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What do you pay to your ex?

(41 Posts)
MrStranger Wed 04-Jun-14 15:05:21

Hi. New to this board.

Im wondering what separated dads pay their ex's when they leave.

I pay £1500 a month to cover the mortgage and bills. I then have my own rent and bills on top of that, plus cost of living and travel to central London for work.

This has been going on for 4 years, and I simply can't afford it any more, and I am going to have to lose the flat and find a flatshare.

Whilst I obviously want the very best for my 2 children, and I want them to remain in our house, I'd be interested in what other men pay to support their ex's.

I should point out that this is an entirely voluntary arrangement, and no court was involved.

EleanorHandbasket Wed 04-Jun-14 15:06:35

We get £12.50 or so a week.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 04-Jun-14 15:08:04

My ex pays £47 a week through CSA.

Uptheanty Wed 04-Jun-14 15:11:17

My ex pays nothing. Never has. That's not what he tells people though, he has a reputation of being a really good man.

What kind of man do you want to be?

CheeseandGherkins Wed 04-Jun-14 15:11:32

It depends what you earn, there isn't a "right" amount, it's a percentage of your income. Look online to see what you should be paying. Csa or the new version called child maintenance options I think.

MrStranger Wed 04-Jun-14 15:17:49

I want to be a man who supports his family, but doesn't have to live on Pot Noodles, which is the way I'm going.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 04-Jun-14 15:20:59

Bear in mind that the CSA calculation will give you the minimum amount you have to pay based on your income. This isnt the same as what you should pay or what is fair to pay.

wannabestressfree Wed 04-Jun-14 15:21:38

Does your ex wife have a job? I am sorry but I wouldn't be paying that amount and not indefinately either. It has been long enough to sort something more reasonable out. Do you have the children at your flat? Overnight? You are going to have to compromise with her....

Uptheanty Wed 04-Jun-14 15:22:32

How much is your take home?

TalisaMaegyr Wed 04-Jun-14 15:24:43

Yes, we would need to know your general salary.

GiveTwoSheets Wed 04-Jun-14 15:26:16

Are you on amicable terms enough to sit down with your ex to discuss finances as tbh you can't really compare with what others pay as all different circumstances. Like I have a ex that pays always has done for his DD yet my DS not a brass farthing

MrStranger Wed 04-Jun-14 15:29:03

My ex works part time.
I have the kids 2 days a week, which includes one overnight a week.
I earn a decent wage, and I work hard. I am lucky to have a well paid job, and what I pay to my ex represents about 60% of my take home pay.

ForeskinHyena Wed 04-Jun-14 15:41:52

Sounds like you are paying a lot. My ex gives me the CSA recommended amount based on his reasonable salary for our 3 DCs, which is about £700 a month.

He also currently adds another £200-ish to that amount as recompense for the years I have stayed at home looking after the DCs not building up a career, but that is only going to be for another year or so until I can start to earn a bit more myself.

Out of that I pay the mortgage and all bills on the family home and buy everything the DCs need. He pays for DS1's phone and the occasional t-shirt here and there, but otherwise I buy all clothes/shoes/school lunches/school trips/pocket money etc.

If your ex is limited to p/t work due to looking after the DCs most of the time then topping up her salary is only fair, but it shouldn't leave you too out of pocket.

Can you sit down with your ex and copies of both sets of finances and work out how you can both have an equal and fair amount of spare money to enable you both to treat the children similarly while they are with you?

My ex will stop the extra money next year but I will expect him to pick up the slack with buying them shoes or contributing to school trips etc, which he doesn't currently do, so it's a bit 'swings and roundabouts'. What he gains on paper he will inevitably end up spending on them anyway, but as long as they are well provided for I don't mind who does the providing. I'd rather he has a bit of spare cash to take them away for a weekend or out for dinner sometimes so that I'm not under pressure to provide all of their holidays, entertainment and treats while he pleads poverty.

Note that he can still afford decent food, new clothes, trips to music festivals, new bikes/laptops and spends £400 on petrol each month to get to work, so he is not in any way hard-done-by! If you can honestly say you are struggling to buy decent food for yourself then you need to look at what you are paying and work out what your ex's relative income is including any tax credits etc to find a fair settlement.

HecatePropylaea Wed 04-Jun-14 15:44:39

click here

there is a calculator.

Ideally though, you would pay half of what it costs to raise your child - that's half of what it costs to feed your child, clothe your child, keep a roof over their head (incl utilities-half of the difference between what a single person would need and what a family home costs!), half of any school trips, holidays and days out, etc. Just, half really. cos the child always needs the whole of it, and half each is fair.

£1500 a month sounds like a good amount for what it ACTUALLY costs to raise children. That's 2 children, so £750 a month per child or just under £200 a week. I think that is well over half of what it could reasonably cost - unless they are in a private school and part is for that?

Talk to your ex. You could negotiate a lesser amount that would still be a good and fair contribution but would enable you to meet your expenses too.

