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Schooling for DS vs OW's DS - Am I unreasonable to be pissed off? Experience of 2 tier system from children of divorce....

(17 Posts)
downunderdolly Mon 25-Mar-13 07:41:25

As some of you may know (from previous posts) ex-DH and I split when DS was 2.5 with OW involved. I am also in non-UK country and have to stay here due to Hague Convention.

Acrimonious and twattish behaviour but 2.5 years on DS and I are getting sorted.

My AIBU in a relationship sense is in regard to education. I don't want to get into the public vs private debate in this but please note that over here a lot of people go to a pay for school and outside of the equivalent to the major public schools in the UK, most fee paying schools are generally less than half the price of those in the UK. Hence many more 'normal' income families send their children there - most often aged 10+ - as local primary schools often much better than local secondary.

Before split it was planned DS would go to local fee paying primary and then to fee paying secondary - although we thought about sending ot local primary for first few years.

Post split of course this went out of the window and not included in financial agreement. However, circumstances meant that it was possible for me to send DS to the local fee paying school - which we were on track to do - with me amending admin papers to make me soley responsible (vs ex DH). At last minute however ex-DH exploited legal error (separate legal matter being persued no doubt thread soon as that hits the fan) to pay @500 UK pounds less a month in child support and refused to pay for half of uniform. Net net, I decided that it would stretch me too far so DS has gone to local public school which is actually pretty good and for next few years I am OK with.

I suggested to DS that we start saving a small amount each month into school account in son's name (that neither of us could gain individual access to) - cue a no + miraculously he now things local public schools are fine for him (despite saying over my dead body when we were together - our local school is quite shit and at the beach which is great if you are a 15 year old boy who likes smoking dope and surfing but less good academically).

Anyway. All, well we will figure it out....but today I have discovered that OW's son (who is a couple of years old than my DS) who recently moved from their city to our city to live is at a fee paying school which DS was going to go to at 11 (but they start at 5 - we were chosing their feeder school as is more local to us for the first few years). I appreciate that she may very well be paying for it herself/her partner is and that THAT is none of my business. What I do feel - whilst not my business per se - but my right to be fucked right off - is that ex-DH is living in McMansion with her, swanning off on holiday, HAD the option of ex-wife stretching herself to pay soley for school until he fucked us over at last minute and is not 'anti' private school. I should say that he earns lots and would not be huge financial burden in future if we save now and DS goes later on. Part of me also suspects that he is partly funding school as a 'sweetner' to move here but again, not my business.

Is this just another 'thing' that is just how it goes. I have accepted our vastly different housing/material things difference now as I know that is what happends post divorce and they are just 'things'. But an education is not in my mind the same and I can't believe that if I were living with someone and their child went to school that was wonderful and advantageous I woud not want to prioritise sending my own to similar if I had the resources.

Anyhoo. Am I unreasonable. Is this just 'life'. And was anyone bought up similarly with step siblings and if so did you mind/did it course resentment. Thanks for the perspective.

downunderdolly Mon 25-Mar-13 07:43:53

should read is 'now' anti private school....

LongingForLamu Mon 25-Mar-13 07:48:41

He is a cunt. He is doing a great job of dividing and conquering, isn't he?

Is there ANY way that you could see a truce with OW. Communicating with her in the long run may have advantages, especially as she's seen as such a honest and homely girl.

Your son is being fucked over by his dad. It's so common and somehow, you're going to have to find the reserves to get over it.

You never know, in 6 years time, things may have changed and you will be able to send him by yourself.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 25-Mar-13 07:52:15

The trouble is that, if you spend the rest of your life constantly looking over your shoulder at your ex's lifestyle and feeling bitter because he has X or his new partner's child has Y, then you will always be miserable for ever and a day. You are now two independent households and, whilst it would be marvellous to have perfect parity of arrangements, that's simply not how it goes in the real world, especially if one parent is point-scoring. If the financial deal you agreed at the time of the divorce was inadequate, that is unfortunate. If you've raised the whole school-fee thing and got nowhere, at least you've raised it. Your child might ultimately grow up to believe he got the shitty end of the stick and/or has a miser for a Dad who shows favouritism to step-siblings but that's really your ex's problem, not yours.

