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Child Maintainance

(7 Posts)
NicolaElize Thu 09-Jun-11 23:08:51

My question is.. Does anyone opt to not receive child maintainance?
I am recently single mum to a 10 month old, his dad has had him 3 times for a few hours each time since we split a month ago & every other time has either lets me down or picks a fight when he gets here to pick our son up (last time he was throwing things & breaking stuff!!!) and then decides "I've wound him up too much to take him" - so it's my fault!
Anyway back on topic.. Up until now I'd decided that on his approx £1000/month take home salary, he's going to struggle to have a decent flat (obviously important that its nice for if & when my son goes to see him) & pay all his bills etc AND child maintainance, so my plan was to no claim anything enless I really needed it (I'm now on benefits & will have around £50 a week after bills/rent etc to buy all clothes, activities, food, petrol etc - think it can be done for now, but will be tight)

Should I just go ahead and take the waste of space for child maintainance or should I hold out & see if our relationship as single parents improves?

I should note he is wildly jealous, childish & selfish, mentally unstable & unreliable....... and is hating that I can survive without him! smile

Any advice welcome, thankyou! x

NicolaElize Thu 09-Jun-11 23:10:42

I should also mention he threatened to 'take me to court' if I tried to claim anything, so I asked him take me to court, what for? and he said simply to stop me taking his money! arghh - I know he can't stop me but still, argh!

He also said he will try & get 50/50 custody if I take any money off him but given that he's not seen or had our boy for the last 2 weeks..... fat chance!
Ta x

niceguy2 Thu 09-Jun-11 23:51:26

It's entirely up to you really. One train of thought is that he should be making a contribution, albeit financially if not practically to bringup his child.

That said, if you don't want his money then it's your choice to make.

There is a good argument to say is the money worth the hassle that comes with it. OK, he doesn't stand a cat in hell's chance of getting 50-50 but going to court is still stressful.

A good retort would be to simply ask him how he is going to cope when he can't have his child for a few hours. If he thinks he is such a good dad then 50-50 is 3.5 days. Here's your son, i'll be back in 3.5 days time! I bet he'd back down quickly. The type of guy you described above won't be able to step up to the challenge.

Riakin Fri 10-Jun-11 12:58:43

Hi Nicola.

First let me say that coming to your own maintenance agreement will be more effective for both parts of you, your child and your ex.

Niceguy has previously said to use the CSA formula (15% of net salary) however if he's earning (as an example i gave in another thread) £1,000 a month, this payment will hit him very hard, may make him more resentful and ultimately push him into poverty if he has to get a new place to rent, which of course in turn means that he has less chance of supporting your (both) child.

I have previously recommended these points (to any and all who consider child support without involvement through the CSA). They cover the immediate term as well as medium and long term right up until they are adults.

The points are:
- £100-£150 a month in maintenance. Given your ex earns £1,000 i'd say £100 would be more of a fair amount providing some of the following occur...
- £15.00 is put into a savings account for said Son when they get to 18/21
possibly to cover University?
- Pocket Money
- School uniforms
- Half of all trips
- Bits and Bobs here and there

Now with regard to him threatening to take you to court. That won't happen. The only thing likely is what a court will certainly stress: 1 evening a week plus weekend contact. A court will look at fundamentally ensuring continuity but more importantly an involvement (contact) with the other parent. With this in mind its likely a court would grant certainly within time 2 nights contact. But as for custody or 50/50 its quite unlikely given your Sons age.

Being a parent is not about testing the other parent niceguy and in my opinion thats bad advice to give and could very well lead to some arguments. So don't try the you have him for 3.5days scenario.

If possible just ask or email your partner to see when he would like to see Son (what nights is he prepared to have him) but be clear and include the following sentence: "I'm not refusing you contact however i feel it would be best if for now you have [childs name] for 1 night a week rising to 2 when they are nearing 20months/2years".

Remember the ball is in your court so at least be able to (in case you need it) show empathy with your ex it will show well on you in court.

Finally:
- Keep a log/diary and be sure to copy/save all letters, emails and texts complete with dates and times.
- In addition, any money you do receive in maintenance (if voluntary) sign for this, it technically covers him more than you however it shows again that you have shown good will...

WibblyBibble Fri 10-Jun-11 13:21:30

TBH yes I think you should go to CSA or court for maintenance if he won't agree voluntarily- £50 a week might be manageable as a single adult but once your son iw walking, that's 2 pairs of shoes- so if he needs new ones then you won't eat that week! (And they get through them every 6 weeks to start with). Either that or ex needs to agree to buy some of his things for him. It's not really fair to let your son lose out because his dad is a twit.

Also, my ex went off on one with the whole demands for 50-50 contact type stuff- until I 'let' him have dd overnight for a couple of days, and then he came back with bags under his eyes wailing about how he'd not slept and couldn't function etc etc. Obviously this is not something you could just do straight off as it would be scary for the baby, but you could build up to it and see if he's still as keen when he's having to cope being a full-time parent...

Can you also try and set up fixed times for contact? My ex sneakily tries to cut down by an hour or so by turning up late and coming back early but it's better to have a plan at least- maybe building up from a couple of hours to a half day or full day? Depends if you're still breastfeeding or not too, though.

WRT the fighting at pickup, can you arrange to do handovers in a public place? That can help.

gillybean2 Fri 10-Jun-11 19:36:24

He's trying to bully you and intimidate you. Threatening to take you to court if you make him pay? Make him pay? It's his responsibility as a parent to financially support his child. Any parent who tries to wangle out of that one is not a good parent imo.

It sounds like he's not going to agree voluntarily so you will have to go to the CSA if you want anything from him. I also feel that as a parent it is your responsibility to ensure that your ds is provided for. And that includes ensuring his father pays what he should towards his upkeep.

Bear in mind that if he is on a low income he will be entitled to claim benefits. You don't have to have children to claim WTC, just be on a low income. So don't be worrying you're going to be leaving him without. If he's not having your ds regularly and helping to support him in that way then he has plenty of time to work more hours and bring in extra income if he needs it...

He's going to be rubbing his hands with glee and thinking how clever he is to get out of it if you let it go. If you don't feel you need the full amount the CSA calculate then make a suggestion to him. I bet he refuses regardess. In which case you then go to the CSA...

NicolaElize Sat 11-Jun-11 12:26:46

Thankyou all for your responses! I feel much more sure in my Descision to go ahead & claim now. It's been weeks since he last saw his boy so I think we can safely assume he's got better things to do than pull his weight. Thankyou all!

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