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I really don't know whether IABU regarding maintenance from ex

(52 Posts)
justfoundout2014 Sat 06-Dec-14 20:54:26

H and I separated in the summer due to his infidelity. I work f/t, he was sahp. He has insisted that he wants nothing at all from me and has so far kept to this and is now working and in a studio flat on his own. Dc are with me.

His flat is 6 miles from us, in the city where his friends are. He comes to the family home every morning at 6.30, allowing me to go to work early. I am a teacher, and would struggle if he didn't do this - no c/ms start that early and I struggle juggling everything as it is. He drops the dc off at 7.30, then goes to work - near where he lives. To date, he has been able to leave work at 3pm to pick dc up and he then looks after them in the family home until I return - usually about 5pm, sometimes much later due to meetings, parents' evenings etc. He usually stays until they are in bed. Once a week I am home before 4.

He also comes round on Sundays after lunch and takes the dc out for a few hours. They eat all meals at home, though he usually buys them an ice-cream or something on the Sunday. They have never been to his flat.

He pays me nothing and I have been insisting he brings his own coffee (naice machine = expensive coffee) and fruit for breakfast in the mornings (too early for him to eat at home). Obviously he is welcome to have a meal if I work late, and I occasionally give him something on Sunday if I have made a big meal.

He is generally happy with the arrangement, but has made a few comments that suggest he feels he is being taken advantage of. Not that he objects to the childcare, but that he is being 'good' by doing it, and that I am doing all the taking. I don't know. Given that he has walked away with nothing, should I be asking for money from him now he works, or, conversely, should I be paying him for childcare?

We have taken no legal advice, apart from free 30 minutes when I first found out (me, not him) so I just don't know. I do know that the current arrangement suits me very well, and I really don't know how I would cope without the childcare he provides.

Any advice would be great - would love to know how unfair or not this looks from the outside.

justfoundout2014 Sat 06-Dec-14 20:55:42

Bollocks - forgot to add that he pays the c/m fees, though if we start needing to use her or other care in the afternoons, (looking likely) I will pay for that.

Vitalstatistix Sat 06-Dec-14 21:00:15

for starters, no parent is 'being good' for taking care of their own children. That's what parents do.

I am sure he also loves spending so much time with his children.

If he wants you to be grateful that he is pulling his weight as a parent even though you have split up, he's got to be kidding.

What do you think would happen if you said to him look, if you are not happy, you can stop taking care of your children, we can go through the csa for set maintenance and you can have the normal schedule of visitation which would be you taking them to your home every other weekend or something, if that's the arrangement you prefer. I do not want you to feel hard done by.

Solasum Sat 06-Dec-14 21:05:06

You mean he drops them at CM every morning at 7.30? If so, I think you should share this cost, as it is enabling both of you to work.

I think caring for his own children everyday is his choice. Be prepared for his enthusiasm to do this every day to falter if/when he is in a new relationship, and have a backup plan. Maybe an au pair would suit your situation? Then you would not need the CM.

Re other expenses, I think he should be contributing. CSA amount as bare minimum, ideally more.

gamerchick Sat 06-Dec-14 21:05:38

Yep ^^ call his bluff.. tell him maybe it's time to sort something more formal put where he does much less (give him examples) and pays you decent maintenance.

If he thinks he's got you over a barrel then he might turn into a knob or use it as a way to control some things.

Sort out a plan b if he wasn't around on paper anyway. This isn't sustainable for the long term.

Primaryteach87 Sat 06-Dec-14 21:06:36

Yes, he is their parent still, so I can see the point being made above. But I think he's doing a lot more than most non-resident parents. Should he withdraw this support, get accessed for child maintainable etc and pay that- it's unlikely you could replicate what he does for the money. He knows this. You know this. Don't Rock the boat would be my advice!

RandomMess Sat 06-Dec-14 21:08:45

Perhaps get a nanny and get him to contribute financially instead?

With regards to the house, he is helping house his children and their overnight carer (ie you)

The current situation doesn't sound possible to maintain tbh.

Islander79 Sat 06-Dec-14 21:09:51

You need to share the CM fees but that's it... agree a back up plan would be wise!

elephantspoo Sat 06-Dec-14 21:14:09

Seems like everything is equitable ATM. You both work, you both take care of DC, and you both seem to be being amicable and flexible in your approaches to the changed family dynamic.

But like Solasum says, be prepared for his priorities to change as time goes on, especially if another partner comes on the scene and starts talking in his ear.

Darquesse Sat 06-Dec-14 21:15:41

I think you have got it pretty good at the moment and if he is paying the childminder I wouldn't be asking for more money on top. You may come out worse off if he withdraws his support and he wouldn't be paying the childminder as well as maintenance.

Tryharder Sat 06-Dec-14 21:23:22

I think you would be mad to rock the boat.

