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...to expect a full month's child support?

(26 Posts)
bentneckwine1 Fri 06-Jul-07 14:27:57

Hi

My husband and I separated late last year but so far all domestic/financial arrangements have been made informally between ourselves. My husband pays me an agreed amount at the start of each calender month.

Well this month my husband said that he would not be giving me the full months money as he was planning on taking my son away on holiday for two weeks during the month...this was never mentioned when we discussed my husband taking my son away...he seemed quite put out when I suggested that I did not think cutting the payment was correct as I had planned to buy school uniform etc from that months money...

Am I being unreasonable in expecting a full months money for this period that they are away?...my husband arguement was that he would be the one feeding my son so he was entitled to keep back the money...this despite the fact that he asked me to pay half the cost of the passport/buy my son new holiday wardrobe/arrange travel insurance for my son...I had already intended to offer to pay half the passport and fully intended to buy him new clothes but my husband told me from the start that *he expected me to arrange all these things*...in the end I put my foot down with the travel insurance...

The thing is if I had been taking my son on holiday I might have hoped deep down that his dad would help with the passport but I would never ever dreamed of asking....

Am I being unreasonable?

Thanks

titchy Fri 06-Jul-07 14:34:15

Not at all unreasonable. The money is to provide your son with a home. Presumably your mortgage/rent will not decrease just becuase your ds is on holiday for a coupl e of weeks!

Suggest you make the arrangemnts for formal.

Bouncingturtle Fri 06-Jul-07 14:39:12

No YANBU, my DH pays the same amount each month even if we are having dss for a week in that months - after all, his ex still has the same bills and expenses as she does when he is not there! Especially if you are contributing to the holiday!
We don't contribute to holidays that his mum takes him on beyond giving him some spending money, and we definitely would never expect any contribution from dss's mum for holidays we taken him on - your ex is cheeky to even ask!

bentneckwine1 Fri 06-Jul-07 14:40:43

Hi titchy

Thanks for that...with this being such a recent new situation for me and I don't have any friends/family who have been through the same to discuss the practicalities with I was beginning to think that maybe reducing the payment over a holiday was normal...

Right from the start we both wanted a flexible/civil arrangement and did not want to involve solicitors etc to protect my son from squabbles...but I have to say that as time goes on there are increasing instances where we have differences of opinion and I think maybe it is time to move to a more formal position so that everybody knows where they stand...

thanks again
bentneck

duchesse Fri 06-Jul-07 14:42:54

My sister with the "reasonable" ex (as opposed to the one with the psycho ex) usually only has to mention the CSA for resolving maintenance issues for him to back down. Since he only contributes £135 a month for their 9 yr old from his £35000+ a year salary, he is getting off very lightly, and knows when he's on to a good thing.

amen Fri 06-Jul-07 14:54:42

from your own point of view you aren't being unreasonable but in the situation where you have agreed to have a civil/flexible arrangment these things are to be expected so from his point of view neither is he. i'd imagine there will be a reduction in your bills for the weeks he is gonewhile not for your rent but certainly your heat/electricity/child minding/food/petrol bills. so if you wanted to keep a civil arrangment going perhaps a good compromise would be for him to pay his sons share of the rent for the two weeks he is gone or something similar.

amen Fri 06-Jul-07 14:56:32

meant to also say, if you want a guarenteed child support income then you should go through the official channells, if you are keeping an informal arrangment there will always be disputes and differences of opinions when these unusual circumstances arise.it is the nature of the beast

bookwormmum Fri 06-Jul-07 14:57:48

You don't have to go through a solicitor - you can have the CSA fix the amount of maintenance (and collect/transfer the money as well) if you think he'll keep trying to alter the arrangement like this.

Paying for new clothes and passport seems reasonable to me (make sure that you get to keep the passport when your ds gets home) but I think your husband should arrange the travel insurance himself -he can buy an annual policy for virtually the same price as a one-trip policy which'll cover him as well.

MamaD Fri 06-Jul-07 14:59:45

Bentneckwine1

I dont think YABU, however when dealing with CSA they do actually make deductions if a child spends more time with the 'other' parent. This happened to my dh and came as some surprise when trying to manage next months money. If he is this kind of guy you may want to avoid CSA like the plague!

bentneckwine1 Fri 06-Jul-07 15:04:34

Hi amen

Thanks for your reply...it is good to look at these things from both points of view...

When we made the arrangements my husband wrote in a letter to confirm the amount he would pay each month and the letter also stated that he would make contributions to *one off costs* such as school uniform, birthday parties, school trips etc...so this is the first time we have arrived at a *one off* purchase...so I will maybe wait and see if he honours his promise to help with school uniform cost...if so then in the interest of fairness I would return some of this month's payment as that is what I was planning on spending it on anyway...

