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What is fair in this situation re child support?

(245 Posts)
EElisavetaOfBelsornia Thu 10-Mar-16 16:44:48

DSis has asked for my advice. She works 2 days a week, BiL is FT but asked to reduce to 3 days so they will not need to use any childcare. BiL has a child from a previous relationship for whom he pays child support. DSis thinks he should pay about three fifths of what he currents pays, whatever the CB calculator works out as, because his income has reduced. BiL thinks it's unfair for the child and his mum to have less money because they are taking a lifestyle choice - he said he, DSis and their DCs would benefit but his DS and his mum would suffer. She asked me for advice. I am thinking of suggesting a half way position - the rate that 4 days would work out as if that makes sense. What do you think?

Waltermittythesequel Thu 10-Mar-16 16:46:00

Can they afford for him to continue paying what he is now?

EElisavetaOfBelsornia Thu 10-Mar-16 16:48:37

He thinks they could - their income will reduce when his hours do, so there will be some reining in of spending needed, but they're quite comfortable now. I suppose it's what is prioritised.

MillionToOneChances Thu 10-Mar-16 16:49:27

Your BIL is right, assuming they can still afford to pay. Having a new child doesn't morally reduce your duties to previous children, does it? Child maintenance should be a top priority. There might be a compromise available if he could look after his other child and reduce his ex's childcare bill on the days when he is not working, though.

FeelingFine89 Thu 10-Mar-16 16:51:25

Will they not get help with childcare costs? If she's working part time then surely they won't be paying for a full time nursery place.
Sorry, but if he wants to pay the same amount then he needs to keep working the same amount.

Katenka Thu 10-Mar-16 16:55:55

So he is reducing his hours so they (as couple) reduce their child care costs?

Your BIL is right. How is his child benefitting from him working less? With should his child and her mother have less, when it's a life style choice

EElisavetaOfBelsornia Thu 10-Mar-16 16:56:20

His son lives a long way away so he won't provide childcare. DSis and BiL won't have any childcare costs in new arrangement, but will still have less money despite this.

What do you think of my halfway suggestion?

RudeElf Thu 10-Mar-16 16:59:44

If they will still have less money despite saving on childcare then it doesnt make sense to reduce hours at work. They are doing themselves out of money!

EElisavetaOfBelsornia Thu 10-Mar-16 17:00:07

By the way DSis is suggesting paying what CSA would take, not less. My suggestion is to pay more, but reduced from what he pays now while he's FT.

twirlypoo Thu 10-Mar-16 17:00:23

I think you BIL sounds like a decent parent. The needs and living costs of his first child won't change just because he has made a lifestyle choice to reduce his hours. His new family benefit, his old one is screwed over. He should pay the same imo.

WhereYouLeftIt Thu 10-Mar-16 17:01:06

Your BIL is morally right. BIL/SIL are dropping income as a choice to enhance their lifestyle. They are the ones who should shoulder the financial cost of that choice, not his older child. I'm afraid I'm judging your sister.

fieldfare Thu 10-Mar-16 17:01:36

I think he should put the new figures into the child maintenance calculator online and see what it says.
Because he's making a lifestyle choice it's really not very fair if that means he drastically reduces the money he's paying for the upkeep of his son.
Although "fair" rarely comes into it in these situations.

EElisavetaOfBelsornia Thu 10-Mar-16 17:02:00

RudeElf it's not for financial reasons. They think it would be better for DCs, less stress and as BiL has health condition give him time to keep fit etc.

wannaBe Thu 10-Mar-16 17:04:08

Your biL is right. His child, his choice to pay the same amount.

I am hmm at anyone who decides to start dictating what someone should be paying towards their children. The child existed before your sister came on the scene. Not her child, not her business. angry.

EElisavetaOfBelsornia Thu 10-Mar-16 17:04:43

fieldfare the calculator would give what DSis is suggesting, 15% of his new income. I'm asking if it's right to pay more. FWIW I think keeping it at what he pays now would be a big struggle, which I why I thought of an in between rate.

EElisavetaOfBelsornia Thu 10-Mar-16 17:06:11

I'm also trying not to judge DSis, she can be a bit self centred. But it should've a solution which feels fair for everyone.

BaronessEllaSaturday Thu 10-Mar-16 17:06:17

* They think it would be better for DCs* how would his oldest child benefit from this situation, if there is no benefit then he should continue paying the same.

EElisavetaOfBelsornia Thu 10-Mar-16 17:06:24

Should be.

HeddaGarbled Thu 10-Mar-16 17:06:51

He sounds like a good and decent man. They'll have to sort this out between them, but I'd be inclined to support him for taking such an ethical and unselfish decision.

EElisavetaOfBelsornia Thu 10-Mar-16 17:09:28

I'm not being interfering, honest. They both asked me for my view, they said I would be fair and have an insight because my work is sort of related. Of course, my insight comes entirely from Mumsnet!

wannaBe Thu 10-Mar-16 17:11:19

Nope, she needs to be judged. She knew when she got together with your BIL that he had a child, and presumably what maintenance he was paying. Now they want to A, increase the time they spend with their own children while the first child lives miles away, and B, want to reduce the amount of support the older child gets while they spend more time with their younger children.

The woman is a disgrace. It is women like her who give step parents a bad name.

wannaBe Thu 10-Mar-16 17:12:22

Perhaps instead your sister would like to agree to an additional two days contact per week?

NameAgeLocation Thu 10-Mar-16 17:13:15

Your BIL is correct and TBH he sounds like a keeper.

WhereYouLeftIt Thu 10-Mar-16 17:15:26

Your sister is getting what she wants by her child always being cared for by one of it's parents. She should not be asking her husband's older child to finance what she wants. It's just WRONG. If they can't afford to maintain what they pay at the moment, then they shouldn't drop from full-time to part-time.

Presumably if BIL became a SAHD and she went full-time, she'd think they should pay nowt towards his older child's upkeep?

FeelingFine89 Thu 10-Mar-16 17:16:23

Not her child, not her business.

I agree with that. It would be refreshing to see people say the same about SMs when it comes to them being expected to run around for a child that isn't theirs as well. But sadly it only applies when it comes to money.

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