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How much do I ask for?

(19 Posts)
Cerealchanger Wed 09-Dec-15 15:13:07

ExDP and I have a 4 year old and a six year old. He has them two nights a week and every other weekend. He pays 266 a month maintenance which is less than he should as he is self employed and hides his income. It actually takes him 2 hours to make that much money.

Anyway, he has gone away for nearly 3 weeks as part of his hobby (which is also his work.) this is completely voluntary and due to the nature of it, he will either be getting lots of money or free (expensive) gifts for this, I have no way of finding out as he won't tell me. I have happily had the kids for the 8 days he should have had them while he's been away. He said he would give me some extra cash to cover the extra costs but I have no idea what's reasonable.

Due to the nature of my job ( I do long shifts, nights etc) I can't work when I have the kids. So I have taken 8 shifts off work, 4 as annual leave, 4 as unpaid as I have no leave left.

So where do I start? By looking at how much it would have cost him to arrange 8 days round the clock childcare? By looking at how much money it has cost me in lost income, increased food bills etc? Or as a proportion of the maintenance?

For the record, it's like getting blood out of a stone....


Cerealchanger Wed 09-Dec-15 15:16:10

Oh yes, I earn 15 pounds an hour and work 10 hour shifts. I normally work part time

ImperialBlether Wed 09-Dec-15 15:22:42

He should at the very least cover your lost earnings.

Are you not tempted to dob him in to HMRC?

kickassangel Wed 09-Dec-15 15:33:39

It was his responsibility to care for his dc during that time, so bill him for childcare at a reasonable amount for those hours.

Put it in writing, looking like an invoice.

How much would childcare cost? You can bill him different rates for different hours (e.g. after school care, evening nanny, overnight nanny) .

Then include extra food, and any other items.

I'm sure he'll want to quibble about it, but that's what he'd have to pay if you said no, you're working, he needs to take care of his kids himself.

Adelecarberry87 Wed 09-Dec-15 16:30:16

Surely you can claim the nursery fees from working tax credits. I paid my own childcare for 2years full time without my ex contributing to the nursery fees and got standard maintence, whipst running a household, it can be done.

Cerealchanger Wed 09-Dec-15 16:31:13

Thanks for your replies.
Imperial, I'm very tempted but I'm the worst liar in the world do he'd immediately know it was me.

And I'm really tempted by the invoice but it would make him even grumpier than normal. I reckon he'll give me 50 quid and think he's being generous

carbcraver Wed 09-Dec-15 16:33:24

I'd definitely look at making what he pays you more correct/official. Like a pp said, dob him to HMRC. He has as much of a financial obligation to those kids as you. If not more as you're the primary carer.

Cerealchanger Wed 09-Dec-15 16:33:43

I don't pay nursery fees as they're both at school. Due to my shifts I can't use childcare. I either have to leave at 530am or work til midnight or work all night so a live in nanny would be the only option.

ImperialBlether Wed 09-Dec-15 16:34:17

Ask for two or three times what you think you'll get.

If you are having to take time off, you should be reimbursed. It's just not fair otherwise. That includes your own holiday time, too.

So 8 days x 10 hours x £15 per hour = £1200
Add a bit extra for food and heating that you wouldn't pay otherwise

Then double it for your trouble grin

Hawest1 Wed 09-Dec-15 16:38:09

I would Definately ask for at least half of the child care money if not all of it!
Is the maintenance arrangement threw csa (or another company) or just yourselves? If it's just between you I suggest getting a company involved. It's the best thing I ever did regarding my maintenance, now I get it at the same time every month & they sort out any arrears so I don't have to worry about trying to sort it, they also told me extra money could be gained for toward child care.

Hawest1 Wed 09-Dec-15 16:39:44

Just noticed about ur comment about kids being school age, but yeh if u need to have live in nanny or babysitters staying over I would definitely bill him for at least half of it!

ImperialBlether Wed 09-Dec-15 16:51:09

The cost is in lost wages, Hawest.

Cerealchanger Wed 09-Dec-15 17:18:59

So he's just emailed me to say that he would have given me 150 pounds but he had to buy some clothes for them (he didn't have to, he chose to) so he's transferred 85 pounds. Seriously.

ImperialBlether Wed 09-Dec-15 17:36:23

Tell him it's not enough. Tell him he owes you over £1,000 and if he wants to take the clothes back, he can. Remind him you know how much he earns (it would be nice if he confirmed this in writing!) and that you know he can afford it. Say you know how much he cares for the children and you know he won't want them to suffer because their mum has no money at Christmas due to not being able to work because of him.

LouisaGlasson Wed 09-Dec-15 18:48:50

Could he pay you back by having "his" 8 days as a swap instead of just dumping his responsibility on you? Sounds like you won't get far expecting him to reimburse you for the lost wages.

Cerealchanger Wed 09-Dec-15 20:07:44

I'm really happy to have the kids though, I don't want him to have them for an extra 8 days. I work really hard to minimise his influence on them as he's so damaging. And it wouldn't help my finances as my shift pattern is arranged a year in advance so I wouldn't be able to work on the extra 8 days anyway. He's a git and I'm so ashamed of his behaviour. But I'm going to give HMRC a call tomorrow

DiscoDiva70 Thu 10-Dec-15 19:03:55

Op did you make that call to HMRC?

Cerealchanger Fri 11-Dec-15 10:37:58


DiscoDiva70 Fri 11-Dec-15 19:44:50

Well I hope you had a nice long chat with them if you did smile

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