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to expect money over and above maintenance for uniform for September....

(20 Posts)
Boys2mam Mon 29-Jun-09 17:37:58

ExH (Sorry Dolly!!) pays regular maintenance for our DS (5). Ex keeps an amount of this maintenance back when DS visits him, which is usually for 4-5 days 4 times per year.

ExH text me today and asked if he could keep the money back this month for DS's visit next month so he could buy some bits for DS's room at his place.

As Ex lives 300 miles away it costs me £100 per visit for train tickets to collect him (Ex travels here at his expense to take DS back to his place). I've met this cost for Aug visit and by ex holding next months money back now it leaves me short. Especially as I found out today that I now have to pay for next years jumpers this week!!!

His text today is perfectly timed soooooo....AIBU asking him to contribute 50% to the cost of DS's uniform in September?

nametaken Mon 29-Jun-09 17:47:11

Tricky one IMO. Depends what your original agreement was.

Boys2mam Mon 29-Jun-09 17:50:33

We have never expressly discussed school costs - DS is only in Reception so Year 1 in September. He did contribute last year but has given such a story this year as to how he may not always be able to do so, and he would have thought it was covered in the maintenance blah blah blah, its made me think.

posieparker Mon 29-Jun-09 17:54:36

I can't believe the cheek of some parents, surely maintenance is not about the daily cost of keeping a child (well not only) but the overall cost of running the house and car, and then other expenses like uniform, school trips, you know stuff that helps a child have a good life.
Good gracious I think you're very reasonable too kind to accept the current arrangement, of course he should pay for half the uniform.

JoPie Mon 29-Jun-09 18:06:12

Well maybe it would be covered by the maintenance if he didn't keep bits of it? I would say that he should pay the same amount every month, not keep stuff back to buy things for his home. He should buy stuff for them anyway, not keep back part of the maintenance.

JeMeSouviens Mon 29-Jun-09 18:07:16


Child maintenance is regular, reliable financial support that helps towards a child’s everyday living costs.

I think in a normal situation, the maintenance should cover the school uniform.

But as your ex is DEDUCTING amounts from the maintenance to cover things HE should be paying for (ie buy some bits for DS's room at his place, or when DS visits him), then YANBU to ask him for 50% of the uniform cost. I'd also be asking him to desist from his deductions as well.

Surfermum Mon 29-Jun-09 18:07:48

My understanding was that maintenance is supposed to cover all the costs for bringing up the child, and I would have thought that that includes uniform. Our stance, however, is that we will share the cost of things with dsd's mum over and above the maintenance if we can afford to do so, and I have been out and bought uniform for dsd, and just last week we bought her some new school shoes (£42 shock).

I think it really depends on your circumstances and his. Did you move so far away or did he? Does he work, does he have high rent to pay or a mortgage. Does he have lots of debt that he's take on from your relationship. Lots of factors affect whether it's reasonable to ask him IMO.

Boys2mam Mon 29-Jun-09 18:19:14

I understood re deductions that the NRP was entitled to deduct the cost of having the child if they had them for any period of time?

As to his costs, he does pay an amount of debt from our past but he pays maintenance with this amount taken into account.

Its just the fact that he thinks everything should come out of this monthly amount. I mean, I pay for any replacement shoes/uniforms and and all clothes all the rest of the time but the one off cost at the start of the school year should, I think, be shared. I'm not even asking for a ridivulous amount, just half of the cost of the basics.

JeMeSouviens Mon 29-Jun-09 18:27:32

It is lowered taking into consideration overnight stays, but not whenever he wants to lower it. It would be spread over the year so you know every month what you will be receiving.

calculator here

For an example, I entered 300 net/week with overnight stays of 0-52 and no children in NRPs home, it would be approx 45quid maintenance per week. If it were overnight stays of 52-103 then reduces to 39 quid per week.

Surfermum Mon 29-Jun-09 18:39:26

The CSA will take into account overnight stays, old debt and the cost of travelling for contact visits.

Boys2mam Mon 29-Jun-09 18:50:36

I don't want to involve the CSA but think I am justified in asking for half based on that info so Thanks JeMe and Surfer.

