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The headfuck of post-separation finances

(66 Posts)
bomfunk Sat 16-Jul-16 20:08:22

So basically, ex-H and I separated just over a year ago, not yet divorced, I have moved out of family home into rental. 3DC ages 2, 5 and 6. I have always worked PT fri-sun, so since the split we arranged our residency as follows:

Mon am - I collect kids from ex's at 7.45 for school run for the older two.

All at mine until Thursday pm, I collect from school and wait at ex's house until he returns from work at 4.30pm/ish (so Thursday, technically 'his day', but as I'm not working that day I'm happy to have baby during day and see eldest DC briefly after school).

Fri: again, his 'day' but I collect them from his house, do school run, get ready for work (11am-8pm) and drop baby off at daycare on the way, kids stay at afterschool club and ex collects all on Friday pm, where they stay overnight.

Weekends are strange. I have a very close (and large!) family, who have always got together on Saturdays for tea. Saturday's, exH and I 'technically' alternate, but in reality, probably more than 90% of the time I collect kids after work at 5.30pm, we do my family thing, and they then stay over with my DParents, who take them out / swimming or whatever on Sunday and drop DC back to ex on Sunday at 4pm-ish where they stay the night.

Ex has been very keen to establish that every other Saturday are 'technically his' - and that he 'allows' them to stay at my parents (my parents are younger, fit and adore the kids, love having them (practically insist!) on the weekend and have a good relationship with ex, so it works). It also gives ex a weekend night 'off', ensures the kids do something nice on the weekend with their grandparents who they adore. He only time this differs is if my DPs are on holiday, where we adhere to the alternate Saturday nights.

By establishing this 'technical' split, it makes it a 50/50 residence, so he gets to avoid maintenance (financial control is a bit of a 'thing' with him).

Still with me?!

So the thing that I am aibu-ing about, is that exH is pushing for me to pay half of the childcare costs for baby daycare plus kids afterschool club on the Friday. My argument is that it is HIS day, his need for childcare, and that I already go above and beyond, because I have the youngest plus do pickups and drop offs on his days (even though it's great for me as it means that apart from Sunday, I get to see them every day of the week). When I point this out, and that by doing more than my 'fair share' and really help him out because he needs to get to work before the kids leave for school, and that actually it costs me money, petrol, baby group and activity costs, basic food/housing type costs, he comes back with 'what sort of a mother would charge to look after her own kids'. I don't charge! And it benefits me greatly by sneaking in extra time with them, plus I think (hope) it benefits the DC being with a parent. I hate the quibbling, as it makes me feel like I'm arguing against taking care and spending time with my DC, and I do feel he plays on this.

So aibu to refuse to pay half the childcare costs? How can I articulate this without sounding heartless?! Any input greatly received, and please be gentle! First AIBU blush

coconutpie Sat 16-Jul-16 20:19:34

His day - he pays for childcare costs. Not your problem.

attheendoftheday Sat 16-Jul-16 20:36:20

Absolutely his problem!

Noonesfool Sat 16-Jul-16 20:38:11

You are "covering the cost" of childcare on "your" days by doing the childcare.

He covers the cost on "his" days by using a nursery.

bomfunk Sat 16-Jul-16 20:40:54

Any ideas on how I can phrase this? I was happy to walk away from this 12 year relationship / 4 year marriage with fuck all, even taking nothing at all from the divorce. He's pushing me for money for childcare and kids party presents too - should I be going halves on this too? I think I'm thinking clearly, but a single conversation leaves me not knowing up from down!

PuntasticUsername Sat 16-Jul-16 20:42:12

Wow, what a specimen. I wouldn't worry about sounding heartless, just tell him to poke it.

MillionToOneChances Sat 16-Jul-16 20:48:51

Nope, you are doing enough. If he wants to make Friday childcare partly your responsibility you'll be responsible for them more than 50% of the time and he'll owe you maintenance.

