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Aibu not to pay more maintenance?

(98 Posts)
Stepmotherofdragons Sat 11-Jun-16 04:14:12

Name changed for this.

ExH and I split up when ds was 4. He has remarried and has a couple more kids. I live with dp and my DD who is 18. Ex is the rp as he didn't work when we were together.

I have my ds three weekends out of four and two extra midweek days in those four weeks. I also have him extra weeks during the holidays etc. It works out he spends over a third of his time with me.

I pick ds up at 6pm on a Friday and drop him to school on Monday morning. DS doesn't do any out of school activities during the week but I do try to take him out at least once over the weekend. We go bowling, soft play, wildlife centres, fun fairs etc. I try to vary it and he has a friend we meet up with too.

Ex doesn't seem to do anything similar with him on his weekend. Although they do go on holiday every other year and also does a big day out (Chessington etc) with him once or twice a year. I haven't had a holiday in years.

I provide a full wardrobe of clothes for ds when he is here. He needs as many toys/electronics/bits of random crap here as he actually probably spends more leisure time with me. He has bikes, scooters etc at both houses.

Financially dp and I are struggling due to being made redundant four times between us and periods off work due to illness. Our income has dropped by 40% since dp moved in with me six years ago. We make ends meet every month but I am still paying off debts built up from when I was with ex.

Ex earns about £28,000. I earn £21,000. I had to take a significant pay drop six months after we split up.

Ex gets the child benefit and used to get tax credits, but that was a few years ago so I don't know if he and his wife are still entitled to anything. They have a couple of children together now as well so the new wife fits some part time work in when ex isn't at work. They don't pay for any childcare. They have two cars and are currently saving up for a big holiday skiing, just to give you a picture of their finances. I would think they are fairly comfortable financially.

I pay half of uniform costs, school trips etc. I organise and pay for his birthday parties.

I give ex £100 a month. It sounds really tight but it really is all I can afford right now. I even paid the same amount when I was on statutory sick pay for months and also when I struggled to find work after two redundancies.

But when I think about it, he gets at least £170 a month extra for being the rp. I still need to provide a room, heating, electric etc for ds. Ds has his own room at my house and shares with his little brother at his dads. All other costs are paid 50/50. Ex feeds dw for a few extra days but I pay for most of his weekly entertainment. I probably spend about £80 a month on our trips out.

Do you think our arrangement is fair or am I paying too little?

Senpai Sat 11-Jun-16 04:27:00

What's the recommended payment based on your income and time DS spends at your house?

www.gov.uk/calculate-your-child-maintenance

I'd do a quick look at that and see if your payments match.

But to this:
I still need to provide a room, heating, electric etc for ds. Ds has his own room at my house and shares with his little brother at his dads.

You'd be doing that with or without him, so it's an irrelevant point. As is new wife's income. DS is your child, not hers.

Stepmotherofdragons Sat 11-Jun-16 04:34:37

I was trying to explain that I can't just put him on a put you up in his sisters room or on the sofa as you could if it were the occasional overnight. He he here so much he needs his own space and stuff. He can't share with DD as it would be totally different than sharing with his little brother. I don't think it is a bad thing for younger kids to share rooms. He loves his little brother to bits so he doesn't moan about sharing.

Stepmotherofdragons Sat 11-Jun-16 04:41:09

It works out on rough figures about £70.00 a month.

Senpai Sat 11-Jun-16 04:54:15

Ah, that makes sense. If you're calculator puts you at 70, then I wouldn't worry about it. Pay what you can as long as you meet the minimum and focus the rest on when DS is at your house.

DeathStare Sat 11-Jun-16 05:14:31

So you have no resident children, two incomes and resent paying £25 per week in child support? YABU

DorotheaHomeAlone Sat 11-Jun-16 05:34:45

Where are you getting that from, deathstar? She's asking if she pays enough not saying she resents her current payments. Plus she has a resident dd and already pays half of all her kids extras on top of maintenance.

OP you sound fine. It'd be nice if you earned more and could contribute more but it sounds like you're giving as much as you can afford and are covering a fair bit inn top of the basic maintenance payments. No need to justify yourself with all the stuff about his wife and their holiday plans etc

DeathStare Sat 11-Jun-16 05:50:59

Apologies if that's the case. That's not how I read it. OP hasn't said that the ex (or anyone) has asked her for more money and then the figure of £70 (as the required amount) was mentioned.

The resident DD is an adult. I just said that the OP had no children resident which is true.

clarrrp Sat 11-Jun-16 05:59:49

Ex earns about £28,000. I earn £21,000. I had to take a significant pay drop six months after we split up.

On your salary - just yours - you would be looking at about £35 a week on basic rate through CSA (CMS) so yes, you are paying less than you should be paying.

Ex gets the child benefit and used to get tax credits, but that was a few years ago so I don't know if he and his wife are still entitled to anything. They have a couple of children together now as well so the new wife fits some part time work in when ex isn't at work. They don't pay for any childcare. They have two cars and are currently saving up for a big holiday skiing, just to give you a picture of their finances. I would think they are fairly comfortable financially.

I hear this a lot at work from parents regarding their exes, but it doesn't matter how much he earns or his partner or what kind of car he drives, or how well off they are. He is the resident parent and you are legally required to pay maintenance for that child. I would say exactly the same thing to a man who asked this same question - I understand it can be frustrating especially when money is tight for you and your ex seems to be fine, but it's the way it is unfortunately.

But when I think about it, he gets at least £170 a month extra for being the rp.

So? Doesn't matter what he gets, what matters is what you, as the non resident parent has to contribute.

branofthemist Sat 11-Jun-16 06:33:22

Ex is the rp as he didn't work when we were together.

