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this is insane

(81 Posts)
ladyjadey Tue 27-Nov-12 20:09:49

I am a single mum of two. I work 30 hours a week. I have been with my bf for over 2 years and we want to live together. He also has 2 kids who don't live with him. If we live together it seems I will lose all my tax credits because of his wage. He is far from wealthy because he pays a large maintenance payment every month, 600 pounds. Idepend on childcare to go to work which costs between 500 and 800 plus a month, dependingon school hols etc. There is no way I can pay this, a mortgage, bills and everything else on my own without my tax credits. He cannot afford to either.So I am better off as a single mother until my children grow up? Surely that can't be right!

RedHelenB Sat 01-Dec-12 08:54:40

Why should his ex get a job as well as look after the children just because he has taken on a new woman & kids that aren't even his? His ex hasn't had a say in it has she?

WildWorld2004 Fri 30-Nov-12 22:28:30

How can you not fit 6 people into a 3 bed house? Especially when 2 of them are only there a few days of the week. I shared a bedroom with 3 of my siblings & we didnt suffer.

WildWorld2004 Fri 30-Nov-12 22:19:58

But if his ex gets a job like she should & he cuts his maintenance his kids wouldnt be missing out financially because their mother would be providing for them. And if it is true about her spending the money on designer stuff for herself & not dc then his kids arent benefitting from the maintenance money.

You need to sit down with your dp and have a serious discussion before doing anything.

thisisthewayitis Thu 29-Nov-12 16:34:50

IsItMeOr has a good point, the language you use to frame your relationship is very worrying. It sounds as though, in your desperation not to appear to be a gold-digger (what a terribly misogynistic term!), you are putting your DP on a pedestal and you're tip-toeing around his needs, quite possibly to the detriment of your own and your Dd's needs. I would think about posting in the relationships section of the boards as that seems to be the major issue here, rather than the money side.

Your DDs will benefit from being in a family structure and having a male role model. Your DP will benefit from your role in the home, your companionship and support, as well as the wage you bring in. Your DSSs will benefit from your role as a stepmother (I am sure you will take on a lot of the caring role when they come to stay). There is much more to balancing needs within a family besides the financial costs.

Families make this sort of move all the time regardless of the financial costs - because ultimately what they care about most is being together. Even traditional families (I mean not step-families but where all children are living with both biological parents) have to accept that there will be less space and fewer resources when more children arrive; this rarely results in resentment of younger siblings and shouldn't cause resentment just because they are step-siblings in this situation.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Thu 29-Nov-12 13:33:48


I'm sorry, I should probably stop posting now, it just feels to me that if you loved each other enough you would make it work. It is two nights a week, for a couple of years. The kids are all small, they could share if it was important to you both to live together. IMO.

ladyjadey Thu 29-Nov-12 13:23:54

We looked into the extension and had an architect involved, It won't be possible without significant structural work to the rest of the house making it not viable. The house is not big enough for the 4. On the rare occasions we stay all together the eldest two share a bed and youngest sleeps in a travel cot. That is not sustainable for any length of time.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Thu 29-Nov-12 13:02:06

QLB - of course it's possible, lots of people live that way 24/7, they are only going to have 4 kids 2 nights a week.

QuickLookBusy Thu 29-Nov-12 12:15:45

Chipping i don't think it's a bad thing to think about practicalities of 4 dc in a 3 bed house, it might just not be possible.

Lady I do wonder about extending your DPs house. It might be worth getting some estimates.

It's almost always cheaper to extend then to move. When moving you have to factor in estate costs for Dps house, legal bills, then stamp duty for the new house and surveys etc which usually ends up being a huge amount. An extension would mean probably not much more, which would mean just borrowing that small amount for a mortgage. So the monthly payments would be far more manageable.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Thu 29-Nov-12 11:35:35

Personally, I don't see why, for two nights a week the kids can't share. It's only two to a room - lots of kids share like that permanently. They are all under 6, it doesn't matter one tiny bit that one of them is a boy and wont for a good few years. Lots of families only have one bathroom. You can move when you are 'better off' - honestly, you want to run before you can walk and wonder why the state wont help you fund it?! More importantly, if you loved each other enough and wanted to be together enough, none of this would matter so therefore I think it's not a good idea to move in together anyway. Just my 2p for what it's worth.

