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To think I shouldn't be paying maintenance as well as DH?

(469 Posts)
Mumoftwo88 Fri 26-Apr-13 21:31:22

My DH has a daughter with his exW aged 8 and we have two children together aged 2 and 4. His exW claims maintenance from him and he pays it every month without fail at £250.00. She has recently just become unemployed and whilst I sympathise with her I cannot understand why she is now claiming that he should be paying more and if needs be it should be paid through my earnings. (Her words)

She seems to think that because our household has two incomes coming in then we are wadded. We're not. From my earnings I have the mortgage to pay, bills to pay for this household, a food shop to pay for, a car to run, and 3 children to provide for, including DSD when she stays here.

And I have a family holiday to pay for. I'd like to think we can have some luxuries without some woman trying to screw money out of me just because I happen to be the partner of her exH.

Now don't get me wrong I know it is important that DSD is provided for, but that is where my DH's maintenance payments come in and I make sure she is ok when she is here. At the end of the day I'm not some meal ticket to this woman.


1Catherine1 Wed 01-May-13 18:04:48

YANBU. With the extra support of clothing costs and other misc child expenses, you sound like you and your DH are doing your best to maintain the lifestyle your DSD is accustomed to without maintaining your DH Ex-Wife's lifestyle. That is as much as can be asked.

IneedAyoniNickname Wed 01-May-13 17:29:09

Oh ok. I just put in the income ex told me he was on, and it came out as more than he ever paid anyway! It seems to me that the system doesn't work for anyone involved

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 01-May-13 17:26:10

Can't remember off the top of my head but its something to do with allowable living expenses.

The old rules used to automatically protect what the equivilent income support rates were.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 01-May-13 17:24:20

Its not. 15% going to cause the same result no matter what unless your silly rich in which case the csa can't asses you or silly poor in which case the % is disregarded and a nominal figure (£5 pw) is used or 0.

It just seams like a lot more from a wealthy person than it does from someone whose not. But its exactly the same % of income

IneedAyoniNickname Wed 01-May-13 17:20:25

But why? I'm not saying they shouldn't, just wondering what the reason is?

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 01-May-13 17:18:39

Because they automatically protect the first 20%

allnewtaketwo Wed 01-May-13 17:08:56

When we take about "minimal" contribution, it's all relative. Clearly those on lower salaries, 15% is a low numer in terms of £. But the more the salary rises, clearly the higher £ the 15% is. Therefore in a number of cases, the £ paid is well above a reasonable £ contribution towards food and clothing (given that an NRP also incurs hosing costs for the child). So I don't really agree with this ones size fits all" "minimum contribution" talk

IneedAyoniNickname Wed 01-May-13 17:00:23

Why is it a % of 80% of their income? I thought it was a% of the whole income. No wonder ex says I made him overpay!

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 01-May-13 16:51:24

Oh forgive the rant.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 01-May-13 16:51:07

According to gingerbread most nrp's pay 0 followed by the next largest group paying £5.

The % chosen were chosen because they were low enough to not create uproar because sadly more people than not believe its perfectly acceptable to walk away from kids and contribute either nothing or the absolute minimum they can get away with.

Its a minimal % that rarely has any relevance to how much that child's actual upkeep costs it was a high enough % to shut most pwc's up but low enough to make a nrp think they had escaped well.

Put it this way with a decent nrp its unlikely you would even need to use the csa the ones that do need the csa to be made to pay are often ( note often not all) the shitty ones.

People come out with crap like but what about those bitch mothers who just want to punish the ex,but think about it the maximum the csa can make a nrp pay is in reality the minimum contribution expected they start off with a % of 80% of their wages and reduce it based on how many other kids they have over night contact. They can then apply for it to be further reduced due to travelling for contact,debts incurred during the relationship, any school fees paid for the child,and if one of their resident children has a disability.

If we start off with every nrp having to pay a minimum % of income how on earth can a pwc use the csa when all the csa can do is force the minimum % or less ( unless of course the rp commits fraud by denying previous payments)

The pwc is expected to fund everything with all their money inc any maintenance and often expected to fund things whilst the child is with the nrp things like ongoing clubs if a party is attended the gift any clothing and the rights of the child to have a relationship is deamed to be the pwc's responsibility but not the nrp's so you can't force a nrp to do anything over and above maintenance not even to provide food whilst a child is with them.

Unfortunately there are some really shitty nrp's about both male and female (in fact one of the most awful ones I've heard about is a woman) and often these have new families who until she/he does a runner on that new family as well the new family often thinks the sun shines out of their arse.

And people accept it because their boss/ mate/ brother/ sister is just really hard done by top person really and obviously did nothing wrong is trying there best but the ex is a bitch.

Dahlen Wed 01-May-13 16:22:22

In most cases the NRP doesn't need to have any state help for the child because that child isn't costing them anything! Most NRPs pay £0 towards their children.

However, when it comes to 50/50 arrangements, I would happily see benefits split between parents. That's an area that can be changed, certainly. Although 50/50 still remains very far from the norm in most situations.

And I repeat that for a PWC who works, any state benefits she receives will not even cover childcare costs in full, let alone contribute towards the upkeep of a child.

allnewtaketwo Wed 01-May-13 16:15:08

Yes, single parents (except those earning over 60k) do receive benefits, in particular child benefit. Plus likely tax credits. NRP receives no state help for the child, even where care is 50:50.

