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to want to pay less maintainance but I'm worried about the knock on effect

(86 Posts)
cantthinkofadadsname Wed 08-May-13 11:37:21

Been separated for several years. At the time of separation, my ex and I agreed a figure for maintainance. I knew what it cost to run the house and look after DS so I was probably unrealistic as to what I could afford at the time.

I've always struggled to pay it - last year it was almost 40% of pre-tax income. I've been struggling with debt but supporting DS has always been my priority. Work has been difficult - I work as an agency worker and have found it very hard to get a full time job.

Ex has moved to a new house - which is great as DS has got so much out of the new location. Ex also works part time - so she can do childcare and also achieve a work life balance being a single parent. This has cost her financially and I'm more than aware of that. But she relies on my maintainance to pay the mortgage and bills.

I hate that I can't support her and DS. I just can't afford it. I've got debts and a mortage to pay as well as food to pay for. DS stays twice a week. The CSA calculator suggests paying a lot less per month but that's crap.

She can't get more hours at work. But I am wracked with guilt about the knock on effect. She's made sacrifices to bring up DS. And I've let them both down. There are times when I think it would be better to end it as the life insurance would be great for both of them but it's only the thought of DS that stops it.

I've tried to tell her what I'm earning at the moment but she doesn't seem to realise. She's struggling at the moment as well and hates me for everything that happened.

cantthinkofadadsname Fri 10-May-13 22:18:10

She gets CB but not a lot of CTC from what I understand. I know it's not my fault she moved to a house that depended on my maintenance to afford it. She did it for DS (to do with being nearer school) and DS has benefitted so much. She was worrying about affording it before she moved.

I agree about the 15% not being the amount I should pay. When I saw the CSA payments, I was shocked by how low they seemed. I made a lot of sacrifices over the past few years accommodation wise so I could pay the maintenance.

I just want to do my best for them both so DS is ok.

Pan Fri 10-May-13 22:22:00

Sooo.. is she an MNer, OP?

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 10-May-13 22:26:22

OP weird questions for you.

Is she really really stupid and completely unlikely to actually check out stuff like what you can be forced to pay?

Do you have form for never challenging anything with her?

Did you at anytime before her buying the new house have any discussion with her about the cost of the mortgage and in any way lead her to believe that nothing would change regarding your payments so she should go ahead on the basis of that and buy it?

MoominsYonisAreScary Fri 10-May-13 22:32:31

Stop allowing her to guilt trip you

cantthinkofadadsname Fri 10-May-13 22:34:07

I always found it hard to challenge her on things. That's part of the reason for our break up as I felt my opinion and views never mattered. When she got the house, money was tight for me but I was determined to try and pay so DS would be ok. Then due to work issues, money got tighter.

She's always known things have been tight for me but as long as she got the money, she never really asked or seemed to worry about it. I know she knew that she depended on my maintenance for the mortgage.

I feel like I've let them down. But she was the one who took on the mortgage knowing she'd be relying on me.

comingintomyown Fri 10-May-13 22:40:58

Woulda coulda shoulda

I would explain how things will have to be and stop worrying about what she does or doesnt think

Just keep being loving to your DS and doing the best you can without being so self sacrificing and self critical about it

As has been said lots of couples are in this or worse positions it has nothing to do with your split

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 10-May-13 22:44:03

You need to talk to her. With a neutral third party present if necessary.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 10-May-13 22:45:51

Incidentally, how did she get the large mortgage on a part time salary - did she have a guarantor?

Pan Fri 10-May-13 22:46:22

So ex is an MNer. But MN is a big site.

It really isn't clear what the point of your thread is, other than to magnify your sense of victimhood. What is your point?

cantthinkofadadsname Fri 10-May-13 22:51:09

My point, pan is that I'm worried. Really worried. And I need somewhere to offload on - if that's ok by you?

I have no idea how she got the mortgage. I'm not sure if they take maintenance payments into account when you apply.

Boosterseat Fri 10-May-13 22:59:39

If you have a 3 bed House could you rent it out and get a smaller 2 bed for you and ds?

As someone who's ex pays the absolute minimum for DS, I am a little bit jealous that her sons DF gives a shit enough about him to want to adequaltey support him.

Pay as much as you can afford and also try to save a little for your DS if you can, Ds may appreciate when he gets older that you were planning for his future and thinking about him even if you weren't around as much.

cantthinkofadadsname Fri 10-May-13 23:01:05

I have a tiny 2 bed flat. In the cheap part of town.

Pan Fri 10-May-13 23:01:47

Off loading is fine, OP. But for eg you can find out if mortgage providers allow for maintenance payments anywhere.
And it appears that you are lightly off loading all sorts of responsibilities about how you manage your stuff at the door of your ex. It's fairly inauthentic, and you still can't say if your ex is an MNer.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 10-May-13 23:08:18

OP, it's better that she understands the situation and looks into moving now than she ends up in arrears because you have too many other debts and can't pay after all. At least it won't be a crisis point for her and DS. But the longer you leave it, the more likely a crisis.

cantthinkofadadsname Fri 10-May-13 23:08:29

pan I live on fuck all money. I take great care in my budgeting. Work has not been great - for reasons that I'm not going to go into - but I am doing my best.