He's got a very good deal as it is - he has them less than 50% of the time but you accept calling it 50/50 because it suits you. Give someone an inch... He's pushing his luck too far.

bomfunk Sat 16-Jul-16 20:51:36

Thank you for your replies. I somehow end up totally spun out after talking with him. He's actually a brilliant dad in fairness, one of life's 'nice guys' that everyone loves, but always having a quiet way of being able to get his own way, if you know what I mean. I think he so genuinely believes in his own 'being right' that I end up not so sure if IBU. It was a huge factor in our breakup (initiated by me).

Somerville Sat 16-Jul-16 20:53:02

You do know, right, that you're enabling him I officially having 50% contact but in actual fact having way less than 50% of the work and expense, while avoiding maintainence? I'm not getting at you, I can see that you're doing that because you feel that it benefits your children.

But... Does it definitely? Because as a result, you and your ex are a lot more involved in each other's homes and lives than you would be with the children's overnights spent at the home of the parent who had done the running for them all day.

Also, the fact that your ex can't see how entirely reasonable and helpful you've been so far, to the point of asking you to split that childcare cost, and the kind of digs he makes at you about it all, makes me thin that his control goes beyond financial. I have no idea how your persuade him that you don't need to go halves on the Friday when he can't see how good he had it already. confused

I think you may need to go through mediation or to court over everything. I don't think private arrangements work well when one of the parents is coercive and controlling.

Noonesfool Sat 16-Jul-16 20:54:35

Woukd some mediation be an idea? Having a neutral third party can be enormously helpful.

AyeAmarok Sat 16-Jul-16 21:02:45

Completely agree with Million, you are already being more than generous and accommodating.

He's a cheeky fucker and you need to start spotting that quicker!

bomfunk Sat 16-Jul-16 21:16:04

I actually suggested mediation on Friday when we were having a bit of a heated text exchange. So far, apart from a few ups and downs we have managed to co-parent pretty well, will have a coffee and text about DC related stuff.

There was definitely financial control during the marriage (I funded two maternity leaves without his input - he paid mortgage & most bills, I did food shopping and everything baby related, phone bill, and anything house related we needed/wanted (decor, kitchenware etc). I took redundancy after DC2 and was a SAHM for a couple of years. It took months to get him to agree to pay £500 p/m into my account, which would need to cover food, petrol, anything baby related for 2, then subsequently 3 DC, phone bill and house stuff etc).

Until I left, I hadn't bought myself a bra in 4 was one of the first things I did smile I got in some debt (4K total, but about 2.5k of that was from my uni days), but the rest was sometimes just getting ends to meet,
Buying uniform, just general baby/child costs. I had a complete meltdown one day and managed to convince him to take on that debt because I'd only been able to make minimum payments (pre DC I was doing well at paying it off, but for course I had to drop to minimum payments). But now that's being held over me like a guillotine and is brought up at any argument.

There were other factors, being on my knees with tiredness and he would not ever help with housework apart from occasionally emptying the dishwasher.

Also a huge amount of, don't really know how to phrase it,
'Sexual control'? As in would sulk for days if I ever said no. No matter how clearly I tried to argue my 'case' for being able to say no without 'consequences', it wouldn't ever change. He was pestering me for sex
3 weeks post-birth of two eldest DC. I think by DC3 I'd stopped giving a fuck which I think was the beginning of the end.

Written down it sounds quite bad actually! I'm still the 'bad guy', and I feel like the bad guy.. He makes me feel like that, and everyone loves him - the whole world, including my parents, think I've basically lost my mind and I've made a terrible mistake by leaving (even though they know the whole truth). I feel so sad about it all. What a mess!

bomfunk Sat 16-Jul-16 21:27:45

God that was long sorry!!

I know I sound like a mug. I'm actually a pretty strong person, my friends all describe me as strong and I'm not at all afraid to stand up for myself in any situation (gobby!). I have no fear in telling him where to shove it, but I just wanted to have reassurance that it wasn't BU.

Somerville Sat 16-Jul-16 21:33:50

You're clearly very strong to have managed to run fleeing from this horrific man marriage whilst he still has the wool pulled firmly over everyone's eyes. Bloody well done.

Are you seeing a counsellor?

I think you might need to stop being so pally and also stop enabling him to continue his lazy and selfish parenting. But it might take you some time to see him for what he really is and take some time to achieve. Definitely don't make any more concessions in the meantime.

