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Child maintenance, am I in the wrong?

(111 Posts)
RR94 Wed 10-Apr-19 18:02:28

For a little bit of background I'm 24 and have a 5 year old and 3 year old with my ex. We broke up when child 2 was 6 weeks old. Although horrific at the time we managed to have a good parenting relationship afterwards and have always shared child care costs relatively equally.

I work 4 days a week - I pay 40% of childcare and my ex pays 60% (as I'm working for one day less). I have the kids 9 days of every 14.

My ex has been with his fiance for 2 years and she is pregnant.

I have been with my boyfriend for around 18 months. We are moving in together in June.

My ex now wants to reduce how much he pays as my boyfriend is 10 years old than me, has no kids and earns a significant amount more than my ex (and me). So he sees no reason to still pay as much. I said they are still his kids etc but his response was 'you wont have to pay for anything with the house or shopping when you live with him'. In my view this is none of his business....

Am I being unreasonable here?

SnapesGreasyHair Wed 10-Apr-19 18:04:29

No you're not. His children, he should pay for them.

Waveysnail Wed 10-Apr-19 18:04:43

Maintenance is on how much he earns not your income? Does he pay above the csa amount plus childcare?

Waveysnail Wed 10-Apr-19 18:05:14

But I think the amount he has to pay reduces once his gf has a baby

Theyellowsquare Wed 10-Apr-19 18:05:16

How much would a CMS assessment be compared with how much he is paying at the moment (maintenance and child care added together)?

AmIRightOrAMeringue Wed 10-Apr-19 18:05:23

I dont think YABU and I didn't think the CMS normally take it into account what your new partner earns. Ultimately someone still has a responsibility to pay towards their kids.

Thatsashame Wed 10-Apr-19 18:05:26

Yanbu he helped make them he must help support them. They are not your new partners responsibility in my opinion

BarbedBloom Wed 10-Apr-19 18:06:23

I would go through CMS as he shouldn’t be able to reduce it when he feels like it. However the maintenance will reduce a little to take account of your ex’s new child, so be prepared for that to happen flowers

outpinked Wed 10-Apr-19 18:06:28

He’s a CF. Let’s face it, he wants to pay less because he’s having another baby and actually rather sadly he can do this according to CMS guidelines. My exH lives with his DP and her two children so not even legally his stepchildren never mind anything else but they are taken into consideration when doing the maintenance calculator and as a result I get less than I should for our DC... I don’t personally understand the rule but there you go.

Your relationship is irrelevant, I’m sure your DP won’t be forking out for childcare and clothes for your DC. Your ex is being a twat.

lyralalala Wed 10-Apr-19 18:08:28

No, you’re not being unreasonable.

Do be aware though that if you go through CMS they just expect him to pay a flat percentage of his income (which will reduce when his baby is born) not a percent of the childcare so best to work out the amounts before threatening to make it a formal agreement.

happyhillock Wed 10-Apr-19 18:09:29

Your right my ex tried the same with me when me and my partner started to live together, he wanted to half the child support he paid, at the time i got in touch with the CSA, they wrote him a letter saying his paynents stay's the same as my partner is not responsible for HIS children. Good Luck

Theyellowsquare Wed 10-Apr-19 18:10:41

It depends. If xh has been struggling to pay well over what he legally needs to I can see his point. Usually the rp has to pay for childcare out of the maintenance and 60% of childcare could easily be £600.

mrsm43s Wed 10-Apr-19 18:11:24

He needs to pay (in total) the CMS amount. This calculation will include a deduction for the number of nights he has the children, and an additional deduction when his expected child is born.

RR94 Wed 10-Apr-19 18:16:52

We've only every done this informally - I have done a quick calculation and it says he would owe me £93 per week (based on child maintenance calculator) which is ludicrous.... Nursery alone is £800 per month... Without throwing in after school club.

RR94 Wed 10-Apr-19 18:18:57

£85 per week when his new child is born.

Bluntness100 Wed 10-Apr-19 18:20:51

I'm afraid the law is on his side not yours here. How much more is he paying op than is required?

nutsfornutella Wed 10-Apr-19 18:20:50

He'd pay nursery for his days and you'd pay nursery for your days. If you're on a low income then you'd get up to 70% of the bill paid by the government.

