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Meeting estranged H tomorrow to discuss finance & I am freaking out

(18 Posts)
Moanranger Tue 09-Apr-13 14:33:59

As title. He lives in his own bizarre little world with strange takes on everything. When I correct these, he gets aggressive. In advance of tomorrow's meeting he has sent me a spreadsheet with all he has spent on our 2 DCs last month.
Bear in mind DD is 21, at uni, with student loan & job. DS is 19, did A levels last year, now doing a BTEC. I have researched this & I think I am right in saying there is no more parental obligation to provide financial support. I have now responded to H to say as much & to say if he wishes to spend money on DCs that is at his discretion.
There is an underlying neurosis here: H has been under-employed for years, and by babying the DCs & trying to make himself needed gives him a sense of purpose. He will self-righteously point out what he is doing for DS (cooking, giving him money, taking him places) which in my view is turning DS into a loafer.
Other manipulation on H's part is he is trying to offset DCs costs against other financial obligations. But stuff he is claiming - a blouse for DD - I mean WTF?
I would really appreciate any support vis a vis the " no requirement to financially support DCs"

fergoose Tue 09-Apr-13 14:41:19

Why do you need to discuss any finance with him, or even meet him for that matter? What he spends on them is his business, why does he feel the need to tell you about it at all?

Moanranger Tue 09-Apr-13 15:01:39

The situation is that we rented a house, signed lease in joint names, signed up for utilities in joint names & then he decided he didn't want to move after all & is staying in a crappy little investment flat with DS. The house is expensive, the flat less so. We have agreed that until I can terminate the lease on the rental house ( lease 1year min) he will cover 50% of the cost.
He is trying to off-set this liability by claiming expenditure for DCs. I agree what he spends is his business, but note first line of my post - he lives in his own little world.

Teeb Tue 09-Apr-13 15:28:06

Are you paying anything towards the childrens upkeep? Strictly speaking they are now considered adults, although if they are full time students then there should be some support. I don't think it's right that you can walk away from any responsibility towards them financially.

Moanranger Tue 09-Apr-13 15:37:38

teeb That is my H's point of view, but I don't think it is correct. I have checked various govt web sites,CSA, divorce blogs, posted in legal here & talked to friends. Basically in higher education students borrow for fees, etc. For FC there are benefits. H is not asking for education related expenses, just miscellaneous stuff that subsidises his own lifestyle.

TonysHardWorkDay Tue 09-Apr-13 16:09:34

Whilst there is no obligation to support adult age children any Student Finance is calculated on the basis that parents will provide this support. Unless the student is a parent, over 25 or can prove they've lived independently for 3 years they will be assessed based on your income.

So you're not obliged to support adult children in education but they may not be able to get that education without your support. Have you clarified what they are receiving and what it is for? Also, are there additional costs associated with their studies that the students are expected to meet? My extra costs for my degree have been close to £3.5K over the 3 years whilst many degrees don't require any extra expenditure. Only in rare circumstances is extra help available for this, it came out of my savings. A blouse could be a valid expenditure to help if she needed it for work or a work placement and her money is tight!

I also don't think a BTEC comes with any entitlement to finance.

NarcolepsyQueen Tue 09-Apr-13 16:27:03

You can usually give 3 months notice to terminate your rental contract. Whilst you may not be legally obliged to help your DC financially, I think parents ought to help as much as they can. Would you rather pay each of your children an 'allowance' to help towards clothing/books/transport/food/stationery/spends directly?

redskynight Tue 09-Apr-13 16:42:34

I can't help thinking you should go to a lawyer or CAB asap for proper advice. When my ex moved out of a rental, I got housing benefit even though we were 'joint' tenants. I can't help but think that is there was any way the council could claw that back from him, they would have done so. I would also try and break your contract and move somewhere affordable, as ex's are notoriously bad at committing financially unless or even if, they are forced to. I am sure the landlord will oblige as they would rather get all their rent from a new tenant than risk losing out from you if he bails on you.

Regarding supporting you, which it sounds like that is what you are asking, again you would need to talk to a lawyer and see if you can get spousal maintenance. Not easy, unless you have very young children & he earns well, or you have been married for a very long time & he earns well, and either way you need to persuade a court that you can't support yourself.

Regarding the financially supporting children/spreadsheets - I assume you are saying he is offsetting these costs from those for your house? Again, you need to talk to a lawyer. The gov website says, that maintenance is only obligatory: It’s for children who are either: under 16 or under 20 and in full-time education (but not higher than A-Level or equivalent). So basically you are right, however, this would all be dependent on whether he is obliged to pay for the house.

