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Pay him to feed our daughter? may be a bit long......sorry.

(26 Posts)
tippytap Thu 08-Jan-09 19:44:07


I've been lurking on Mumsnet for ages and can normally find the answer to my questions by just scanning the threads, but I'm now a bit, well, surprised by the latest request by my DD father and need the benefit of the advice of all you Mumsnetters. Please!

I split from my Ex over a year ago and he currently sees our DD (who will be 3 in May) twice a week - Weds and Suns (his choice) he now wants to see more of our daughter and it looks like we can compromise on every Weds and every other weekend he will have her Sat morn-Sun evening.

He also wants her for two as yet unspecified weeks in the year - one week to take her away on holiday and the other, just to spend time with her.

Now, as a condition of him not cutting down our DD maintenance he wants me to supply her clothes and toiletries as well as ALL her food (packed lunches etc) or to give him the money to buy her some food, or, if they go out and he buys her dinner....reimburse him later. when he takes her away on holiday for a week in August, he has told me that he's prepared to foot the bill for all of her expenses then!)

Now my Ex isn't poor by any means - He has a f/t job and a business that he doesn't declare to the revenue. When we split, we agreed that the maintenance he pays is based on his declared earnings only (I didn't want to put up a fight really). I would say, on average, if you include his undeclared money, that he brings home (wait for it....£3000/month.shock

I don't see much of this by the way!

So - firstly, he has told me that the CSA say he can knock my money down. Is this true?

secondly - Apart from the fact that he CAN afford to feed our daughter, I think he actually SHOULD feed her himself. Where do I stand, legally on this? Please help, because I really don't know the answer....

LoveMyGirls Thu 08-Jan-09 19:50:50

I wouldn't do it but im not a lone parent (used to be though) my ex never paid a penny and I'd rather never see him again than take his money but that's a whole other story.

Hope someone with more advice comes along soon for you.

What he is asking is what i would expect from a childminder, I wouldn't expect it from their family let alone their father, very shocking!

conniedescending Thu 08-Jan-09 19:56:53

i think csa can be reduced depending on number of overnight stays a year(check the website)

could a compromise be reached in that you will supply all clothes/ toiletries while she stays and he does the food. Think its outragous he expects you to reimburse him for her food and I would absolutely refuse to agree to this as a condition of her having the extra time. How much does a 3 year old really eat??????????

shelleylou Thu 08-Jan-09 19:57:27

If CSA do a calculation they will take into account how many overnight stays your DD has with her dad therefore reducing the maintenance payable to you. this explains it If hes takeing her on holiday he should pay for the expenses for that as for him taking her out for a meal IMO.

Surfermum Thu 08-Jan-09 20:00:25

He's correct in that the CSA will make an allowance for overnight stays and reduce maintenance accordingly.

Once she is with him though it's his responsibility to sort out food for her and paying for it. And given that he earns that much and isn't paying you 15% of it as per the CSA guidelines he shouldn't even be considering asking you to pay for it.

I have a 13 year old dsd who I have known since she was 4. We have always provided her clothes, coats, shoes, toiletries, toys that she has needed when she's been with us. It wouldn't even have occured to us to ask her mum to pay for anything.

Surfermum Thu 08-Jan-09 20:03:08

And the suggestion that you pay for meals out if he takes her is ludicrous.

She's his daughter, not some client he is entertaining on an expense account.

This is weird, I am feeling insensed on your behalf angry grin.

aidansyummymummy Thu 08-Jan-09 20:06:33

there is a CSA calculator on the website...have a look

tippytap Thu 08-Jan-09 20:07:28

Money is his God. He is obsessed with it. When we first agreed maintenance for our daughter he was sick at the thought of paying it because "she can't possible cost that much to feed" and of course, I get child benefit to cover clothes etc....

Appealing to his better nature in that he is much better off than me (I work p/t to spend time with my DD and have a mortgage to feed) won't work.

