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Child maintenance - is it fair?

(20 Posts)
MiniChedda Fri 14-Oct-16 18:05:07

Ex H and I have 3 DC.

He has them for 3 nights a week and I have them for 4. He works full time an uses his mother as childcare. I work part time as have no free childcare and do school runs.

He pays £14 maintenance per week per child, 10% of his salary. I also get child tax credits.

If he had them for 2 more nights a fortnight he would have to pay any maintenance as it would be considered 50/50 care and he is very keen to do this. He has said he feels he shouldn't pay maintenance at all and the system is "fucked up".

He doesn't see much of the DC, they are left with his mother so I'm not keen to agree.

Is it unfair?

MiniChedda Fri 14-Oct-16 18:07:05

I left my degree when I became pregnant and he went to uni instead so he has a higher earning potential than me.

I pay for clothes, shoes, uniform and school trips out of the maintenance.

MiniChedda Fri 14-Oct-16 18:15:29


MyNewBearTotoro Fri 14-Oct-16 18:17:30

If care is 50/ 50 then it's fair for him not to pay maintenance but I would expect him to contribute 50% to essential costs like shoes/ uniforms/ school trips etc.

VJM123 Fri 14-Oct-16 18:18:48

The way the system is measured is by over nights .... no it's not 'fair' at all. In my experience the mother gets the lions share of all of it ... my ex hasn't paid a penny in almost 4 years as he's been a student (that's ok then we won't eat eh) and now he wants to take his fuel costs off his monthly maintenance ... done dad's care more about 'getting out' of paying for their children rather than the quality of their children's lives

YellowCrocus Fri 14-Oct-16 19:01:06

The earning potential issue is the one that really gets my goat in situations like this. It means that even if you could find a way to make his contributions exactly the same as yours in every way, you are still financially penalised by the situation and always will be. So even if it's equal, it still isn't fair. 🙁

TheNaze73 Fri 14-Oct-16 19:16:58

Of course it's not fair. Good women & men get royally screwed over by it

user1471439240 Fri 14-Oct-16 19:58:32

Shared care will only be fair once all the government benefits, including housing eligibility are split equally between both parents.
Shared 50/50 care should mean shared 50/50 benefits.
This is the greatest injustice of the system.

YellowCrocus Fri 14-Oct-16 21:19:16

Shared care will only be fair when the disparity between male and female earnings is eliminated. Until then it's bollocks.

LouBlue1507 Fri 14-Oct-16 21:29:29

But you'd still get the child benefit and tax credits right? hmm YABU!

MiniChedda Fri 14-Oct-16 21:56:00

Sorry, I wasn't very clear. What I meant is is it unfair the way it stands, not if we had 50/50 care.

MiniChedda Fri 14-Oct-16 21:57:28

Yellow crocus can you explain? Sorry I'm not feeling very well and a bit tired, struggling to understand your first post.

YellowCrocus Fri 14-Oct-16 22:22:26

MInichedda I was agreeing with you. Basically if ex feels he is paying equally, it doesn't make it fair, as your earning capacity has taken a hit because of your shared family responsibilities. YANBU!

Cabrinha Fri 14-Oct-16 23:08:11

Actually, I would consider the 50/50 care proposal and no maintenance.

If you can make the days work so that you can concentrate on work rather than school runs, you may be able to increase your hours at work.

You could be earning a full time wage and only paying childcare for half the days.

The time to get redress for the detrimental effect on your earnings and earning potential was during divorce settlement - though that doesn't help if there are no assets. Is he at least paying the minimum CM amount?

I really wish that there was an effective way to educate women about the risks of stopping education / working part time when they have children sad as so many get shafted.

MiniChedda Sat 15-Oct-16 08:07:18

Thanks guys. Yes I agree, but I think he'll just say tough shit go back to uni.

MiniChedda Sat 15-Oct-16 08:08:40

I'm really not keen to cut my time with DC, I miss them so much when they're not here.

It may be different if they were actually going to spend time with their father but it will just be his mother who looks after them.

AtSea1979 Sat 15-Oct-16 08:13:43

It doesn't sound fair at all but I guess he doesn't get tax credits, child benefit, housing etc.

pipsqueak25 Sat 15-Oct-16 08:17:37

are you getting wtc or any benefits check out if you can get other help.

Cabrinha Sat 15-Oct-16 08:27:12

You didn't answer whether he's paying the legal minimum currently. 10% of salary for 3 kids sounds like he isn't?

Unfortunately, we can't have everything. I know it's hard to lose time with them, but if you can't afford not to work more hours, you have to work more. Is there any chance of negotiating compressed hours in your current role? So for example doing 3x10 hour days? Employers have a legal obligation to consider flexible working requests.

If you had them Mon-Wed one week and Mon-Tue the next, and did 3 long days, you could be working 30 hours a week and paying for childcare only one day per fortnight.

Has the divorce consent order been finalised? I chose not to claim maintenance (personal reasons though I'm entitled to it) but I did stipulate in the order that he is responsible for 50% of all childcare costs, regardless of who "needs" them. He has a SAHM girlfriend now, but he still has to pay 50% of breakfast club that he no longer uses.

Would his mother be willing to do childcare on your days too? Even if not free for you, might be cheaper than a childminder.

Btw - I don't mean go 50/50 on nights, unless that's better for the children. I mean that even with your current 4/3 you should look at how you can accommodate more working hours.

Cabrinha Sat 15-Oct-16 08:40:03

I just read your other thread - poor you, he's a total arsehole isn't he? angry

Do you have a Mon-Fri job? If so, I would consider taking him up on his lie that he has swooped Sunday night for a weeknight. You get the leisure time Sunday with them, he gets the afterschool an extra evening. Leaving you free to work without paying childcare that day.

Win win - more work, more time with kids, less childcare cost.

Keep on through CMS to get the right maintenance.

Is the new baby (congratulations!) his? I'm posting about increasing your work, but I'm not sure about whether you're still on mat leave!

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