PuntasticUsername Sat 16-Jul-16 21:38:14

Just read your update. Fuck's sake
You are SO not being unreasonable.

SheDoneAlreadyDoneHadHerses Sat 16-Jul-16 21:39:08

Can you just say that if you had to unexpectedly work on one of your days you'd have to pay for childcare, so the same works in reverse. Or point out that when it's your days you pick the kids up and when it's his days you STILL pick the kids to help HIM so no, and especially on a part time wage, you can't afford to 50/50.

Cheeky bastard.

Somerville Sat 16-Jul-16 21:41:14

I wasn't sure I should make this point or not but I've decided that I think I should.

The phrase you're struggling to find, regarding not being able to say no to sex without consequences, is sexual abuse. And him getting everyone to love him like that is a particularly sly way of limiting your support network and options.

bomfunk Sat 16-Jul-16 21:48:13

I've had some counselling but to be honest, she was pretty useless. I think what I was hoping for was for someone to say 'no - you're not going mad - it is as bad as it feels' but she didn't really say too much at all.

I'm now reconsidering walking away with nothing too. I think I've been trying too hard to ensure we maintain the 'amicable' relationship when actually he's taking the piss.

spaghettithrower Sat 16-Jul-16 21:49:37

Sounds like you have the children most of the time. That is not a 50:50 split.
He should be paying maintenance not asking you to pay for childcare on "his"days.
I would suggest mediation/legal advice.

Somerville Sat 16-Jul-16 21:52:41

You need an excellent counsellor, with experience with women coming out of abusive marriages. And a shit hot solicitor.

You should contact your local Women's Aid for recommendations of counsellors and solicitors. And also for a bit of support. He's either going to try to get you to go back to him, or turn on you and be utterly vile. Either way, going it alone with everyone else believing his bullshit will be tough.

rollmeover Sat 16-Jul-16 21:54:19

Well isn't he a piece of work! You have done so well getting away from him. No way do you owe him childcare. Tell him to get stuffed! If he keeps on at you say "this clearly isn't working. You obviously don't want 50/50. Why don't we formalise it on the actual roles we do".
Why aren't you still in the house? It really sounds like you have the thick end of the wedge - did you get a decent payout on divorce, access to pension, lump sum from house etc?

Also yes, I think counselling would be really beneficial. Speak to your GP or can you access anything through work?

RandomMess Sat 16-Jul-16 21:55:37

Stop doing the school drop off and pick ups when it's not your day. If you want to have the baby during the day then do that but not the rest of the hassling stuff.

His days he pays for childcare end of.

You need to walk away from the marriage with your debts paid off if he is getting equity in the marital home!!!

How are you splitting Child Benefit and any ability to claim Child Tax Credits if required?

bomfunk Sat 16-Jul-16 21:57:00

sommerville - you are right, it was abusive. I hated being touched, HATED it. It made my skin crawl. I used to think I was asexual or broken in some way. I did have a sense that it was the pressure, the constant bloody pressure, that was turning me off (honestly, he'd ask me at 6.45am - after me being up all night with 2 babies with 14 months between them, so many night wakings!!)
if we could have sex that evening. If I said no, he'd sulk for 3 days. If I said yes, and didn't feel like it after a day of babies, housework, shopping, cooking guessed it...3 days of sulking. I will never ever let that happen to me again.'

As an aside, I've been in a relationship with an old friend for almost a year now - we've taken in very easy, he has no DC, he completely goes with my schedule of when I can fit him in bless him, and turns out..I'm not broken, I bloody love sex gringringrin

Somerville Sat 16-Jul-16 22:04:56

Your new chap sounds great, and I'm glad you've learned already that the problem wasn't you, it was your twat of an ex.

spaghettithrower Sat 16-Jul-16 22:08:52

Sorry - had to come back on to say
he's got a bloody cheek.
It's outrageous.
He can't even arrange to pick his kids up or provide childcare for them on Thursday after school so you have to do it and wait at his house for him to deign to turn up. Cheeky Fucker.
Then on Friday he wants you to pay for the childcare. Absolutely disgusting.

Tell him to do one.

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