CMS would decrease your maintenance l when your ex's baby is born but wouldn't lower it if you move in with your bf. Moving in with your bf may affect benefits that you get like Child Benefit,

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Wed 10-Apr-19 18:21:56

Sounds about right. It's actually an absolute pittance given the actual cost of raising a child.

happyhillock Wed 10-Apr-19 18:22:01

His payments shouldn't be reduced when he has his other child, my ex had another 2 and still had to pay me the same.

frazzledasarock Wed 10-Apr-19 18:22:26

CMS calculations don’t even touch the sides of the real living costs of a child.

If you can,try and keep things amicable. If he goes below the CM levels then take it to the CMS.

Either way his payments to you may well drop.
His contribution will be lowered also once he has a child with his girlfriend

nutsfornutella Wed 10-Apr-19 18:23:38

Does he pay just 60% of £800? (£480) or do you get extra on top? If he went to CMS he'd pay just £93 pw and no nursery fees unless the kids went to nursery on his days.

IceCreamAndCandyfloss Wed 10-Apr-19 18:26:05

He should still pay child support although I'd expect him to argue over paying more of the childcare costs because you choose to be part time. It should be 50/50.

If he goes down the formal route he'll have to pay less. He may do this when he has another child and set of nursery fees to pay for.

Your partners income is irrelevant.

RR94 Wed 10-Apr-19 18:26:15

I'm on £36k (pro-rated), my ex is on £45k (to my knowledge.)

I actually can't believe it - he pays childcare only on his days... THE WEEKEND. What logic is there in that. Baffled and annoyed.

He's just been 'overpaying' apparently by around £260. Without even taking into account I pay all 'extra' costs anyway.

YourSarcasmIsDripping Wed 10-Apr-19 18:26:25

It might feel like he's a dick but try and keep things amicable.

As you've seen,if you go through CSA you'd get a lot less(ridiculous!!) and that amount would decrease even more once he has another child.

If I were you I'd either suggest a sum I'd be comfortable with or a trial period where things stay the same while you move in with your OH and rearrange finances etc.

I'm sure it must feel like a kick in the teeth,and it's definitely not you partner's job to support his kids but try and find the best way to compromise so that the kids don't miss out.

Horsemenoftheaclopalypse Wed 10-Apr-19 18:26:43

It isn’t ideal but the reality is the status quo is going to change now he is having another child.

Bluntly you have two options

Option 1. Accept your new reality and negotiate a compromise with him.

Option 2. £85pw

nauseous5000 Wed 10-Apr-19 18:29:07

He is a massively CF. My ex has never paid any maintenance, but he tells everyone he doesn't have to now I have a "rich boyfriend" not that he gave me a penny when I was only eating every other day to ensure DD could eat either. Tell him if he dsnt like the arrangement you can go through the CMS. I don't have the guts to, but wish I did

lyralalala Wed 10-Apr-19 18:29:57

CMS is an absolute basic minimum, but unless your ex is a very high earner and you go through court rather than them it's all that he can be legally forced to pay. They only take his income, not your outgoings (and childcare falls on the RP mostly) into account, which means he has no legal responsibility toward childcare costs.

AlaskanOilBaron Wed 10-Apr-19 18:32:13

It might feel like he's a dick but try and keep things amicable.

Good advice here.

You have the size of him, he's happy to let another man pay for his children. Just accept the situation as it is and move forward.

IceCreamAndCandyfloss Wed 10-Apr-19 18:32:38

If he has them 9 out of 14 days anyway, two more days and it would be 50/50 care and no child support due. Maybe thats something to suggest? Then 50/50 on childcare costs only for you each as day to day living you would both just cover.

Dvg Wed 10-Apr-19 18:33:33

Realistically you should negotiate a weekly pay and then he just pays his own childcare for days when he has them and I think £80-£100 a week to you is more than plenty.

Also cms doesn't calculate how much he has to pay for childcare only how much he has to pay TO YOU.

RR94 Wed 10-Apr-19 18:35:08

I will just swap his days so he has the kids in the week rather than only weekends - I obviously want weekends as well.

On the plus side actual childcare costs will go down in September anyway - which we'd already agreed the new amount, which is why I find wanting to decrease it again so confusing.

RR94 Wed 10-Apr-19 18:37:39

We tried 50/50 when DC2 was 1 - however he couldn't cope which is why he ended up with a more weekend arrangement (so his mum could help).

Can't imagine him dealing with it any better with a newborn thrown in.

Bluntness100 Wed 10-Apr-19 18:38:38

260 a month more? Or a week? I'm assuming a month?

How much does he wish to reduce it by?

lyralalala Wed 10-Apr-19 18:40:48

I will just swap his days so he has the kids in the week rather than only weekends - I obviously want weekends as well.