As far as he is concerned, he is being fair in not reducing maintenance - the fact that I will prob end up deducting £20/month to give him for our DD food, won't count.


OptimistS Thu 08-Jan-09 20:10:58

Surfermum has it right. If he wants to take the CSA route, let him. Personally, I think if he does that, he deserves to find himself in the situation where you let slip about his undeclared earnings. This is his daughter!!!! It's disrespectful both to you and your daughter, regardless of the legal situation.

Maintenance does not reflect the true cost of raising a child, which involves things far more important than money, such as unconditional love, an immense input of time and effort, and a patience way beyond anything we'd extend to any other members of the human race. His demand is also a slap in your daughter's face, IMO, because it suggests he doesn't consider her worth spending his own money on, i.e. that he sees her as an obligation to fulfil rather than someone he treasures that much he is happy to splurge a bit extra on (which he can easily afford). Try putting that to him in those terms. Hopefully you can shame him into doing the right thing.

My ex doesn't pay a penny of maintenance and has never had them overnight since we split (nearly 2 years ago). He's about as tight as they come when it comes to money, but I don't think even he would have the gall to ask me to reimburse him if he took the DC out for a meal. It's basically you taking them out for a meal if your X asks you to do that!

Having had a good rant on your behalf, I know it's easy to get wound up and offer advice online. Far more difficult when you have to deal with an X face to face and consider how any major falling out over this may affect your daughter. It's never worth disagreeing over money to the point where contact stops because it's impossible for you two to get along.

Hope you get it sorted. smile

CatchaStar Thu 08-Jan-09 20:16:33

I would, in my sweetest voice, remind him of all that spare cash he should have lying around, what with all that undeclared money of his and then see if he still wants you to foot the food bill. smile

tippytap Thu 08-Jan-09 20:18:20

Catchastar - I've raised his undeclared money before and no go. He says that if I ever dropped him in it, he'd have to pay a huge tax bill, so I'd end up with no money at all. sad

twentypence Thu 08-Jan-09 20:21:40

Going out for a meal is a treat - if he doesn't want to pay for that then he doesn't take her out. End of.

He doesn't have a leg to stand on. If he complains to the CSA he will end up worse off, if he continues to piss you off he may find that the Inland Revenue suddenly knows about his extra earnings...

If it's been a year since you split then surely your money should go up a little bit anyway? So as a compromise keep it the same, but he feeds her extra meals.

Given how fast they grow at this age it is sensible for you to send her with her own clothes, but it is not acceptable for them to all come back needing washing and ironing. Has he thought about this?

tippytap Thu 08-Jan-09 20:24:38

My money hasn't gone up since we split - abou 18 months. Basically, he thinks he's paying me too much, even based on his declared income.

And yes, twentypence, I will have to wash/iron clothes as it's included in his maintenance.....

FAQtothefuture Thu 08-Jan-09 20:30:17

"but it is not acceptable for them to all come back needing washing and ironing."

now you see I've never figured that one out.

my exH has the DS's from 5pm Friday-5pm Sunday once a fornight. I sent their clothes with them (but hell no I don't pay for their food!!!!) and he sends the dirty clothes back with them.

. If it was the other way round no WAY would I be able to get their washing done from the weekend stuff, for starters I'd probably struggle to find enough clothes to make even half a load up!.

So exH sends dirty clothes home in a plastic bag, and any clean ones that didn't get used fold in their bag still.

TBH I'm much rather he was spending his time with them being with them rather than faffing over a few small items of washing!

But back to the OP, if he contacts the CSA to knoc the money down (because of the extra nights) which I doubt they'd do anyhow, as by my calculations he'd still be in the 52-103 nights a year slot.

And yes she should be feeding her himself, god even more exH can manage to cook up a meal for them, and even treat them to the odd KFC/McDonald's etc - and he earns no-where near as much as your ex does. And neither as he even hinted that he thinks I should give him money for their food.

