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Child access v maintenance

(14 Posts)
Beccawoo Tue 03-Sep-13 13:30:48

So we've already sold the house and split 50/50 as of last week! The consent order details £1500 per month till both kids in full time ed, and then £1000 thereafter till the youngest ends full time ed. we agreed it would all be listed as child maintenance rather than split child/spousal, although this is why the figure is higher. He is now basically blackmailing me saying if he can't come to my house, he won't "pay for it" and therefore will lower the amount of maintenance. He is insisting I drive the kids to him (half hr away) on a sat morn, hang about somewhere for 2 hours, then collect them! Surely the journeys should be split?! Why is he so so unreasonable?! He earns almost £100k a year, has a high earning girlfriend too. Unfortunately although my partner pays his way, he cannot afford to pay more out for me and my kids. I'm so tempted to take the whole thing to court and just let them decide, I have a feeling he'd be in for a shock, esp over his lack of flexibility and access demands?

millymolls Tue 03-Sep-13 09:12:11

what has been the agreement in the financial consent order? You mention that has not yet been signed / agreed so in theory could be changed if he disagrees and forces it to go to court? Does it specifically call out in there that the money he is currently paying is for both child and spousal - and if so how long is the spousal maintenance for? Unlikely it would be indefinite or joint live i would presume? I'm guessing this is the bit you mention will reduce when the children start school

It sounds to me like you need a much clearer understanding of the consent order and what it contains....and whether you agree it before it is sealed (if its not already) e.g. if you got 50% of the house (other assets?) and maintenance to reduce when the children start school it would appear that he is no longer required to pay any part of the mortgage? In many cases mums with young children receive a higher % of house / assets to specifically allow for a clean break meaning he would not be responsible for any of the ongoing mortgage.

Go back to your solicitor asap before this is sealed so you are 100% clear on what is outlined in it and whether this is a fair split.

With regard the access, i think it not unreasonable at all to not want him coming to your house - you have demonstrated that you are being flexible on this and will accomodate another time or a mid week - its up to him show willing.

STIDW Mon 02-Sep-13 23:58:50

Speak to your solicitor. When both parties have had legal advice, there has been full disclosure and an agreement is fair the courts may turn it into an order of the court even though the consent order hasn't been sealed.

Beccawoo Mon 02-Sep-13 19:26:16

Thanks all, I know a midweek sleepover would seem the best option but it's definitely not going to work. He's even had the cheek to tell me that he isn't happy about my alternative suggestion of a Sunday morning access as its the "only personal time he has"?! He just refuses to be flexible in any way at all, I have to make all the concessions.

I do appreciate that I get more maintenance than 20%, but yes, obviously part of it is spousal maintenance, I gave up my career to be a full time mum and had a husband with a high salary which allowed me to do so. Had we not had a second child, I would be able to go back to work, but it really isnt doable to put 2 kids in full time childcare, plus it makes me very angry to have to as that was never the plan when we chose to ave them. The consent order details the money to drop to £1000 when my youngest goes to school, in 3 years, which will probably put it to around the 20% mark anyway. I thought I could have had him pay his half the mortgage plus 20% maintenance till the kids are 18 anyway, so the amount his does pay is probably less tan this would have been anyway.

Any other thoughts?!

MirandaWest Mon 02-Sep-13 18:51:49

Ah seen that he isn't prepared to alter things to have them for an extra night - that does change my opinion somewhat.

I'm sure the consent order can be challenged but assume solicitors costs will increase sad

racmun Mon 02-Sep-13 18:50:04

Just seen the update re midweek, some jobs are inflexible that's his problem and he needs to accept that he can't see them in the week anymore.

Speak to your solicitor for proper advice as you don't want to shoot yourself in the foot. Could you keep the arrangement up until the consent order is finalised and then say its really isn't working?