Just be aware that if he insists on only weekends and it ends up in court he'll likely get every other weekend and one overnight in the week.

He can't be compelled to take them in the week if he doesn't want (he can't even be compelled to take them in the week if he takes you to court for 50/50 then doesn't turn up).

Blewbird Wed 10-Apr-19 18:41:15

If you unilaterally try to change your access arrangement to include more weekdays he can take you to court which will likely end up being EOW and 1 day in the week. I'd be careful trying to force him into paying more. Be outraged but legally you've got no grounds to insist on him paying as much as he does. Negotiate what you can but budget on the CMS's likely where you'll end up.

BelulahBlanca Wed 10-Apr-19 18:51:01

It’s a joke. What we get doesn’t cover even half of childcare. And DD is only 3 days a week- my family help with the other days .

Honeydukes92 Wed 10-Apr-19 18:53:19

Sorry OP but YABVVVU!!!

I’m actually baffled reading this thread, your ex has been doing a thousand times more than any single dad I know! He’s been over paying (much more than legally obliged) and has your children 5/14.

He’s now got another baby on the way (if it was you and him having a third child then then your first two would have proportionately less spent on them- that’s just what happens when family size increases) and you’re moving in with your partner (liable for 50% of living costs) and now...despite still massively over paying the legal minimum you’re not happy that he wants to reduce a bit to accommodate your changing lives and plan to get petty and change his days around to mess with him! Wow!

If it wasn’t the kids who would suffer- I’d hope he cut your support down to £90 a week and told you to sod off! 😡

And yes lots of people on here are agreeing with you. Because MN thinks that anything less than 95% of their salary and a nightly blood sacrifice ... is simply unacceptable from a single dad!

He’s paying soo much more than he has to...and has done so happily and without question for two years. Cut him some slack 🙄

SnowWhitesRestingBitchFace Wed 10-Apr-19 19:05:08

Honeydukes92 just because he's doing more the most single dad doesn't make him a good dad. Just means he's less of an arsehole then the other arseholes.

blueluce85 Wed 10-Apr-19 19:09:48

@honeydukes92 - I 100% agree with what you have said, and I say that as a single mum receiving CMS stated amount

wineandsunshine Wed 10-Apr-19 19:11:10

As a parent who has £17k owing through CMS - I think you should communicate amicably between yourselves rather than use them. You will get significantly less than you do now if you go anywhere near CMS.

They take into account any new child (my ex even put his name on the non-bio step daughter child benefit form!!).

Desmondo2016 Wed 10-Apr-19 19:17:06

Having never had a penny from my ex I think you should definitely agree an amicable reduction and keep cms out of it!

VladmirsPoutine Wed 10-Apr-19 19:19:39

Such a shame that women's expectations have been managed down so low that the OP is being berated for receiving more than CMS would allow for and being told to be thankful for it as it's better than the pittance they receive. Good grief.

CharityConundrum Wed 10-Apr-19 19:22:05

I’m actually baffled reading this thread, your ex has been doing a thousand times more than any single dad I know! He’s been over paying (much more than legally obliged) and has your children 5/14.

Wow- you must know some real charmers! Are these father's who are with their partners and refuse to contribute more than they absolutely have to towards their children, or is it only non resident fathers that you hold to such a tragically low standard?

I could only provide what I'm legally obliged to for my kids, but it would be a miserably shitty existence for all of us. I spend what I can afford to on my kids, not the absolute bare minimum to keep them alive and I think any good parent would want to provide more than just the absolute basics for their kids if they could.

Holidayshopping Wed 10-Apr-19 19:29:33

I will just swap his days so he has the kids in the week rather than only weekends - I obviously want weekends as well.

I’m not sure you can just do that.

What does he pay now?

CupcakeDrama Wed 10-Apr-19 19:30:21

I totally agree honeydukes92. My ex doesnt pay a penny, cant believe people are moaning about this! yabu

YourSarcasmIsDripping Wed 10-Apr-19 19:31:13

@Honeydukes92 it's not a race to the bottom. No man should be happy to only pay what CMS says(which can be as low as 5£ a week) or not pay at all. The fact that many are and live by out of sight out of mind rules doesn't mean that women should be eternally grateful for every pittance they get.

Soontobe60 Wed 10-Apr-19 19:39:25

So, you want to change his days to weekdays only so that he has to pay their nursery fees in those days? Sounds like you're using your children to make him pay more money. You won't get that money, it'll go straight to the nursery.
He's currently paying around £320 in nursery fees. That's the equivalent of £3840a year that you're benefitting from. Is he also paying you maintenance?