Alwayscheerful Tue 09-Apr-13 16:57:41

You are responsible for the rent until the landlord relets the property and then he is allowed to charge you reasonable costs incurred in finding a new tenant so for example agents letting fees or adverts and the rent until a new tenant moves in. The sooner you explain to the landlord the better.

So far as your children's expenses go, their entitlement will be based on the income of the household they reside in. You are not really legally obligated but you may feel morally obligated or indeed want to give them an allowance.

Lueji Tue 09-Apr-13 17:18:24

Personally, I'd agree with him in future to share an allowance for the DCs that they are to administer.
And forget about past "expenses", as most sound like gifts, really.

eatmydust Tue 09-Apr-13 21:00:09

Have you seen a solicitor? Think you probably need to get legal advice.

My separation agreement, which became the basis of the financial settlement at divorce was that ExH would continue to pay maintenance for the DCs until they completed tertiary education (i.e. uni level). There wasn't an age limit, so it could extend past 21 if they are still studying.

My solicitor specifically recommended to include this. Student loans just cover tuition fees and term time living expenses.

TricksyBee Tue 09-Apr-13 22:47:53

I've read your past posts about your marriage breakdown and I am sorry to say you have lost my sympathy. Its oft mentioned we only get one side of the story on these threads and it is rare when that side does not show the OP in a good light, but congratulations you've achieved it. You're very focussed on you being right all the time and assuming that perfectly reasonable requests from your ex, such as gaining a true valuation of your flat is him trying to get one over you when you know better.

I'm also confused as I thought you were the driving force in your business and the earning partner, you reiterate that above saying he has been underemployed for years. So why is he presumably paying all his costs, all your DC's costs and half of yours? Divorce costs won't see that as being equal when you take all the business.

Student finance may not meet all your daughters term time costs depending on her fathers income assuming it is just him and your son forming her current household. She may only be entitled to a tuition fee loan and the basic loan which is around £3400. This will not cover her costs, parents are expected to pony up the rest and if they refuse she can't support herself. You son will receive no support doing a BTEC and getting a job will not necessarily be easy. Your son will not be entitled to any benefits as he is studying and the expectation is on the resident parent to feed and house him.

Dig your head out of the sand and stop trying to get one over your ex and sort this out legally and properly.

NarcolepsyQueen Wed 10-Apr-13 07:37:52

Exactly what TricksyBee said.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Wed 10-Apr-13 07:51:47

I think a meeting to discuss finances while well intentioned is going to be completely pointless

You are both obviously coming at this from different view points so any discussion is likely to end in more difficulty

I think you should do everything legally, that way there is no disagreeing and you can both support your adult children as much or as little as you wish

Moanranger Wed 10-Apr-13 23:14:56

I have now gotten legal advice, which supports my position. Once children are adults, if they need financial support, then they request it directly from the parent. In our case, both myself & STBXH are supporting DCs financially. The problem is H wants me to pay him, & that is not how it works. If parents do not support DCs in tertiary education, then kids can apply to court to get such support. I am happy to provide DCs with appropriate support, but also feel it is important that they start to stand on their own two feet.
Tricksybee I have no idea what particular bee is in your bonnet, but as far as my STBXH and his loathsome behaviour is concerned, you do not know the half of it, so BUTT OUT & keep your mouth shut if you cannot say anything useful or supportive.

TonysHardWorkDay Thu 11-Apr-13 00:34:14

Erm, posting on a public forum is inviting a public response. If you don't want anyone to disagree with you I suggest looking at other mediums for support.

I've now read your past posts and have to agree with Tricksybee, you are not portraying yourself in a positive light. Yes we don't know the half of it but the part we are seeing is really not very nice. That maybe because you are raw, hurt and angry or it could be due to any combination of factors but the nature of the internet means we can only go by what is presented.

You say you have legal advice so leave it to them to deal with and do not engage with your ex at all, just aim for a formal and final resolution as quick as you can. Don't try and research incomplete parts of the story on the internet, let the professionals earn their keep and sort out your divorce and finances.

LittleEdie Thu 11-Apr-13 00:34:38

Did you leave him? Was his weird take on things part of the reason why? If so then thank him mentally for making sure you have no regrets.

LittleEdie Thu 11-Apr-13 00:39:52

I thought Tricksybee's comments were OK too, though maybe a teeny bit judgy at the end. 'BUTT OUT' seems like an overreaction when you're inviting comment. She isn't your ex grin.

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