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Any help or advice welcome - at the end of my tether here...

(3 Posts)
ChickenNoodleSoup Tue 09-Apr-13 11:14:55

I am not sure this is in the right posting area but have no idea where else to put it - apologies for that upfront.

Had yet another bun fight with the XH via txt this morning (he lives abroad) about the fact that he is now 3 months behind in child maintenance payments. As per usual I got an earful and yep, it is still all my fault.

The money situation has now gotten to the point where I don't have enough to put petrol in my car to go pick up the kiddos from the airport this weekend (they are with him in the holidays)....

The stress has been building over the past 6 years really, since he left and I have had to beg on my bare knees for the maintenance on a monthly basis. Since our divorce was finalised abroad and we now both live in different countries he seems to be able to get away with doing whatever the hell he likes and although I have filed the appropriate paperwork with the Court here to "force" him to pay up, this looks like a very longwinded and time consuming route.

I have had to finally admit that the bastard has managed to do what he promised 6 years ago - break me. As I am typing this I am sitting here in tears, reflecting on things and the past few weeks.

I am now officially 'depressed', diagnosed as such and on the happy pills since 5 days. This followed from being carted off to A&E last week with a suspected stroke. Luckily it turned out it was not that but 'merely' my body shutting down due to stress and anxiety. Yay me.

This morning I have stayed home from work -again- and been on the phone to every single government institution I could think of to see if there is still such a thing as a crisis loan....alas, they are no more. I have already had to borrow money from friends and all I can see right now is the pile of unpaid bills, the first threatening letters that have started to come through the door and the fact that today is only 9th of the month.....

Not even sure what I am asking for here, maybe someone here knows of somewhere that might be able to help me in the short term? Or maybe I just wanted to get it off my chest and have someone tell me I am not going crazy or am being unreasonable...

Dahlen Tue 09-Apr-13 11:49:40

Ok, deep breath. You can deal with this. smile

I'm so sorry you're having such a difficult time. Your X should be thoroughly ashamed of himself, but we both know he won't be, so don't give him any more head space.

Here's what you need to do:

Contact your County Council's Local Welfare Reform Officer (contact your local council for details). This person is responsible for administering the new discretionary system that has replaced crisis loans and social fund, etc. Most of the time they try to deal with hardship by providing food vouchers or actual goods, but there is a cash fund also available for emergencies that cannot be dealt with in any other way. Even if they provide you with food, that will free up the cash you would have otherwise spent on food, which you can use to provide fuel for the car or to repay your friends.

Make an appointment with Citizens Advice ASAP. They are fabulous and will really help you to get to grips with your money troubles. They will work with you to put a stop to the threatening letters and lack of cashflow by helping you write off what debt you can and organising an affordable payment plan for what is left. They will also help you budget more effectively in the future.

Start working out how to live on your income without including your XH's maintenance payment. I know you shouldn't have to do that, but it's the only way to regain control of your finances and your life and it's the only way to remove the control your XH has over your life and reduce the stress you are under. Consider any maintenance you receive as a bonus. If you are on benefits and are worried about how this will affect your claim (if you don't declare it and then receive some, for example), don't be. You can declare it retrospectively, and if you only get one payment here or there, it won't count as a regular enough income to make any real difference to your claim anyway.

Seek legal advice about contact. If it is costing you significant sums of money to facilitate and you're not getting maintenance, that's not fair. I would consider stopping it. Don't fall into the trap of thinking you are using the DC as pawns in a power game. Your XH is doing that. A man who loved his DC and wanted to see them would make sure maintenance was his first priority to ensure his DC were able to maintain a roof over their heads, food in their stomachs and their mother enough fuel to get them to the airport. If contact stops because you cannot afford it, that's your X's doing, not yours.

Take a good look at your diet, exercise levels and sleep habits. Try to optimise them. A healthy body makes your brain far better able to cope with stress.

More importantly for now, enlist your friends or family for help and support. You need a shoulder to cry on and some hand-holding. A support network is one of the biggest weapons you have in fighting depression. Don't be afraid to use it. I'm sure everyone will want to rally round and help you; it's what good, caring friends do.

Hope you feel better soon.

ChickenNoodleSoup Tue 09-Apr-13 12:01:23

Thank you Dahlen! I will contact the Council this pm.

I already manage to cover most of my outgoings with my wages but once you miss that bit "extra", things start building up.

This morning I actually told him that the children would not be coming to see him anymore if this continued. And of course felt like a total biatch for stating that as I always swore blind I would never keep them from him.

Right, deep breath....

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