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EXH and money

(21 Posts)
magpumpkin Fri 22-Jul-11 18:04:06

My EX and I have been split for over 10 years. He pays without fail £135 every month. See's my DS for 2 weeks in summer and 2 weeks over xmas and sometimes other holidays. Speaks as regularly as a 15 year old hormonal boy wanst to chat.
My problem is that my DS has been invited to go on holiday with his best mate and family for 10 days abroad. I will give the family his food money but all he needs to take is his spending money. Now I have told him I can' t really afford to give him much so he needs to ask his dad to give him some significant spending money.
He will ask but is frightened his dad will say "what about the £135 I already give to your mother." How can I help him answer this question? or do you think I should fork out more????

gillybean2 Fri 22-Jul-11 19:17:26

Explain it is a special trip and there will be exceptional expenses which the £31 a week doesn't cover.
Are you giving him any money towards his spending money? If so then he can say that you've already given the £x for food and £x towards spending money. If not then just mention the food part you've paid towards.
Otherwise your ds will have to get himself a summer job to help pay towards it.
Any of your neighbours be willing to pay him £5 to wash their car for example?

magpumpkin Fri 22-Jul-11 20:09:21

He already has a paper round which whilst he conitunes it I top it up every week with £10.00. but what I am really getting at is £135 a month goes no where in real life. The amount I spend every week on him far outways what his father contributes and to have that thrown back in my face really gets my goat. But I dont want for my DS to have to deal with his fathers reaction. I would love for him to have to deal with every day life for the amount he pays.
I am not bitter, but a 15 year old trying to keep up with his peers is difficult on the pocket.

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Fri 22-Jul-11 20:33:42

£135 a month isn't much - does he pay this through the CSA or voluntarily? Is it 15% of his salary? because notwithstanding this trip, your ex should be paying a minimum of 15% net salary anyway.

magpumpkin Fri 22-Jul-11 20:53:15

It is through the CSA. He works abroad most of the time so he could hide money anyway. I am not interested in getting any more from him, I just want to know how my DS can answer him when he says "what about the money i give your mum every month".

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Fri 22-Jul-11 20:57:46

£135 a month isn't anywhere close to half of what it costs to raise a child! There's nothing wrong with you asking him to contribute to something like this.

blackeyedsusan Fri 22-Jul-11 22:55:15

given that most teenagers are programmed to ask their parents for money, thaat is really sad.

niceguy2 Sat 23-Jul-11 09:45:04

I had a similar issue with my ex. She pays me a tiny amount every month much less than you OP and she sees them alternate weekends and holidays.

A couple of years back my DD wanted to go on a school trip abroad which was very expensive. I sent the ex a text suggesting that perhaps we could do this as a "joint event" and that I would sort out the cost of the trip and maybe she could look into a bit of spending money, say £50. Now bear in mind she'd have a year to save up for this.....She went nuts! Absolutely barmy nuts and went on & on about how skint she was and how I didn't understand. I managed to bite my tongue two weeks later when she asked if we could change weekends as she had a xmas do to go to and she just got her tickets last minute for £35. So....you can't save up £50 in a year but can find £35 in two weeks?!?! hmm

Anyway, my advice is that you should ask rather than him. If he says no (and he's entitled to say no) then you deal with it. Technically it is what maintenance is for, even if its not enough.

ladydeedy Sat 23-Jul-11 12:21:19

TheMagnificentBathykolpian, the £135 isnt meant to meet all the monthly costs of raising the child. The resident parent is also meant to contribute!

coccyx Sat 23-Jul-11 12:23:18

Can't you ask for him for half the spending money

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 23-Jul-11 12:28:26

I can see his point, if he contributes £135 and you match it plus you will be getting the CB/CTC then thats pretty close to £400 a month - I cant imagine it costs that much - however if you have not asked you dont know for sure he will say no. You could say you are paying the food element yourself but would he like to go halves on the spending money.

rainbowinthesky Sat 23-Jul-11 12:32:58

That's really sad, op. You'd think your ex would offer automatically.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Sat 23-Jul-11 12:33:00

Yes. I know that. That's why I said it isn't even close to half of what it costs to raise a child. I didn't say it isn't even all of it. I said it isn't even half.

Half being what each parent should contribute to the needs of a child.

What did you think I said?

ladydeedy Sun 24-Jul-11 07:53:59

so if he is not at home for 10 days, that money can be provided as pocket money.

allnewtaketwo Sun 24-Jul-11 20:29:58

"The amount I spend every week on him far outways what his father contributes"

Well of course! After all, you surely should at least be contributing 50% of the course, in addition to whatever child benefit and tax credits add up to (at least £135* 2 + £80 + tax credits = at least £350pm)

I don't know many parents spending any more than £350 pm on one child tbh

blackeyedsusan Sun 24-Jul-11 21:18:00

maybe op would be in a one bed flat, costing a lot less in mortgage/rent/ heating/light/council tax if she didn't have dc.

snowmama Sun 24-Jul-11 21:33:14

Do people get that maintenance is a contribution towards the child's food, accommodation, educational needs, clothing/shoes etc, etc. Those bills rack up quickly and I have no idea where they would come in at £350 or under.

£135 does not begin to cover half...and can't just be swapped over to a different bill. Always surprised how resistant people are to the idea of non resident patents fully supporting their own children.

snowmama Sun 24-Jul-11 21:36:04

Patents = parents

Smum99 Sun 24-Jul-11 23:08:29

I think niceguy is right by saying you should ask for a contribution. Perhaps an email if that helps and just an explanation as it might help.

I do think that if maintenance is via the CSA then it's likely that the dad isn't earning a lot of money so acknowledgement of that to him might help - i.e ask if it's possible.
The issue with child maintenance is that no one's situation is similar - a non resident father often has the similar fixed costs as the resident parent. i.e room for child, council tax, heating, running a car so in that case child maintenance is a contribution to the other direct costs for a child, like school uniform, school dinners, childcare, clothing, school trips. For these situations I would think that £135 from each parent, plus child benefit and other benefits if applicable should be sufficient.
A friend has just recently separated from her ex - he does earn a fortune and she will get 25% of his salary but in addition she has been given the house which is mortgage free so her situation is one of financial comfort.
In this case both parents are struggling financial (like lots of other people) so therefore it isn't a case of 'won't' and more likely 'can't'.

snowmama Mon 25-Jul-11 06:06:10

I would disagree with that interpretation, maintenance is for fixed direct and indirect costs, so should include consideration of accommodation, food, heating, clothes etc....not just direct childcare related costs.

Extras are to be negotiated, so yes in this case, the best option is to talk to the dad, and not to feel guilty about it.It is a reasonable request.

yoshiLunk Mon 25-Jul-11 08:25:59

If you want to avoid your son having to answer the 'what about the other money' question then don't have him ask. You ask for a contribution and be ready with the maths and other answers.

Stress that he's been given an great opportunity for a flight and accommodation paid holiday, - all we need to provide is food and spending money - if we can just go halves on that then it's not much to ask - how great for him that they've been kind enough to invite him

I don't think you'll get the best response if you say you're doing the food, he's got to do the spending money. Calculate the cost of each, lump it together and halve it. You know he'll want to know exactly what you're putting in and that it's no less that what you're asking him for - again, you ask and be ready with the figures.

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