RainbowWaffles Wed 10-Apr-19 19:43:19

You have already worked out that the legal position is pretty shitty and in that sense he is doing over and above.

As a matter of morality and practicality, the position is rather different. A fair way of working out what should be paid is looking at what the children actually cost and paying half each of that. You say he works a day more so has more income so in theory you would imagine he could pay more than you, but he does have another child to pay for and it seems you are soon to be sharing your living costs. Is he solely responsible for his living costs or does his partner work and contribute?

If we conclude the CMS model is rubbish then it isn’t as simple as paying a certain amount of your salary for children, the individual circumstances of the parties have to be taken into consideration. I would say the starting position is paying half each and then looking at individual circs to see if that is achievable.

Eisley Wed 10-Apr-19 19:43:43

Just to keep in mind that his CM is also calculated on how many nights he has them. So if he has them sat morning to Sunday night that's only 1 night a week which will lower his payments.

blueluce85 Wed 10-Apr-19 20:03:18

People are forgetting that the dad still has to afford to live too

Being separated isn't great financially, but there needs to be an understanding on both sides

blueluce85 Wed 10-Apr-19 20:03:53

And unfortunately I think the OP lost all credibility by suggesting she muck around the days just to financially piss her ex off!

RR94 Wed 10-Apr-19 20:06:19

Sorry my ex is paying his COST of the children. If he had them 50% of the time he'd have to pay. Whats the solution? I'd be paying an extreme amount in childcare. He could go to 4 days as well?

Children should be 50/50 thats what we had agreed previously - it's not my fault he couldn't deal with a 1 year old on his own. I'm not asking him to take them on expensive holidays (or even buy there clothes) literally pay childcare and his share of activities.

I've always done what I think is best for my kids and that has often included whats best for him and best for my kids relationship with there Dad. My point about changing the days is that it's a massive financial sting if I paid 100% nursery and after school club and everything else.

I think most people are fully aware £93 (or £85) would never cover the costs.

We had agreed a reduced amount from September - where the kids go to his Wednesday night to Sunday every other week and Saturday or Sunday the other week. I work a 3 day/5 day working pattern - so he was having them for longer on my long week. With us paying 50/50 childcare and activities.

This is more about nursery. Obviously I will buy all school uniforms, pay for all the school trips etc like I always have. My point is theres 5 months and he wants to change the payment AS OF THE 15th APRIL. So no real prior warning (before anyone says the baby is due in September also)

IceCreamAndCandyfloss Wed 10-Apr-19 20:22:42

If childcare is £800, less from September and the care is pretty much 50/50 then him paying £93 a week is pretty much half the childcare any way. Food bills you will both have given the shared care and presumably you get the child benefit which easily covers clothing costs.

Activities you could discuss between you, depends on who enrolled them.

Changing his days when he's already arranging contact to suit your working pattern seems very petty and unfair on the children. You do realise he doesn't have to pay the childcare costs if you do that?

RR94 Wed 10-Apr-19 20:31:55

Nursery for one of my children costs £800. The other childcare costs £175 per month.

He isn't arranging contact to suit my working patterns. I've amended my days to fit what he wants to do - in the same way I've amended them previously.

I'm obviously not going to change his days - I acomodate him for my kids.

mrsm43s Wed 10-Apr-19 20:55:51

Look, there's two ways that child costs can be shared either
- all costs are shared 50/50
-a maintenance payment is made from the NR parent to the resident parent to compensate for the fact that the RP is paying all the child related costs.

In this situation with 9 day/5 day shared care, BOTH parents need to provide a home for the children and BOTH parents provide clothes, heat and food for the children (slightly more OP than ex due to day splits) and child care is shared 60/40 with ex paying the largest part. Without maintenance at all, I would say they are sharing costs equally TBH. When ex is paying maintenance, he is likely paying well more than his half share of the combined costs of the children.

The OP needs to be careful, because if she pushes him, he could revert to CMS calculation which would likely mean he pays far less.

I think its grabby for OP to expect her ex to pay half of all the child related costs and then expect maintenance on top - I can't think why she would be entitled to maintenance when costs are shared either in ££ or in providing a home/food/light/heat etc for the children. This is not an absent father situation - he provides care and the associated costs on a 35:65 ratio.

RR94 Thu 11-Apr-19 21:15:35

After reading the responses I'm curious as to 'how much' people feel a parent should pay - my view has always been 50/50 regardless of how much time (meaning if one person has the children 90% of the time they get 40% back...)