However I just felt that as I already had incurred some expense because of the holiday (passport/clothes) then it was maybe a bit too much to expect a reduced payment...but thanks again for helping me try to see the scenario from my husband's point of view...that is always a useful thing to do...

bentneck

bentneckwine1 Fri 06-Jul-07 15:08:11

Thanks to everybody else for your suggestions...as I said I don't have any friends or family that have gone through similar situation so although they are supportive they are not as understanding of the issues that arise from the practical arrangements...and as it is all new to me I have been falling into the trap of going along with everything my husband suggests just for the sake of a quiet life and no more rowing...

bentneckwine1

amen Fri 06-Jul-07 15:10:38

i'm not saying he's right or wrong.but in any financial matters where the rules are not clearly outlined each party at one time or another will be tempted to test the boundaries or be a little bit cheeky to see if they can get away with it.for the same reason you should never lend money to friends i think any major financial arrangments should be set in stone. that way everyone knows the rules and if a problem like this arises you can quickly find out who is in the wrong by checking the rules/contract/court order/etc. the same way you think he is being a bit stingy he probably thinks you are doing the same in expecting the whole months payment aswell as school uniform help as he probably reckons the extra cash will be spent in one way or another that benefits you or a night out while your son is away.

JoMa Fri 06-Jul-07 15:14:27

I have to say that I think a little differently to you, tho I am in a similar situation.

I receive money from my ex for ds1 thru the CSA.
Last month he took ds1 on a two-week holiday. He did organise the pasport himself, and didn't ask for any money, but I got the new clothes needed, it was just presumed by both of us that I would.
I got the usual payment from the CSA but then chose to give my ex some of it back, as I didn't feel it fair that he pay for the holiday and feeding ds1 for that long, when he had paid me to do it. It was only one weeks money I gave him back, as other costs eg rent etc still needing paying, but it was something I wouldn't have dreamed of not offering.

bentneckwine1 Fri 06-Jul-07 15:20:44

hi amen..yeah I can see why he would think giving me the whole month and then helping with the uniform would be unfair...however when we first decided on a monthly figure we agreed to a fairly low amount, much less than would be expected formally...but on the understanding that this would be topped up in relation to help with large purchases...

The reason for this was that I knew giving me the official amount every month would make it difficult for him to manage at certain times of the year due to seasonal nature of the job...but I felt that it was fairer to have this low monthly amount that he was prepared to increase when needed...but of course I imagine that my husband and I might not always agree on when it is 'needed or apporopriate' to increase...

I certainly think I need to make some enquiries about making the arrangements more formal...as much for my husband's benefit as mine...

Thanks to everybody for their advice

bentneck

mother2b Fri 06-Jul-07 15:26:15

if he has a 'packaged' bank account i.e one he pays for, then he should get travel insurance free providing he is under 70 and is going for less than 31 days, this will include his family!

not saying this is so for all banks but the ones my work deals with do!

bentneckwine1 Fri 06-Jul-07 15:28:43

hi joma..thanks for your message...like you said about the clothes - that you just assumed you would buy them...so did I...I intended telling my husband that I would pay half the passport and buy new clothes but he brought the subject up first by saying...'now you realise I expect you to sort out the passport and holiday clothes'..it was the way it was put to me that was more upsetting...I would rather have had the chance to offer...

But it was interesting to read about your arrangement to pay some money back as your ex had taken your son away...did your ex expect this money back?...just out of interest...tell me if I am being too nosey...

Judy1234 Fri 06-Jul-07 15:31:19

The child support agency rules have a deduction for time spent so for one child it is 15% of your husband's net income if the child lives with you with deductions depending on how many nights a week the child is with you. So in principle he is right but as a resident parent myself whose other half pays nothing ever and vritually doesn't see the children I know only too well how much the parent spends who the children are most with. It's the constant drip drip of cash for all kinds of things that the parent they do not live with just doesn't have or often doesn't understand.

If he is paying you more than this 15% then just be careful arguing with him over this does not result in less being paid though.

duchesse Fri 06-Jul-07 15:32:40

I know I am being naive here, but surely it is relatively straightforward to work out how much a child costs, including bills, his or her rent/ mortgage portion (need larger dwelling if have child/ren), nursery/ childcare/ school fees if relevant, clothes, food, and apportion costs according to ability to pay- ie if your child is very small, you may need to be at home, if he is 10, it might be more expedient for custodial parent to be back at work.

