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Ex husband leaves job and expects me to pay him maintenance. Help please.

(39 Posts)
kakiqueen Mon 11-Sep-17 11:08:21

Dear All,
I am a long term mumsnet user and get lots of helpful advice from reading these threads. Please can someone help me with this?

My ex-husband and I are divorced (decree absolute May 16).
We have 2 children aged 9 and 11, whom we have equal care of (7 nights in each fortnight on a rolling schedule).
Until last week he had been paying me £180 a month maintenance as his salary was significantly higher than mine.
This was agreed in a family based arrangement through mediation and was signed by the courts when we divorced. I am in receipt of the child benefit.
In May he handed in his resignation without telling me(I found out through a mutual friend). He had a well paid job and resigned voluntarily without having a job to go to.

He has now emailed to tell me that he expects me to pay him maintenance as he claims he is now the receiving parent.

I told him that he left his job through his own choice and cannot expect me to suddenly pay for that.

His emails since Friday have become increasingly threatening, saying I am being unreasonable and causing a major problem that will impact negatively on the children. He says I am being disruptive and show no understanding for his situation.

He has a history of abusing me emotionally, calling me misogynistic words in front of our children, bullying behaviours and sarcastic language. I find it impossible to speak to him properly as he I find him threatening and intimidating.

I am terrified that I do owe him money now, even though I spoke to the Child Maintenance Options helpline, who told me that as I am in the receipt of child benefit, I am classed as the receiving parent, not him.
The adviser also said that if he were to lodge a claim via the CMS, he couldn't, as he's not in receipt of the child benefit. plus they would judge that neither of us owe the other maintenance, as the care in shared equally.
I am terrified he will try to wrangle the child benefit off me somehow.

In the context of the past emotional abuse, any goodwill I may have had towards him has evaporated. He has the ability to twist my reality.

He is remarried, but in the process of an acrimonious divorce from his 2nd wife after a very short marriage.
I live with my new partner and our children when they are with us.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

OP’s posts: |
drspouse Mon 11-Sep-17 11:20:17

I think the definition of paying/receiving parent is based on care not income? But forgive me if I'm wrong.

LillyLollyLandy Mon 11-Sep-17 11:49:49

I would contact a lawyer. I would also think that a court order can't be varied without further legal action but I am not a lawyer.

kakiqueen Mon 11-Sep-17 12:37:25

Thank you both so much for your replies.
The court order is only legally binding for a year, I understand.
Which is why he now wants to change the terms of it, But I'm not sure how that happens in practice.

OP’s posts: |
Nomoresunshine Mon 11-Sep-17 12:40:53

Offer to quit too so the dc can have 50/50 time and no monies exchanged. Or he can get a fucking job!!
Go back to court. .
He is an arse of the highest degree.

kakiqueen Mon 11-Sep-17 12:49:57

Nomoresunshine, thank you. He is.
I feel so bamboozled by his high brow talk of me not offering my 'fair share' and how I am by 'most common standards' being unfair and creating the 'potential for significant acrimony between us'.

Those are all his words.

I am happy for no monies to be exchanged in future, as we do have the children 50:50. I just cannot believe that it is my duty to fund him through a self inflicted period of unemployment.

OP’s posts: |
SisyphusDad Mon 11-Sep-17 13:11:06

No experience in this area, but...

"by 'most common standards' being unfair" - no; being unfair by his weird and warped standards.

"creating the 'potential for significant acrimony between us'" says the man who created the problem.

Get a good solicitor, and I hope your ExH is properly toasted.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 11-Sep-17 13:13:08

Well stop replying to him about this for a start. Only reply when he's taking you to court. Wonder how he's funding himself now?

RB68 Mon 11-Sep-17 13:25:25

Disengage and tell him to sort it out himself - the CMS should give him short shrift. You do need proper advice though to ensure that youa re fully aware of the situation legally and that will give you the confidence to refuse. You receive Child benefit so despite shared care you are the main resident parent as I understand it so bear the majority costs of clothing and the like.

Smeaton Mon 11-Sep-17 13:31:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RandomMess Mon 11-Sep-17 13:35:37

He is a bully and lashing out at you. Ignore him, let him go to CMS, let him take you to court...

@Smeaton - because he was a significantly higher earner and it was court ordered, it could have even been spousal maintenance.

help4dsc Mon 11-Sep-17 13:54:59

When dh and I split he was the name on child benefit. This created a delay in claiming any benefits until the child benefit was put in my name. He had to send a signed letter or something to them to agree to it being moved over so he can't just call them up and say I have the kids now type of thing

kakiqueen Mon 11-Sep-17 14:22:21

Thank you all so much,
This is helping enormously. Yes, Smeaton, we agreed on the amount because he was the much higher earner.

