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Lesbian separated parents benefit issues.

(35 Posts)
crow1916 Tue 04-Apr-17 12:05:56

Okay, so my ex and I had a baby together, I'm the biological mum and my ex adopted our daughter at six weeks old. We planned her together and have always agreed we are both her parents.
When we split up,four years ago, I was working full time and my ex partner was working part time. The split wasn't very amicable and my ex said it made more sense for our daughter to spend 70% of the time with her. This was because I had had to move out of the town with lived in to a town 7 miles away from where my daughter goes to school and I also had to get to work in the mornings. Reluctantly I agreed to this and my ex partner claimed child benefit and working tax credit as a single parent. I also paid child maintenance. But after about a year of this I finally got the courage ( and kissed my daughter so much ) that I argued we should share custody 50-50. My ex partner still claimed benefits and tax credits but I now didn't pay maintenance as we shared custody equally.

Now I have had to finish work due to illness. I am looking into how I can afford to keep my house. Before I apply for child benefit and open a world of pain and bitterness with my ex I thought I'd try and find out where I stand legally. I can't find anything helpful. Everything seems to speak about fathers and mothers, how does this apply to an adopted mother and a biological mother?
Does anyone know anything about how parent with care status is allocated in this situation?

I've briefly spoken to my ex about the situation she's a bit of a bully and a control freak and I can't imagine that this is going to end well. Would just like some help before I open this can of worms!

19lottie82 Tue 04-Apr-17 12:59:08

For heterosexual parents, mothers don't have any more rights than fathers to custody or child related benefits, so there are no differences in your circumstances.

Legally, the benefits go to the main care giver, i.e. The parent who the child is with most of the time. If it's 50/50 then the parents will need to agree that between themselves, and in an ideal world could come to a financial arrangement between themselves.

TBH if care is still 50/50 I don't think you would have any claim on the child related benefits if your ex is getting them at the moment.

To have a case for them to be transferred into your name you would need to be able to PROVE that you were the main caret for your daughter. I.e. A diary of when she spent time with you, letters from her school / doctors showing that she was registered as living at your address, receipts for child related expenses that kind of thing.

If the care is really 50/50 and benefits have been going to your ex, I'm afraid you now not working and "need them more" isn't a valid reason for the DWP to take them off your ex and award them to you....... sorry.

crow1916 Tue 04-Apr-17 14:57:14

Thanks for helping. So all that stuff about 'the mother is always better off' is just disgruntled man talk? Interesting.
I suppose if we had a relationship that could stay amicable in all this we'd still be together.
Just all seems so unfair.

ImperialBlether Tue 04-Apr-17 14:58:45

Like fuck would I let her have the child most of the time. No way. You need to fight for this, OP!

Jazzywazzydodah Tue 04-Apr-17 15:02:02

She is your birth daughters go get her Ffs

Jazzywazzydodah Tue 04-Apr-17 15:10:57

You could just pick her up from school and and refuse to hand her back: the police won't do anything as it's a family court issue and will point your ex in that direction.

But to be honest - why did you leave her? How could you walk away ? Are you sure this isn't a monetary issue really ?

justnowords Tue 04-Apr-17 16:03:39

So all that stuff about 'the mother is always better off' is just disgruntled man talk? Well no, its not, as you've just proven in your OP. Your exdp (in the traditional/typical role of the mother) has taken main custody of the child and the benefits. You have taken the role of the nrp (which is typically the father) and as you are finding, its not working out that fair for you. I dont know how two mothers would fair if the nrp sought out 50/50 care but i would guess that it is quite difficult for fathers to get it in the same circumstances.

justnowords Tue 04-Apr-17 16:09:47

You could just pick her up from school and and refuse to hand her back - I would absolutely not recommend doing that at all and cant believe someone on MN would suggest it either. If you did that, how would you explain/justify your actions in court. That would reflect really badly on you.

Lugeeta Tue 04-Apr-17 16:16:48

I think I would pick her up and keep her with me- she has no biological relationship to your ex. How do they get on?

Jazzywazzydodah Tue 04-Apr-17 16:18:56

just - just the same as my friends husband did - with No reprocutions at all. None.

GreenGoblin0 Tue 04-Apr-17 16:30:25

I think I would pick her up and keep her with me- she has no biological relationship to your ex. How do they get on?

the OPs exp is the child's legal parent. she adopted her. the fact that the op is the biological parent makes no difference legally. they planned the child together and agreed to be equal parents from the start. the child has been living with the other parent for at least 50% of the time since they split 4 years ago. how is it in the best interests of the child for the OP to pick her up and refuse to return her all so the op can claim child related benefits!

PigletWasPoohsFriend Tue 04-Apr-17 16:32:39

You could just pick her up from school and and refuse to hand her back: the police won't do anything as it's a family court issue and will point your ex in that direction.

That is some of the worse advice I have seen.

Do not do this.

19lottie82 Tue 04-Apr-17 17:09:59

Re "the mother is always better off" statement......