If both parents in work, those costs simply to be halved, and both parents pay half. The CSA figures seem quite oddly to assume that children cost more or less depending on how much the non-custodial parent earns. The settlement figure may reflect the earnings of the non-custodial parent, but there's no reason why the running costs of a child should substantially change, unless they develop a serious commitment to an expensive sport or need special education that is not state-funded. These days, it's not as though the woman (most often) is helpless and cannot work and therefore needs to be maintained along with her child/ren. The maintenance is strictly about the child, his or her living conditions, and the other attached expenses. These would barely change during a 2 week holiday (maybe 10 quid's worth of food for a little one, and a few £s of water heating and electricity), so I would agree that your ex is BU.

If he is not doing it deliberately, or is doing out of peevishness, or because he feels entitled to do it, then maybe he needs setting straight about what his maintenance is spent on (ie rent and bills and clothes, mostly).

bentneckwine1 Fri 06-Jul-07 15:36:25

hi mother2b...he does not have a bank account anymore...I suspect his wages are being paid into another family member's bank account and then he is given them in cash at the start of the month...

I know he has no account as I suggested that he set up a d/d to make the payments to me - this was after I had to wait until the middle of the month on a couple of occasions...and he told me he closed down his account...

Oh and when I finally received the money in the middle of the month he told me that 'I had hurt his feelings by asking for money for my son'...he says he does not think it is necessary when I am getting money like child benefit...

So I am always worrying that this arrangement is going to fall apart which I guess is why I became so defensive when he told me he was not giving me the whole month's money...I just feel that if it was me going off abroad for two weeks that he would not have made any offer of help...and would not have expected it as it was 'my holiday'...

Thanks again for all the replies and suggestions...you are helping me see things from lots of different perspectives...

duchesse Fri 06-Jul-07 15:44:08

I wonder why he shut down his account? Could it perchance be b/c he doesn't want the CSA finding him?

I'm sure if you knew he was in dire straights, you wouldn't be asking him for this. I think he needs to re-arrange his thinking about what you do with the money (ie that you're not spending it all on gin and tap shoes...).

bentneckwine1 Fri 06-Jul-07 15:57:06

hi duchesse...i know he is not in dire straits...they are going abroad for two weeks to a fairly luxiourous destination, he has recently made a number of large purchses...some of which I know about as I can see such as a car...others that my son has mentioned in passing without prompting I promise!!!

Yeah I do think he has an issue with giving 'me' money as opposed to giving his 'son' the money...I am sure if he could make the payments in clothes and food for my son he would rather do that!!!...what do I spend 'his' money on?...clothes and food for my son...

I did not work the whole time we were married so any financial decisions such as holidays, cars etc were always made by him anyway...and I had little say in these...often to the extent of not knowing about them until he come home with them - once a brand new car - so I think he just wants to carry on controlling my money which unfortunately he no longer can...

bentneckwine

Bouncingturtle Fri 06-Jul-07 16:19:52

Duchesse - I am at how much your sister's ex gives her, my DH gives a lot more than that and he's only on 23K!!!
Funny how the richer they get they tighter the hold on the money....

JoMa Fri 06-Jul-07 17:20:27

hi
duchesse, I think along those lines too, when my ex got a better paid job I offered to take payments out of the CSA as him getting paid more didn't increase the cost of bringing up ds1. I don't see why he should be penlised for doing well at work. We left it how it was however, but that was his decision.

bentneck, no, he didn't expect it at all, I gave it to him in Euros to use while they were away, he said I didn't need to but I felt it was the right thing to do, I know how much the child eats!

and no, be as nosey as you like
I am very lucky that I get on well with my ex, most of the time

Judy1234 Fri 06-Jul-07 17:34:41

The CSA rules are a rough and ready guide because people thought it was better to have straight percentages so no debates over amounts and to some extent that worked. There is also an upper cap for high earners of about £2k a week I think for the very rich. Also new rules coming out and anyone interested in that area ought to comment now rather that whinge later when they don't like them. They are badly drafted again even under the new version of teh CSA and you will pay based on your gross not net income and that is difficult because in some businesses you have a lot of expenses and in others not. If children are with both parents equally then it is fairest if each parent pays for the child when the child is with that parent I suppose.

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 06-Jul-07 19:17:22

I can see why he thought he should pay less this month as he will have to feed his son and pay for trips etc on holiday. So in the interest of keeping the peace I'd agree a lower amount this month and then ask for help with the uniform nearer the time.

Be thankful you have an amicable agreement and get a set amount, those on income support only get to keep £10 a month and some lone parents dont get anything.

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