OH and I have been talking about living together. I have a 6yo dd and she loves him to pieces and has often asked when we're getting married. (won't be for a while longer yet) we've been together 2 years now and he works full time and I'm about to start a part time job so between us we'd easily be able to afford it. He'd move in with me cause I've got the bigger house compared to his flat he shares with his friend. When did you know was the right time to take things to the next level with your OH?
He's not given me any concerns. Naturally we disagree on things I.e. I can live without sky tv, he can't etc but I've only ever lived on my own. I'm not used to having another adult live with me let alone a man.
Is he a decent man? Is he solvent? Does he have good manners? Is he house trained? Does he have a good relationship with his family? Are his family 'normal'? Is he generous? Does he have a temper? Is he lazy?
I think if you have a dd to think about, you need to be as sure as you can be that this relationship is going to last before living together. It's unfair to disrupt her life by moving in another adult and father figure, if there's a good chance that the relationship might not last.
Have you discussed finances? If you're working p/t and he's working f/t, he'd be making the bigger contribution to the household financially, so you need to be clear that he's willing to support your dd. You wouldn't be treated as a single parent any more regarding tax credits etc, so you could end up losing income and you'd be reliant on him to replace it. Will he be willing to pool finances and give you full access to it?
Have you discussed marriage at all? Or the role he would take as a stepdad? Would he pick up the slack if, say, you got ill and couldn't care for your dd for a while?
He's mentioned marriage but I think even getting engaged now is too soon and I'm 21 and about to start a bigger career so I tend to like to take things one step at a time. He's used to paying his part for the bills and rent cause he lives with his friend and in fairness it would help me with paying my bills. He earns £300 more a month than me so I think we'd be ok providing we spend after the bills are paid. He does help me out with dd a lot and she loves it when he stays over. His family are lovely especially his mum who's been a single mum to 3 kids so it's nice to not feel judged by her cause if anything she's already been there and done that. He's crap at DIY. That's about the only bad thing about him but then again I can put shelves up and have redecorated this house and put beds up so that's not a massive issue.
My DP earns more than me. The way we do it is we worked out how much we have left over after all joint expenditure, which is paid for using a joint account, and split the left over cash equally between us. Joint expenditure covers:
Rent / council tax / bills Groceries Child care costs dd's piano lessons / pocket money / a kitty for things like money for school trips etc A budget for her clothes / shoes / haircuts A certain amount to be saved (ha! chance'd be a fine thing!!)
We still get our salaries put into our own accounts (for independence's sake) and it's me who gets child benefit still and tax credits while we were still eligible; and then we set up a standing order each into the joint account, the amount that leaves us with an equal amount of money each. In other words, DP puts more in than I. It was the only fair way we thought to do it, we didn't want a situation where one of us was skint & struggling all the time while the other was loaded. Doesn't make sense.
It is hugely important that you discuss the financial side of things first and that you're on the same page wrt that. IMO, once you're a couple with a child, regardless of whether that child is both of yours or not, you're a family and equally responsible for supporting that child. If he's a decent man he'll understand that and have no problem with it at all. Make sure he's 100% ready to be a father, in full, basically.
The joint account idea sounds great and perfect for us. He's used to paying half the rent at his place then half the food bill there too. I need to feel sure financially that we'll be ok. He understands the reason why I don't shop at expensive supermarkets and why my local market is good for veg and fruit. He can shop at expensive supermarkets because it's just him, but I'm currently in the process of showing him how to change things and budget. For example sky tv, do I need it? No I don't. Does he need it? Well he has it now where he lives so would like it. But I think we can do without it until we're used to paying our bills. Neither of us drive so there's a bit of money saved. i'd like to think we could save money together but I think it'll be tough so I tend to just put spare change in a pot and when its nearly full take it to the bank.
I think you need to look carefully at the implications of him moving in if you own the house you are living in (whether there is a mortgage or not) as compared to renting - I'm not sure which you're in. If he moves in, on a longer term basis, he could potentially claim a share in the house which becomes an important issue should you ever split up. A useful booklet is on http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cohabitation-minefield-called-family-ebook/dp/B00CXABRLG/ref=sr_1_18?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1369257682&sr=1-18&keywords=cohabitation