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Sad on Father's Day

(20 Posts)
sad Tue 11-Jun-02 11:56:30

My ex and I were not married but after 3 years we planned our baby together because of medical advice re me. Once I got pregnant he said he could not cope and needed time to think. He then got a new girlfriend and did not want to be on the birth certificate, though he did in the end. That is the only time he has visited his child. He never keeps in touch with us and does not send any money. I did not go to the CSA because I did not want to provoke him and the main thing I wanted was for him to have any kind of role as father. I even told him he could just come 3 times a year and see him, and he did not have to see me. No one in his family contacts us either, which hurts as I knew them well and often visited there. After 3 years, I had to get in touch for something else, and he did not even ask how his son was. This makes me really angry. Do you think that I should put in a CSA claim and invest it for the child's future? His father has plenty of money.

sobernow Tue 11-Jun-02 12:07:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

leander Tue 11-Jun-02 12:10:53

Sad i really feel for you but you definately should contact the CSA he should at least contribute financially.Dont forget he's the one who is losing out on your DS ,you love him and your family love him and that is all that matters. Thisman doesn't seem to have any feelings so hit him where it hurts his wallet.keep smiling
love leander xx

tigermoth Tue 11-Jun-02 12:27:13

Sad, it sounds like you've done everything you can to build a relationship between father and son. Such a pity his family have also kept you at a distance. I can imagine how very hurtful that is. Tons of sympathy.

Your son's father hasn't taken the cue. He must have realised that you could resort to the CSA at any time, and have held back to give him a chance to sort out the responsibilities himself. It seems to me that it's high time you and your son received what's legally yours from the person who is legally obliged to provide it. I'd put in a CSA claim right now.

I don't know much about the CSA system, but hopefully someone else on mumsnet will be able to give you more detailed advice, if that's what you want.

Best of luck, and I hope you organise an extra special treat for yourself and your son this father's day.

threeangels Tue 11-Jun-02 12:38:52

I would say to go for the child suuport. You might eventually regret it as you child starts getting a little older. It really is your childs right to have support for him no matter what the situation is. The money is his and you are the one to see where it is needed to help provide the things he needs or wants. Dont feel like your not doing the right thing because we tend too sometimes. When I seperated from my dh 12 yrs ago( been together for the last 11 yrs now) my first step was to set up the child support agreement because this was for my child and he deserved it because of his fathers absence. He knew it was his job as a father to help with him in the financial area as well as being there for him. Just keep thinking of the long term situation. You still have 15 years of supporting him on your own. Unless you have alot of money I would go for it. Even if you did he should still support since he left and is your childs father. Good luck with whatever you decide. I know its tuff.

aloha Tue 11-Jun-02 13:24:42

Hi Sad, I think it's pretty impossible to make your situation any worse by getting the CSA involved. If your ex doesn't see his son now I think it is unlikely he will suddenly get interested in the near future. The CSA will take on claims at any point during your son's childhood (so not retrospective as such). They are very slow but will eventually organise a claim and have very strong powers to enforce it. They can even take the money direct from a man's pay packet if he won't pay any other way. Frankly, unless you are very well off, I think your son deserves support from his father. If, however, you are very wealthy and genuinely don't need any money and think you will be easily be able to finance your son through his childhood and pay his university fees etc, then it's probably not worth the hassle. Otherwise, I'd say definitely go for it. Before you do though, would it be worth writing to your son's father to explain that you would like some financial contribution and that you would be happy to do it informally but will go the CSA if necessary. At least that way the ball is in his court. If you know what your ex earns and roughly what he pays out for housing, you can call the CSA they will give an immediate estimate over the phone of what he would pay which will give you some idea of what to ask him for. Also, if you really want his family to be part of your son's life, have you considered asking his parents (your son's grandparents) if they would like to visit/see your son/have him visit them? You could send some pix with your letter. They may want to but are afraid of rejection or annoying their son or something. OR they might just not be very nice people.
I'm sorry about your situation. It's a shame your ex doesn't realise what he's missing out on.

threeangels Tue 11-Jun-02 13:29:00

I forgot to mention but if you do decide to go ahead and collect I would have it directly taken out of his paycheck. He does not seem like he would be responsible enough to take it out himself. Especially since he cant be responsible for his little boy emotionally. Dont feel like you are being mean because plenty of moms and probally even dads are doing it. If you want to give him a chance and see if he will pay you then go ahead but the first one he misses I would have it deducted. Sorry to go on and on I just feel for you.

