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To ask my ex for more maintenance??

(190 Posts)
Cactus76 Tue 28-Mar-17 23:30:32

My first time posting here... I'll try to be succinct AND to include as much background as possible.

I left my husband nearly 8 years ago. It wasn't exactly an amicable split at the time. Our DS was 3. As we lived in the same city, he spent time with both of us, but slightly more with me. Because we were sharing care of our DS, we didn't bother with any formal maintenance, I just let him know each month how much I'd spent on childcare and anything else such as school shoes etc and he'd pay me half.

I have a new partner now, been together since not long after the split and now married and have a DD and DS together. After about 2 years we decided to relocate for many reasons and moved to a rural county 2.5 hours away by train. Our DS stayed with me. I felt very very guilty about taking him away from his dad and I didn't ask for any maintenance. Shortly after this my ex lost his job and was out of work for a good 2+ years, so obviously maintenance wasn't something we did. Although we live further away, I always facilitate contact when my ex requests it.

My ex is now working again and has been for 2-3 years. Shortly after he found a job I asked for some contribution and he set up a DD for £250 a month. Better than nothing. So, here's the issue. My OH is getting really irritated by this amount. I don't know what my ex is earning, but I know it will most likely be in excess of £80K. My OH pays his ex the best part of £2K per month in maintenance as calulated by his earnings. He also sees them every other weekend and pays for swimming lessons and other normal stuff (not a hero, just like he should!). If we went down the CSA route, I know we'd be 'entitled' to far more. Although we are reasonably comfortable, things are tight at times. My OH has no issues with supporting my son and he's lovely about it, but at the same time I think it's a matter of principle for him that my ex should be contributing more to his own son. I still feel guilty that I've separated my DS and his dad and know that if we hadn't moved they'd see more of each other so maintenance would be less any way. I also know, for a fact, that this coversation won't go well if I do approach him, he's not the easiest or most pleasant of chaps, hence the fact I'm no longer with him... So, WIBU to ask him for more? Am I being grabby, or just asking a father to do what he should be doing?? Agh!!

Cactus76 Tue 28-Mar-17 23:31:11

Sorry, longer post than I'd anticipated!!

auntyhiro Wed 29-Mar-17 00:01:36


Cactus76 Wed 29-Mar-17 09:41:01

Am I allowed to bump this?

MrsFarm Wed 29-Mar-17 09:51:49

wow 2K is alot! I think 250 is the norm here (Ireland) for one child. Can you do up a list of what is spent on the child a month and then see if you think that he should be paying more.

CaseyAtTheBat Wed 29-Mar-17 09:53:31

If your OH is paying almost 2k a month, based on his earnings, he must be an extremely high earner.

Why not just go to the CSA?

Cactus76 Wed 29-Mar-17 10:00:58

The £2k is a combination of child (2 kids) and spousal maintenance (as his ex wife was a SAHM until long after they separated) and is based on maintaining the lifestyle she 'was accustomed to' during their marriage. It's what he was advised was the correct amount following the various legal proceedings. He's a relatively high earner, but not ridiculously so! It's a fair chunk of his monthly income.

I've thought about going down the CSA route, but it seems heavy handed.

redexpat Wed 29-Mar-17 10:05:06

Well then ask your ex, and if he says no then go via the CSA if you are sure you will be better off. Is he the kind of arsehole that would suddenly 'lose his job' to spite you?

Cactus76 Wed 29-Mar-17 10:05:09

A list of things that we spend a month is easy on one level, if we just look at sports clubs / clothes / food / pocket money / holidays etc, but then there are also the other things like fuel for school runs after school clubs / electricity / the fact that we have bought a house with enough bedrooms to accommodate each of our children (we recently moved and a 4 bed would have been significantly cheaper than a 5 bed) etc. These things are harder to quantify and would probably come out at way more than £250.

Cactus76 Wed 29-Mar-17 10:05:41

Redexpat - nothing would surprise me!

CaseyAtTheBat Wed 29-Mar-17 10:07:02

Things like you buying a large house with your husband and three children have got nothing to do with the father of your first child.

Wibblywobblyfoo Wed 29-Mar-17 10:09:04

You say in your first post that he pays 2k. Making it sounds like just maintenance but go in to add that it's for 2 children and spousal maintenance. How much is each part? He is paying alot more. But for extra child and ex. It's totally different. How much does your ex have your children?

Cactus76 Wed 29-Mar-17 10:16:43

My OH pays about £1200 for the kids plus around £800 for his ex.
My ex has our DS for 4-5 weekends per year plus maybe 3 weeks across the annual school holidays.

Cactus76 Wed 29-Mar-17 10:18:28

Casey - surely CM is used, in part, to cover costs of housing a child?

SuperBeagle Wed 29-Mar-17 10:21:42

Your ex is only responsible for your son together, not the other children, and not the house you've bought or the decision you've made to move to a rural area where you need to depend on the car more.

hellsbellsmelons Wed 29-Mar-17 10:23:43

Well based on £70K and assuming he doesn't live with any other children, he should be paying you £145 per week.
So £630 per month.
I'd talk to him about it and ask him to pay you what he should be.
If I was him though, my argument would be that you moved away.
That I was more than happy to share care of DC but you decided to up and leave and take my child away from me.
So why should I pay more??

jelliebelly Wed 29-Mar-17 10:23:55

Personally I think it sounds grabby but then I haven't been divorced so not sure I'm qualified to comment!

Wibblywobblyfoo Wed 29-Mar-17 10:24:49

So the amount you are talking about I'd 600 against 250. Not 1200 against 250.
How much does your ex earn in comparison to your dharma?

SuperBeagle Wed 29-Mar-17 10:25:25

Also I just don't think you have any grounds when you've chosen to move 2.5 hours away, thereby limiting contact between your DS and ex. That's a choice you've made; you've got to bear the consequences.

Cactus76 Wed 29-Mar-17 10:27:00

Super - fair enough, I understand that point. I used those as examples of the difficulties in figuring out what we spend on our son each month.

I suppose the question is really, given the fact that a maintenance calculator indicates he 'should' (if we went down the CSA route) be contributing more than he does, AIBU to request more under these circumstances?? Or, should I just let it be and be grateful for what we do get?

mrssapphirebright Wed 29-Mar-17 10:27:01

Just go through the CMS and get what you are entitled too. Simple. Don't feel bad about it, your ex should contribute to your son.

The only way to do it properly is to go via the CMS. they will work out how much he has to pay.

SemiNormal Wed 29-Mar-17 10:27:17

These things are harder to quantify and would probably come out at way more than £250. - But if he pays £250 and you contribute £250 so that it's equal, are the costs for that child covered with £500 then? I know this is easy for me to say but regardless of how much my ex was earning I would only want half of the monthly cost of raising our child, I wouldn't want £3000 a month just because he can afford it.

August1984 Wed 29-Mar-17 10:28:00

Sorry if i'm misunderstanding but I'm not sure if you would actually get any more from CSA? I have two children and whilst my exh has them more than yours and earns less, i get about £180 a month. He chooses to buy school shoes and splits some extra curricular activities with me but doesn't help a jot with childcare fees or anything else and i can't legally make him. If i'd wanted more i would've had to agree this legally at the divorce stage?

Cactus76 Wed 29-Mar-17 10:28:06

Sorry, £400 more...

Funnyonion17 Wed 29-Mar-17 10:31:29

Beagle what a stupid conclusion. 2.5 hours isn't that far and it shouldn't stop a parent supporting their child.

That being said I think personally £250 is plenty for one child, i get £12 PW for 2 although I'm well aware my payment isn't the norm. But if your entitled to more then claim it if you need it.

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