers but, blimey!

EllieArroway Tue 08-Jan-13 08:42:50

I would consider myself rich if I had £600 after everything else had been paid & I think most people would.

I don't think you can get involved in telling him what arrangements he should have with the ex because that's their business. But what you can do is tell him that you won't be subsidising him & if his ridiculous spending habits are causing you hassle then show him the door.

Seabright Tue 08-Jan-13 08:42:57

Don't live together and don't do anything to combine ANY of your finances, however small.

Enjoy his company, introduce him to and see ow it goes, but don't take the relationship any further at this stage, the money problems will drive all the love away if you do.

LIZS Tue 08-Jan-13 08:43:53

I suspect he is not being honest with you , or himself, about the level of casual spending. What were the circumstances of the split , could he feel guilty and use money to alleviate it ? Does his ex work ? If you want a more secure future then I'm afraid it isn't likely to be with him .

PaellaUmbrella Tue 08-Jan-13 08:44:56

YABU expecting his wife to start contributing to the school fees - they came to an agreement on that. His inability to budget isn't her fault.

YANBU for not wanting to subsidise him though. He needs to become better with money - £600 surplus each month is PLENTY. The phones for his sons needs to stop and the trips need to become free ones.

allnewtaketwo Tue 08-Jan-13 08:47:44

When you say £600 after bills do you also mean after food, or that the £600 needs to also pay for food?

meditrina Tue 08-Jan-13 08:48:47

They have come to an agreement about maintenance and school fees. You are not part of that, nor is your opinion of it relevant.

This leaves him with insufficient money left over for you to want to cohabit with him. I think it is very prudent of you to consider the finances before moving in, and wish you luck in your search for a richer partner.

TippiShagpile Tue 08-Jan-13 08:50:58

The school fees are probably a red herring - if it wasn't school fees it would be something else. Some people are just crap with money and fritter it all away.

Don't move in with him - his credit record will be linked to yours if you do. Also, you'll become very resentful after a few months of bailing him out and it will destroy your relationship.

dreamingbohemian Tue 08-Jan-13 08:50:59

Sorry but he sounds absolutely crap with money. THAT is the problem, not whatever arrangement he has with his ex, so leave her out of it. Even if she agreed to take less money he would still spend above his means, with the attitude that he has.

You've only been with him a few months, which is really early to start talking about living together.

You're quite right to insist he straighten himself out financially before he moves in, but that's something he needs to change in himself. If you don't see him making any changes soon then I think you have to consider that yes, you might have picked another fuckwit, and best to move on.

oldeposter Tue 08-Jan-13 08:51:28

The £600 needs to pay for food, yes. That's what left after his school fees/maintenance/rent/utilities

I think a lot of the extra payments are associated with the schooling - uniforms, trips, phones etc.

His wife works FT yes. My personal feeling is that they can't afford to run two houses and pay the school fees. I think he feels responsible for paying for everything. He doesn't feel guilty (was a mutual split) but just responsible, I think.

I appreciate all your advice, which is really how I was feeling.

allnewtaketwo Tue 08-Jan-13 08:52:44

Well then I can see why he easily goes over the £600 if it includes food, transport costs, clothing + the cost of maintaining the children when he has them + uniforms etc

oldeposter Tue 08-Jan-13 08:53:03

"This leaves him with insufficient money left over for you to want to cohabit with him. I think it is very prudent of you to consider the finances before moving in, and wish you luck in your search for a richer partner."

sad That sounds really harsh. I don't want a 'richer partner', I just want to be able to support myself and have a partner who supports himself.

If we move in together, I will lose my child benefit, for a start!

SamSmalaidh Tue 08-Jan-13 08:53:22

Agree with others about school fees - that is not the issue. He has agreed to pay them and can afford to, so he should that.

What on earth is he spending £1200 a month on? He needs to learn to budget and manage his money better.

oldeposter Tue 08-Jan-13 08:53:33

Yes they have 50/50 shared care (7 nights in 14)

allnewtaketwo Tue 08-Jan-13 08:53:39

Don't move in with him

allnewtaketwo Tue 08-Jan-13 08:54:07

And you don't "lose" your CB. He will have to pay tax to cover it though

LIZS Tue 08-Jan-13 08:54:10

but presumably were he to move in , some of the bills would then become joint (rent?, council tax, utilities etc) so his £600 might increase and you might be better off.

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