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Post divorce problems

(12 Posts)
Followmedown Sun 19-Feb-17 09:55:29

A couple of years post divorce, I am constantly asked for money towards children's trips and holidays by their mum. She is now threatening court action / solicitors etc to try to get more money from me. She lives in the house and I pay maintenance plus look after the kids about half the time (three out of four nights a week) and often during holidays (like half term this week).

She now says the agreed maintenance is not enough. She wants to send the kids on holidays and trips this year totalling at least £3000. She constantly texts me asking for money and berating me about being a stereotypical selfish divorced dad who doesn't provide for his kids (they want for nothing). I'm remarrying this year too, with all the costs which go with that.

Any thoughts or suggestions greatly appreciated.

Minime85 Sun 19-Feb-17 12:50:10

Haven't you got a consent order with an agreed amount? Have you sat down with her and together looked at the coat of all the activities the children do and work out how best to pay for them? My ex gives me a set amount but that is meant to cover money towards heir housing and basic needs. When you add in a sudden need for new school shoes or the consent letters home from school it does all add up. I do have to speak to my ex sometimes and just literally list all the things I have to pay for which he doesn't. I do think your ex should be paying for day trips and holidays she wants to do, not you.

Wishiwasmoiradingle2017 Sun 19-Feb-17 12:53:08

I doubt she would eat any more cash as she seems to have over and above!! Tell her she is free to have holidays for 5 grand if she takes the dc herself!! Sounds like she is concerned your new marriage will mean the end of her current over spending at your expense!!

Minime85 Sun 19-Feb-17 13:26:33

Have you done the calculator on line to work out how much you should give against how often you have them and wages? We used that to set ours

Followmedown Sun 19-Feb-17 13:56:50

Thanks for these answers. We have a consent order and have done all the calculations etc. I basically pay for all costs when the kids are with me (lunches etc) and the monthly maintenance. I am objecting to paying for lots of holidays which I don't agree with or feel are necessary. She decides what she wants them to do then asks for money.

I should have been clearer in the original post but my real problem is that when she asks for money this frequently leads to days and days of text messages from her telling me how useless and selfish I am for not giving her anything she asks for. Is there any way anyone knows to try to stop this sort of harassment? I've had over 30 texts like this today, starting before 8am. She constantly makes threats about what she'll do if I don't pay her more, (such as taking me to court), and is convinced I have inherited money from my (still living) parents which I haven't. I have had years of this both before and after the divorce. I only managed to finalise the divorce after I agreed to pay for lots of extras not in the original order.

Is it ever going to end - is there a way to end it? I don't want to cave in and give her more of course because I'm certain that I'll be paying more and more year in year out.

Hermonie2016 Sun 19-Feb-17 16:00:07

What are these holidays? School or trips for her and the children?
Have there been changes in circumstances such as an increase in your salary?
Do you have a view of what income she has each month? It would help to assess if she is being reasonable.

30 texts is excessive and definitely harassment.In the first instance ignore but if it doesn't improve I think you need to send a response, better by email or letter asking her to stop as you believe it's harassment.
If that fails then it would be a solicitors letter and let her take you to court.If you are paying as ordered and circumstances haven't changed let her incur legal costs.
I doubt a solicitor will pursue it if you responded saying no change to finances and paying as per court order.

She may be feeling guilty for her children and feels she has to give them what they ask for, rather than just accept that at times the money isn't available.

RandomMess Sun 19-Feb-17 16:11:56

I would send her a formal letter stating that you as per the court agreement you pay maintenance of x, have the DC y nights per year.

The CMS minimum payment would be £ on the above basis (I assume she is getting more from you than that).

Tell her that you are happy to consider contributing to some school trips, for you to consider them you need to be informed about the amount she would like you to contribute for the entire trip by email. You will let her know within 14 days whether you are happy to agree to contribute or not.

I would then go on that you consider the volume of texts etc to be unreasonable and of such a level and unpleasantness that they constitute harassment and from now one she is only to email you. If the texts etc continue you will be reporting her to the police accordingly.

I think she sounds like a bully tbh unless for some reason you are paying a ridiculously low amount of maintenance relative to your earnings. Could this all be payback for daring to divorce her?

Minime85 Sun 19-Feb-17 16:41:37

I agree need to know her circumstances here. Whatever they are I don't think you should be financing her holidays with the children. I do think you should be paying towards school trips like residentials etc. My ex and I do this. I couldn't fund them on my own and I work full time with a good job. I think the amount of contact is also not acceptable. I agree about a letter possibly taking solicitor advice re this. I do think there are lots of little things, as I said in previous post that the non residential parent doesn't have to pay for and consider and that if you had a list of the activities and clubs the children did regularly then this would help you see where the money was going. Had this got more since she knows you are getting re married?

Followmedown Sun 19-Feb-17 17:17:34

Thanks for your answers everyone. My issue is not so much paying some of the costs which I have done before. It's more that these costs are skyrocketing. It's trips for the children (though not school trips, more like summer camp) but as I said the cost of these trips this year alone is at least £3000.

It would nice to be asked and listened to and respected if I say no but she never ever takes no for an answer. Any money I have given in the past to extra things is the cue for her to ridicule the amount as not being enough and go through the whole belittling and insulting routine again including hundreds of texts etc.

I pay her what was in the consent order which is a bit more than the amount specified by the CM calculator (although there is disagreement over how much I look after them) plus I pay various costs associated with the kids. I also look after the kids 24 hours a day during holidays when she has not taken them away on holiday (e.g. half term). I earn almost the same as I did when the order was signed.

The problem is not so much providing a bit more money here and there it's more that when I have no say at all over what she decides to spend on, and no power to veto anything without being accused of being selfish etc etc For example, she wants my son to go on a trip abroad and I am worried about the security situation in the destination country but I have no power to stop him going, except refusing to pay!

I might try the email thing - sounds like a good idea. Thanks again everyone!

RandomMess Sun 19-Feb-17 17:31:27

Okay then very specific in terms of - text received that are unpleasant, ridiculing, nasty are abusive and if they continue I WILL report you.

Email me with trips you would like the DC to go on and I will consider whether I am happy for the DC to go on and them and how much I am prepared to pay towards it and will get back to you within x days barring me be away on leave/work trips. Any other communication on the matter will be considered abusive and reported...

Actually check the law - I think you can stop your DC going abroad if you're not happy, you have parental responsibility!! Certainly school trips you could contact the school and tell them that you will not give consent. I suggest you tell your child first that you will not give your permission to travel to x country because of a b c reasons, then email their mother and school/organisation and inform them.

I think you could actually take the situation to court but presumably if you don' contribute they won't be going anyway!

Minime85 Sun 19-Feb-17 17:43:58

Sounds like private school or something to me for that cost. But if I add up girl guiding trips, residentials at school and dancing I will have spent over £1000 on those. I'd just think about taking her back to court but then ideally I want to keep things civil.

Followmedown Sun 19-Feb-17 18:01:38

Ok lots of useful advice thank you everyone. I think the email only contact idea will be useful. And I'll suggest an amount I can contribute to trips I'm happy with, making clear I won't contribute to anything I'm not happy with. Strangely enough, RandomMess, I think they'll be going anyway, even without my contribution... Thanks again!

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