OptimistS Thu 08-Jan-09 20:31:02

"I've raised his undeclared money before and no go. He says that if I ever dropped him in it, he'd have to pay a huge tax bill, so I'd end up with no money at all"

Don't think it works like that. CSA payments are not voluntary unless the resident parent decides to opt out. Just because he has other finanical obligations won't mean he isn't liable to pay maintenance (unless he's declared bankrupt or goes to prison). Worth checking with someone who knows the legal side on this?

Personally, I'd avoid the antagonistic/threatening route as it often ends up counterproductive for all concerned. I'd try guilting him into doing the right thing first.

BTW, with all the troll hysteria going on here at the moment, you may want to consider a name-change. wink

tippytap Thu 08-Jan-09 20:35:58

Optimsts - sorry, I don't get the trolling thingy?

CatchaStar Thu 08-Jan-09 20:36:19

Oh tippytap how awful, I'm sorry.

The CSA may reduce your money based on overnight stays, but as far as I'm aware (correct me if I'm wrong) whilst your child is in his care he should provide for things financially.

Since he's being such an arse about food money, does that mean he will be returning all of her clothes washed and ironed the way they were when you sent her to him, all toiletries used will be replaced to the last drop etc etc? After all, since she's on his time and money.........! Shocking.

He's being ridiculous, you know it and we know it. Even he must know he's being unreasonable. He's trying it on, he's at it. I'd personally tell him to go piss up a rope. smile

I'm very sorry he's being such a numpty. Seriously though, tell him to feck off.

I'm sat here shaking my head.

Surfermum Thu 08-Jan-09 20:38:17

Have you worked out what he would pay if you went through the CSA? If you have a look on their website there's a calculator to give you an idea. How does it compare to what he is paying you at the moment?

OptimistS Thu 08-Jan-09 21:03:24

Tippytap, I'm not for one minute implying you're an internet troll, but troll/billgoatsgruff/tiptap over my bridge, and all that... wink A lot of people, even longterm regulars, have been accused of being a troll lately...

FWIW, I'm the sort of person who can usually see all sides to an argument (i.e. I sit on the fence a lot grin), and while I make a guess where your ex is coming from, it doesn't alter the fact that he's being an arse.

tippytap Thu 08-Jan-09 21:07:16

Optimists - Ooops! It's a nickname I've had for years.

And yes, he is being an arse.

But I'm used to that!

Debra1981 Thu 08-Jan-09 21:22:02

Let him go through the CSA. Yes they may reduce the maintenance payments depending on how often he has your dd overnight, but the money he saves by this reduction is meant to go towards him feeding her etc. when he has her. Don't give him a penny- you've enough outgoings of your own looking after her yourself.

cantpickyourfamily Thu 08-Jan-09 21:38:29

I have no idea about the legal side of things but he sounds like an arse. If he is the one wanting to spend more time with dd and you are agreeing then he shouldn't moan about feeding and clothing her, he should be glad to spend time with her...

He must just be doing this to get at you as cannot be that tight that he does not want to feed his own dd, and ask that you send her with packed lunches...

tippytap Thu 08-Jan-09 21:41:19

Cantpickyourfamily - he really is that tight. He thinks that he pays enough to take care of our dd and doesn't see why he should, in his own words, pay twice.

Tinkerbel6 Fri 09-Jan-09 12:31:47

tippytap I would tell him to stop being so childish, does he eat out with friends and get a calculator out and count up what each person has eaten ??, out of interest what does he pay you ?

MadameCastafiore Fri 09-Jan-09 12:38:54

I would do it by the book - I would agree the contact - if he is a good dad in other respects it is in your child's interest and then I would tell him that it is his responsibility to pay for food, clothing and toilettries and treats whilst she is in his care.

You are fecked otherwise as he could take her to the bloody Ivy every night.

The best way to do things is to sort af agree with them on one hand but to get what you want with the other so by saying we will speak to the CSA and you can have contact he is less likely to be so pathetic about the other stuff.

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