I pay for the majority of the children's costs such as school uniforms, haircuts, shoes, party presents when they go to friends' parties, school events such as swimming lessons and so on.

Thank you RandomMess, he is a bully and I've spent 17 years being frightened of him and to some extent I still am.

help4dsc, that is reassuring to read. Thank you.

OP’s posts: |
WhereDidThatTurtleComeFrom Mon 11-Sep-17 14:25:26

He hasn't quit work. Maybe that job, but He won't be able to survive on child maintenance he'll be getting money from somewhere.

kakiqueen Mon 11-Sep-17 14:34:40

Yes turtle.
I think possibly his mother.
He's also in the process of divorcing his current wife whom he apparently owes quite a lot of money in wedding cash gifts.
The more I type the more I can see how irrational he is.
But sometimes it's very hard to realise it from the inside.

OP’s posts: |
NewIdeasToday Mon 11-Sep-17 14:38:58

No advice but just wanted to say that this man sounds like a complete arse. What sort of parent would put their children in a worse position financially just to make some stupid point. Stick to your guns OP and have confidence that you are in the right.

theredjellybean Mon 11-Sep-17 14:46:40

Kakiqueen..i am not a lawyer and divorced my exDH when youngest dd was young teen, i had higher income then him then and we did 50/50 custody split, no child benefit as both high earners. We split on friendly terms ( i had met someone else and he had come out as gay ) so we just agreed no maintenence, and we just paid for the things like clubs/riding lessons etc that we arranged on our days with her.

I am typing all that so you know i am not offering legal or experienced based advice..just mumsnet common sense

stop discussing or engaging, he sounds possibly narcissic and certainly unplesant and he is not coming from any known legal stand point..he is trying to frighten you by using fancy terms..

However , even though he chose to do this to himself, i can see that expecting him to pay CM is perhaps unreasonable. If you have equal custody then you should splits costs swim lessons/school uniform he pays for his half is up to him and if he chooses to stop working well again up to him...

if you get child benefit then this should be taken into account, you get that money to help pay for extra expenses such as school uniform, he doesnt get that so maybe you could try suggesting to him that you add up all the costs of raising the children outside of the residential component...i.e. housing and food , as he already provides 50% of that , then split that by half . So all costs such as school uniform are split 50/50, then deduct of his half the amount of child benefit you get and hey presto the tru cost of his children..which he should pay you ...

expatinscotland Mon 11-Sep-17 14:47:19

Don't fall for his bullying claptrap. Ignore his messages or better yet, get a lawyer and defer him to him/her.

Quartz2208 Mon 11-Sep-17 14:51:13

If you have 50/50 neither side should receive maintenance. In terms of spousal support a subsequent marriage would render any claim towards you null.
As you have not remarried it does sound be like he was paying you spousal maintenance
I would simply say no and let him escalate it further he wont get far

Badweekjustgotworse Mon 11-Sep-17 14:53:59

Kakiqueen, god you're well rid of him! Well done for kicking him to the curb in the first place no one should have to live in fear of their partner. Get some legal advice and disengage with him. It might be expensive to get all correspondence to go through a lawyer though so just let him know (once you've taken legal advice) what your stance is and that you won't be responding to any more insulting and threatening messages, but you're happy to talk about arrangements for the children.
Hopefully he'll realise he hasn't a mission soon.

amaliaa Mon 11-Sep-17 14:58:42

I agree with pp, ignore any messages from him. Just don't reply. You are under no obligation to him in any way.

If he takes you to court, or to the CMS, you can cross that bridge when you come to it. Chances are it's all just bluster and he won't do any of that.

drspouse Mon 11-Sep-17 15:09:58

Ah, so he was paying you spousal maintenance.
Now he wants you to pay him the same.
Tell him to go and ask his 2nd wife as it's her problem.

MrsBertBibby Mon 11-Sep-17 15:51:34

No, I think from Pop's post it was child maintenance by consent order.

That will remain in force until the CMS complete their reassessment. The rules say that equal time means no maintenance, but my experience is that they ignore that rule. They often

MrsBertBibby Mon 11-Sep-17 15:54:55

Oops! OP's post.

They often look at who gets child benefit, and where kids are registered for gp. Also who pays for uniform etc.

He can't seek spousal maintenance as his remarriage would have finished all claims.

kakiqueen Mon 11-Sep-17 16:40:08

Thank you all so much for your help.
I have contacted a solicitor and am waiting to hear back from her.
Jelly bean, that is great advice. I fear he is not a reasonable man though.
It's our daughter 's 10th birthday next week and he wants us to go out for dinner, me, him and our 2 kids. He's delusional.

OP’s posts: |

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