Advanced search

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.

what happens if you and your dp have a child but live apart?

(31 Posts)
nappyaddict Mon 22-Sep-08 10:12:52

for the purpose of benefits and tax credits etc are you a single parent or not?

Anna8888 Mon 22-Sep-08 10:13:21


KatieDD Mon 22-Sep-08 12:01:00

No not if he is providing any financial support for you, if you have any joint assets. car, house, bike.
If he goes shopping with you, stays regularly, the old chestnut that they can stay 3 nights is completely wrong and if your friends and relatives if asked would say you were a couple, then you are.

If you need to be a single parent, make sure no post of his goes to your address, nothing at all and basically he never stays the night in case the neighbours snitch on you.

nappyaddict Mon 22-Sep-08 15:02:18

no joint assets. so your dp can't ever go shopping with you or even stay 1 night a week even though he's not paying anything towards your rent, bills or food?

nappyaddict Mon 22-Sep-08 15:11:18

are you sure the 3 nights thing is wrong? my friend said she rang them up and they said it was ok.

KatieDD Mon 22-Sep-08 21:33:28

Absolutely 100% correct, she cannot do anything with him that could considered what you would do with a boyfriend/partner, whether he pays is not important at all.

He could stay one night but not every Thursday or one night a week on a regular basis. And the fact that he is the childs father makes it even more difficult.

On the other thread about benefit fraud I made the point that the father living in that household maybe refusing to pay anything towards housekeeping or the children's welfare but that wouldn't matter it would still be seen that she has the support and 2 can live as cheaply as one.
If she has called them up and asked if her fella can stay 3 nights a week, she can expect a letter to follow shortly arranging a visit, if they have the staff.
Basically if they investigate they'll wipe the floor with her if she's not very careful, that's why I would never report somebody because I have seen what they put people through for genuine mistakes and very small amounts and I wouldn't wish it on my worse enemy.

Fizzylemonade Mon 22-Sep-08 21:51:20

Nappyaddict - I would also say it depends where they live, do they live with their parents or have their own place, do they pay council tax/rent/ etc etc

I agree with KatieDD that the rule of 3 days is a myth, I used to work in council tax and did deal with housing benefit fraud a bit.

It depends what benefits you are claiming, they obviously know that a person has a child and that there is a father somewhere. If you are "claiming" that the father gives you no financial support but then are seen to be shopping with him it does contradict what you say unless he doesn't get his wallet out which you would have to prove if investigated.

I did watch a program recently about 2 people living in separate accommodation and she occasionally stayed over at his house, they sometimes shopped together, she claimed she was helping him out as he was Polish and his English wasn't great. They were both done for benefit fraud and they didn't even have a child together.

nappyaddict Tue 23-Sep-08 00:03:23

but if it's not ok why did they say it was when she rang up hmm baffled!!

they each have their own place and pay their own separate bills and buy their own food for each house.

she works and gets WTC and some childcare paid but dunno if she pays rent/council tax.

KatieDD Tue 23-Sep-08 09:39:10

This is how people get in a mess, they are given conflicting advice constantly by those on the telephones and if she ever needed to prove it she would be lucky if they produced the tape, they usually don't although all calls are recorded.

nappyaddict Tue 23-Sep-08 11:16:41

katie would it be better for her to go to CAB or something?

nappyaddict Tue 23-Sep-08 11:17:42

oh and would it make a difference if she was stopping overnight at his rather than him stopping at hers.

KatieDD Tue 23-Sep-08 11:55:36

No even if she stays at his it would cause an issue, in all honesty they will probably get away with it as long as she keeps her mouth closed and doesn't tell anyone the situation at all.
Basically don't give anybody any reason to look into things, because the onus is on her to prove they aren't a couple, which they are really, it's very difficult, it would be hard to prove a man doesn't support his child, it's not even about money it's about picking the child up from school, doing the shopping allsorts.
As long as they aren't finacially dependant on each other and both could live independantly if they split up tomorrow they should be fine.
But honestly I would move in with him asap, they'd both be better off and it would save a lot of hassle.

IllegallyBrunette Tue 23-Sep-08 11:59:28

The 3 nights a week thing is a myth. You are not allowed to have him stay even 1 night a week.

nappyaddict Tue 23-Sep-08 14:18:08

The thing is she would be a lot worse off financially if they were to move in together. that's why they haven't already.

How can she get some proper advice about this if ringing up isn't getting her the correct answers?

KatieDD Tue 23-Sep-08 14:20:46

They shouldn't be worse really, the shouldn't, has she been to the CAB ? If not that would be my first port of call and get it all in writing.