Is the general view you should pay 100% of when you have your kids/when things are incurred surely thats illogical when one parent is making more of the financial sacrifice. Along with the considerable more solo parenting.

itsnotso Thu 11-Apr-19 21:27:47

I'm afraid the best option will be to re-negotiate something with him, as the CMA won't be on your side. I'm owed £18k in arrears, ex pays £93 a week with £3 of that covering the arrears. The CMA do not take into account any childcare payments as that is totally up to you if you utilise them. My childcare is £240 a month term time, just short of £600 in the holidays. Then there's uniform, school trips etc, yet the payments do not increase.

Inliverpool1 Thu 11-Apr-19 21:35:02

I told ex if he didn’t pay 50% of childcare costs I wasn’t prepared to have the child, that simple and I meant it. Every other weekend and4 weeks per year can just as easily apply to the mother as well as a father. Ex shit himself and has being paying ever since.

Blewbird Thu 11-Apr-19 21:37:11

@RR94 I think you're in danger of winding yourself up here. Running a moral argument is never going to work. You realistically need to understand your legal position and do the best you can with it. Or he's likely to just move to the CMS amount which would mean you'd be down quite a bit.

eclipse1808 Thu 11-Apr-19 21:55:58

My DP took a massive hit in earnings (£280 p/w after tax) and was paying his ex £200 a week for his son because she used to get funny about it. I was on mat leave and we had to live off £953 a month for a year with a baby until I went back to work. When I got a gift of £300 from my parents towards baby things I had to give his ex £150 of it to ‘pay what we owed’. CMS said £18 a week at that time and we had him 5/14 too.

She had the audacity to stop us having him when I put my foot down and said DP was putting his first son well before his second and we went down to £75 a week which we still couldn’t afford. She used to ask for half towards clothes, school uniform and trips too. Some women are given everything to them on a silver platter and still aren’t happy. You presumably have a comfortable amount of money to live off, he’s having another baby who requires money too. I had to try to re-establish my breastmilk after 2 weeks of stopping because I didn’t have £10 for formula. You don’t know what their financial situation is. Not saying you’re one of these women but I can totally see where he is coming from. If your DP earns alot he will be paying the majority of your mortgage / bills. Give him a break

eclipse1808 Thu 11-Apr-19 21:57:58

Oh she also has a new partner, was claiming single so she didnt have to work after mat leave with her second baby and kept the house that was 50% paid for, for free when he left

eclipse1808 Thu 11-Apr-19 22:04:51

His wages before taking the hit were only £1800-2000 a month so we should never have been paying £200. When he first left he wanted to provide a good life for his son but couldn’t keep that up. To do that he lived in a grotty house share and sold his car. You don’t know he’s still earning that, and if his DP doesnt earn alot, you should definitely accommodate his request of paying less

Inliverpool1 Thu 11-Apr-19 22:27:52

eclipse1808 - why on earth would you have a 2nd baby with someone who can’t afford his first ?

TriciaH87 Thu 11-Apr-19 22:34:28

Your partners income does not come into it. Him having a new baby will reduce amount according to cms as he needs to support all 3. Sit and talk it through but go on their site and put in details of his income and see what the amount is. If his paying childcare on top that will be scrapped if they take over. So it's worth looking at what they would make him pay and what his offering to pay.

SkyBillingIssue Thu 11-Apr-19 22:54:39

I get £120 a month! I think £98 a week is a dream!!!

FunkyKingston Thu 11-Apr-19 23:21:32

Your partners income does not come into it. Him having a new baby will reduce amount according to cms as he needs to support all 3.

This, he should have just been upfront and said that his income is finite will now have to support three children not two, rather yhan coming up with nonsense about the op's boyfriend's salary.

Eustasiavye Thu 11-Apr-19 23:27:35

I would second avoiding cms at all costs they are useless.
My ex pays less than 10% of his income.
He has reduced his payment because his new wife has lots of kids, non of them his and she receives child maintenance from their fathers.
My ex never had the kids and pays zero towards anything else.
He has also been allowed to miss payments, pay when ever he feels like it etc.
They contacted him months ago to 'ask him to pay his arrears'
Seriously I wish I could be so blase about paying taxes. It is a joke.
The latest good news I have is that I will probably have to go to the system where I am charged a fee every week so that cms can collected the maintenance directly.
On top of this I had to pay to use the cms because my ex refused to pay one single penny towards his children.
Anyone who thinks it is acceptable for a parent to contribute only 10% of their earnings towards the care of their children and never do anything else for them needs shooting.