As explained the benefits go to the main cater for the child, and with hetro parents, yes that mainly is the mother BUT that's just fact, it's nothing to do with the mother getting more because she is the mother and not the father, if you see what I mean?

19lottie82 Tue 04-Apr-17 17:11:26

lugeeta really? You would deny a child one of its parents, just so you could secure some benefits? Wow.

Babyroobs Tue 04-Apr-17 17:12:08

I have no advice on the tax credits and child benefit - only one of you can claim this and it's up to the two of you to decide which one.
As far as other benefits to help you keep your home. Are you claiming ESA and PIP if you are eligible ?
When you've claimed ESA for 9 months you may be eligible to apply for support to pay your mortgage interest assuming you have a mortgage.

PlaymobilPirate Tue 04-Apr-17 17:17:48

You can't just get her back so you can claim more money (which is how your post reads to me)

Teabagtits Tue 04-Apr-17 17:26:06

A loose rule of thumb is that the parent who leaves the child/family home will become the non resident parent and will struggle to get full time or majority time residency of the child from the court, even if that person is the birth mother. The reason so many fathers claim to be hard done by in this respect is because generally they're the ones who leave the family home and children so they have more to prove if they believe they should become the resident parent by uprooting the child from home and school etc. In a same sex couple, the person who leaves the home and child has the bigger fight to show they should have full time or majority residence. If you'd taken the child with you when you'd left then you'd have been in a much better position and would have been the resident parent. Courts are reluctant to uproot a child after the devastation of parental separation unless there are strong grounds for it. Adopted parents have the same rights and responsibilities as birth parents so your partner as rp will have an easier time of defending any claim in court.

Teabagtits Tue 04-Apr-17 17:27:24

Oops meant to add in terms of benefits only the resident parent is entitled to benefits for the child.

Whatslovegottodo Tue 04-Apr-17 17:27:39

I can't comment on the situation as I don't have any knowledge on entitlements and benefits etc.

However, as someone in a same sex marriage whose DW is undergoing fertility treatment, and who will never be able to have a 'birth child' - then some of the comments are really upsetting.

The other mum, for all her possible faults, is the child's parent - legally and for care. They have equal rights. Same as if she had adopted a child another route, same as if a straight couple had used donor sperm!

Some really ignorant and upsetting comments on here lugeeta and jazzywazzy sad

crow1916 Tue 04-Apr-17 18:12:52

Okay.
I'm appalled that my post comes across as being purely monetary. My QUESTION is purely monetary so I didn't include any details of my life.
My ex took over as soon as my daughter was born. I had pnd and she took advantage of this. I wasn't 'allowed' to take my daughter out in our own until she was four. I got braver and I moved out.
I have always acknowledged and respected my ex's rights as a parent. My daughter loves both of her mummies abc to 'just take her' would be cruel, unfair abc exactly what my ex has tried to do.
I fought tooth and nail to get 50/50 time from this woman and she still tries yo control my life through my daughter. I do my best to minimise the damage. She's not violent or abusive she's just an emotional bully with me.
It's been awful ( and still is) sharing my child but I can't just steal her away. It took me a while to realise exactly what my ex was like and that how she treated/ treats me is wrong.
Please don't think this is all about money. I was asking for practical advice and so gave you the facts.

crow1916 Tue 04-Apr-17 18:18:57

My ex and daughter get along and love each other although my ex is more strict ( not evil) with her.
I went into into having a baby with this woman because I loved her and I thought we were solid. We had a civil partnership the year before trying for daughter and had been together ten years before that. When I left it was because it wasn't happy us living together and I was concerned about the impact it would have on our daughter seeing us both so unhappy. It was never a case of taking MY daughter with me. We always agreed to share time, what else could we do? We both love her. I left the house because I was earning more than her and it was purely practical. It seems unfair I should get penalised for that decision.

I know she loves our child; I also know she hates me for leaving and will use daughter to control me.

Babyroobs Tue 04-Apr-17 18:25:15

You are not being penalised because you can't claim benefits for the child. Only one of you can claim the benefits and that person is the one the child mainly resides with.
Concentrate on claiming what benefits you can in your own right rather than any child related benefits, or alternatively come to an arrangement with your ex over how to split the child tax credits and child benefits. If you split them it would work out to about £40 each a week which isn't a lot anyway.

crow1916 Tue 04-Apr-17 18:28:32

Thanks babyroots. I'm going to keep trying to sort this out with ex; it would be much better to come to some agreement. And I have no money coming in at all now so £40 is quite a chunk, buys food at least.

crow1916 Tue 04-Apr-17 18:29:19

So there's no provision for if parents share child's time equally? That must be causing problems for more than just us.

justnowords Tue 04-Apr-17 18:54:53

There is another thread running just now with a man in the same position but has three kids instead of 1. The mother is not working and takes home about £2500 (there is a disabled child so extra benefits to cover this) and the father is taking home about £1500, of which he is paying the mother £300 maintenance a month. And he has the children 50/50. Thats a reality for many non resident parents. Its not right.

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