Dahlen Wed 01-May-13 16:10:51

Even if you think that's acceptable (why should the NRP be able to pay less than half for a child he is 50% responsible for?), it completely fails to take into account the imbalance in parenting, which should be acknowledged as well.

And not all single parents receive benefits.

And among those that do, tax credits and child benefit are a drop in the ocean of childcare costs. Meanwhile the NRP is free from the encumbrance of having children regardless of his employment or maintenance status.

allnewtaketwo Wed 01-May-13 15:58:53

But the NRP contribution is only supposed to be a fraction of the cost in any case (less than half i would say, given that a child has 2 parents, one of whom receives state benefits for the child (regardless of whether maintenance is paid or not).

Dahlen Wed 01-May-13 15:16:27

X-posted with Socking.

Dahlen Wed 01-May-13 15:15:41

Well by the logic above whereby it was suggested that the child go to live with the NRP if the PWC lost her job, maybe the child shouldn't go for contact in that instance then. hmm

Unless the NRP is a particularly high earner, his maintenance contribution is highly unlikely to have covered even a fraction of the true cost of caring for a child. The PWC (or in some cases the state) is effectively subsidising the NRP's contribution for all that time. That's partly why the PWC isn't asked to subsidise an NRP's contact any more than she already is.

Although as it happens, I've known many PWCs who send their child for contact visits with food and clothing.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 01-May-13 15:13:22

Quite aside from a nrp directly asking for cash from a pwc being very different to the other way round.

A pwc is expected to provide everything for the child a nrp is only expected to pay maintenance at a minimal income % to contribute towards that everything else is down to the pwc.

I have seen pwc advised that because they recive £5pw they should provide all required items for the child for use when the child visits the nrp including clothing food and baby items. I have personally been told that its my responsibility because a relationship with dc and his dad is far more important than dads ability to get food and nappies and it would be better for me to provide them than say you can't/ won't so no lengthy contact.

Another poster about 6 months ago can't remember the name but dad refused to provide food during contact and wanted mum to do a 300 mile round trip because he couldnt cope with it.there were about 14 pages of outrage combined with budget recipes of food she could send at her expense that he could just heat up and she was told to just suck it up.

Another poster he ex had sold one pram she was told tough she had to provide another one for his use because as a pwc that was down to her.

If a nrp loses a job and maintenance is via the csa it stops instantly.

allnewtaketwo Wed 01-May-13 15:01:36

No it's not, because it won't put food on the table to feed the child.

olgaga Wed 01-May-13 14:48:28

I've never once read a thread on mn whereby an NRP would be advised to ask the PWC for a contribution towards the child's upkeep in their care, if the NRP had lost their job.

No, you wouldn't - because usually the NRP will stop paying maintenance in those circumstances anyway. Isn't that enough of a "contribution"?

allnewtaketwo Wed 01-May-13 13:34:15

I was, as I said, contrasting it with NRP unemployment. I've never once read a thread on mn whereby an NRP would be advised to ask the PWC for a contribution towards the child's upkeep in their care, if the NRP had lost their job. The NRP would just be expected to suck it up, use savings or find another job - not to request money from the other parent.

olgaga Wed 01-May-13 13:05:23

Well why wouldn't they allnew? In a situation like that it's a nightmare for the RP if maintenance they rely on suddenly stops.

Just as it must be a nightmare for this ex who has lost her job and needs help, and has asked the child's father.

The whole point of redundancy money is to help you make ends meet during a period of unemployment and no pay. If you have dependent children you should obviously make provision for them out of that.

There's no difference - a child's welfare should be the main concern of any reasonable parent. If a parent was in a position to keep up maintenance payments despite losing their job then clearly that's what they should do, and presumably in the threads you refer to, if there is a redundancy settlement, then people have rightly pointed out that there is no excuse for not paying maintenance.

But we don't know if the ex was made redundant. All we know is she has "just become unemployed" - there is no mention of a redundancy settlement. There's no mention of the ex refusing to find work either.

All we know is the ex has asked the child's father for help because she has "just become unemployed".

Which seems perfectly understandable to me!

gotthemoononastick Wed 01-May-13 12:54:48

Sock is a very wonderful human being....unusual nowadays and really hope there is such a thing as Karma to reward her!!

allnewtaketwo Wed 01-May-13 12:36:44

I'm not talking about "take the b* for everything threads", I'm talking specifically about threads where the NRP has lost his job and so maintenance towards the child falls. Those threads will focus on the points I mention, namely his redundancy money, his savings, and his need to find any other job quickly.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 01-May-13 09:58:22


I have seen many a thread where a dad pays £5 pw and the mum is called money grabbing for asking further contributions.i have seen many where dads are given much more leeway stuff that gets mums flamed gets brushed under the carpet when done by dads.

I don't know how frequent take the bastard for everything threads are because I have never seen them but I do know if I had a none resident child and got made redundant nobody would have to go after me for anything because I would offer it.

Binkybix Wed 01-May-13 09:47:50

See this is where I don't get MN. The majority of threads about household finances lean towards all money being family money, rather than money earned belonging to each person who earns it (to the point where people question the validity of partnerships where this isn't the case).

So why in this case is it seen as OPs money and not family money? Seems contradictory to me.

Having said that, I'd bristle at the request too, but I don't think I would get involved with someone who has young children because not sure I'd have it in me to do the job thoroughly and properly, and agree it's not fair to duck in and out, even if you're not the biological parent. I've never actually been in that situation though, so you never know.

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