Do you the ex was a sahd? Or did the courts make him the RP simply because he was unemployed?

To be honest, all the detail you have given doesn't have anything to do with what you pay.

It doesn't matter if he doesn't do after school clubs during the week. Some kids don't do any at all and they are fine. The day trips out are your choice. The ex isn't obliged to do the same and they prefer saving for smaller more expensive trips.

In my opinion, non resident parents should be paying the minimum and more if they can. If you are doing that, it's fine.

Lweji Sat 11-Jun-16 06:48:56

What clarrrp said (except I didn't do the calculations).

I suspect there may be resentment on the other side as you do the fun bits and may well be seen as Disney mum. 3/4 weekends leaves hardly any fun or relaxed time with the resident parent, who seems to be shouldering most responsibility for the day to day. Including child care if necessary and days off for illness, etc.

You do have to live within your means and that should include what ds gets in your home as well.

bakeoffcake Sat 11-Jun-16 07:00:53

I agree that what his dad dies with him, or what car or holidays they have had got nothing to do with your maintenance.
Your ex has him 2/3rds if the week. £25 per week really isn't a lot of money, so if you're finding it difficult you will have to cut down on the activities you do with him.

Lweji Sat 11-Jun-16 07:06:12

Btw, it doesn't matter how many days he spends with you. Calculate the number of nights. Then use an online maintenance calculator to give you an idea of what is the recommended minimum.

Rubixx Sat 11-Jun-16 07:15:22

I may have missed it. Is your ex actually asking you to pay more?

Lweji Sat 11-Jun-16 07:16:35

If you spend two nights every four weeks and, say, two weeks holiday, it gives about 150 nights, which is 40% of the time. That's 2/5 of the time.

RubbleBubble00 Sat 11-Jun-16 07:24:07

Put it through a a calculator and get your figure. Honestly I'd try and keep £100 a month as that is what you have always paid and dropping the sum could cause huge resentment with ex, causing you more problems in the long run.

Perhaps you could offer to help out more practically, perhaps offering an evening or two during the wk - picking up from school, doing some hw, having tea then dropping back home after tea?

JessicaRabbit3 Sat 11-Jun-16 07:27:05

Op out of a interest why didn't you take your DS ? Its rare a mother isn't the NR. Maintenance should be a priority that is paid. Exs finacial circumstances are none of your business. He contributes for DS, so should you. As for not taking him out all the time he has other DC, trips out as a family of 4 or 5 are expensive and depending on other DC may not be age approiate . You just pay only your DS when you go out together. My ex constantly takes our DS out weekly, he's a typical Disney dad even complains I don't treat him even when we have younger children one of which is a baby and a toddler. I was raised where my parents didn't have much and treats were treats not an expection. We have treats out but we save up. Our next treat is flamingo land as baby is getting looked after it's not a weekly or necessary a monthly thing.

Janecc Sat 11-Jun-16 07:27:11

As long as you're meeting the legal requirements, this is fine. I don't think giving your ex an extra sum of money is going to magically get your ds his own bedroom or encourage them to take your ds to more activities. I would also rather spend the money on ds doing things with him. You're also paying half for uniform and birthday parties - Ime these are usually paid for by the rp so you are paying more. If your ex is unhappy can you discuss the issues with him, does he want more weekends with ds or you to take on more midweek or is he struggling financially? There again, you can't subsidise his choice to father more children after you split.

QuiteLikely5 Sat 11-Jun-16 07:29:54

If he is getting funny about it, you ought to go on the calculator to see what you legally should be paying.

If you need to pay more, tell the ex you will do it but remind him all the other extras you pay for and your outgoings. If he mentions you have a dp to support you remind him so does he.

An extra £20 pm is not worth falling out over imo

PaulDacreCuntyMcCuntFace Sat 11-Jun-16 07:42:03

Op out of a interest why didn't you take your DS ? Its rare a mother isn't the NR

OP has already said that her Ex was the SAHP when they were together, so he was the primary caregiver. Therefore in the best interests of her DS it makes sense that her Ex would be the RP. It's usually the Mother who has residency simply because it's usually Mothers who are the primary caregivers.

MustStopAndThinkBeforePosting Sat 11-Jun-16 07:58:04

Your ex's financial circumstances are irrelevant - both parents should contribute a reasonable chunk of their income to their child's wellbeing and this would be equally true if you and your ex were both massively wealthy - your ds is entitled to be supported by both parents. That said, if you renegotiate residency to be closer to 50:50 then more of your contribution is coming in the form of time and effort rather than money which may be better all around.

With the current set up, the sharing of expenses you describe plus £100 a month seems reasonable to me, so in answer to your OP then no YANBU not to pay more. However, it might be wise to keep accounts of your spending on things like uniform etc (stuff your ds has to have, not your spending on treats and outings that are your choice) because that spending plus the cash you send is the real amount you contribute - a lot of (gittish, not to be imitated) NRPs would expect all that sort of thing to come out of the cash they hand over.

whatyouseeiswhatyouget Sat 11-Jun-16 09:44:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Becky546 Sat 11-Jun-16 09:54:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

x2boys Sat 11-Jun-16 09:56:14

I do think there would be far more outrage if this was a man saying he pays this amount monthly to the mother as resident parent personaly as long as you are paying what you should be and any extras you can afford on top i think its fine but i think the answers would be very different if the sexes were reversed .

JessicaRabbit3 Sat 11-Jun-16 10:40:14

*Paul she stated her ex now works F/T so he no longer a sahd hence why I wondered why she never went for residency.

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