SofiaAmes Tue 11-Jun-02 22:49:37

sad, you should absolutely get child support from the child's father. I am a big believer in a father supporting his child, especially if it was a planned pregnancy. If you don't need it now or feel uncomfortable about spending it, put it in the bank for your child's future. I agree with aloha that it is probably worth writing to the father first to see if he wishes to set up a voluntary agreement first. It may leave the door open for him to voluntarily choose to have contact with his son. If you know what he earns you can call the CSA and they will give you a pretty good idea of what he would be required to pay.
When I met my husband he had recently split up from the mother of his two younger children. I called the CSA to find out how much he should be paying towards the support of his children and they were very helpful. He supported his 3 children voluntarily for 3 years based on this amount until one of the mothers decided she wanted to go through the CSA, so now 2 of the children are through the CSA and one is still supported voluntarily. The CSA was very easy to deal with and very fair in my opinion, though I have heard horror stories (mostly from the higher earning parent).
It always saddens me to hear stories like yours as I think it is so important for a child to have both their parents in their lives in some way. Good luck.

LiamsMum Tue 11-Jun-02 22:53:02

Absolutely Sad - you are definitely entitled to it. Don't feel bad about it, he's done nothing to help you in your situation even though he's the father. He has a responsibility to help and the extra income will help with your son.... go ahead and do it.

sad Wed 12-Jun-02 09:26:17

I got all upset again with your messages! I still feel so bitter about it. I even spoke to a priest about a year ago about forgiveness and I just could not do it yet. I still hate him! My ds is the most precious thing in the world to me, so when he was tiny I used to get scared that his father would come and say I was a single mother and he had a girlfriend and try and take ds away and not look after him properly. Reading your messages, I realised how stupid that is, as he has never shown any interest in ds. My friend says he would notget a court order like that because I have been a good mother and he has not shown any commitment. I think all he can do is give false earnings and make nasty remarks. Also, I felt like if that was his attitude towards ds, I'd rather beg on the street corner than take his money. I want ds to be proud not feel like a reject. But now I have got an accountant, and I think that I will get him to do it all, provided that his fees are not more than what ds would get. Can anyone tell me about how to get the information and forms, so that I can keep down his fees? Its' not a question of spending the money on food and clothes, but more like if ds ever wants music lessons or school trips or a degree I could say, you don't need to get a job, focus on getting good grades, I've got this money for you.

bundle Wed 12-Jun-02 10:32:44

Sad, the CSA website ( had this phone number on it as their national helpline 08457 133 133
Do ring them, the process looks a bit complicated and I'm sure they're used to dealing with queries like yours. you & your child deserve all the support you can get. good luck

Tinker Wed 12-Jun-02 21:53:51

sad - I think sobenow's suggested questions to yourself are very good.

Do you think a CSA claim is likely to jeopardise, in any way, your child's potential future relationship with his father? I know that this is pretty impossible to answer really, but if you can manage without the money, I would seriously think about whether it is worth the hassle.

Yes, men SHOULD support their kids but at the expense of a relationship with the child?

As I understand it, the CSA was set-up to reduce benefit payments to carers rather than, necessarily support the child. If you are in receipt of benefit, you may not gain a lot - the CSA, of course, will advise you.

I had to consider this route myself and wrote to my daughter's father, explaining my financial hardship (didn't threaten the CSA, but had got so desparate I probably would have taken that route). He contacted and I receive a paltry financial contribution from him BUT he does have some kind of contact with his daughter and there are no (not many!) hard feelings.