We've had this arrangement for 3 years now and the deductions don't bother me. I know he buys DS's favourite foods for when he visits but the buying stuff for his room made me a little annoyed. Surely that should come direct from his pocket?

Maybe I should be talking to him about costs of trips and the likes before they start cropping up, see where we lie on that subject.

Snorbs Mon 29-Jun-09 19:16:55

I'd say there are two separate issues here - reduction of maintenance for DS staying with his dad, and extra money for uniforms etc. I'll use the CSA as an example simply as they're the only firm rules there are.

The CSA only reduces maintenance for overnight stays with the non-resident parent when the child stays over at least 52 nights a year. The CSA will also look at reducing maintenance to offset some (but by no means all) travel costs, but I have heard it's an either/or thing - either they'll reduce for overnight stays, or for travel, but not both.

If you can get him to pay a share of uniforms, school trips etc then great but he's not obliged to. The CSA's view is that the existing maintenance should help go towards these costs.

Surfermum Mon 29-Jun-09 21:00:16

I'm still not sure whether you are justified. I suppose it depends on how much he is giving you and how much he has left from his income after that to pay for his living expenses. Maybe it's a case of him just not having anything else to give you? Or he is giving you anything spare he has, so he has to ask for some back to provide things for your ds. And fair play to him for wanting to do make things nicer for your ds when he's with him.

Boys2mam Tue 30-Jun-09 07:04:27

I know he has money to go on weekends away and has been on holiday twice within the past 6 months (DS not taken on either). So cash isn't that tight. He lives with his gf and is quick to tell me that as I live with my partner "he would think things would easier for us" I know she could be paying for things but thats not my concern, nor is how much his rent etc is. I have the same outgoings to support his son and maintentance is not means tested so are far as he is concerned I'm paying the same as him.

Kimi Tue 30-Jun-09 07:22:01

I think you need to sit down and discuss school things. Trust me it only gets more expensive as they get older (DS1s year 6 school trip cost £340)

RumourOfAHurricane Tue 30-Jun-09 10:25:57

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RumourOfAHurricane Tue 30-Jun-09 10:29:24

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GuessWhatIAmANameChanger Tue 30-Jun-09 10:43:00

I think you are confusing the two issues TBH. The fact is that you have agreed to deductions, that is between the two of you. How he spends those deductions is up to him and nothing to do with you. If he chooses to spend the deduction on stuff for his room and pay for the food etc out of his own pocket then that is up to him! (ie where the money comes from is unimportant as long as he does not ask for extra IYSWIM).

WRT the school uniform, well, I would say that should come out of the regular payments, however, given that you are spending now it would be perfectly reasonable for you to say "no, you can't deduct now as I have just had to pay out on uniform, you can take it next month." I would also say that you should agree a monthly sum that includes the deduction so you know how much you are getting at all times to avoid this situation happening again!

Basically you take the sum paid in a year, divide by 365 and times by 5. THis is the figure he should be keeping each year. Take the remainder and divide by 12 to give you the monthly figure he should be paying to you. Get it agreed in writing and a direct debit set up if you can!

Surfermum Tue 30-Jun-09 12:14:23

It sounds like you would be best off just having a set amount each month and an agreement that whatever you need at each end is paid for by the respective parent. Money being deducted or additional being asked for seems to me to be setting yourself up for arguments.

Boys2mam Tue 30-Jun-09 12:30:15

I agree going forward that deducting money is to be avoided but my current arrangement with him is that its ok and I can't see him changing it now. It'll make him worse off so he'll never agree to it.

The arrangement is reviewed when he gets a payrise so when that next happens I'll see if make sure we can modify. For now, I've text him telling him that I can manage on what he currently gives me but its the deductions I am struggling with. I've agreed to compromise this time and this will have planted the seed for future.

I've used the CSA calculator and taking in to account the debt (if he is being honest about the amount as its all in his name), based on what he was being paid when we were together, so I know its more now, I am getting more or less what they say I am entitled to.

Thanks Ladies, you've given some great advice and perspective.

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