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Nervous about asking DD dad to pay maintenance - advice please ?

(17 Posts)
MadameLeBean Sun 28-Dec-14 16:57:34

Court order 4yrs ago specified contact and who pays for the associated travel costs. No mention of child maintenance so he has paid sweet FA since then.

Recently got legal advice as struggling a bit financially and it is unfair that my DP has to support my DD when her own dad pays nothing.

I know he has got a decent job and is doing okay but the payments required by the CMS may be more than he can afford (he has since had another child). However he is a PA bully and will screw me over if I try to negotiate a "friendly" deal. I'm also terrified of rocking the boat as we are now "civil" and I (mostly) don't have to deal with his PA shit anymore but he will kick up a stink about this I'm sure, or just ignore me.

I need a plan of action. I have the CMS number to call but think I need to give him a chance to "do the right thing" first at least so I'm not appearing aggressive / unreasonable. However end result is I prefer him to pay through CMS because I don't trust him and he could use the payments to try and mess me around or change contact or the travel payments.

I also don't know his income but feel he should be contributing to support his DD. I've done the CMS calculator based on what I guess he earns approximately and takes into account his other kid and its a lot of money like £400 a month. How should I approach this??

Please send me some courage ... So nervous sad

RustyParker Sun 28-Dec-14 20:43:03

I don't think child maintenance is set in stone via a court order as it's impossible to deal with unforeseen issues i.e. redundancy, future children with other partners etc. so it's awful he's used this as an excuse not to pay anything.

CMS will take into account him having another child when calculating payments but anyway, why should be get to pick and choose which of his offspring he contributes to?

Is it really worth giving him a chance to do the right thing? If he hasn't done it before now, I doubt he will do however you approach him. At the end of the day, he should be paying for his DD. Not that it matters with regards to maintenance but does he have regular contact with DD?

Ultimately, he should be paying for his DD and if he's weasled out of it so far then any promise from him wouldn't be worth the paper its written on. Better to get it sorted properly and remove any opportunity for him to keep control over you. Besides, if he doesn't pay then you aren't any worse off financially than you are now and at least him dealing with CMS saves you a bit of stress.

Good luck!

LadySybilLikesSloeGin Sun 28-Dec-14 20:46:35

I'd just go straight to CMS. He sounds like he's done all that he can to avoid paying maintenance so it will be a waste of your time to try to reason with him. He sounds like the sort who will stop paying on a whim so it would help you if you went through CMS.

MadameLeBean Sun 28-Dec-14 21:19:19

Thank you yes I feel that CMS would be best but I have a good relationship with his family and don't want to screw it up by not at least saying something to him before going to CMS.

He has regular contact but not EOW (more of the holidays etc as he lives far away) and most of the travel is paid for by me hmm

Twinklebells Sun 28-Dec-14 21:21:48

I think you should just cut to the chase and go straight to the CMS - I mean is he really going to be reasonable? And he should be paying the travel, not you.

MadameLeBean Sun 28-Dec-14 21:22:01

Btw his contact averages out at about 1.5 nights a week on average when you add up the time she spends w him over the year and the CMS calculator does take this into account too

However they also say he will be paying 20 per cent more if taken through CMS so incentive for him to avoid that

MadameLeBean Sun 28-Dec-14 21:22:54

I don't trust him to be honest about his income but feel it's important to approach this request in a non confrontational way.. Tricky

MadameLeBean Sun 28-Dec-14 21:25:45

Court determined I pay most of travel as we agreed that as I moved away (he does pay a small proportion of travel costs) but I have been advised recently that the court will have assumed when ordering that that he was also paying normal maintenance not nothing!!

RustyParker Sun 28-Dec-14 21:35:58

Is he self-employed? If he isn't, it will be harder for him to hide his income.

I have no experience in this area but can time spent with DD be rounded up to equal the equivelent of overnight? Or is it actual overnights that count? Maybe some other posters can shed some light on that for you.

It is great that you have a close relationship with your Ex's family but surely they would understand that he does need to financially support his child? I wouldn't be impressed if my DS didn't fulfill his responsibilities.

If you really do want to talk to him before going to the CMS, then maybe present it as a done deal. Explain you are struggling and need to ensure your DD receives regular support so you are going through CMS to ensure all is fair and he pays the correct amount; no more or no less - and then do it! Personally though, I would just go straight to CMS. He's not putting food or clothes on your DD's back and his family won't despite having a good relationship (it's obviously not their responsibility either but worrying about their possible reaction doesn't pay the bills) so why should you and your DP shoulder all the financial burden?

Did he move away or did you? If he did, then he should definitely pay the travel costs for contact. It's all petrol money but is it a long distance? Would meeting half way be fair?

Hope it gets sorted out soon

RustyParker Sun 28-Dec-14 21:38:30

xpost there re: who moved away.

Yes, court would have presumed he was paying maintenance!

MadameLeBean Sun 28-Dec-14 21:41:00

I moved.

I'm aware of the adjustments the CMS make and it's either 0, 1-2 nights, etc so not worried about that.

Think I will just give him heads up I'm contacting the CMS as he has obligation to support dd and "it's the fairest way" and if he'd like to offer me an alternative arrangement that's up to him.

MadameLeBean Sun 28-Dec-14 21:42:42

Thanks for all your advice

Solasum Sun 28-Dec-14 21:50:07

Are his transport costs significant because of your move?

Be that as it may, I think if you can't face saying anything in person, a brief email to him saying that henceforth you will require maintenance for DD cannot do any harm. It may well do nothing of course. As a goodwill gesture, you could write off backdating payments.

If he does not respond, my second port of call would be his family, to see if they could shame him into paying. Are they aware he pays absolutely nothing towards her upkeep?

If neither of these work, then go to CMS, and don't feel guilty about it!

Solasum Sun 28-Dec-14 21:52:44

Sorry, just seen you answered about travel above. Do ignore

CaptainAnkles Sun 28-Dec-14 21:53:37

Can you just talk to him or message him saying 'thought it was only fair to let you know, I'm applying to CMS for money for DD. If you'd like to come to an arrangement with me to contribute to her upbringing, I'm open to discussing it.' Or similar.

MadameLeBean Sun 28-Dec-14 21:54:39

His transport costs to see DD are not significant because I pay for most of it (around £1200 per year and he pays I think about £200 for the bits he pays for.)

His family are aware he doesn't pay anything but until recently he has not been in great financial shape (didn't stop him having another kid though!) but I know he is doing ok now

Therefore I am not gonna ask for retrospective payments - I'm not being an arsehole about it just want him to fulfil reasonable obligation

MadameLeBean Sun 28-Dec-14 22:02:45

He's an employee so should be straightforward via CMS

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