ladyjadey Thu 29-Nov-12 10:43:20

I mentioned earlier that I get £39 a week for dd1 I get nothing for dd2. They are 6 and 2. We have looked in to living in his 3 bed semi but no way we can fit 6 of us in. Although his 2 won't live with us they will stay at least 2 nights a week. He has a bit and a girl so ds would need own room and there isn't enough space for 3 girlstto share. Also they are all under 6, one bathroom and toilet just isn't enough! We have looked at extending his or loft conversion but for the cost it would not make sense financially, we would never see the money back in a future sale so its cheaper and more sensible to buy a house already big enough. Ideally we would like a house with enough space that we could stay long term and not have to nice again in a few years when we will likely be better off, I hope to be promoted un the next few years and childcare should reduce. Dp has wealthy parents who are prepared ro help us with some of the cost towards a new house which is great but I don't want to take advantage of them too much, would rather see what we can manage on our own

ClareMarriott Thu 29-Nov-12 09:27:37


You have'nt as yet, said anything about what your exh/exp pays in maintenance to you , if anything. You also say your dp can sell a mortgage free house. If this is the case, rather than buy a house together, can you and your 2 DC's go and live with him and his DC's in that house . Or does the ex have a say in it? How old are your DC's ie how long do you still have to pay for childcare ? I don't think this is a case of being wealthy or not, it is a case of using your money well, like all the other parents and grandparents who housed, clothed , fed and educated generations of children on just one wage.

IsItMeOr Thu 29-Nov-12 09:10:46

lady - agree with others that you're selling yourself short, and should give that some thought before you embark on this new stage in what sounds like a very promising relationship.

It strikes me that you are seeing DP as a single man with no ties who can "come and go as he pleases", and yet if his life had panned out as he presumably expected, he would be a dad with 2 kids in his home full time. He's got just as much baggage as you, the way I see it.

Good luck figuring it out - communication is the key, as always.

coffeeisusuallytheanswer Thu 29-Nov-12 08:30:57

The system is a bit mad sometimes.

I did a calculation the other day based on me leaving DH. Due to his low contributions to family finances and our high childcare costs I would actually have more money if I moved out hmm

ladyjadey Thu 29-Nov-12 08:25:47

That last was a joke, I know he values ourrelationship and me, why else would he want to live with me? My problem is I have spent too long on my own and have been
let down in the past so I find it hard being with a man who is actually decent for a change and I don't want ti feel I'm taking advantage of him, the being viewed as a gold digger comment nailed it actually, that worries me. I know it shouldnt but we all have hang ups.
He overpays because he wants to feel he is doing the best he can for his kids, he knows she wastes the money but if he can't be with them all the time that is the best he can Do for them. He knows they might not see while they are young how much he cares but wants them to know when they are older that he always tried his best. I wish more dads were like him and I'm lucky that my kids will get him too.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Thu 29-Nov-12 06:50:14

I am useful to a degree but I'm sure hookers are cheaper!

I really think you should hold off moving in with someone if you are so convinced of your inferiority. You sound like you feel you are not good enough for him sad

ChippingInLovesAutumn Thu 29-Nov-12 00:59:55

What does he 'please' though? Does he really want this, does he tell you he loves you, loves your kids? Does he say he can't wait until you can live together? Does he want to wake up with you every morning? Will he make this work whatever it takes because it's what he wants... OR is this just a 'life would be easier if we lived together'?

If either one of you doesn't really really really want this - then don't do it - financial stuff aside.

I can understand why you feel like that about his ex.

Why does he overpay what they agreed?

Why does he pay so much if he feels half of it goes on handbags and shoes for her? (or is that just you being pissed off?).

ladyjadey Thu 29-Nov-12 00:40:27

Ultimately, as I see it, he can do as he pleases. I have less freedom because I have two young kids at home, he does not need to live with me, will not benefit financially, will get a harder time and more resistance from x wife about having his kids. He will have more work to do, less money, a more untidy house, no peace and quiet and all the rest! I am useful to a degree but I'm sure hookers are cheaper!!