I hope something works out for you.

aloha Wed 12-Jun-02 22:37:50

Hi. I have experience of the CSA - my dh was threatened with them by his ex, only to find he was already paying more than they would ask for, so we asked her to go right ahead! The process isn't hard or complicated. The forms are pretty simple and in plain English and your ex will never see what you have written and you will not have any direct contact - it is all done via the CSA so you honestly don't need an accountant or lawyer to do it for you. Call them and ask for the forms and have a look at them and see how you feel. Hate to think of you paying out for something so easy and relatively straightforward. It is a very un-personal sort of thing - just asks for your income and expenses really, which he will never see (totally confidential). Don't do this out of bitterness (though you are totally justified in being angry with him) but for your ds, out of love. He deserves some support from his father - the CSA doesn't demand outrageous sums - and spend the money on something great for your ds so at least something good comes out of this sad situation. Good luck.

aloha Wed 12-Jun-02 22:39:19

One more thing - paying via the CSA doesn't give a man any extra rights over a child, so don't worry about that. Also, you will NEVER lose custody of your child to your ex. You sound like a lovely woman and a wonderful mother.

SofiaAmes Wed 12-Jun-02 23:53:48

aloha, i think we are officially twins or at least married to the same husband with the same stupid ex. My husband's ex did the same thing with the csa so we said go ahead and she now gets nothing as opposed to the generous (given his low income) payment she did get voluntarily from my dh.
sad, don't worry, your child will not be taken away from you. As aloha said, you sound like a loving caring mother.
My dh's ex has married a physically abusive heroin addict, left him for a crack head and then left him for a married crackhead with a son who beats up her children. She often keeps the kids off school, chain smokes around her asthmatic daughters and leaves her kids routinely with 14 year old babysitters. She physically attacked me when I was 7 months pregnant (i had to call the police) and feeds her kids nothing but coke, crisps and sweets. And we were told that it wasn't worth my husband fighting for custody of his children as a court would never award it to him as he works during the day and his ex is home (on benefits) all day and would therefore be considered a better parent. And unless she actually physically harms the children herself she is not considered a bad parent.
Anyway, get the forms from the csa. You don't need an accountant to fill them out. The csa does everything for you. Good luck.

leander Thu 13-Jun-02 00:08:07

Oh my god i feel so sorry for your poor poor step children.It's so wrong that that stupid evil women should be allowed to keep her children shes is as good as abusing them herself by letting her boyfriends hurt them,the law should be changed to allow you and your Dh care for them.

sad Thu 13-Jun-02 10:51:22

I have decided now that it is in ds's best interests to get what I can for him. Tinker, Sobernow, there is absolutely nothing I can do to make his father less likely to have a relationship with him and I have reached the limit of what I can do to encourage him to see ds. I am not going to go and picket outside his house with ds! In fact, paying money will remind him for the next 15 yrs of ds's existence, which is what he and his entire family want to repress and forget about. Even if he never gives ds any love, at least he can give ds some money, even if like Tinker it is paltry, it will add up over 15 yrs with interest. Did you see the Royal Tenebaums? The father only realises what he has missed out when he is over 60. The grown up kids ask amazed, "Why didn't you care about us/" and he cant answer. I think ds's father is in that camp, only worse. If he refuses to pay and does delaying tactics for yrs, at least I will be able to tell ds that I did what I could to get him what he was entitled to.

aloha Thu 13-Jun-02 11:39:45

Hi SofiaAmes
- But didn't it give you a perverse sense of satisfaction to be 'threatened' with something that would do her no good at all? We just though, right, if that's the way you want it, go ahead. I hope things change for you as the children get older and have more say in where they want to live - by the time they are over 12 they can choose, I think. BTW, my dh's ex is married to an extremely wealthy man and they live in a massive £2million house, yet she still tried to get us out of our little terrace because she wanted that too... hey ho. I don't think Sad mum sounds anything like our exes, though. She sounds lovely!

threeangels Thu 13-Jun-02 16:17:23

Sad, if your ds's father doesnt care about seeing your child now and you dont even collect why bother worrying about it. Just go and collect what is rightfully your childs. If he truely loves your ds then hell eventually visit and if he doesnt then why would you want him around. I dont know if your married now but if not one day youll find someone special who will love your child like his own. Sometimes they can love more then the father by blood. Collect the support and when your ex has an awakening call one day hell realize what hes missing out on and hell come around. Hopefully.

sobernow Thu 13-Jun-02 18:07:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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