Why are you obsessed with knowing if ex is an MNer? I'm certain she isn't but she might well have friends who are. So I'm being cautious. If that's ok with you.

I'm a regular on MN - but have NCed for this.

cantthinkofadadsname Fri 10-May-13 23:09:39

snatch We did have a chat today - she is aware of how things are. I'm not sure what conclusions she's come to.

Pan Fri 10-May-13 23:22:02

OP, I'm not obsessing about the ex MN status, at all. It's fairly common tho' for some blokes to land here and shoot off about the troubles they have had/are having with their exs/partners whilst knowing this is a place where their exs have a bit of respite. As you would know if you are a regular?

So, really, what are you asking for here? An objective viewpoint? A set of convincing arguments to deliver to ex?

cantthinkofadadsname Fri 10-May-13 23:28:30

Are you the thread police, Pan? Or are you doing your usual trick of criticising people on threads?

I'm posting on AIBU for the reason many people post on AIBU. To offload, be heard and to get some points I can make to my ex.

No - she's not an MNer.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 10-May-13 23:58:39

Pan, back off your the one whose coming across as prat not the op.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 11-May-13 00:02:23


Did your knowledge of her knowing she relied on your payments for her mortgage come about in any way due to you giving a assurance that she could rely on it.

Bogeyface Sat 11-May-13 00:38:11

Look guilt or not, it comes down to this.

She wants you to pay £X, but you can only afford £Y so she needs to either accept this or go through the CSA when she will get a lot less.

Whatever way she chooses to react or paint her situation, she chose to take on a mortgage she couldnt service on her own earnings, and you are not earning enough to cover it (even if you should which is questionable). I dont wish to sound morbid, but any one of us could get run over by a bus tomorrow, what would she do then? PLEASE dont tell me that she is the beneficiary of your life insurance. Make your son the beneficiary, and make a will stating who is the trustee (not your ex or anyone with anything to do with her) and that your son will receive it when he is 25 or whenever.

Pan Sat 11-May-13 00:39:16

OP, I really don't care where you post at all. But yes, if you post in AIBU expect some sharp questions?

fwiw, I don't have a 'usual trick' of criticising posters at all, but sometimes querying what it's all about - just a healthy radar?
And tbh you've had some really good tactical pointers given to you on this thread, but you appear to want to revert to 'victim' mode repeatedly. Until you grow out of your 'guilt' phase, your ex will take you to the cleaners, and that will be nothing to do with the best well-being of your dc.

Bogeyface Sat 11-May-13 01:41:33

I agree Pan that until the OP takes advice, things will stay the same. However, there are ways of saying it, you know? And as you know, troll hunting is frowned upon, if you think the OP isnt what it says on the tin, then report him!

EchoDragon Sat 11-May-13 07:59:39

I think you need some advice to sort your finances out. Speak to a charity like Step Change or another voluntary debt management company. They have many ways to help from dealing with your credit ors to helping you set up sensible and manageable budgets.

Your ex takingvon a big mortgage relying on maintenance payments was her choice. She should have made sure she didn't need to rely totally on your payments when she moved. What if you were ill or became unemployed through redundancy or your employer going bust? All a harsh reality of the economic downturn but would have a direct effect on your maintenance payments through no fault of yours. Of course it is reasonable to use your money to contribute to her mortgage. But to rely on it to such an extent she risks loosing her house is a bit irresponsible.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 11-May-13 10:03:12

Yup, was just coming on to say Step Change.
You need a debt management plan, absolutely.

On the one hand, I can see Ex's point about moving somwhere better, schools etc. I moved somewhere a bit too expensive because we were on a bad estate, and I wanted ds to live somewhere better (flame away if you must I don't care!)
This was not always easy financially, but I felt it was important.
However, I didn't take on a massive mortgage, and If I did have a mortgage I would make sure I could pay it with my earnings, and not rely on maintenence.
You SHOULD be paying equally for your child, but one of you shouln't be paying more than the other. She may have to downsize , and one or both of you could try and get more work.
To those saying that Ex "chose" to work PT, well yes BUT, when you are a single parent you do everything in the home, you have to be there at both ends of the school/childcare day, there is no-one to help with housework, shopping, cleaning, cooking.
It was really hard when I was working FT out of the home, because a) I was totally knackered, and b) ds really missed me-when your family is just one other person most of the time, it's hard when you suddenly see them so much less.
I actually had to stop WOH full time (can now work some of the time from home-yay) because Tax credits cut WAY back on childcare help, and the childcare costs were making it pointless anyway, despite all the other stuff.
So, It's not always as simple as "tell the sponging cah to get more hours" Also, OP has said that she can't get more hours now. Work is in very short supply these days.
You BOTH have a child, you BOTH need to sit down together and do the sums, and work out what you can BOTH do.
It's no good being all passive and scared of confrontation. Grow up a bit and talk to her, with a mediator if it help, but you need to sort it out together.

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