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To be sick of paying for ExHusbands travel costs to see our daughter?

(47 Posts)
Veryveryveryfedup Thu 30-Jun-16 11:44:53

I moved to another town with my son 10 years ago after my husband and I divorced. I had really good reasons for moving (200 miles), but probably still felt guilty and did everything I could to keep my daughter in contact with my Ex. I have always been the main resident carer, we separated when our child was a baby.

I struggle and now have a HUGE debt. I can never afford to take my daughter on holidays yet the Ex takes her away for fun exotic holidays. Ex takes no interest in any parenting, like schooling.

My problem is, I get regular abuse from the Ex - he changes the dates at the last minute, or asks for extra dates, he is bitter and vindictive. I had almost accepted being in debt, just thought it was the right thing to do, but what is the point if Ex just tells me and our daughter that I've ruined their relationship a way?

I am utterly sick of this. I don't want to continue paying for these, they are never enough and I want to claw back some stability.

But I know that I'm going to get an awful lot of abuse for Ex. What do I do?

VioletBam Thu 30-Jun-16 11:52:34

Does he pay any maintenance? This is a very weird set up if you can't afford it! Stop immediately.

icanteven Thu 30-Jun-16 11:54:24

What maintenance are you getting? Just tell him that you can't pay his travel costs any more and stop. If he also stops seeing your daughter then that is unfortunate, but not your fault, especially if he makes your life a misery over the visits that he makes now anyway.

Veryveryveryfedup Thu 30-Jun-16 11:57:36

He does pay maintenance, it doesn't even begin to cover the costs of housing/clothing etc but it is (pretty) regular. Although a few times he's missed a payment and I didn't give him any grief, I just didn't want any animosity but I just get it anyway.

louisagradgrind Thu 30-Jun-16 11:58:59

Yes, does he pay maintence and can he afford to pay for his own travel?

If he genuinely can't afford to pay for his own travel-and genuinely wants to see his child- then maybe you could both travel halfway but if he can and just won't, then tell him you can't afford it.

trafalgargal Thu 30-Jun-16 12:01:32

You son is how old?
If you are divorced ten years then probably a teenager with their own mobile phone so write you ex a letter saying that now your son is older you feel it is time for you to step away from their access arrangements and for he and your son to make their arrangements direct rather than through you so you are stepping away and will not be getting involved with their arrangements and he needs to arrange travel and tickets with your son as you can no longer afford to fund these visits.

No doubt he'll rant and rage but you don't need to listen as the only reason you have to speak to him is to make arrangements and you've now abdicated this responsibility.

trafalgargal Thu 30-Jun-16 12:02:48

Sorry daughter not son

Veryveryveryfedup Thu 30-Jun-16 12:06:08

12 years old. (Sorry daughter is with my Ex.. Rushed this post as I'm pretty stressed about it - another horrible email telling me to organize and pay for a last minute extra date... and I have another son with my present husband - totally mixed up my genders, apologies)

dolkapots Thu 30-Jun-16 12:09:14

How much maintenance is he paying? I don't think it is solely supposed to cover housing/living/clothes? Also how much are you paying towards his travel expenses?

I know of one father who after separation his exW moved away (several hundred miles) which meant that after maintenance was payed he could not afford the round trip EOW. If that is the case with your ex then I think you should meet halfway, however if he can afford it but just doesn't want to stump up then you should stop.

downright Thu 30-Jun-16 12:11:39

Is the payment part of a court settlement?

You move 200 miles, you pay usually.

If you don't want to pay, move back?

Veryveryveryfedup Thu 30-Jun-16 12:11:50

I do want to just stop. I kept thinking I could make it better, I could find a way that satisfies Ex. But it never does. I suggested half way, or paying half, Ex jus suggested another town where his Mum lives as a 'half way' which is just as far and expensive for me. I suggested a 'true' half way, I.e. In the middle, he rejected this completely. I've even paid for his hotel and travel up.

I don't know why I haven't just stopped this before. Maybe I do feel it is my responsibility because I moved? Ex also wants the whole of school holidays, when my daughter wants to see her friends sometimes, and I like her also to see her Granny on my side too (I also take her to her Granny on Exes side myself).

Veryveryveryfedup Thu 30-Jun-16 12:13:01

Not a court settlement no.

To be honest if he used his maintenance to pay for travel costs and paid me nothing I'd still be better off than it is now. I pay for ALL expenses.

lalaloopyhead Thu 30-Jun-16 12:13:07

What exactly are you paying for? Bus/train fare to get to you?

I would write a polite email saying that you can no longer afford to subsidise his travel expenses and that he needs to take some responsibility in this department.

I have a friend who's ex lives similar distance and they always meet in the middle to do handover, which seems pretty sensible and fair.

MrsHardy1 Thu 30-Jun-16 12:13:17

If he can genuinely afford it then stop paying. Does he give you more maintence than legally required?

