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Is DP being unreasonable paying me maintenance before he’s moved out?

(80 Posts)
Shortwinter Mon 14-Oct-19 11:16:19

I am a SAHM, I have some part time work that doesn’t pay much. I gave up a good career as our child has special needs and I provide the professional care. Also we live miles from anywhere so I’m feeling stuck.

Me and DP are separating. However as DSs school is good, we agreed to wait two years as I want to move back to where my family support is and where I can also get back into work. I could find my feet then, but the schools are not as good.

DP does not want to move out, it’s his house, and I cannot, long story but I would not be eligible for housing benefit. DP is very mean with money, he has never let me have access to his bank account and he has a large mortgage on a big house that we don’t really need. He earns a lot of money, a lot, and has a nice car. Which apparently leaves little for anything else, and he’s always complaining that I spend too much on food and house stuff.

Recently he got mad as I paid for a birthday party for DS and had dental work done that I’ve been waiting 2 years for. I asked to go to a social activity group but because we live so far out and I haven’t got a car, I asked him for a lift and he said no I’d have to take the bus there and back. Which is impossible he’d never be home early enough. Now he’s saying that we have to have another chat about money - which means him telling me to spend less. I don’t know what I can do I know he’s amassing a lot of wealth in his house that will stay with him. I’ve said also that DS needs professional therapies as I’m worn out doing everything myself, but it’s like getting blood out of a stone. Once my family gave me money to help out with DS and out of pride I think he gave me £500 for ‘me’ and £500 for DS therapies. I just couldn’t that he doesn’t see these things as a core cost!

His new suggestion is that he pay me a minimal maintenance while I live in the house instead.

I just feel so angry and humiliated. I’ve thought very hard about moving but honestly school is so important (it’s a special needs school) and very hard to get a good one, that I will not leave yet. How do I stay and find this workable?

WhoKnewBeefStew Mon 14-Oct-19 12:34:40

See another solicitor op, finances come way down the list of priorities when a judge looks at custody and even the % of access. As the sahp you do the majority of childcare so it's highly unlikely a judge would give 50/50 if your dh won't reduce hours etc.

MrsCBY Mon 14-Oct-19 12:35:13

Is there a reason why you can’t move out into your own place but stay in the same area for two years for the school? Then presumably you’d be eligible for benefits and he’d have to pay CM too. And you wouldn’t have to live with the fucker.

Shortwinter Mon 14-Oct-19 12:36:38

@bellringer and others yes I’ve asked him to talk to me about finances by email this time, so that I have some proof of his limitations on me. But he has refused. I do need to build a picture of how difficult this is here.

Shortwinter Mon 14-Oct-19 12:39:38

@MrsCBY yes there is a reason I can’t move out but stay in the same place however it would be too outing to say. Apologies not being obtuse. Also, in addition I am worried this would then go against me when I do want to move back home, as he will then have a much better argument to have more custody with his family near - who are awful.

Idontwanttotalk Mon 14-Oct-19 13:07:59

DP is NBU in paying maintenance before he's moved out. But he isn't moving out is he?

The two of you need to set some proper boundaries if you are to remain in the same house.

If you only receive benefits for your son and money from part time work then it might be worth accepting a maintenance payment as his financial contribution towards looking after your son.
You will need to discuss DP's input regarding maintaining your son in terms of him looking after him in other ways too.

If you are separating/separated you should not have any expectations of him giving you lifts anywhere or contributing anything to looking after you. In divorces it is worth noting that generally partners/spouses do not get maintenance for themselves.

I would cease to do anything for DP such as cooking, washing, ironing (unless he employs you to do these things and you have a contract and he pays you in accordance with that contract). Obviously don't share a bedroom and don't have sex with him.

As your DP has told you he'd go for joint custody (and why not, he is the child's father so that wouldn't be unfair would it?) I would prepare for that worst case scenario. If he got that then you'd presumably have your child 50:50 and it would be unlikely either of you would pay the other any maintenance for your child.

Get a plan for returning to work full time and re-gaining your financial independence.

PhilipJennings Mon 14-Oct-19 14:05:45

OP, I know you would never leave DS behind and you would always put him first.

But do you think it would open your ex DP's eyes a bit if he thought you would move out alone?

Sit him down one day and say "I've decided, I'm moving out. I can't afford to take DS and it's better with his additional needs if he stays with the parent with a roof over his head. I'll need to work, so I won't be able to be a SAHM to him anyway. Once I have a job, we can use the CMS calculator to work out what I should be paying you towards childcare and maintenance."

See if that changes his views!!

Lovemenorca Mon 14-Oct-19 14:08:29

Please please ignore @PhilipJennings

This is no time for playing games or bluffing.

Ated Mon 14-Oct-19 14:39:47

Get serious advice from a solicitor. Think on the costs of the need for a professional carer against ad hoc family members and the fathers indifference towards his son and your pay as the primary carer. Alive in carer would elicit a wage of £400.00 + per week. Cleaning and other general duties in 'his' house would cost at least £350.00 more. As your child gets older transport will be necessary so a car bought for you to take your child out would be another requirement. Accommodation elsewhere for your child and you may be necessary to stop the awkwardness and a house for you both should be on the list of needs. Make sure your solicitor gets the best team possible, including a barrister to make your case and go for everything.

lyralalala Mon 14-Oct-19 15:24:27

I think you really need to give careful consideration to the fact that if you live there, while separated, then that will be seen as the status quo.
While he's saying he's ok with you moving then you should move. If he withdraws that he could force you through court and it could be a pain in the arse and expensive.

