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Child Maintenance DSD 17

(19 Posts)
sassymuffin Tue 10-Jan-17 21:52:08

When DP got divorced 15 years ago it was very amicable and everything was drawn up in a consent order including child maintenance payments. Consent order stipulated that specified amount was to continue until youngest child (DSD) reached the age of 18 or ceased full time secondary education IF LATER.

Fast forward to present day and DSD 17 has decided she is unhappy in college and wants to pursue an apprenticeship. The apprenticeship she has applied for is not a government approved scheme but NVQ funded by the employer that would be completed at work and would not involve attending college. This could unfortunately negatively impact her mums finances with regard to child benefit etc and her mum is naturally worried about this change considering that DSD is not 100% committed as she doesn't particularly know what she wants to do career wise just yet.

Her mum and her dad (DP) would both prefer that DSD to remain in college at least for the rest of the academic year and do some more research into her future choices. If she did this DSD would gain a part 1 accreditation in her course so would walk away with something.

The root of the problem is that DSD's mum has said if DSD leaves college for this apprenticeship then DSD will be financially independent and will not contribute to any of DD's day to day living costs (travel costs, clothing, haircuts etc)and will be charged weekly rent at the same rate as her 23 year old brother £40 p/w.

DP is wondering whether he should apply for a variation or cessation of the consent order so that he is able to give money to his daughter directly as he feels whilst he is paying child maintenance DSD's mum should not charge her rent. If she did not charge DSD rent DP would of course leave everything regarding payments as it is until DSD is 18 as per the order.

On the other hand he appreciates that his ex wife will be financially worse off with the same outgoings but many people are in this situation with older children living at home longer. Things have always been calm and amicable so DP is also worried about rocking the boat so to speak.

Just want to canvass opinions as he is at a bit of a loss what to do. I know it is nothing to do with me but I have said it is probably best to leave things as they are because of the legal costs in arranging any changes could potentially be more than the next years worth of payments if his ex wife challenged him. Have also told him not to mention any of this to DSD as she may use the information to rush into a decision influenced by the thought of receiving money off her dad.

Allthebestnamesareused Tue 10-Jan-17 21:58:12

So in theory if DSD takes the apprenticeship she is not in full time education. Perhsps a conversation with ex along the lines of nit in education=no maintenance to you but I'll give money to DSD direct if you are going to charge her. Or carry on as before.

However as a working person would you not expect her to pay towards her keep. Its fairly standard evrn when parents are together.

anotheryearcomesandgoes Tue 10-Jan-17 22:03:36

How much will she earn as an apprentice (they vary massively in salary)

sassymuffin Tue 10-Jan-17 22:16:26

The apprenticeship she has applied for is £155 per week.

DP agrees that she should obviously use her wages to pay for things like her own travel and clothes etc but it was the issue of rent that he was thinking about. However like Allthebest has said it is usual for working people to contribute towards their living expenses.

scottishdiem Wed 11-Jan-17 01:31:17

I think that the mum needs to sit down and think because the child benefit will stop in the not-to-distant future anyway. Furthermore, the child maintenance payment is stopping in less than a year unless she stays in college.

I think its a bit harsh to charge weekly rent when she is also learning but in a different way. Seems to be penalising her for choosing a non-academic route. Agree on the paying for own living costs. If she does leave college then at 18 OPs DP could opt to pay towards the accommodation directly to DD as she has left education I suppose?

Eevee77 Wed 11-Jan-17 01:38:12

Has her mum told you this or has DSD told you this?

You need to speak to the ex really and reach an agreement

BoomBoomsCousin Wed 11-Jan-17 07:13:54

Think you're wise to suggest he not say anything to daughter yet - is the mother saying this largely as a way to try and encourage daughter to stay in college?

If she doesn't charge rent will your DP increase the amount he pays her in order to cover half the shortfall? May be suggest that instead - i.e. he should vary his payment to take on half the additional burden of their daughter's decision. Might make the claim that she should support the daughter's choices a bit less burdensome.

ems137 Wed 11-Jan-17 08:37:55

I left school at 15 (July birthday, study leave began May) and went straight into working full time on an NVQ. I was earning £55, it was 15 years ago so £55 was still less than the £155 they receive now even accounting for inflation etc. My mum charged me £10 "board" to make up for the child benefit she lost which I felt was fair, she still paid for and cooked all of my food.

I think her mum charging £40 per week is perfectly reasonable to be honest, especially if money is a bit tight for her. SD needs to learn about the real world, i don't think it's an unreasonable lesson for her to start learning. I'm sure her mum will continue to cook and clean for her and make sure she has everything she needs.

HardofCleaning Wed 11-Jan-17 09:00:52

I would not say anything yet. It seems a bit unfair that as the resident parent (whose probably also financially supporting their DS to some extent since £40w isn't going to cover his costs) that she should take on all the financial burden of their DD leaving education.

That said once the DD is 18 it makes sense that some the maintenance should go direct to her (in the form of an allowance essentially if she's still in education) and the rest to the ex (if both parents agree she'll continue to house the kids until they become independent).

sassymuffin Wed 11-Jan-17 09:22:49

DSD initially told us about rent but DP did confirm with ex wife to double check. I thing DSD's mum wants to encourage DSD to remain in college but also give her a reality check of the costs of the real world too.

