Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. Free legal advice is available from a Citizen's Advice Bureau, and the Law Society can supply a list of local solicitors.
Property and child maintenance(22 Posts)
My ex partner and father of my child is feeling hard done by because he's had to pay child maintenance, while we agreed I would live in our mortgage free property with our son for 12 years until our son reaches 18 when the property will be split 50/50.
Now all this time he's been renting his own property and working full time and looking after our son for about 6 hours every 2 weeks. While I've been working part time. With some inheritance and any spare cash I've had I've invested into the property aprox £30,000 which has increased it's value.
Now my question is, does he have good reason to feel put out and is this an unusual agreement/situation for a separated couple to have.
If the property is mortgage free I'd expect you to pay a rent of half the market rate if I were him, which he could use to reduce his rent. Alternatively you could take a mortgage to buy his share out at today's rates. It does seem like he is getting a rough deal. I remortgaged to buy my ex out at the earliest opportunity (it took about 3 years from split to be in a position to remortgage alone).
Aw, poor him, 6 hours every 2 weeks? No, he doesnt have good reason to feel put out.
Thank you for your replies. This agreement is nearly coming to an end but there is resentment on both sides still. His being the money he's spent on the rent and my resentment being the small amount of time he's spent with our son over the years and basically leaving me to do the rest, he had no involvement with school or helped when I've been desperately needed emotional support, I have no support network. I could have chosen not to invest in the property which would have meant it being worth approximately £50,000 less than it is now.
How long ago did you invest in the property and is he benefitting from the increase in value because of the works? I didn't spend a penny on the house until I had bought out the ex's share because it's not a good investment putting all the money in then paying half the increased value to the ex on top.
I've invested in two properties actually, as we have moved once before, I've invested from the start and for the past twelve years, both properties have needed a lot of work, the one we're in now needed gutting basically, I moved here to get our son into a better school. I paid for a lot of the big jobs to be done but have also done a lot myself too.
Yes, he will profit from the investment, it will be 50/50 of what the property is worth when sold.
Why couldn't he get his own mortgage instead of renting?
Why not remortgage yourself and buy him out?
Whether this is unfair or not would depend on what he was earning - if he earns a lot, lot more than you and can afford his housing comfortably then the set up seems quite good but if there is not much difference in your incomes then you're a very lucky lady!!
Is this a done deal really, that is coming to an end?
I can see why he feels aggrieved (half rent fairer?) But he agreed to it and I can see how you would see his pathetic fathering efforts in a bad light
I'm on minimum wage part time, he was on slightly more but full time, he's doing the same job, would say his wages have gone up but I don't know by how much, I doubt they have gone up that much though. Neither of us were in the position to get mortgages, he checked at the time but renting was his only option.
I can understand why he would feel resentful ifyou are getting your wages, living rent free, getting maintainence and I presume child benfit and tax credits on top. It would seem fairer to pay half rent or give up maintainence . The contact is obviously a seperate issue.
Thanks again for replies. The thing is, his grievance can be resolved with money, mine can't, my son and his dad will never have the time over again that's gone, I feel he is an inadequate parent, my son deserved better, I feel partly to blame for this as I should have chosen a better man.
Impossible to say without putting numbers to it.
Time spent with his child is separate.
You both earn NMW yet own a house mortgage free - which sounds like inheritance. If that came from him, then - despite the law on marriage and shared assets - I'd feel aggrieved, yeah.
But it does come down to numbers - you've had a free house for 12 years. But if he was paying less in maintenance that half the cost of keeping his son, then there's some balance there.
He's benefitting from the money you put into the house though.
Potentially, I can see his point.
Tough shit though.
I wonder that those who are saying contact is a separate issue realise how much input of time and emotions parenting needs? Those everyday multitasking jobs around home and kids that take your intellectual capacity away basically? It makes my blood boil. How can you minimise that kind of thing? It stops you from getting further qualifications effectively and increasing your employability.
