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How much should partner contribute after moving in with us?

(13 Posts)
Uhu50 Thu 07-Jan-16 22:58:40

My boyfriend of 6 years moved in with me and my son this year. I lost my home leaving an abusive husband in austria 9 years ago and wasn't able to buy until 2013, when I got a tiny 2 bedroom house with a mortgage of 650 per month. Boyfriend owns a house in Scotland which he lets out for 500 to a friend. He now pays 250 per month towards bills. As he's moved in I've lost my working and child tax credits. I have 2 part time jobs to pay the bills and support my daughter through uni. Their father doesn't pay any maintenance or child support despite a court order. I struggle to pay for everything and it would really help if boyfriend would pay more, but it is very hard to work out what is reasonable. We are both earning roughly the same, neither of us very much. Would a legal agreement between us be a good idea?

19lottie82 Fri 08-Jan-16 07:38:46

This is a tricky one. I'd advise not to take any money towards the mortgage as such, so if you split he won't have a claim on the house (unlikely but possible), but he should be giving you what you have lost in benefits because the way the DWP sees it is that as you live together you are now a family and are pooling your income. Why should you be worse off because he's moved in? That isn't fair and doesn make sense. Does he know how much you've lost in benefits? Sit him down and run through the figures with him. Ask for what you've lost in benefits plus a token amount towards bills and food. If he can't ( or won't) cough up then he can't afford to live with you!

Uhu50 Fri 08-Jan-16 08:13:49

Thanks, that's a good way of looking at it! It's complicated cos as a carpenter he can do things around the house, which I appreciate v much, and which he sees as part of his contribution. That's true in a way, but because of having so little money now, I can't afford to pay him for this or choose to do something myself. I'd rather have more money available myself so I could choose what's done and pay for materials, that way I'd feel more in charge of my own home. He also uses my garage as a workshop, so I did think maybe that's something he could either pay something to use (maybe tricky as he couldn't write it off as business expense as he could if renting workshop nearby. He has never had kids and has never been on breadline cos he had family money growing up and built and owns his own house outright, so he often doesnt seem to get the financial concerns I have as a single mum, though he's good with the kids in other ways. He also thinks their dad should contribute, which would be good (their dad has money, as well as our former home abroad, which he rents out, but stopped financial support as per court order as soon as he heard I was buying the house. He did same when I managed to buy a car, but that's how he is. Am chasing payment but don't expect any will come) and of course the kids are legally his responsibility but it's extremely unlikely.

19lottie82 Fri 08-Jan-16 09:04:21

He's your partner, you shouldn't have to pay him to do odd jobs around the house!

In fairness there is a chance he prob doesn't realise the impact his moving in had had on your finances and lack of benefits..... In reality if he's moved in with you he has to realise that this means that you're a family unit now so he should be contributing more. As advised you need to have a full and frank conversation with him about costs, benefits and what you can afford. If he isn't willing to cough up he will have to move out.

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Fri 08-Jan-16 09:20:21

I think you should sit down & work out your budget - income, Outgoings, the drop in income from lost tax credits etc. Email your bf - give yourself a 'paper trail' highlighting your suggestion that you need to discuss finances, specifically with regards to him paying 'rent' to address your reduced income due to lost income which happened because he moved in.

This way, there will be proof that anything he pays is nothing to do with your mortgage at all & protects you from any claim he may think he has if you did split up.

Uhu50 Fri 08-Jan-16 09:21:59

Thanks again. In fairness some of the stuff he's done is pretty big, like building a large porch on the back of the house, but not cos I asked him to. I'd still like to decide myself tho and to be able to pay for materials as the house an mortgage are mine.
He does know what I've lost in benefits but I truly think he doesn't get the impact of it on me. I don't want confusion or resentment to grow tho so will have that conversation... It really helps to have an outside opinion - friends have said similar - so thanks for taking the time smile

superimpossible Fri 08-Jan-16 09:38:44

We lost tax credits and other benefits when DH moved in and we decided it was simplest to merge finances at that point. It didn't make sense to faff around owing money to each other, but we were already married at that point. Your dc definitely shouldn't miss out just because of your relationship and he does need to contribute to them, as the government expect him to. If your children go to uni the student finances are decided on your income and your partners as well.

I don't get any maintenance, I never have, and DH has always stepped up and accepted the responsibility of financing the dc, he says it's what you take on when you meet a woman with kids.

43percentburnt Fri 08-Jan-16 09:42:49

Does the £250 include food and bills?

He could rent a workshop and offset, but he has chosen not to, he presumably likes the convenience of the garage. This surely restricts your use of it.

How much is it to rent a room in your area? Here it's 80-100 plus garage cost, that does not include food/cleaning products/landline usage - £250 seems very low to live anywhere (except maybe with mum and dad).

He owns his house outright. When you say we earn a similar amount, did you take this £6000 (gross) into account?

He contributes by doing Diy hence he pays less. Does he do 50% of cooking, cleaning, hoovering, toilet scrubbing? I'm assuming he does as his diy can't offset this too.

If you were him, would you be happy with making a £250 contribution? In effect he is better off by moving in, you are worse off, doesn't seem right at all.

lighteningirl Fri 08-Jan-16 17:43:13

My now Dh and I went thru this our first agreement was that we split any rental income as he can only rent his property because he lives in mine. Secondly we worked out a fair share of bills (we did 50% as both of us had dc roughly equal times). We included ALL bills so utilities council tax buildings and contents ins, sky, broadband, parking permits, tv license). Thirdly we tried to split food bills which he thought was unfair as he generally pays if we go out (i pay when we entertain and feed his dc my now dsc three times a week). My Dh is very handy and did loads on my house/our home but I paid for all materials and did do his accounts/paperwork and the lions share of housework and cooking. This sounds easy and well planned it wasn't we started off far too ad hoc and I felt the same as you I was financially worse off, plus more chores and got resentful. Several rows and compromises and probably 18 months later we agreed all the above.
£250 is just not on that is half his rental income he's effectively not paying anything towards your joint bills or food? Eventually I worked all the above and explained it point by point and now it's fine. Goodluck

lighteningirl Fri 08-Jan-16 17:43:55

Ooh that was epic sorry btw I also made him sign a cohabitation agreement

GinIsTheBestChristmasSpirit Fri 08-Jan-16 17:50:01

Half his rental income and nothing from his wages is crazy. He needs to be paying towards bills as well. The pp above seems to have a good system.

Uhu50 Fri 08-Jan-16 19:36:54

Thanks to everyone - I really appreciate it! All good points and I am going to sit down this weekend and put it in an email - think it's a good idea as talks can get easily derailed. I hadn't counted his rental income as income. He sees the remainder as needed to repair the house in Scotland, and maybe is still covering some bills up there, he's a bit vague because he rents to a friend from his old work. Anyway, time to get some clarity! Big thanks to all :-)

HappenstanceMarmite Mon 28-Mar-16 18:21:24

Hi Uhu50

I wondered if you could update on how your email was received and how have things changed (if at all)?

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