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Narcissistic ex and children's finances(22 Posts)
So I divorced my bullying narc exH and through fabulous counselling have been able to manage how I deal with him and our interactions are largely over email now and only for necessary things for the children (6&8yrs).
However we have a 50/50 order for everything, including finances and school fees. Neither of us pays support to the other due to similar salaries.
So exH sends me a message the other days saying how much he has saved for the children's future(i.e. Uni fees) and asked what I have saved and said we should invest in the same things to ensure we were building an equal pot for them.
In any normal relationship, this would be fine but I dread having to "sit down" with him to discuss this as he is very condescending and bullies his way through life (and bullied me in our marriage). I also worry if we have a joint fund. I want my finances totally separate to his as I do to want him to access them or take over how they are are spent.
Do I toughen up and sit down with him (and write up a contract of who is contributing what) or do I save separately (and equally)?
What would you do? It's hard to understand the problems trying to co parent with a narc. It's a bloody nightmare!
I would save separately and equally.
It's nothing to do with him how you support you kids financially in the future and vice versa. Remember he's a narc and needs to control you.
Tell him excellent, if he can let you know where he has put their money, you can make sure that you avoid putting your savings for them in the same place as it's sensible not to have everything in the same place. That you will set up your savings for your dc as you are able to, he can set his up, and they will have two pots of savings to look forward to when they are older.
I don't think you should feel that you have to put the same amount away for them as he does - you have different demands on your salary than he does. If he is able to save more then great. If you decide that you want to spend a thousand pounds on a holiday rather than put it in savings for them for later then that's great too - if it's on top of the amount that you need to live on then he doesn't get to dictate that you must save for your dc any more than you get to dictate that he must save.
It's something that he wants to do - great. Don't let him use it as a way to control you again. It's perfectly reasonable to say that you want to keep your savings for your dc completely separate from his savings for your dc. When they're adults they're not going to turn around and say that dad saved xx but you only saved yy for us - they will know that you have spent time and money taking them on holidays, to ballet lessons or football clubs or whatever your dc are into. It's all a bonus for them - they don't have any right to expect anything from you.
And your ex definitely has no right to know how much you are putting into savings for them or to insist that you put the same amount in that he does. Saving the same amount for each child is a different matter - you can't save £1000 for one child and £100 for the other - but the amounts coming from you and the amounts coming from your ex don't have to be the same at all.
And anyway - if he did insist on them all being under his control, what's to say that he wouldn't access them himself? Or that he would choose a fund or institution that had a problem (20 years ago you wouldn't have thought twice about putting money into most of the big and reasonably big names - but these days with banks like Lloyds and Bank of Scotland and others having had problems, who knows what might happen in the next 10 years. If you have it in two different places it reduces the risk, even if one of them doesn't have quite such a good return).
Thanks all. This has been really helpful. This situation does feel a bit competitive and I don't want to compete!
Our court order says we are responsible equally for costs for the girls and I do hope they go to university and I am saving for that but who knows what the future holds.
We also bought a flat for the girls in London (which is currently rented) but my ex got that in the divorce so he will also look like the good guy giving them a flat when the time comes.
However I totally agree that it's not about money but about time, moments and experiences with the children which I do focus on.
Also what are thoughts on starting a pension (SIIP) for children now?
My ex is doing it for the children (I think for the tax benefit) and my FA suggested it but I'm also concerned about my own pension.
The children are already going to get 4 properties (2 in London) if we popped our cloggs now) so I kind of want to prioritise my old age but I'm feeling a bit selfish knowing the benefits to start saving for the children now.
Don't be foolish, you need a pension. Let your ex worry about his finances, you look after your own.
From a legal point of view, would any arrangement apply to adult children anyway? Are provisions for them once they're over 18 still part of the order?
My ex is a narc and honestly I wouldn't be having this conversation with him. That is way too much communication.
Clearly he knows you only communicate about the girls and so he is pushing the extent to which that happens.
Put extra money in your own pension
This is an excuse to exercise control over you. He can email you ( or your solicitor) the information and you can respond in due course. You can continue to quietly save what you want; this is not about your children. Don't fall for it.
Thanks. I will forget about the child pension.
My good friend who knows (and detests) my exH has suggested that we agree on a lump sum that the girls need for uni i.e. fees + living expenses x 2 children and save separately for that. Review every 5 years if the amount goes up. Otherwise do not discuss any investments and don't engage in any other investments he chooses to do for the girls as that is his choice and is not part of the court order.
Agree actually that uni fees are not covered in the order as they will be over 18 at that point but I do want to contribute to it so they don't have to worry but I would also expect them to get a job during uni and the summers (like I did!!). Don't want to totally hand it all on a silver platter.
Well if it's not covered in the order, you have no obligation to discuss it.
Do not engage with him, you don't need to sit down and discuss anything with him.
Just respond that you are saving for the DC's future and glad to hear he's doing the same, but will be keeping your finances separate.
Absolutely do not eve yet into any 'joint pot' scenario with him.
Make sure you will have a pension to live off 1st. This is for your DCs so they don't have to support you later.
Just because you earn now the same as your exh and 50:50 support your DCs does not mean your outgoings are the same, or even if they will be in the future.
He's using the DCs as an excuse to still control you. Don't engage. If you want to do savings for your DCs it's up to you when, how and how much.
Are you actually under any legal obligation to provide for them at university beyond 50% of the maintenance grant (which they can't enforce)???
You seem like high earners so I don't think it will be that much for you to provide.
I would simply reply "I will provide 50% of the maintenance grant I will be obliged should the DDs decide to go to university, anything I else I decide to give them is up to me".
Step out of the competitiveness - this is all about feeding his ego so step away!
Yep I'd swerve any conversation like this with him op. Give him and in and he'll be all over you. It sounds like your know do will already be in an excellent position and it's none of his business. I know your mate means well but she doesn't get what a narc is like. He'll think these agreements give him a level of right to know xyz.
If you respond at all just say you have it under control. Shut down this conversation.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
TBH I'd be tempted to respond
"Do f*ck off dear" , what happens when you just completely ignore as that is likely the best approach - do not engage at all!
RandomMess I did love your reply! That is my internal dialogue constantly (but without the 'dear')!
I have to say his crazy behaviour reminds me and reinforces why I left.
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