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to think my ex can't tell me what to spend my money on?

(69 Posts)
miffedatthis Thu 26-Dec-13 17:55:05

Been separated for 5 years. Reduced payments (but still over the recommended CSA allowance) as I had no money left.

Have now got a bit more money so can treat DS to the occasional meal out and the odd magazine. Not a lot but something.

Ex has just been on the phone complaining that I seem to be treating him when she can't afford to. She moved to a nice area as that was where DS goes to school. It's expensive and that's reflected in her mortgage. Whereas I've been in shared rooms for 4 years before getting my place.

Apparently I'm being insensitive. I do not shower him with stuff but I do have a bit more disposable income - despite giving ex maintenance as I have a cheap mortgage.

I am aware ex does not have much money. I do try to regulate it but DS is pretty much the only person I spend money on.

AIBU to think it's my money?

And as for being insensitve - this is the person who told me she feels sad waking up with DS and not having something to open from Santa so she has to get a Santa present. Yet I have woken up alone for 5 years on Xmas morning without even seeing DS open his presents. And she told me she was upset on Xmas morning. She does not have a clue.

Lweji Thu 26-Dec-13 17:59:28

Definitely yours to spend on what you like, including your DS.
In fact, why not give what CSA recommends and top up with clothes and other things? You should be able to have a nice place for DS to stay in when he's with you.

Why don't you have alternate Christmas?

WooWooOwl Thu 26-Dec-13 18:02:24

Yanbu. Your ex sounds very self centred.

miffedatthis Thu 26-Dec-13 18:02:48

Because DS wants to be "in his bed" and he comes first.
I am more than aware of the sacrifices she's made. I do not want her to "suffer" - but she could easily move to a cheaper house. All I hear from her is "I can't afford this, I can't afford that". I know she has no money. We both work flexible hours for childcare and I have DS twice a week overnight.

YouTheCat Thu 26-Dec-13 18:03:19

I'd stop with the giving more than you can afford and buy stuff for your ds instead, as Lweji said.

Your ex needs to live to her means and if that means getting a house in a less affluent area that is her look out and she shouldn't be blaming you for her choices.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 26-Dec-13 18:03:30

Naff all to do with her as long as you are paying the csa amount or higher.

miffedatthis Thu 26-Dec-13 18:07:17

She just said "I'll move back to....." and then you won't see him.

YouTheCat Thu 26-Dec-13 18:08:52

OP, I think it would be worth speaking to a solicitor and making it clear to your ex that you will not be walked over and will resort to family court for access if she plays funny buggers.

Call her bluff.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Thu 26-Dec-13 18:17:21

Question - would the schools be as good if she moved somewhere cheaper? It sounds like you're critical of where she lives, but if a good school is the reason behind this then you can hardly complain. Houses are more expensive close to better schools as a general rule.

hippo123 Thu 26-Dec-13 18:24:23

Can she afford to buy him shoes, winter coat, pay for school dinners etc? If that's a struggle I can see why she's annoyed why your taking ds out for food etc.

sillymillyb Thu 26-Dec-13 18:28:46

I may be controversial here - but I can sort of see her point.

Ds dad pays slightly under the csa amount but has a much better standard of living than I - and as such ds has.

I'm angry with him because when I have no money it impacts on ds - I can't afford to run my car at the moment so we struggle to go places, we live in a "nice" area, but in a minuscule flat that has an all in one living / diner / kitchen.

I go without food often to feed ds, and as such it rankles when he boasts on Facebook of drinking £3k bar bills, or jetting off to Thailand because he's tired.

I understand that it is his money to spend as he wishes, but equally, when all my money goes on our son and I have none left for myself, I can't help but judge him for those choices.

YouTheCat Thu 26-Dec-13 18:30:58

I think that is a completely different situation from a man who is paying over the CSA amount and is talking about small treats for his ds .