Veryveryveryfedup Thu 30-Jun-16 12:18:09

downright Moving back - after 10 years? That would be for my Exes interests, and not our daughters. I also could not afford it and the schools were awful. I imagine that my Ex is probably determined to be bitter and angry about this for ever, no matter how that impacts on the security and stress on me and his daughter as a family unit.

ImperialBlether Thu 30-Jun-16 12:18:57

Come on, you can do this.

Send him an email saying:

"Up until now I've paid for all of your travel and I can't afford to do it any more. I'm spending all of the maintenance on travel and accommodation for you and I am stopping this now. As you can afford to go on holidays it's clear you have the money to pay for travel so it's your responsibility to do this now.

Also, I'm afraid DD can't spend all of her holidays with you. She wants to see her friends some of the time and to see her granny, too. From now on holidays will be split in half. I know this will annoy you but if we don't do this she'll get to the point where she won't want to come at all. I will leave it to you to suggest which three weeks in the summer are suitable for you."

Send something along those lines to him now so you have our support when he sends something horrible back.

trafalgargal Thu 30-Jun-16 12:19:19

If he's taking the child on exotic holidays then it sounds like he has reasonable disposable income.

Is he paying less than the legal minimum in child support OH if he is would going through CMS and getting the correct amount off set the fare costs?

My ex went nuts when I stopped paying half the fares but he got over it once he realised if he got abusive the phone went down and no arrangements were made for him to see our son. Maybe you need to tell him all arrangements will be made by email in future and just refuse to speak to him on the phone. There's no reason for you or your family to tolerate abuse.

downright Thu 30-Jun-16 12:19:36

If there a few issues you want to sort out then I suggest you go to a solicitor to get something formal agreed. It's not reasonable for him to have all holidays.

Did he originally agree to the move? If you unilaterally decided to move I think he has a strong argument for making you pay reasonable travel costs.

If you sort out access to something manageable then that may well sort out the travel costs issue

Veryveryveryfedup Thu 30-Jun-16 12:21:00

I've paid for petrol, for hotels, for trains. I do the bulk of the actual travelling.

At this stage if he stopped maintenance but took responsibility and didn't give me abuse or grief that would be much more preferable than my situation now.

Maintenance is low but OK, however my Ex doesn't declare a lot of his earnings so who knows how much he earns really.

FuriousFate Thu 30-Jun-16 12:21:26

Why not see a solicitor and get something sorted out properly? From what you've written here, you sound scared of your ex. After ten years?! He must have some hold on you.

Veryveryveryfedup Thu 30-Jun-16 12:24:45

trafalgarl I did insist on only texts or emails. I've tried to not look at the emails, but we need to do some communication about dates - even though I try to send them all in advance. And then there is always 'something', some issue, some dig in the email and emotionally I just feel wretched.

trafalgargal Thu 30-Jun-16 12:26:04

I like the letter
I'd offer him 50% of weekends and half of all school holidays and suggest if he isn't happy with that then you are happy to consider mediation before going to court.

Ten years is long enough to pay imagined penance. Regulate access and get CS on a legal footing so he can't punish you by not paying. Email is the way to go if he can't manage to control himself on the phone. He's only bullying you because you are letting him.

trafalgargal Thu 30-Jun-16 12:29:24

Unless he is really stupid he must know emails can be used against him.

You really do hold all the cards......and if a man you left 10 years ago makes digs in an what. It just confirms you made the right decision leaving him.

Veryveryveryfedup Thu 30-Jun-16 12:29:48

Yes I think I am scared. He can be quite vindictive, and has been with some friends he has fallen out with in the past.

I have quite a lot of other issues going on at the moment, and I am scared of the stress on me. In the past I've felt very anxious. I try to keep everything minimal and calm to avoid it. I'm scared as soon as I stop paying the escalation will start.

He's stopped using swearing and put downs explicitly when I told him I found it abusive, but then 'says that he has a right to his opinion' and just sends emails and texts about how much I've been awful about moving, or how 'I think I am a saint and I am not' etc and then starts to demand stuff like details of his sons schooling - and then just uses that to keep an 'ongoing dialogue' - which I find are just rants putting me down for anything e.g. I've heard he was late for school one day, what the hell is going on etc...

Ratbagcatbag Thu 30-Jun-16 12:31:20

I agree with the previous poster that you sound scared of him. It's awful when they grind you down.

When you say he's abusive,, is it email/calls etc. look at it this way, you know regardless that he will be an arse anyway so now you need to calmly put a stop to it.
A formal email explaining that you cannot continue to pay for travel costs, not accommodate last minute changes and will arrange for all holidays to be split equally.
Then as a previous I poster has said ask which dates suit him for summer (taking into account your wishes). If he rings ranting and raving, hang up. Follow up with an email explaining that you will not tolerate being abused, however if he wishes to discuss next contact days and nothing else you are happy to do that.

Good luck, it sounds like you're so ground down. sad

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