ladyjadey Thu 29-Nov-12 00:34:32

My eldest dd father pays for her, the otherdoes not. I think I am a reasonable person, I think I am sometimes naive, sometimes I say things I shouldn't. I know I'm not perfect and I give myself a bloody hard time that I go to work study iron cook and clean but don't have time to bake for the School fair with the girls and that I'm always so busy that I feel like I wish their lives away as it will be easier when they are older. I just want them to have a stable, happy life with role models that do not change once a month and for them to know they are loved. And if I sound a little testy towards his x its because she has tried yo stop him seeing them because I'm not good enough for him because I didn't go yo private school and she has insulted my children and me because we are not a typical family. Frankly I don't give a rats ass what she does or doesnt do but when I see him broken hearted because she is taking them away at Christmas without consulting him or that they get sent to daddy with clothes that don't fit so he buys them new ones and she takes them back, that gets to me.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Thu 29-Nov-12 00:32:02

Why do you feel so grateful that he's 'taking you on'? He should feel as as lucky to have you, as you do him, otherwise it's not a very good start to a life together is it?

ladyjadey Thu 29-Nov-12 00:18:45

I am not the other woman, he had been separated for almost a year when we met. I have very strong feelings on that particular subject as the father of my eldest left me for my next door neighbor. I would never in a million years get involved with a married man and I cannot condone cheating, I know the hurt it causes.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Wed 28-Nov-12 23:27:35

I just wrote a really long post and it's vanished?! Very odd.

Trudat - I read the whole thread. I wrote a post and deleted it, I wrote another and deleted that - then decided that for me to answer it did rather depend on whether the OP was the OW & was a party to his relationship breaking up. I don't think his children should miss out on things he could have otherwise provided for them, but his ex wife... it rather depends for me. I also wondered if it was a contributing factor to the OP's thought process of keeping things quite separate. However, Ladyjadey doesn't seem to want to discuss it any more, which is her perogative given it's her thread smile I just didn't want to not answer your question.

ladyjadey Wed 28-Nov-12 23:17:33

All of our kids are fine and well catered for as things stand, no one will lose out they are our number one priority. If living together in a bigger house is out of the question then so be it. I can't do what I can't afford, I will look at working longer hours childcare vouchers and what he can afford ro contribute without taking from his kids. He is a good man and that is why I want to be with him but no one is going hungry for it! A smaller house is out of the question, I would rather stay where I am than pay through the nose for something leas than adequate so we will just have to have a good old think on the situation.

thisisthewayitis Wed 28-Nov-12 22:42:20

I agree with Meringue33 and shrimponastick. If you are going to be living with this man, it needs to be on a partnership basis, viewing all of your dc as children of the marriage/relationship. That is how things are seen in the law and how the benefits/tax credits support system is worked out. In the eyes of tax credits, the biological origins of the children are irrelevant, it is the household income that matters. So that is how you need to work things out.

If you were married to this man and had his dc, and you were earning a lower wage than him, you would still expect to pool resources and share equally from his salary, so that should continue to be the case regardless of where the dc came from. It's a committed relationship; you should be able to depend on each other and not insist on being financially independent. What would happen if you fell pg with your DP's child, or fell ill and couldn't work, or your dc was ill and you had to stop work to care for them? Would your DP still insist that you paid your share?

It doesn't sound like you and your DP are really seeing your relationship as a partnership, more like two single parents under the same roof, but that sort of arrangement can't exist if you're depending on state support.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 28-Nov-12 21:24:15

As far as I can see a big part of the problem is that your DCs fathers are not paying towards their upbringing.

I agree that housing costs are crazy high but the welfare system shouldn't be there to help people get a mortgage.

I hope you work it out OP, you sound a reasonable person, although the sniping at your partner's ex is not becoming.

MummytoKatie Wed 28-Nov-12 21:12:24

If you are expecting some free childcare hours next year I'm guessing your younger one is about 2.5? (I have a similar aged dd.)

So two things:-

1. There is no way your ex will get residence of your 2 year old that he has no relationship with so get yourself back to the CSA. That is money from someone who should be supporting your child.
2. You childcare costs will go down in the next couple of years with the free hours and starting school. So either, you live together and cope with having no money for the next couple of years or you wait until your youngest starts school and then live together.

Childcare vouchers get you £243 a month tax free. It may be worth investigating if your dp can get too - I'm not sure what the definition of step parent is but you may be able to.

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