You live to your means.

miffedatthis Thu 26-Dec-13 18:31:37

She can afford to buy clothes, dinners and shoes. They have days out. She has just made sacrifices elsewhere. Just like I have for 5 years until I managed to get a house and took more control of my finances.

She did move to the house because it was in the catchment area of the school he is at. But that came at a price. There are other good schools in the area with cheaper house prices. That would cause an upheaval.

I just don't like being dictated to how to live my life. I am very aware of the money she has and do get extra stuff if needed. She still seems to think she can control me and tell me what to do.

hippo123 Thu 26-Dec-13 18:34:06

Fair enough. In which case yabnu.

miffedatthis Thu 26-Dec-13 18:34:49


For the last 5 years I've been living in a shared house. My ex now has a 3 bedroom house with garden and garage. I've got a little flat in a crap area. I go camping for my holiday whilst my ex goes on walking holidays. I've sacrificed 5 years so she can look after DS and it's been bloody hard.

sillymillyb Thu 26-Dec-13 18:41:52

So long as your ds isn't missing out on anything - that's I think what my point was.

I make sacrifices for my ds to have as best quality of life as possible and it impacts massively on me. Ds dad makes a lesser sacrifice (in the form of maintenance) and would see his son go without to stick to the monthly amount he has dictated that he can afford.

Like other posters have said, maybe buy him things direct like shoes / clothes etc. However I can still see her point if she is doing the main bulk of parenting, and struggling, that it would rankle to see you having a significantly better quality of life.

YouTheCat Thu 26-Dec-13 18:43:58

Why? He's living in a flat and she's living in a 3 bed house. He doesn't sound like his lifestyle is full of spending money and he does his fair share of child care.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Thu 26-Dec-13 18:44:21

I was coming round to your way of thinking until your last post. You sacrificed so she could care for your son?! Who else would you rather have cared for him? I'm sure a full time carer would have cost way more - if you're determined to bring this down to cost/price.

sillymillyb Thu 26-Dec-13 18:44:57

Why is she in a 3 bed and not a 2? I can see why the garden is necessary, but I see your point that she isn't living to her means in that respect.

miffedatthis Thu 26-Dec-13 18:45:10

Before maintenance, she earns more money than me. Then she gets child benefit. Then she gets maintenance from me.

miffedatthis Thu 26-Dec-13 18:47:40

wibbly I sacrificed because I made sure she had enough money so I went to a shared house. I could have rented a house and given her less.

Then we could both have had shared care rather than him coming to a shared house where he could not relax.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Thu 26-Dec-13 18:48:47

And she also has primary responsibility for a child. Your child. Children cost money. And time. Maybe she'd be less restricted career wise if she didn't have full time responsibility for your child?

I think you sound really bitter. We don't know the ins and outs of why you split but if I were to split with my DH, I wouldn't want him to suffer unnecessarily as that would have a direct impact on the children.

Logic dictates that she'll need a bigger place than you for both her and your son to live. Bigger places cost more to run. I can't really see your point, sorry.

miffedatthis Thu 26-Dec-13 18:52:28

She does not have full time responsibility. We share care 2 - 3 nights a week.

I know she needs a bigger place. She is in the most expensive part of the city.

DS is not suffering. I have done a hell of a lot to make sure she has money. I have taken him out for one meal this month and brought him 2 magazines. And she complained about that.

miffedatthis Thu 26-Dec-13 18:53:11

And my point is - she can't tell me what to spend my money on.

Lweji Thu 26-Dec-13 18:53:48

I am a single mum with one DS and exH doesn't pay anything, although I have a good salary.

I still think miffed should have got a better place to be able to share care and give in maintenance what CSA says.
If she can afford a 3 bed with garden in a good area, she doesn't really need over CSA maintenance.

And why shouldn't a father be able to have good accommodation to have his own son?
Children soon adapt, and "his" bed would soon be in either home.

If she says anything again about where you spend your money on your DS, ask her for a report on her spending.

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