As ex wife has quite a busy job DSD does her own washing and chores and cooks a majority of her own meals as everybody is in and out of the house at various times but I do agree that £40 p/w rent in today's money is reasonable.

Unfortunately DP is not in a financial position to offer to make up all the shortfall as I think ex wife may gets child tax credits too. However that is maybe something that could be looked at if his ex wife felt he wasn't being too intrusive.

DP currently pays for additional stuff such as her college bus pass and various other things as he realises child maintenance doesn't cover the full cost of raising a child.

DSD also has a lovely step father who no longer lives with them and he helps out with costs such as haircuts and clothes and has said he will continue to help out when and were he can.

Ex wife has said she is not in a tight financial position but it is the principal which I can fully understand.

I think initially DP was thinking along the lines of scottish about DSD still learning but not in an academic route and didn't want DSD to feel that she had to stay in college because of finances. He agrees that when you start work it is important to be financially responsible but was a little conflicted because of the rent and maintenance situation.

budgiegirl Wed 11-Jan-17 09:54:53

as he feels whilst he is paying child maintenance DSD's mum should not charge her rent

To be fair the the ex wife, the rent she will charge won't cover much of the costs of dsd living at home, especially if the ex wife will lose child benefit.
I'd think it would be fairest to leave the maintenance as it is until the age of 18. The ex wife still has to pay food, housing costs, heating, electricity, council tax etc, that won't change just because dsd will be paying some rent. Not sure it's fair to make the ex wife take the full hit of losing both child benefit and child maintenance, while gaining just £40 p/w

sassymuffin Wed 11-Jan-17 10:03:08

Absolutely agree that would be too harsh which is why DP wants to leave the consent order in place regards maintenance and then ex wife would only lose child benefit (not sure about tax credits) if she didnt charge DSD rent.

DP was going to suggest that he covers the cost of lost child benefit if his ex wife doesn't charge rent to DSD. Does that sound a reasonable compromise?

robinofsherwood Wed 11-Jan-17 10:22:29

I dont think its unreasonable to pay £40 a week rent assuming this covers food & all household bills out of a wage of £155.

Everyone I knew at 17/18 (all low income households) paid board out of their first jobs. And still moving out & finding out how much real bills are was a massive shock. Its hardly abject poverty to have £110 to pay travel, haircuts, clothes etc - I definitely have less than that and I would class myself as relatively well off.

I think if her mum is doing this so she understands money then it could be a really bad idea for your DH to undermine her.

budgiegirl Wed 11-Jan-17 10:43:16

DP was going to suggest that he covers the cost of lost child benefit if his ex wife doesn't charge rent to DSD. Does that sound a reasonable compromise?

Would that be in addition to the maintenance he already pays? If so, then I suppose that's a compromise.
But it doesn't teach Dsd anything about the real cost of living, or the cost of her decisions, which charging a small rent does.
I'd probably keep things as they are until 18. It's not like Dsd is hard done by, is perfectly normal for parents to charge a nominal rent to their working children.

Applesandpears23 Wed 11-Jan-17 10:52:43

If her Mum is mainly charging her rent to discourage her from leaving college it is a parenting decision not a financial one and Mum and Dad should discuss it like that first and then think about the knock on financial impacts. I think for that age group choosing a job with a salary over college can be a short term decision and I understand why her mother may want to try to make sure her disposable income doesn't rise in the short term because of it.

Cheby Wed 11-Jan-17 11:31:05

£155 a week, less £40 rent, leaves her with £115. What does that need to cover? Is it just travel, lunches and clothes etc? Or will she also need to cover food and bills at home too.

As long as her mother is still paying for food and bills, I think your DP should consider his CM to be contributing towards bills and food and keep paying it to his ex.

Wigbert Wed 11-Jan-17 12:20:52

Your DP should obey the order and continue to pay as normal until his DD is 18. His ex's arrangements are none of your business so keep your nose out of it.

If DSD complains about paying rent to her mother then you could always offer for her to live with you rent free.

sassymuffin Wed 11-Jan-17 12:56:35

I know this is an arrangement that is personal to my DP and his ex wife Wigbert I acknowledged that it had nothing to do with me in my OP. Im sure like any teenager parting with money she may complain for five minutes but it would feel really disrespectful and underhand to DSD's mum to suggest she come and live here just because we wouldn't charge her rent. She would be more than welcome but DSD is incredibly close to her mum and it wouldn't feel like the right thing to do at all.

Thank you for the responses everyone. I am inclined to agree with paying rent as a positive step in DSD becoming an adult and leaving everything as it is. It was just opinions with the situation that I was looking for to relay to DP. I Certainly did not want to appear as if I was putting my nose in. Even though we have been together 13 years as a mum with children from a previous marriage I would never get directly involved in this matter as it would be inappropriate.

Foxysoxy01 Wed 11-Jan-17 13:21:00

I would suggest your DP pays his maintenance directly to his DD and let her mother charge her rent.

It seems less messy and complicated this way, mother can't expect to charge DD rent but also get maintenance if DD paying for herself anyway.

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