MirandaWest Mon 02-Sep-13 18:47:56

I can see that you don't want him to come into your new house, but you are being paid quite a bit of maintenance. My XH pays 20% for our two children which I then adjust for the number of nights he has them for each month (as depending on what both of us are doing he will have them more or less).

Overall I end up getting about 14% of his net income which I find perfectly fair. I have a new partner but we aren't planning to live together yet and before we do I will make sure that our joint finances can manage this.

myflabberisgasted Mon 02-Sep-13 18:47:16

Oh right I see, it doesn't sound like he's willing to budge then. I mean it'll only be 1 work night every other week... It's shouldn't be too much to ask for him you would think!

I don't really know what else to suggest sorry.

Hoping someone else will come along with some better advice xx

racmun Mon 02-Sep-13 18:46:30

The 34% you get will be for spousal and child maintenance not just child maintenance.

He could get funny and say that now you're co-habiting you're not entitled to spousal maintenance. Presumably your new boyfriend pays his way?

Perhaps he wants to put them to bed one night a week, can they stay at his overnight in the week he hasn't had then at the weekend?

StephenFrySaidSo Mon 02-Sep-13 18:46:10

Xpost- well thats his luck out then!! If hes not prepared to adjust his life to allow him contact with his dcs then he need to accept that as HIS decision. Doesnt he realise that YOU have made decisions about work based on how it will affect your time with dcs?

Is your ex my ex btw? grin

StephenFrySaidSo Mon 02-Sep-13 18:43:39

Totally normal not to have contact at your new home that is shared with a new partner- would he really be happy for you to turn up at his house he shares with his GF and take over his bathroom for an evening every week? Doubt it. I would offer him overnight contact midweek at his own place.

As for the money, i cant really advise as i dont know what is the norm for previously married couples

Beccawoo Mon 02-Sep-13 18:43:13

No chance - his work always comes first and he just says I have to accept this as its where my money comes from. If he had them overnight, he'd collect them about 7.30pm when they should be in bed, and d e executed to drive to his for 6am the next day. He won't make any concessions with work, he wouldn't even give me a regular day for the putting to bed thing before, just called and "can I come x day this week?" I'd be apply for him to have overnight access, but he says his job won't allow it.

myflabberisgasted Mon 02-Sep-13 18:38:53

What about on the week where he hasn't had them for the weekend he has a mid week overnight access? Say on the Tuesday night? Would that be possible maybe?

I don't think you are being harsh not wanting him in your new house with your new DP.

Beccawoo Mon 02-Sep-13 18:35:15

Very very sorry for the long long story, but please read on and help!

So I am getting divorced after my husband of 6 years walked out on me for a work colleague 10 yrs younger than me, leaving me with a one year old and a 3 week old baby. For the past year and a half he has been living with said girlfriend, having the children alternate weekends. I have also allowed him to come to the house one night per week to bath/put them to bed, he was still paying the mortgage so I didn't feel I could stop him. We have me sold the house and split the money 50/50, although I understand I could have argued for this split to be more in my favour with such young children. I have met a lovely man and we are in our first month renting together. My ex pays me, by joint discussion and agreement, £1500 a month which is about 34% of his net income. He pays nothing more as there is no longer a mortgage - my rent has to come from this too.

I have now said I am unhappy about him coming to my new house to bath kids etc at bedtime. I have offered him a Sunday morning on the weekend he doesn't have the kids to pick them up for a couple of hours, but apparently this is not good enough and I am now a complete cow. I don't understand why he doesn't see that it isn't reasonable to come into my home where I live with a new partner?! I feel like he just wants it all as suits him?

He is now basically saying he will rip up the consent order which is about to go to court as if he is only getting "minimum access" then he will only pay "minimum money", ie 20%. I can't go back to work yet as the kids are only 1 and 3, full time child care costs more than I'd earn, so if he does this, I won't be able to pay my rent! I'll have to end up spending the money from my share of the house which means I'll never be able to save and buy somewhere for us.

Any suggestions?! What would a court say if I asked them to sort out the finances do you think? Help!

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