ThisMustBeMyDream Thu 11-Apr-19 23:37:17

OP cut your stress and make a claim for universal credit. On your wage and childcare costs, you would get a significant payment. A quick calculation (making some assumptions) would give you a payment of £450 a month.
Delay moving in with your partner until your costs lower.

Desmondo2016 Fri 12-Apr-19 07:08:01

Once me and my second husband got together our combined income became family money, the same if the kids were his. I wouldn't have had it any other way. In reality I paid for my children regular payments, phones, dinner money etc but he covered more of the non child related expenses to compensate. We earned a similar amount at the time.

I'd make an amicable agreement with ex, then sort out your new family's financial structure fairly too.

AfterTrentham Fri 12-Apr-19 08:26:29

Out of interest, if a dad is paying CMS, what else is he expected to pay for? Presumably he still pays for clothes or childcare that are needed on his time? Is it just that he doesn't help cover other expenses, like childcare on Mum's time, or school trips?

lyralalala Fri 12-Apr-19 08:28:14

Out of interest, if a dad is paying CMS, what else is he expected to pay for? Presumably he still pays for clothes or childcare that are needed on his time? Is it just that he doesn't help cover other expenses, like childcare on Mum's time, or school trips?

In my experience nothing.

YourSarcasmIsDripping Fri 12-Apr-19 08:40:25

* Out of interest, if a dad is paying CMS, what else is he expected to pay for?*

Legally it tends to be just CMS. Some women might get an extra allowance in the divorce if for example the dad is a really high earner and she stayed at home to facilitate his career.
But even with CMS, plenty of men quit jobs, work cash in hand, are self employed and declare much less than they earn etc and pay a lot less than they should. Some pay nothing. CMS just drag their feet and shrug their shoulders.

There are men that expect their ex to provide clothing at theirs and even food. Sometimes even money so they will take the kids somewhere.

It all comes down to what they can afford and how much of a selfish twat they are.

Ideally the parents should reach an amicable and fair compromise between themselves. In work with what you've got.

Bankofenglandfiver Fri 12-Apr-19 08:43:40

Sorry OP but you have 2 choices.

Take the reduced amount he is offering or go through CMS.

Musereader Fri 12-Apr-19 10:08:19

I wouldnt be expecting half of all child care costs, i would expect half of what is left after any tax credits, i get 524 towards 700 per month of childcare costs on a wage of 20k, so in theory what dd costs is half the remaing costs (88) and half food and clothing costs. About 300 a month probably.

What i get is 29.11 per month. And this month not even that.

What you are getting is much better than cms so negotiate, but don't throw rhe baby out with the bathwater by souring the relationship over it

Felford Fri 12-Apr-19 10:22:27

OP do you claim tax credits or universal credit? These are for help with childcare costs which ex presumably doesn't get when he pays for his days.

MaybeNew Fri 12-Apr-19 10:56:01

I think the OP is getting a hard time here. In my experience, it is usually the mother who takes a career hit once a couple have children. If she is working part time to facilitate her Ex’s career, then of course she will earn less and can reasonably expect her Ex to give her some recompense. The idea that a man is some sort of hero because he pays CMS is a cruel joke. Culturally, we should be horrified by men who don’t pay for their children, not be making excuses for them. My DF would not pay for me, went on to have more kids who he wouldn’t pay proper maintenance for either. He’s a selfish pig. The irony is that he wonders why none of us want to spend time with him.

Oh and the idea that because the OP’s new partner has more money, then he should contribute to the Ex’s kids is also highly unreasonable. It could put the new relationship under a lot of strain.

Felford Fri 12-Apr-19 10:58:08

Oh and the idea that because the OP’s new partner has more money, then he should contribute to the Ex’s kids is also highly unreasonable. It could put the new relationship under a lot of strain.

If she moves in with him and loses tax credits as a result you don't think he should contribute? Surely that's a key consideration when considering a relationship with somebody who already has children..

ScreamScreamIceCream Fri 12-Apr-19 11:06:24

@Felford the new partner will be paying towards the children. The new partner unless they are a complete CF will pay towards the household food, bills including council tax, water and rent/mortgage.

MaybeNew Fri 12-Apr-19 11:09:15

A couple moving in together need to discuss finances obviously, work out the tax credits, loss of single person council tax etc. Those are all the legal consequences of joining two households. I can’t think of any law where OP’s Ex can say that the new partner has more than him, so must pay for the privilege of living with OP by paying for the kids which the Ex and OP have together. I think it’s shameless of OP’s Ex and I hope his new girlfriend is watching carefully.

