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Advice about lone parenting

(6 Posts)
Lobo Tue 12-Feb-13 23:02:49


I separated with my stbxh in June last year and am currently going through the divorce process.

In respect of the tenancy question I have no experience of this so can not advise.

For advice on what benefit entitlement you may get I would recommend (sorry I don't know how to hyperlink) and the gingerbread website mentioned above is also good.

With my 6 year old dd I had a couple of discussions with her prior to the big chat. We just talked about her friends where their parents lived in separate houses so that it wouldn't seem like it was more normal as she had never really noticed before/made comments about it before. I basically played that they were very lucky as they get two of everything e.g. house, bedroom, sets of toys etc.

When the big talk came her response was" Great I get two of everything" and she jumped in the air and did an air punch! I explained that she would still get to see her daddy and that we both loved her but daddy was going to live somewhere else. At her age she didn't ask why she has just accepted it and I check on a regular basis with her to make sure if she is happy with things.

I think it will depend on what input your stbxoh has in their lives I did/do all the main day to day care etc so in that respect nothing has really changed. It will also depend on if you decide to tell them together. We had planned on telling her together however one night she just came out and asked me - he had moved out the week before we had told her he was decorating at a friends all week. All his stuff was still in the house and he had been coming back most days to see the children therefore I just told her by myself. I think depending on how amicable your break up is will depend on how you deal with telling your 5 year old.

In respect of arranging contact arrangements the gingerbread website has a good leaflet to look at. I said from the start that I did not think it would be good for the children to stay at his in the school week (1. he could not cope with it 2. it would be unsettling for our 2 yr ds and 6 yrs dd). My stbxh husband visits them after school two days and has them a day at the weekend. He has started to have them overnight at the weekend every other week now. This hopefully will increase to an overnight every weekend at some point or alternate weekends

You may want to split the contact 50/50 but bear in mind that whatever you agree on in respect of contact will effect your maintenance from him.

In respect of feeling sad the relationship is ending. I was very distressed about this however 8 months on I know it was the best decision made for the sake of me and the kids. He was dragging the whole family down with his negativity and aggression. At some point in the future I will probably thank him for walking out maybe not quite yet thou!

Good luck and I can positively assure you it will get easier. I can honestly say I look back now and think why the hell did I put up with that for so long.

ItsOkayItsJustMyBreath Tue 12-Feb-13 21:53:44

When I was separating from exoh I found this website invaluable. Its result was pretty much exactly what I receive now.

WRT the joint tenancy, I was lucky in that I threw ex out exoh agreed to leave and I contacted the letting agency and they agreed to change to a single tenancy immediately.

I think the first thing you need to do is a rough budget to find out if you can afford to stay where you are then look at the rest.

In a way, I found all the planning and budgeting a good thing as it helped to keep my mind from all the emotional stuff that was quite overwhelming at times.

Good luck and keep us updated.

littlebearandthecoconut Tue 12-Feb-13 16:03:38

Thank you for the replies. will reply properly this evening.

It just seems so hard. Im not sure whether he will leave. Ive asked before&he didnt leave

queenofthepirates Tue 12-Feb-13 13:41:59

Why don't you give Gingerbread a call? They are a charity to help lone parents in the UK. They have local friendship groups and offer money advice over the phone.

Best of luck xx

purpleroses Tue 12-Feb-13 12:49:23

I'll do my best:
- If your ex is reluctant to leave you'll find it hard to get him out of a joint tenancy, so may be best to leave. If you'd struggle to find or afford a place on your own, you can go to the council housing department. They can help you get social housing, or may also be able to find you another private rented place (eg help you with a rent deposit scheme). If your ex will agree to leave, then it's quite simple to convert the tenancy to a sole one - your ex just needs to confirm this with the landlord.
- If you're out of work you can claim income support. You won't be required to look for work until your youngest turns 5. If you work more than 16 hours, then you can claim tax credits instead. There's information on how to claim on CAB and DirectGov websites. You can also claim housing benefit (whether you work or not) to cover the cost of rent. If you google "LHAdirect" the website can tell you how much you can claim in your area. You'll be entitled to the amount for 3 bedroom property with 3 kids. In addition you can claim child support from your ex - which should be 25% of his net salary, or thereabouts for 3 kids, reduced a bit if he has them regularly overnight.

- To explain to your 5 year old, keep it simple, stick to the practicalities (so maybe wait until you know who is moving out) and answer questions as they come up. A very simple explanation of why will suffice but be prepared for many detailed questions about when they'll see their dad, where, etc.

- You can certainly sort out arrangements for co-parenting with your ex without going to court. There's some good books cover what to think about. With kids that young you should keep contact short but regular at first - and possibly give him some extra, longer time with the eldest one or two on their own, as that will help them all get bit more individual attention (and possibly you're still breastfeeding?) The details will depend on who is working, when they're free and how far apart you end up living. If you can live close it's a lot easier.

Good luck, and you can get there. My DCs have two parents who no longer argue and are much happier :-)

littlebearandthecoconut Tue 12-Feb-13 11:16:46

Hi Everyone

I'm looking for a bit of advice.

I have been in a relationship with STBXOH for 10 years. We have 3 children together all 5 and under. We are living in a privately rented house under a joint tenancy.

I need to get out of this relationship but don't know where to start or where to ask for help.

My main questions are

-Do me and the children have to leave the house because of it being a joint tenancy? or can we change the tenancy to a single tenancy?

-What financial support is out there for single parents? Which websites are best for information on this?

-What is the best way of explaining to my eldest about separating? The younger ones are 2 and 6 months old.

-How do you arrange contact with non-resident parent? I do not want to get into a mad battle over custody. I want us both to sort out arrangements together fairly and keep the kids best interests at the heart of everything.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I am sad to think of this relationship ending but the children deserve better and I would rather they had two good parents who are separated than two parents who are arguing and unhappy.

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