He sounds like he's pulling his weight. Given that he was the prime carer for the DCs and wasn't working, I think you're quite lucky that he didn't insist on being the resident parent and demanding maintenance from you.

It's a cliche but if it ain't broke....

CountingThePennies Sat 06-Dec-14 21:24:48

I think you have got it good too.

He does far more than any nrp i know!

I dont think this set up will last long term especially when a new partner comes on the scene.

Babycham1979 Mon 08-Dec-14 17:08:39

If he was the SAHP, how come he's ended-up alone in a studio flat and you've got the kids? Even though you work full-time? It does sound rather like you've drawn the long straw!

Micah Mon 08-Dec-14 17:15:28

Yes I can't see why he wasn't given residency if he was the sahp? Surely that would have been the obvious solution.

If the situation suits you as you say I wouldn't risk rocking the boat as others say. If you were male you'd be paying csa and only seeing your kids at weekends.

WooWooOwl Mon 08-Dec-14 17:21:26

Tbh I think in your situation I'd rather see him have enough money to be able to build up his own home to enable him to have somewhere suitable and nice enough to have the dc. If he was making a real effort to provide that for his children, I think I'd forgo formal maintenance agreements for the time being, and just make him pay half of the big expenses like school trips/shoes/uniform/Christmas presents.

It would be conditional on him sorting out his own home rather than just waiting around in a dingy flat hoping I'd take him back though.

woodychip Mon 08-Dec-14 17:22:36

If you read through posts on here, you'll see you have the sweetest arrangement I have ever seen. Why on earth can't you see it? You do realise he could be the NPR and turn up once every two weeks for a couple of days and you are left with juggling the rest!

Greengrow Mon 08-Dec-14 17:48:30

It's very strange he isn't in the family home with the children as the main carer and you aren't in the studio flat!

riverboat1 Mon 08-Dec-14 18:03:56

I can see why he looks after the children at yours, since he is only in a studio flat. Agree with PP that it is important he works and saves towards getting a bigger place as it isn't going to continue to be feasible for him to look after the DC's at yours in the long term, especially if you yourself get a new partner.

Also what is going to happen in summer holidays? Will he still be welcome to spend time with kids at yours when you are there or will you want him to take them to his?

I think all things considered, the fact that he is looking after the kids in your own home and around your needs is pretty valuable. OTOH he is not paying maintenance. I think the scales seem more or less even right now, but precariously balanced as to long term future

KneeQuestion Mon 08-Dec-14 18:09:30

Given his infidelity was the cause for the marriage break up, I am guessing that he is trying to maintain 'separateness'?

He's got himself a nice little set up, a bachelor pad that children never visit and everything set to make him look like he is doing the OP a massive favour [medal for looking after your own children? I think not]

I wonder what his reaction would be should the OP meet someone new?

I'd be looking at getting an au pair or nanny I think.

needaholidaynow Mon 08-Dec-14 18:15:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

itsbetterthanabox Mon 08-Dec-14 20:16:31

So he takes them to school and picks them up in the morning? He still works and you have them the rest of the time?
You still have them way more of the time plus as it's at your house you are paying for it. If he's not happy to do this anymore you should share the cost of childcare but he should pay you maintenance either way.
I hate this attitude of looking after your own kids is a favour to the RP!

justfoundout2014 Mon 08-Dec-14 21:07:32

I find it so sad the number of posts on here saying that I can't expect this to last. Why not? He is their father and always will be. Of course, if his working hours change, that is one thing, but the idea that he may not want to do the decent thing by his kids in the long term is appalling.

I suppose I do have it good, but the bottom line is, I think , that he wants me to maintain everything here so that he doesn't have to feel guilty about disrupting the kids. Then he can come back every day and still feel he is the perfect parent. At the same time, if I ever mention finances, he can lay it on about being here at the crack of dawn every morning for my 'benefit'. Actually, it is so I can keep the job that keeps a roof over his kids' heads, but, hey...

He is in the studio flat because that is how he wanted it, to those who queried it. I chose to go back to work when the dc were babies, f/t, because I was relatively happy to leave them with their dad and thought I would always have the school holidays...

There is no chance of my ever meeting anyone else- I barely have time to sneeze as things are. I need to sort a divorce, but no time to do so.

bf1000 Mon 08-Dec-14 21:10:51

Why dont the children live with him? IF he is the SAHP then he should be the RP and you the NRP surely.

itsbetterthanabox Mon 08-Dec-14 21:11:23

You don't have it good op. You have it how it should be! Both parents taking responsibility of day to day child rearing.

notinagreatplace Mon 08-Dec-14 21:18:44

I think people are not necessarily saying that he won't want to spend significant time with his kids in the long-term, I think they're saying that he won't want to work around you to this extent in the long-term.

If he remarries and especially if he has more children, it just won't work for him to spend so much time at yours and work around your schedule. He will likely want something more standard - and, even if that's 50:50, it'll be more like one week off, one week on. That will be massively different to what you have right now.

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