Eustasiavye Fri 12-Apr-19 12:45:25

How can the ops ex expect her new partner to pay for his child when his partner isn't paying for his child.
Personally I don't think cm should be reduced when a nrp moves in with a partner with children.
What is the logic in that?

funinthesun19 Fri 12-Apr-19 14:07:00

He should still pay the same amount. New partner’s incomes on both sides should not influence the amount whether up or down.

I take it you didn’t ask for an increase in the amount when his partner moved in. If you didn’t then he shouldn’t be asking to decrease it.

funinthesun19 Fri 12-Apr-19 14:14:34

When I got a gift of £300 from my parents towards baby things I had to give his ex £150 of it to ‘pay what we owed’.

You’re much nicer than me. You should have just kept the money secret and spent it on your baby. You didn’t owe her anything if your DP had a pay decrease- maintenance should have been decreased accordingly.

RR94 Fri 12-Apr-19 23:45:04

I think the problem I have is that when me and my ex where together he was on £45k which I believe is now more. I'm of the opinion that he should pay fairly for his children they (obviously) adore him - so paying for swimming lessons/gymnastics/karate should all feed into that.

My boyfriend earns more than me - and my ex that being said they aren't his children no doubt there are financial benefits to me living with him but in a similar vein I'm very aware thats a VERY big commitment for him to move in with two young children. There is 4 months left of nursery so his new cost of nursery in (I estimate) 16 months of time won't be a large financial hit.

If we have to do this through solicitors I will - that being said I think at this point in time he is aware he is being unreasonable.

mrsm43s Sat 13-Apr-19 00:15:59

You can either expect 50% of the child costs


Maintenance towards the children (as determined by CMS)

If the childcare costs (which make up the majority of the current child costs) are likely to end/reduce soon, then you may be better using the CMS calculation. Will be less now, but consistent even when childcare stops.

However, manage your expectations, you are morally entitled to 15% of the costs of you housing, feeding and clothing your children (based on him 35% you 65%) and 50% of childcare. That is all. You BOTH need to support your children equally, regardless of your respective salaries.

Or go by CMS,

Inliverpool1 Sat 13-Apr-19 07:26:14

Tbh it’s despicable that we even need to CSM it reflects badly. The trouble is in my case, he literally pays 50% of the childcare that therefore allows me to work to pay for everything else. And he thinks he’s hard done by

BasilBrushes Sat 13-Apr-19 07:35:49

He’s been over paying (much more than legally obliged) and has your children 5/14.

His children. Corrected that for you.

Guavaf1sh Sat 13-Apr-19 07:45:12

We need CMS as everyone always feels hard done by and this thread is a fine example. The OP would never be satisfied and sees it all from her perspective alone. There are plenty of threads with new partners upset that the maintenance going to an ex is too high. The CMS has some sound principles that make things fair - new children for example would obviously change the payment, as would an ex marrying someone rich. This is fair. Otherwise people make up moral rules that are ludicrous and mostly suit ourselves only, as the OP has done

Inliverpool1 Sat 13-Apr-19 08:18:15

It might make some people stop and think if they can actually afford a second family if they were forced to pay the correct amount of raising the first

Ncouttaembarrassment Sat 13-Apr-19 08:22:51

Are you claiming child tax credits/UC?

Inliverpool1 Sat 13-Apr-19 08:24:27

I wouldn’t imagine so earning £45,000 each

Ncouttaembarrassment Sat 13-Apr-19 08:27:53

She’s on 36 pro rataed for 4 days a week so that’s only 28800 and she should be eligible for some help with child care should she not?

Doobydoodah Sat 13-Apr-19 08:29:46

Don't set things up so he gets every weekend. Once your children are both in school you will never see them.

SD1978 Sat 13-Apr-19 08:31:28

I'm a bit confused. He mainly has them weekends now, and you want to stop that because he wants to decrease the amount of CMS he pays, as he has another child to budget for, and you want to stop weekends suddenly because you're mugged he can no longer afford what he currently pays?

LemonTT Sat 13-Apr-19 08:33:56

There is value to the OP and their ex having an informal arrangement and it has benefited both the OP and her children. But of course informality means they could be interpreting and defining things differently and from different perspectives. It also means they are not using set rules and it’s not really fair to criticise how they express what they mean. The ex might be well aware of his actual obligation but has been willing to pay more to support the OP, a quasi form of spousal maintenance. Her new relationship would have bearing on that decision if it was the case. We don’t know if there was any other form of settlement when they split.

There is merit to a 50/50 share of costs arrangement but it does need to be affordable. This is why the new child is a new issue. As is choice of lifestyle.

