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how much maintenance for 2 kids, we have 3 kids at home?

(26 Posts)
theoptimist Thu 30-Jul-09 23:44:28

My partner and I have a new baby, and I have two children from my previous marriage. So we now have 3 children living with us.

We were paying £54 to my partner's ex for one son. Their oldest son lived with us for 6 months and we received £5 a week for him - as his mum's on benefits.

But now my partner's older son is also living with his mother and we're not sure what we should offer. My partner earns £390 a week (I'm on maternity pay - 463 a month, but returning to training- so very similar amount!). Any ideas? My partner's ex is ok about not using CSA, but I'm thinking it might be better to go via them. My partner's ex also wants us to pay £10 each per child for pocket money and phone top-ups. We also buy their main presents, clothes, shoes, trainers, computer games and learning software, and many other items they need (including a laptop), weve also ended up having to buy them 3 phones each in 10 months as they either lose them or break them (no more!).

Any suggestions would be appreciated as I want to be fair, and it is I who is managing our home finances. But I am also wondering whether it would be much easier to just let CSA deal with it. Any idea how much this might be?

TinyPawz Thu 30-Jul-09 23:53:14

if your partners ex is on benefits, I believe the CSA have to be involved.

Good luck.

CarGirl Thu 30-Jul-09 23:55:27

Doesn't the CSA say 15% of net pay for 1 and 20% for 2. I'd go with that but then not pay out pocket money and for stuff on top unless you want to and can afford to IYSWIM.

shelleylou Thu 30-Jul-09 23:57:41

erm. Ive got one of the CSA's booklets sop could give you the info it says from there in this situation. Or i could give you my email adress and post it to you

mrsjammi Fri 31-Jul-09 00:02:02

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mrsjammi Fri 31-Jul-09 00:04:12

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theoptimist Fri 31-Jul-09 00:16:16

No we can't afford any of what we pay in reality, and that's no exaggeration. 20% would mean we have a little under £300 a week and about £400 with my SMP for two adults, 3 kids and a big morgage. It might just about cover our outgoings. Still we want to sort out maintenance and pay what would be expected from us, that is a fair amount, but we have no idea what this might be. So yes I would love the information if you could help. Thanks.

theoptimist Fri 31-Jul-09 00:28:48

Yes I know what you mean about all those material things. Actually, that's all been going on long before I and my partner got together - years.

My ex and I are more like what you describe - sharing costs. But, my partner has always been made to feel guilty if he doesn't get his boys things.

Now is ex has moved over 300 miles away from us, we've been bending over backwards to ensure the boys can stay in contact (hence the mobile phones). But, actually despite all we've done (lots!) we're still pretty terrible in the eyes of cafcass. We can never do enough and they always quote how we should do more because their mother is on benefits. Still, we have no problem paying what is expected but don't know what it is if we're not going via CSA, work it all out.

Anyway, we have court case next week and need to propose how we can manage contact (having no money!) and I thought then it would be good to make the offer for maintainence.

mrsjammi Fri 31-Jul-09 00:35:18

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shelleylou Fri 31-Jul-09 00:36:35

csa wont take into account 25% of your dp's net weekly income as there are 3 or more children living with him.
so from the income you have gave as your dps
£97.50 wouldnt be taken into acount by the CSA. so caluclation would be based on £292 and the 20% for his ds's would be deducted from that. so would be 58.50p/w

shelleylou Fri 31-Jul-09 00:38:04

that doesnt include any shared care you have of your dss's im sure that would still apply.

mrsjammi Fri 31-Jul-09 00:41:04

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shelleylou Fri 31-Jul-09 00:43:37

i agree with you there mrsjammi. The ex is deffinitely taking advantage of the situation. Id love £50 a month for ds

shelleylou Fri 31-Jul-09 00:49:47

sorry just saw the bit in your post about the information. if you email your address to micu2k2 @ yahoo . co . uk without the gaps. Ill get it in the post for you tomorrow. Have booklets coming out of my ears lol

alypaly Fri 31-Jul-09 00:53:19

My ex used to give me £100 pounds a week and also he had to maintain them at the school where they were when we split up. But everything was amicable and he also gave me £200 pounds a month to pay my bills as it was roof over the childrens heads.
We have always kept it amicable for the childrens sake and our own sanity.
But recently things have been reversed and he was made redundant so i have been giving him money to help with his bills till he found a job. I t really does help the children if it is all amicable..we had a contract drawn up with a solicitor that said if i cohabit that payments would stop and i appreciate that... but equally i gave him k!) to set up in his own place although i didnt need to as he lived in a house with me that i had payed for way before i met him....and we are now still really good friends smile

beanieb Fri 31-Jul-09 00:54:42

Does the father of your two older children pay you any maintenence for them?

