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How to manage finances when cohabiting and both have DCs from prev rships

(17 Posts)
theaftermath Wed 27-May-15 12:57:08

DP and I are moving in together.

We have been discussing the best way to merge our finances so it is fair and have decided we will each pay into an "everyday" pot for bills / food / shopping and each pay into a "savings pot" for things we do together (holidays etc.) The rest will be ours to do with as we please. We will calculate the amounts based on our income (which is broadly the same.)

My question is about maintenance money and how that comes into it. He has 2 DC and pays their mother maintenance for them. I have 1 DC who I receive maintenance for. I want that maintenance to go straight into an account for DS' future but I don't know if that is reasonable of me or if I should include it as " income" and then save for my DS future out of what is left in my savings pot. We have already agreed that DPs income will be the figure after his child maintenance goes out as that is money for his kids and he has no say in how it is spent.

I kind of think that since we take his maintenance out of the income fund we should do the same for mine but I don't know if this is unfair as I can guarantee that money will be for DS whereas the money he gives ex he cannot guarantee will be saved for his DCs future (she could if she chose to but we have no idea if she does.)

Help! Thanks

Littlemonstersrule Wed 27-May-15 13:28:03

I would put a percentage into the pot otherwise your new partner is paying for his own children and yours as presumably the bill split is 50/50. Obviously if you are paying more as there are two of you and one of him then no need for the extra.

With what's left you can save if you can afford all clothes, school trips etc from your left over imcome for your child.

If the holiday pot is to cover you all though, unless that includes his children then that would also need extra in from you.

theaftermath Wed 27-May-15 13:56:37

thanks - the holiday pot is for any activities for the two of us as a couple or the 5 of us... so we would pay in equal to that (even though I have one DC and him 2.)

The reason why I think it's fair for DS' maintenance from his dad to be saved for his future is because we have agreed that any specifics for the DCs will come from our own personal pots:
eg. I will have to pay out of my personal pot for DS swimming/football/clothes etc and DP will pay for his DCs out of his. Obviously as I am the RP I will have much bigger outgoings for DS than he has for his DCs.

The only contribution DP will make to DS is in terms of groceries and given we have his DCs stay with us as well (and there are 2 of them) I think it will work out roughly equal as I will be paying for his DCs too.

Hmmm - I've realised I do definitely feel that DS maintenance should stay with him.

littlmontsters do you mean I should put a percentage of the maintenance into the pot? or all of it?

ImperialBlether Wed 27-May-15 14:05:23

I think it's fair how you've done it now. You will be using your own money to pay for things for your child, whilst saving the child's money, so you are just saving more of your own money, aren't you?

Eg if you each have £500 per month left over after bills etc, plus you have £200 child support, then you are going to spend £200 on your child (in all likelihood.) The £200 you're saving is actually out of your own money. He will have £500 to spend on him and his children where you will have £700, but you will have much higher day to day costs.

Sorry, really hard to explain but I think you have it right as it is!

theaftermath Wed 27-May-15 15:56:20

Yes - I understand what you are saying smile

I suppose it is because I get £500 per month maintenance and I know I don't spend that much on DS. I probably spend about £150-£200 but I would like to be able to save the rest towards his future.

I think I will propose it this way to DP and see what he says. ATM he pays for a lot of things which I think his ex should pay for and I don't mind at all if he wants to carry on doing so but i feel that should be out of "his" pot. If it all comes from a joint pot then I feel we are double subsidising (ie. paying for maintenance plus all the extras which I think she should be paying for out of maintenance.)

ImperialBlether Wed 27-May-15 16:39:46

I was going to suggest that if you trust your ex you could ask him to give you less and set up a savings account for your son, but that could cause a problem in the future if, say, you were made redundant and needed the money.

I do think you're right getting it all sorted out now so that there's no resentment. Does he have the same attitude to savings etc that you do?

One thing, don't save for your child and leave yourself short. The money from your ex is for maintenance for the child but also is (presumably) to help with things like the bills you have to pay as a result of having your child. I wouldn't put it all into savings in my child's name.

theaftermath Wed 27-May-15 16:44:12

No - I was going to put it in savings in my name. It would be for uni or school fees or a house in the future.

DP wants to save for the kids too but he would rather we save equally for all three kids whereas I don't think it's my responsibility I save for his kids (much as I care for them I think that's a job for their parents.)

We both have good intentions and genuinely want things to be fair but both have an innate desire to make sure our (biological) kids are protected.

Littlemonstersrule Wed 27-May-15 16:57:25

Unless he has them 50% of the time then he will be subsiding your child more than you subsidise his. Maybe a 60/40 split of the bills to allow for the fact that there are two of you and one of him. The rest can then be saved for him if you can cover the rest of the costs without needing the maintenance.

I don't think I'd feel happy saving a decent amount per month form maintenance whilst letting somebody else pick up costs for the same child.

ImperialBlether Wed 27-May-15 17:04:26

I really don't think you should share the savings for the children. He has to accept that if he has two children each child is likely to have less saved for them than if he had one. That's just the way of it and it's the same with inheritance, obviously.

It's up to him and his ex to save for their children, if they choose to do that, just as it's up to you and your ex to save for your child.

theaftermath Wed 27-May-15 17:05:48

I understand what you're saying little but his DC are with us 1/3 of the week and there are 2 of them so I thought that balanced ok with the fact that my 1 DC is with us 2/3 of the time... To me that seems equal.

ImperialBlether Wed 27-May-15 17:06:22

How many nights does your son stay v his children?

theaftermath Wed 27-May-15 17:33:05

My son is with us 10 nights out of 14.

His DC are with us 5/14

ImperialBlether Wed 27-May-15 18:56:31

OK so that evens out with bills etc, doesn't it?

I think as you're just about to live together, perhaps keeping some things separate (as you suggested) makes much more sense. There's always time to change things if you want, if you get married for instance.

MrsUltracrepidarian Wed 27-May-15 19:11:42

Form your DC father's POV, would be a bit rich if the maint he pays for your DS is used to pay for other DC... He could argue he should pay less, and he could just save separately for your DS future. Why not do it that way?

theaftermath Wed 27-May-15 19:30:28

I definitely don't want to change the amount my ex pays as:

1: he isn't very good at saving and I am so I want to make 100% sure it goes to DS.

2: I want to make sure the money is there incase I ever lost my job or suchlike and needed it for basics of living.

3CheekyLittleMonkeys Wed 27-May-15 20:17:45

The money you receive for your DS in maintenance should be for him and not the other children. You shouldn't feel obliged to out it in to the "family pot" and IMO you should set it aside for whatever you want for your DS- savings, school trips, clothes, treats, pocket money, hobbies etc... It's NOT for your DP's children.

3CheekyLittleMonkeys Wed 27-May-15 20:21:24

I don't think I'd feel happy saving a decent amount per month form maintenance whilst letting somebody else pick up costs for the same child.

It's money for the intended child from his father. If his stepsiblings' mum wants to do the same with her maintenance then she can do. But if not then the OP is still well within her rights to without considering her DP's kids.

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