The other factor that needs to be accounted for is not just cost of the children but income too. If the OP is getting benefits for the children then she should reduce the costs accordingly so the benefit is split if she wants to use this methodology.

My advice to the OP is to stop being offended by his need to reopen the discussion and to instead approach the need to renegotiate constructively. Defaulting to legal obligations could well see her very badly off particularly as she now faces being in a new relationship where she is disadvantaged by being a low earner and because she will have lost significant elements of her maintenance and benefits.

FudgeBrownie2019 Sat 13-Apr-19 08:34:03

I’m actually baffled reading this thread, your ex has been doing a thousand times more than any single dad I know! He’s been over paying (much more than legally obliged) and has your children 5/14.

He's been doing more? He's their Dad. He's amazing because he's paying over the minimum directed by CMS? Every Dad should if they're able. And they're his children as much as OP's, so you really need to remember that next time you want to crap on someone's post because you think they ought to be grateful that a miracle Father has paid over the odds for children but wants to reduce the monies because he expects another man to fund their childhood now. Ridiculous.

Inliverpool1 Sat 13-Apr-19 08:42:13

This is the trouble it’s ingrained into us that child support is a bonus, a nice to have lucky if you get it .... and that going from 100% of an average wage, £45,000 is nothing to write home about and probably just about managing to 15% is acceptable and it bloody isn’t. It is not what we signed up for when we had these children.

YourSarcasmIsDripping Sat 13-Apr-19 10:08:00

* as would an ex marrying someone rich.*

New partner's income regardless of which side is not taken into consideration.

MaybeNew Sat 13-Apr-19 10:15:10

The responses here show just why men get away with not paying properly or at all for their children and women are disadvantaged at work after children.

Let’s start from a position that society should be striving for equality.

2 people have sex, in doing so there is a mutual acknowledgement that the women might get pregnant. If you don’t want to have children, then be celibate or double up on contraception, have the snip or get sterilised. No man should ever complain that he has been trapped. Genuine accidents happen with all forms of contraception.

The baby arrives and the parents split up. Who should bring up and pay for that baby? Shouldn’t both parents make an equal contribution. Sometimes that will be one working more and paying more, whilst the other looks after the child.

Usually, it’s the mother who is primary carer and takes the hit in terms of time out of her career.

In the OP’s situation, she worked out her work and custody arrangements around the Ex’s need to have the children at the weekend so his DM could help as he could not cope on his own. A luxury which the OP was not allowed, she had to get on with it.

Now her Ex has decided that he wants another child and will reduce OP’s maintenance for the children. Why should he be allowed to do that? Why does his desire to have another child mean that he shouldn’t pay for the one’s that he has already got? If OP cannot afford to work or has to go on UC because of his decision, is that reasonable?

Is it reasonable that the Ex’s refusal to pay for childcare means that the OP has to get tax credits? Are tax credits really made available so that a man can avoid his responsibilities in the happy knowledge that the tax payer will pick them up for him.

His excuse is that OP’s new boyfriend has more money than him. How nice of the Ex to decide how the new boyfriend should spend his money. And how humiliating for the OP.

Perhaps the OP wants a relationship where finances are kept separate and she pays her way, like an equal. Does the Ex think that the new boyfriend should ‘keep’ the OP? What a pathetic specimen the Ex is if he really thinks that another man should be paying for childcare bills for his children.

In addition to all of this, the Ex wants the new arrangement to start before OP has even moved in with her boyfriend. Can there be any justification for that? It smacks of spite.

And all those posters who say that the OP should be grateful that the spineless man who left her when their mutual child was 6 weeks old has paid more than the bare minimum to date, then please reconsider your views. A man who has to be taken to CMS to pay the minimum for his children is no man at all.

Smumzo Sat 13-Apr-19 11:05:53

Those trying to ram their own version of what's fair won't do the OP a lick of good. Legally she is in a very weak position and it seems he viewed the amount he was giving her more like spousal maintenance which does take into account living with another partner and their income. A "deal in the round" is more like what she has. She would have been FAR better off having gone through court in the early days before the new partner to have the amount in an order. Now she hasn't got a leg to stand on legally and arguing with him is likely to damage what seems to be a decent coparenting relationship. By all means become politically active and try to change policy but this won't help the OP in her current situation.

itsnotso Sat 13-Apr-19 11:26:28

@Ncouttaembarrassment not if she moves in with her partner who is a high earner, she will get no tax credits regardless of whether new partner contributes to childcare or not.

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