Would it help your ex to look at is this way, his ds lives in the property , instead of your ex looking after him and or a paid nanny you live with his son and look after him for free.
He is getting a good deal.
I have a child and a house and find myself not intellectually incapacitated by it
It's certainly hard work, but my brain hasn't dissolved.
I agree that it can impact your career prospects. But then, so can choosing to work part time.
That's the OP's choice and as she could afford it, all power to her. And the OP isn't complaining about damaged career prospects.
But you can't say that being effectively the only parent has held her back in her career, from the details given.
It is a separate issue because both child arrangements and asset sharing are agreed, and presumably they knew what they were agreeing to.
You could argue that the ex owes her for childcare, which she has done instead of him. But I know I'd love to have my child all but 6 hours a fortnight, I hate that because I married an arsehole it has led to divorce and to me losing time with her. (Although it's better for her to have us both)
As I said though - he agreed to it, so tough shit. But it's possible he made a really bad decision financially.
World's smallest violin if he did, with that display of parenting!
I think there is enough evidence around to support the point I have raised: you do get left behind when you are parenting like women are supposed to be doing by default. I am sure she made this choice but I am also aware a lot of women sleep walk into it. A few hours every other week doesn't count to anything (although I agree it was something that must have helped the DC to make some kind of bond with father) compared to what the mother has been putting in. So just because she "could have done " more doesn't mean she did have the opportunity to do it. It's absolutely unrealistic to accept women to be their super selves all the time during 12 years to take care of a DC and their career even if money is coming in from father, while the father has all the time to do it except six hours per two weeks. Why didn't he go on and use his time properly then? He was paying for the child, not for help for his ex wife.
I do agree when you say that they decided at the very beginning that the two things are separate issues. But I still believe our current laws are flawed and generally biased against women. You have agreed yourself that the primary carer is unpaid in these circumstances. Well, bad luck for him he didn't put the free child care he was getting and the time he had on his hands to good use in 12 years. Tough but brutally fair to me.
I've currently halted my own promotion prospects (without leaving my company which I don't want to for reasons including that I am a parent and like the security of redundancy for long service) because I want to stay living near my child's father. My arse of an XH.
So I don't disagree that earning potential is affected! And that it's usually women that make the detrimental choice.
However, with a mortgage free house and maintenance, OP seems to have chosen to remain part time (it's lovely to do so and a valid choice, but it's not a necessity for a NT only child).
So I think it's a leap to say that her employability was affected.
My fiancé was widowed and had 2 children 100% and still progressed his business.
I work with several single mothers with low father input who work full time and continue to develop their careers.
I also work with some women who have been utterly fucked over.
I think there's a salary cut off relative to childcare costs. If you can afford the childcare to work full time, you have a far better chance of protecting your future earning potential.
I personally think that maintenance should be calculated additionally to 50% of full time childcare costs. That's where women get shafted - when they can't afford to work.
I totally agree with the things you are saying about the percentage time being spent on child care. That's fair. I happen to have a very highly qualified friend who is dealing with the aftermath of extremely costly child care (Ex lying and hiding income obviously) and nearly permanently damaged career prospects.
That's just one woman. How many deal everyday with the shattering consequences from which they almost never recover unscathed. Yes there are exceptions and it's lovely to see them. But it shouldn't be hard for women to claim what is rightfully theirs (their time and energy and loss of singleminded determination while looking after small children day and night) while their Ex enjoys life without minimal changes to heir routines and the opportunities they get. This whole system is unfair.
I will bet my right hand on it: a large number of fathers will play more active roles in their children's lives if they are made to account for the child care costs that their ex wives are doing for free basically.shitty stuff
When we originally started out together many years ago now, it was possible to get a mortgage on minimum wage jobs. Only a small part of the property was inheritance, which was mine not his. Rightly or wrongly I've never had any interest in developing a career.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.