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(23 Posts)
Overtiredbackagain Mon 27-Oct-14 22:17:07

I am divorced from DC dad. He contributes very little financially, 100 a month. Checked CSA calculator and based on what he earns the DC are entitled to 40 a week per child.

I earn a fair salary but apart from that 100 a month I pay everything for DC, including expensive after school club which is 400 a month. DC reside with me, he has very occasional sleepovers - 5/6 in total so far this year.

Tonight he decides he wants to take them to Italy next year, for 2 weeks. I have said we need up discuss but if I did agree, it would only be for a week, as it is too long to be apart. If I were going on holiday, I wouldn't take them away from him for longer than a week.

I have asked him to discuss contributing financially more and he's hit the roof, he can't afford to pay more, even though he lives with his parents paying them 40 a week, goes out every weekend and has probably more disposable income than me, even though I earn more than him.

He reckons I will lose out if I go CSA route as I am not entitled - is this true?

Also as resident parent, can I restrict the time he takes them away?

Thanks in advance, am so fed up with the continual battle hmm

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Overtiredbackagain Mon 27-Oct-14 22:20:45

Forgot to add I have a partner who contributes to our household, considerably more than ex.

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LadySybilLikesCake Mon 27-Oct-14 22:24:35

He's bluffing, contact the CSA. As for contact, that's not related to maintenance. How often does he see them at the moment? 0-2 weeks is a tad much so it would be helpful if he built this up. I'm sorry to say this, but contact is for your DC's benefit, not the parents. It's irrelevant whether you'd miss them or not (sorry, I'm a LP too and I don't mean to come across harsh).

Overtiredbackagain Mon 27-Oct-14 22:39:35

No not at all. I wouldn't refuse him to take them away and I would fully expect him to make more of an effort with them than he does now, although I have reservations as to whether I would trust him taking them away (excessive drinker hmm)

I just don't want to rock the financial boat if I could end up worse off? I sound very selfish I know, but I can't even afford to treat kids to silly packets of footie stickers and things like that.

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Overtiredbackagain Mon 27-Oct-14 22:41:55

Forgot to add he sees them a couple of hours through the week (his choice) and one weekend day. Very rarely has overnight stays, literally 6 in total this year.

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LadySybilLikesCake Mon 27-Oct-14 22:48:46

Have you factored the cost that the CSA now charge into the figures? Your new partner's income doesn't count when they calculate this, nor does yours. I'd contact them.

If you don't trust him to stay sober, then say no. Going from a couple of hours or a day to one or 2 weeks is too much IMO. Tell him to increase this first and see how things go. My ex wanted ds to spend a week with him. He lives abroad, rarely contacts ds and used to see him for an hour or two every 18 months when he was still pissed from the night before. I told him to increase contact first and then we'd talk about a visit. He never did so ds has never spent the week with him.

Overtiredbackagain Tue 28-Oct-14 06:32:44

Thanks. He gives me 12.50 a week for each of my darling children. Trust me I would rather go hungry than ask him for anything but the money is for them, not me. He doesn't give me anything towards uniform, August cost me over £1k in holiday club fees and £300 in uniform. I can't even afford a pair if bloody shoes for work out of my own wages.

And yes, at weekend he is usually drunk from night before hmm

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Overtiredbackagain Tue 28-Oct-14 06:33:07

Bumping for morning crowd

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Overtiredbackagain Tue 28-Oct-14 08:52:01

He reckons he will fight me on this, that I am not entitled to any money at all. In his words "the going rate for two kids"!! That sums him up perfectly.

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Overtiredbackagain Tue 28-Oct-14 08:59:04

Why is it a constant battle? I am in this position because I allowed it rather than putting my foot down.

It is always me trying to encourage him to see the kids, to call when they don't see him. He does not fight for anything for the kids, if it's not convenient for him, they come last. A can of Fosters is more important to him hmm

They deserve so much better than that. I have allowed this behaviour, buried my head in the sand hoping he would step up as a dad, but he thinks it's all about me "trying to screw him" for money, rather than contributing to their lives angry

I would move heaven and earth for my beautiful children, I'm so disappointed their dad doesn't feel the same

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PenelopeGarciasCrazyHair Tue 28-Oct-14 09:21:36

It's easy enough for you to check 'the going rate' with the CSA calculator or cms/whatever it's called now, so no need to take his word for it.

If he's self employed he could fiddle his figures to make it look different, but generally if he's employed and paid the traditional way, it's simple to find out how much he has to pay. If he can afford a holiday to Italy he can afford to pay more than £100 a month for his own DCs.

PenelopeGarciasCrazyHair Tue 28-Oct-14 09:28:44

And bear in mind that these men conveniently forget that this money is for THEIR DCs, they convince themselves it's money for you to go out enjoying yourself and buying new handbags. They tell themselves that the government are making sure your DCs are taken care of so they don't need to.

I must admit I'm a bit judgy about how XH spends his money (I note when he's been away, bought a new car, got a new iPad etc) and I'm sure he does the same with me, despite the fact my DP pays for most of our holidays and buys me nice gifts.

XH and I will both plead poverty in fincancial discussions, both try and convince the other that our needs are greater (DCs are with me 6 out of 7 days so I reckon I win!) but I can see how non-resident parents can become so bitter about giving money when they think the other parent doesn't genuinely need it. The point is, there is a bare minimum he should be paying, and he isn't.