Do the best for your son.... you personally as his primary carer. Make the best decisions you can on an independent basis and always reassure your DS that you have his best interests at heart. Feeling aggrieved will get you nowhere.

newbiefrugalgal Mon 25-Mar-13 07:55:35

The sad part in all of this Dolly is when your son realises the differences and why these differences are because of his dad!

Sorry I know I'm not much help.

Why has he been allowed to pay 500 less?
Did you have UK assets to share or was it all in oz by then? I thought Aus had a fairer split based on circumstances not specific percentages?

Altinkum Mon 25-Mar-13 07:56:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

downunderdolly Mon 25-Mar-13 07:59:03

newbie - it was a legal error so essentially will either go to court after ex-DH or 'sue' my solicitor. That is a whole 'nother kettle of fish but to Cognito's point, we negotiated not a 'generous' settlement but an 'acceptable' one (assets were all mine to start with - so lost a bit as he got some - this is child support). What has wrankled is he suggested our agreement which was a set figure until DS was 5. We went back and forth but agreed something we were both OK with. A legal transcribing error means currently he CAN pay 500 less so is cuntish enough to go 'oh great kerching' rather than 'oh I will do right thing'....it should get sorted but another stress.....; (

downunderdolly Mon 25-Mar-13 08:00:14

is set figure till son was 5, then past fifth birthday a reduced figure (as I would have more time to work more hours) worked out around an equation related to CSA (though was a private agreement)

downunderdolly Mon 25-Mar-13 08:02:52

altinkun - DS was born here so can't move without ex permission

ShhHesAsleep Mon 25-Mar-13 08:54:06

Hello dolly, your ex's behavior must be frustrating.

I would usually suggest a psychological trick of tapping into your ex's self-identity and using that to try to get him to behave that way, e.g. if he wants to see himself as the family guy, the generous guy, the intelligent guy etc. I'm sure you've tried this already. Maybe it is worth trying to have a discussion with your ex and OW together, along the lines of being interested in how they chose that particular school and you wanting to do future planning for a younger child so bring interested in their research. Sorry if this is a bonkers idea.

I hope you have good support near you, friends to socialise with etc. I've no experience of the two tier step-sibling life. It sounds like you spend so much time with your child that your values (rather than ex's) will be the ones that stick.

Good luck

mammadiggingdeep Mon 25-Mar-13 09:01:07

Nothing to suggest/add other than try not to let his shitty behaviour grind you down. You never know what around the corner, by the time your ds is old enough hopefully your financial circumstances might have changed again and you can send your son to the school you want. Then YOU can be proud that YOU have done the best despite the crap from his dad. If you can't manage to send him I'm sure he'll still do well because you're a good mum who will make sure he reaches his potential. Don't let the negativity of your ex drain you and your sons new life

ShhHesAsleep Mon 25-Mar-13 10:24:28

A relative of mine is currently the head of one of the top-performing state schools in the UK. And had previously been head of a poorly performing school (think malnourished children etc). Anyway, said relative insists the actual school attended its less important than the patents' attitude. Being a child of parents who are pro-education is the most important thing, apparently.

Anyway, bumping so you get more UK daytime traffic.

onefewernow Mon 25-Mar-13 11:25:50

I agree. The one to one encouragement and love he gets at home will be worth way more than any school, and less to improved performance anywhere , as long as he isn't pushed (which in sure he isn't).

And your values and moral base, which makes the man, are miles above theirs. And cannot be bought by them at ANY price.

Understand why you are upset though - I would be too.

onefewernow Mon 25-Mar-13 11:26:39

Leads not less

ShhHesAsleep Mon 25-Mar-13 11:38:01

Dolly you must be so glad that your ex is now an ex, he's really shown his colours. Good luck with getting the legal stuff (and future schooling) sorted. What an arse he is for taking any chance to minimise his payments. It's it possible to get a bursary or similar for school fees?

ZZZenAgain Mon 25-Mar-13 11:43:40

this sounds stressful. If he can easily afford a private education for ds and is generally in favour of private schools, it seems unkind of him to do this. I suppose there is no hope that he would agree to you and ds leaving his country?

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 02-Apr-13 14:58:23

Just read this have seen your previous posts both on your own thread and others', and always full of good advice, now this update. Sorry your ex is still being a monumental crapbag and hope you are carving out a great new life for you and DS, aside from the crapbag elephant in the room.

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