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Ex has asked to reduce maintenance and I desperately need advice

(10 Posts)
NotMyselfAtTheMoment Mon 08-Jun-09 20:24:59

My ex was very unsupportive partner and moved out when DD was young. He used to have DD every other weekend for 2 days 1 night and a week or 2 for holidays.

He has recently asked to have her more days and now has her 2 nights every other weekend and a night every week as well.

However, now he wants to reduce the maintenance he pays as he has recalculated the amount and realised it could be lower.

He earns a lot of money and I currently am not working.

I am now with another partner and we have a young daughter together. He is able to support us, but he also pays more out in maintenance for an older child than I receive from my ex, so any reductions will make things difficult.

My question is, has anyone ever listed the real cost of looking after a child - I think someone once mentioned a form which lists all the costs, and can things like rent and bills be considered as part of those costs? I think if he could see that reducing maintenance would affect her in real terms it might be easier to explain to him why it's a problem.

Secondly, the obvious answer would be to reduce the amount of time she stays at his, as he doesn't buy things like school uniform, pay for afterschool classes, school trips, etc, so it isn't super helpful financially for her to stay there, apart for the evening meal and breakfast for that day.

Anyone been in this position? (I know I am very lucky compared to many parents with difficult exes, but I feel that this is making our amicable relationship very difficult, which is a real shame for everyone, but especially DD.)

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 08-Jun-09 20:37:52

Message withdrawn

NotMyselfAtTheMoment Mon 08-Jun-09 21:03:05

I agree SG's Mum that the two things shouldn't be linked, but CSA have made them linked in a way, and I can't be the only person with this problem.

I feel I am being penalised for ensuring DD has contact, and that one size doesn't fit all.

Also, I'd like to say that it's not that I 'want money' as such - just that the money he currently pays ALL goes towards things that she needs or afterschool lessons (not many) that she enjoys, and by withholding that will actually affect her in real terms, and I do have a problem with that, especially as I know he has a lot of spending money. (Again irrelevant for CSA POV I know.)

AnitaBlake Tue 09-Jun-09 18:01:56

But its costing him more to look after her too. He is now looking after her two nights a week from one night a fortnight. The money you receive is to help contribute towards her, and by the looks of things it does. He is also helping out by looking after her more. Perhaps you could suggest that activities that take place in 'his' time are paid for by him?

Reducing contact to get more money is not a solution.

RumourOfAHurricane Wed 10-Jun-09 20:57:29

Message withdrawn

NotMyselfAtTheMoment Thu 11-Jun-09 18:41:35

Thanks for the messages - I only just saw them.

I don't know what his salary is I'm afraid - not sure he will tell me.

So can no-one clarify what the maintenance money is meant to be spent on, and how it is divided? Should I count an amount towards the rent and bills? TBH even if don't count that sort of indirect cost his current contribution is only spent on her, and that is without going overboard.

If he reduces it she won't have any afterschool activities, etc. Have to LOL at the idea of getting money from him to cover shared costs like uniform and school trips - sounds good in theory but that just wouldn't happen - or not without a wrangle about each and every thing.

Having had a profession before I became pregnant I really don't see why the work I do as a parent has any less worth, especially to the other parent, than a paid job.

CarGirl Thu 11-Jun-09 18:43:50

How many years has he been paying maintenance, has it ever gone up with inflation?

If it hasn't I would mention to him that it should be index linked!

mumblechum Thu 11-Jun-09 18:44:39

The whole point of the CSA formula is to take away the old system of forensic inspection of things like rent, actual cost of activities etc.

The fact is if you don't agree on the maintenance, he can go to the CSA and they WILL impose the formula of 15% for one child less the reduction for overnight stays.

What your current partner pays for his first child unfortunately does not matter.

NotMyselfAtTheMoment Thu 11-Jun-09 19:24:51

Thank you again...

CarGirl - no it hasn't gone up with inflation - nor with his increases in pay, which I think have been considerable.

I think part of the reason for my annoyance with him is that for quite some time I supported him financially through college and in his early working life when he was not well paid. Similarly I supported his career even after our separation because he was the main earner (he refused to work part-time, but didn't want DD to be in full-time childcare) and we had an unspoken agreement that he was the wage-earner and I picked up all the slack with Dd's sick days or childcare problems - partly why I am not in my profession now as it just became untenable to do it part-time and take extra time-off for the usual things that come up with kids. Obviously this was my choice and responsibility, but I really don't think he gives a second thought to how smooth the past 9 years have been for him - with all access arranged around his work commitments.

As a result of my short-sightedness my ex will now be able to pay some amount less than 15% of his salary, which isn't a huge % to start with.

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 12-Jun-09 22:39:30

Message withdrawn

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