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to enforce child maintenance arrears or not

(7 Posts)
purpleangel17 Sat 11-Mar-17 17:45:36

This is my first post so I'm not sure if I've posted in the right place but here goes.

I've been a single parent to 2 girls aged 7 and 9 for the past 2 and a half years now. My ex and I are separated but not yet divorced, he has no interest in divorcing and I haven't been able to find the money yet. We did sell the family home and split the proceeds, I chose to spend my share to fund the remainder of the children's private education via a prepayment plan and am now renting, he is also renting but has savings for a deposit to biy.

My ex has Aspergers syndrome and can be controlling, the 2 are not necessarily related but the Aspergers makes the controlling more entrenched. For the most part now we are apart he can't control me so doesn't try but financially there is still an element of it.

After a messy start to the separation we have settled into a pattern of him seeing the children regularly for one overnight stay a fortnight. Neither the girls want to stay longer nor he wants to have them longer. He finds being around the children quite stressful, I think.

From day 1 he has not paid full maintenance. The gap between what he has paid me and what he should pay me has grown. I have had a case open with the CMS on Direct Pay since 2014. From 2014-2015 he was meant to pay £367 and paid £300, this was not too bad. Since 2015 he has paid only £150 and the amount per month he is meant o pay has risen to £402. He has just started a new job and hasn't notified them but come the Annual Review I think it will rise again as he now earns more. He still says he can't afford more than £150 and threatens to quit his job and never see the kids again if I enforce.

I am not saying he is well off but I am worse off. I have a good job and also trying to earn extra from a part time business. But I am struggling to pay rent and bills and buy food. I am forever juggling. I rent from my parents so while I won't be homeless, every time I am late in rent or underpay it causes massive bad feeling. I am £250 behind at the moment but I also owe £90 on council tax, £120 on electric and £70 on water plus have a CCJ to pay of unpaid legal fees from the last time I tried to divorce him for £1,000. He owes me nearly £5k in unpaid maintenance, this could wipe my debts if I got hold of it but he will turn nasty if I try, the girls won't see him and I don't know if I would even get anything.

Right now, the girls are with him and I have 63p in my account till next Wednesday. I have pasta, rice, bread, squash, milk in, I can eat very basically but I know he has a full fridge.

When I dropped the girls off this morning my youngest was in tears begging me not to go. I feel awful making her cry. She's just video called me in tears asking me to pick her up. He hasn't hurt them or done anything mean to them, he is just a grumpy person and they don't like going there.

Not only that but it gets more complicated as he 'loaned' me rent money of £1,600 last year but is now saying he's with-holding maintenance till it's paid back. So I've had nothing the past 3 months.

What would you do?

Auspiciouspanda Sat 11-Mar-17 17:50:05

Enforce it, it's his decision to quit his job you won't be making him do anything.

MadeForThis Sat 11-Mar-17 17:54:48

Enforce it.

It doesn't sound like the girls will miss him much if he decides to abandon them.

Ihatethedailymail1 Sat 11-Mar-17 17:55:31

I'd take the children out of private school. You obviously can't afford it.

purpleangel17 Sat 11-Mar-17 18:05:32

The private school fees are prepaid, it doesn't cost me anything on a month to month basis, if I had kept it in savings I would only have depleted it by now by dipping into it when he underpaid.

redannie118 Sat 11-Mar-17 18:15:26

Hi op I work for CMS. He can't with hold payment because you owe him money, it doesn't work like that we would never take any loans into account and neither should you. If he has been assessed to pay 400 per month he must be on a very high salary and it would be madness for him to quit a well paid job as he would be much worse off (and he knows this) I suggest you get in touch with CMS and make them aware, tell them you want to go onto collect and pay as he is continuing to default every month. Yes, this will cost you a 4 percent collection fee, but it will cost him a 20 percent fee which I guarantee he will not want to pay. This sound like it's all about control- refuse to discuss it and just hand them CMS phone number and tell him to talk to them .good luck

workingmumsarebad Wed 15-Mar-17 22:20:39

You do not owe him anything - he owes you

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