alypaly Fri 31-Jul-09 01:02:01

That was meant to read K10 punds to set up home on his own (not k!)

mrsjammi Fri 31-Jul-09 01:14:31

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alypaly Fri 31-Jul-09 01:21:18

it has left my children very level headed and the split has never affected their schooling or exam results,so I think between us we have achieved our goal.
We still spend xmas,birthdays and special occasions together as a family and to be honest i have always missed hearing the word Dad in the house for many years, so it is nice when he is here,but he was disloyal and i dont give second chances to anyone..
He has managed to secure a job just recently but on a third of what he was on b4 so i dont take anything from him at the moment.
I firmly believe 'what goes around comes around'

mrsjammi Fri 31-Jul-09 01:28:45

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theoptimist Fri 31-Jul-09 01:29:02

The relationship between my exH and I is amicable. No my ex H doesn't pay me maintenance, but then as he lives close by, one or both kids stay with him overnight 2 or 3 nights a week, although I have them day/afternoon. But he does feed them 30% of the week and buys half of their clothes, shoes, etc. and pays for some of their activities. But he lets us claim all the child benefit and hopefully we will get about £10 a week tax credits soon. So this works well for us. It seems fair to me anyway.

When I became pregnant last July, within weeks of my partner's ex (of 10 yrs or so ago!) finding out, she handed the keys to her house over to council, borrowed money to move and was gone. But it was her who never wanted my partner, so it sounds an odd thing to do. Anyway it's cost us a fortune with all the travelling and cafcass's demands for us to do everything to enhance contact with the boys, so we're running deep in the red right now. But we are constantly being made to feel guilty about the poor boys not having contact,and it being down to us, because his ex is on benefits. Phone calls cost us about £20 or more, because we have to call mobiles. But still the kids tell cafcass how they're upset that they don't get enough phone calls. It's all in the report to be presented next week. It's time to put our foot down I think. I've been blindly letting it all happen as this is how my partner's lived for 10+ years, but can't allow it or our family will go bust, as we almost have! Still, I don't want his boys to be treated unfairly, so I'm trying to work out what is fair and it's good to see what others do.

Thanks for doing the calculation. £58 is good and so I'm not panicing about back payments now. So I was thinking we could keep the pocket money and save it, so that when the boys come to stay with us, we can afford to treat them, as right now, we can't afford anything. So, this is reasonable?
My partner's ex will not be happy with that at all! She wanted £10 a week each. I said no, and gave £5 a week, plus £10 once a month, as I know they get £10 a month from their dad's mother too.
And the phones, it was because of the distance and their mother not allowing them to call using her mobile, and her refusing to get landline, etc. But the fact they lose and break them so often means I'm now suggesting using Royal Mail to keep in contact - so I will send them letters from us and stamped addressed envelopes, plus blank paper each month instead - much cheaper. I guess that's what people did before mobile phones.

Thanks for you replies. Very helpful.

alypaly Fri 31-Jul-09 01:32:05

nice to talk to someone who prefers not to row with ex's .Its all so futile...
anyway must away to bed as i am absolutely shattered after getting my eldest off to Oz today...

mrsjammi Fri 31-Jul-09 01:37:24

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alypaly Fri 31-Jul-09 01:41:57

unfortunately I have been a single mum for 15 years( just not met the right guy i suppose) so I have learnt how to cope the hard way, but its all character buliding. I do have a boyfriend but he is not a live in one( just my best pal)...once bitten twice shy ...and i dont want the washing nowsmile

i was going to bed but i have become strangely addicted to MN....zzzzzzzz...zzz

theoptimist Fri 31-Jul-09 01:44:46

Oh and to add, yes we have both extremes here. All's good with my exH and I - we just couldn't live together and be married any longer, but we parent our children as a team. He's also very pleasant to my partner and our new baby.

I was pleasant to my partner's ex too, but she didn't want to be. She was actually very rude and aggressive towards me. I guess she just didn't want my partner to have anyone,even though she didn't want him. Everyone's different I guess! Still, it's a situation we're in, can't do much about what the people are like, we just have to do the best we can with it. And now I feel better informed, because up to now we've ignorantly allowed ourselves to be thrown into debt by complying with every demand. Stupid I know. It's taken me a few months to wake up. But I have my excuse, I was pregnant and still have a baby brain!

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