LadySybilLikesCake Tue 28-Oct-14 10:37:43

It wouldn't make any difference if you put your foot down, chuck. He's a bellend by the sound of it, a feckless father. One day your children will see it. Don't believe the claims of poverty. Feckless father's don't put their children first and will lie to reduce the maintenance they pay so they have more money to spend on themselves.

Overtiredbackagain Tue 28-Oct-14 12:22:42

The CSA (or CMS) say the kids are entitled to £40 per week each based on what he earns, which is a massive difference to the £12.50 each he currently gives me. He pays his parents £40 "bed and board", I pay £925 just in private rent, without food, bills or anything else. Then the £400 a month after-school club, their breakfast club, etc. I am still trying to pay off massive credit card that I had from him, which will take me a couple of years probably, I get a tiny amount in tax credits, but that's only because of the amount of childcare I pay out.

He feels justified in telling me to take him to court, although the CSA wouldn't involve the court, would they?

We have been separated for nearly two years now and divorced since the beginning of the year, will this ever get better? Its always me trying to keep it amicable for the sake of the kids, although they are already fully aware of his lack of responsibility, they are always commenting on his drinking. Just this morning my DS, who is 9, found a pound coin under his pillow, (we have a little tin in the kitchen I put all my loose change into for Christmas) - "Let's put this in our Christmas tin mum, it will help" sad He's 9 for goodness sake!

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CantBeBotheredThinking Tue 28-Oct-14 12:35:07

You don't mention whether he is employed or self employed, if he is self employed then yes going through the csa could hurt you financially as they are notorious for not being able to deal with the more difficult cases. It's also not unheard of for men to quit their jobs to prevent money being taken only you know the lengths he would go to to prevent you getting more money. My daughter's father is a pain in the neck, stalls as much as possible, doesn't notify if he changes job etc but doesn't have what it takes to go to more extreme avoidance methods thankfully so although I do get gaps like now I do know the arrears will eventually be paid.

With regards to Italy he doesn't have the right to take them out of the country at all without either your written consent or a court order giving him permission.

Overtiredbackagain Tue 28-Oct-14 12:46:18

Sorry, he is employed, although he hasn't been working in this job for long and has messed about all year, so not sure if they calculated on tax paid for the year, I could be worse off? He now earns £25k a year.

As for Italy, I know he would need my consent, but then it works both ways, although there is little chance of my affording to pay to take them abroad tbh, a week in Dorset will be tight but more realistic for me, and I know I wouldn't need his permission.

My DD is only 5, not sure she would be too happy being without me for a week.

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lacksdirection Fri 07-Nov-14 23:24:05

IME If he is PAYE, and he's refusing to give you more than 25 per week for the 2 dc, you'd be better off financially going down the child maintenance route.
There is the risk that he will be annoyed and only you know what he is likely to do if he feels aggrieved by your decision to go through the CSA.
Would he cancel the holiday but blame you? Would he embroil the dc by telling them he couldn't afford xyz because he has to pay you more?
I'm not sure why you think he needs your permission to take his DC on holiday for 2 weeks.
I was under the impression that 2 weeks was seen to be an acceptable period of time to take dc on holiday for, and they'll be with their father.
Sorry if I've missed the point, but if you had the finances and chose to take your dc away for 2 weeks but he put his foot down and said no, I don't think you'd be made to return earlier because it suits your xp unless there's a very good reason.

lacksdirection Fri 07-Nov-14 23:26:14

I'm just confused as to why you think you don't need his permission to take your dc's on holiday but he needs yours. confused
Is this because you would holiday in the UK and he wants to take them to Italy?

ChippingInAutumnLover Fri 07-Nov-14 23:32:58

No because they LIVE with her and never overnight with him. She is the resident parent and the only one actually acting like a parent hmm They are too small to go away with him when they never even do overnights with him and he's a drunk. No way. I wouldn't let him take them to Centre Parks let alone Italy.

He's lying to you. Go the CSA route, stop listening to his bullshit.

Don't do anything to encourage contact, let it all come from him, you are only delaying the inevitable for your children, not changing anything (re him not being a decent Dad to them).

bobs123 Fri 07-Nov-14 23:38:24

I contacted the CMS last year and registered my details with them on the off chance that stbx wouldn't pay maintenance. They were very informative on the phone and explained that new rules were coming in (and they have I think) whereby they could take the money from his pay packet. There are various charges depending on how voluntarily he pays it.

This is a set amount based on his gross income I believe, and whether he pays it directly to you or via the CMS (plus charges) you should put to him as his choice. There is no court involved. Just tell him you have done the research and you're just asking for the prescribed amount.

Having said that, be prepared for the fallout...

Btw, my solicitor gave my stbx 2 weeks to start paying before i went the CMS route and he did!

starlight1234 Fri 07-Nov-14 23:43:49

Yes take the money argument out the equation. If he is employed go to CMS.

lacksdirection - you do need permission from other parent to take your child abroad if the have PR either way but can travel freely in the uk.

I also think people are quilted into trying to maintain conttact. This isn't your responsibility. Children should be able to have contact with both parents but RP does not have to chase NRP for this. I am yet to see a thread where ,crap Dad encouraged by mum becomes great Dad...Maybe it happens but I am yet to hear it has.

lacksdirection Fri 07-Nov-14 23:50:41

Thanks starlight. I wasn't aware that there was a difference between UK travel and travel abroad, so apologies OP.

bobs123 Fri 07-Nov-14 23:57:42

Haha starlight I still remain an optimist, even though my stbx has no contact and DD1 has just changed her surname by deed poll!

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