Is he self employed or employed? That will make a difference when it comes to the maintenance process. CMS are beyond useless with self employed people.

Shortwinter Mon 14-Oct-19 15:37:33

Thank you so much for your advice. It makes me feel less alone and that other people do care. Thank you smile

I did once ask him as a way of trying to get him to see my point of view, that hypothetically would he give up work and become DSs professional carer? And if so, what would he then think is fair as I took over the mortgage. He said I wouldn’t earn as much so why even think it.

I do have to be careful. I would fight tooth and nail to have full custody and would never agree to 50/50. He won’t reduce his hours, would leave DS with his family who have no idea, and would use it to stop me moving back to my home where I can get myself back on my feet. The solicitor said it’s highly unlikely he’d get custody.

Of course I don’t want rely on him for lifts. However I am sacrificing a lot just to stay here for DSs school but am increasingly feeling that it’s not worth it. The stress and isolation are too much.

Shortwinter Mon 14-Oct-19 15:38:50

He’s employed. Luckily. However he has hidden some money with bitcoin!

RandomMess Mon 14-Oct-19 17:10:30

Are you in the UK?

Even whilst sharing a house you can claim as a single parent..,

Buscake Mon 14-Oct-19 17:14:18

If your son is at special school then he must have an ehcp. He will qualify for free transport when you move

Purpleartichoke Mon 14-Oct-19 17:22:56

Him paying maintenance might be better because that way you don’t have to ask him for money.

However, it needs to be done with a solicitor and negotiated properly. You also have to absolutely stop spending any money on maintaining the home. You should agree on a cleaning rota, but he will never follow it, so just commit to cleaning the kitchen and whatever areas of the house you and your child actually use. If possible, even make a plan for house sharing that divides the space into yours, his, and communal.

Shortwinter Mon 14-Oct-19 17:46:17

@buscake move would be out of area for the school though it is to another authority.

Buscake Mon 14-Oct-19 17:50:09

The new LA would take over the ehcp. If that is the school named, they would have to provide transport. It is also very unlikely for there to be a space in one of their special schools, so I can’t see them arguing this

Shortwinter Mon 14-Oct-19 17:51:57

It is 100 miles away that I would be moving, so I don’t think it would work. However thanks for the suggestion.

Shortwinter Mon 14-Oct-19 17:53:05

Funny none of us would ever think we’d end up like this when we fall in love do we? sad

quincejamplease Mon 14-Oct-19 17:58:42

Are you separating because he's financially abusive? Or did that start afterwards?

The "I'll fight for sole custody if you try to leave" is so depressingly predictable as a threat from an abusive man.

Shortwinter Mon 14-Oct-19 18:04:46

He cheated on me while I was pregnant. I forgave him, but every time things were getting good again, as in I suggested that we go out as a couple, he’d say ‘it’s not working for him’ out of the blue and I became quite anxious and confused. Wondering if we were actually together or not. He’d get cross about money often but that isn’t the main problem. The last straw was when he told me he didn’t love me, or even like me, that I was controlling, had a problem and needed help.

SunniDay Mon 14-Oct-19 18:37:32

Hi OP,
Is "moving home" still in this country? (sorry if I have missed that info)

If It is in this country and you could move in with family why not apply for a school place for your child and if you get a place then move.

Ated Mon 14-Oct-19 18:48:23

Some of the new laws regarding domestic abuse now apply to attitudes, deprivation of resources and other things. It may be worthwhile asking a good solicitor/barrister these questions.

Shortwinter Mon 14-Oct-19 21:05:35

Thanks I’ve contacted someone from the local authority who will contact me later in the week about schools.

I did bring up some stuff with the solicitor about the stress of my situation, being trapped and also some concerns about his family around my son. She didn’t want to focus on it at the time but I should list some of this. I did contact women’s aid a while ago, I felt kind of a fraud as I do not fear for myself, and DP is in fact very friendly and personable. However if I ever try to leave or build independence or have a life I find it’s quite difficult.

DonnaPaulsenSpecter Mon 14-Oct-19 22:36:22

I think if your separated then, as hard as it may be, he doesn't really need to continue to pay for things as he was when you were together

Exactly, and if you were in opposite situations, everyone would be calling him a cocklodger.

If you're separating I think you need to begin to work out how you can leave his home and also arrange a way to co-parent. He does not need to provide YOU with any standard of living, he only has duty towards his child.

Had you been the one who owned the house, most would have told you to kick him out already.

DonnaPaulsenSpecter Mon 14-Oct-19 22:38:44

However if I ever try to leave or build independence or have a life I find it’s quite difficult.

So you just want to use him then? Discuss ways to co-parent and find yourself a place that you can afford.

What happens when he meets someone else? You cannot stay in his home forever, you need to begin planning an alternative residence for yourself and work out how you and him will parent your child so that he is least affected.

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