KatieDD Tue 23-Sep-08 14:21:14

or make notes at the meeting and keep them.

nappyaddict Tue 23-Sep-08 14:27:53

katie - she says if they can't stay over at each other's place then her dp will stay at hers til 10pm, go home for the night and come back again the morning. where would they stand with doing that?

KatieDD Tue 23-Sep-08 18:23:11

The problem they will have is if the neighbour's report them and all the neighbour sees is him arriving at 7pm say and then leave at 8.30 am, how does he prove he went home ?
Is he staying with his parents ? Is she ? if so problem solved but if they both have their own places it's a minefield.
I "think" they should be fine but I would keep everything seperate, he can't lend her money, buy her a sofa nothing at all and just watch their backs.

carrielou2007 Tue 23-Sep-08 22:06:39

I find this all very odd. I am no longer with my dd dad, have not been since she was about 7 months. However, even when we were together, he stayed at my house nearly every night.

He does not pay one penny towards any of my bills or anything towards dd. He has his own bill for his own house. We are both home owners.

I did not claim for anything until we split up, I work, I pay council tax etc, I do get some tax credits towards childcare. He occasionally stays overnight at my house, in the spare room he lives about 10 miles away so sometimes it is just easier that way at weekends. So the small amount I get could be queried even though he pays NOT ONE PENNY towards dd? If someone reported me (I would be happy to give all details as I have nothing to hide)

I'm still looking for all these benefits us poor single mothers get labelled with 'having' as we so many think we have an easy life, I receive very little, everyting I have I have earnt!!

KatieDD Tue 23-Sep-08 22:33:56

Well this is the problem isn't it, they don't really care whether he pays or not, as a single mother you'd be paid extra money to make up for the fact that you don't have any support or help from a partner, even if that's emotional or helping you to work by baby sitting or have a night out.

Occasional nights staying over are fine, every Thursday is not fine, that's the jist.

Dropdeadfred Tue 23-Sep-08 22:40:59

why would you let someone stay at your house if they are not paying towards bringing up their child though?

nappyaddict Wed 24-Sep-08 01:16:47

katie - is it ok if one week it's monday, the next week its wednesday, the next week it's friday etc so not a regular set day.

carrie - when you were together but not living together did you claim as a single mum or not?

they both have their own seperate houses - not living together. if a neighbour reported them would they not send someone to watch the house and investigate it so they would see for themselves they were leaving at 10pm and arriving at 8am again?

carrielou2007 Wed 24-Sep-08 07:11:14

No, I did not claim anything (apart from child benefit but that of course is for every child regardless of sitution). I have never heard of these tax credits and being on maternity leave, went back to work when dd was 5 months so nope, had to live off my savings.

One of the reasons we split up was the very fact that dd dad pays nothing towards her, would stay at my house, eating my food, using my hot water, using my broadband etc etc!!! When I contacted the tax credits I clearly explained this and they did say that as we both have registered separate addresses and as neither of them were rented (i.e. no housing benefit received) I was entitled.

As to why I would let him stay at my house and not pay of course I want to ring his flippin neck but it is not about me is it, it is about me giving him every chance to see his daughter and that is the most important thing. I have stopped giving him his tea though!!!

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Wed 24-Sep-08 07:26:31

i have been in this situation. dh only moved in with me recently when he had a leak and his water was switched off <he owns a home and was living there untill the repairs are done then we are all moving in>

he can stay no more than three times a week before being classed as living there. but you cannot be financially tied. i had problems proving this but got there in the end.

yes you can go shopping together but you need to pay for your stuff and he has to pay for his. he can buy you gifts but too many will look suspicious.

its not about 'living together' in the house that will cause you problems its bank statements etc saying that you are connected. i.e. monies going from your bank to his. dh paid £15 per month into my bank which is less than i have to declare legally were it manintence befoe effecting my benefits but it still caused a lot of trouble and i nearly lost my home. despite the fact the money was in my account for safekeeping. i had no access to his money he had none to mine. the money was to be spent on his home.

keep yourselves seperate financially.

carrielou2007 Wed 24-Sep-08 07:51:20

The other thing is that for tax credits any maintence payments are not taken into account, that is only for income support it is taken into account, so you can have money paid into your account from his.

My exp used to steal loo rolls from me (I kid you not). A little shop by me had some with 2 rolls extra free only 1.69 for 6 so I bought some and left in downstairs loo. They were going down at an alarming rate I though odd, kept buyer more whislt they had them on offer. Then one time as he and one of his other children were leaving Tom said 'don't forget we want toilet rolls dad' and he went bright red. He said he would wait until I went upstairs for something and put a loo roll outside front door and when he went would take it with him!!! I told him where he could shove it!!!!!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now