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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?

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 amount...it'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

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