Realitybitesyourbum Wed 04-Jun-14 15:52:59

I think she must be laughing all the way to the bank!!! Why are you giving her that much?! She must be loaded! Have a look what the csa recommend and then add some on top if you want to, and that would be a good thing to do. Or take on buying uniform and shoes for example. The rest?....she's having a laugh!

MisForMumNotMaid Wed 04-Jun-14 15:57:01

I think the biggest issue is to communicate.

My XH (and his new wife) decided that because I was remarried and pregnant they didn't need to contribute towards his two DC anymore. He paid 20% of his net salary when he started work. So below the basic advisory amount. My eldest DS is disabled so its very hard for me to work more than a fair bit of buying and selling from home, without any access to wrap around childcare for him. It really screwed our finances for quite a while. We've now downsized and my current DH has been promoted so things are easier, XH did see reason after the threat of court action and reinstated payments.

60% of your take home is significant if its not allowing you to live with basic comfort too.

How many years of mortgage are you going to pay (you don't need to answer me, but for your own planning)? Could you go to interest only?

Could you agree to keep paying at the current level for six/ nine months to allow her to sell the property and find rental/ an alternative house more within your joint means?

Is there anything that you're court bound to do i.e. Was a legal financial settlement made?

expatinscotland Wed 04-Jun-14 15:58:03

She may well be claiming tax credits and child benefit on top of the maintenance and her salary.

I'd go through CSA.

Viviennemary Wed 04-Jun-14 15:59:42

If you can't afford it then you must pay a bit less. That amount seems extremely generous to me. Just say you are now going to pay the statutory amount plus a bit more if you can afford it. No point in making yourself miserable and getting into debt.

TalisaMaegyr Wed 04-Jun-14 16:00:59

What Reality said. Work out what you should be paying by the calculator, and add some on top, as you seem like a decent man.

My ex doesn't pay me anything, we have our ds half the week each, and both work full time, so it sort of cancels each other out imo. I actually think your ex is taking the piss.

Lioninthesun Wed 04-Jun-14 16:06:47

It's nice to hear a man who is actually looking out for his kids. I think some of the posts here are clearly from men who are assuming she is spending the money on a rather expensive manicure every month, clearly hmm.

Agree with the other posters who are saying you need to talk to her. Could you drop to 40/50% instead and would that help enough with your situation?

I don't think it is fair to use the CSA calculator or CSA at all, as you are amicable and seem to have a good grasp of what it costs to raise a child. CSA is a minimum and used mainly in cases where one partner wants to punish the other, and little thought given to the children.
FWIW my ex pays £5 per week, but he is one of the nasty ones who has hidden income and thinks it is all a game - he doesn't see his daughter at all. You don't sound like that guy.

GemmaPuddledDuck Wed 04-Jun-14 16:07:11

It may be that she would be eligible for more benefits ifyou contributed less, isn't that amount near the cut off for things like council tax relief.

Do some research then chat to her?

Uptheanty Wed 04-Jun-14 16:33:13

This doesn't seem very fair,
Does your ex know you're struggling?

Realitybitesyourbum Wed 04-Jun-14 20:09:54

She would still be entitled to full benefits regardless of what you are paying as maintenance payings are disregarded when entitlement is calculated.

You should still be able to afford your own home and life and from you are saying you cant, so the amount is far too much.

MrStranger Wed 04-Jun-14 20:13:08

Yes, she does know I'm struggling. And the post below is more for me to let off some steam really.

The thing is, the house needs to be paid for somehow. I don't want my children moving from there. Their school is in the next road, their friends live on the same road. It's perfect.

I appriciate all the comments about working out a CSA amount, and I did the calculator, which works out a fee of £96 a week. Well, that's a laughable amount, and i'd be embarrassed to pay even double, or triple that. This is real life, and the children come first.

My ex has a new guy. He's ok. I've met him. They've been together for a couple of yrs, and the kids really like him. I'm not worried about him as an influence: this is 2014, this is what happens, and I don't need to 'compete' with him. It's not about that at all. I actually see it as a positive that my 2 kids have 2 strong male influences. My worries are solely financial, and if he is to move in, then he needs to start paying. Infact, it'd be preferable if he did move in!

Annoyingly, the mortgage product isn't up til the middle of next year, so I can't even renegoiate the payments. I've been good paying over the years, and have good equity and the remaining term is 15 years.

I've already made plans to leave my flat, and move in with a friend. I'm a bit worried about my state of mind, as it is like regressing back 2 yrs. I ended up on happy pills at one point when I was sharing, but that was back when it was all very raw. This move is temporary, and it's sharing with a good friend. I have a longer term plan which I hope comes true early next year.

CrotchMaven Wed 04-Jun-14 20:18:02

Bear in mind that your contribution to the mortgage is about an asset in which you have equity (in terms of a share), so you need to stop thinking of "your" bit of that as being paid to your ex.

The situation is clearly unsustainable, so you need financial advice and to communicate with your ex. Don't just pay the csa minimum, though, if you can afford more. And make sure you account for childcare costs.

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