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I am being unfair??(17 Posts)
hi, I really need an honest opinion on my situation and a female friend told me this was a good place to get it
My wife and I separated a 6 months ago, she ended it but I filed for divorce on the basis of her unreasonable behaviour.
Essentially a few years back we were undergoing fertility treatment to have children and during that time she had an affair with someone she manages in her team at work. We decided to try to work though it and 2 weeks after this she discovers she is pregnant. We had been trying for 2 years and she got pregnant just after i discovered her affair so we don't know who the father is. She assures me its mine but I cant accept that, I go to the scans with her, support her and try my best to pretend to be happy. When the baby is born we had to DNA test him to find out if I am the father and thankfully I was (not that it mattered too much by that point in my mind). We go on to have another child but in the passage of time I cant love, trust or respect her and she becomes unhappy and falls out of love with me and we separate. I filled on the basis her unreasonable behaviour because of the affair and her controlling and bullying nature.
I left the family home where she stayed with the kids. The house is on the market as she wants to sell it, I'm not too fussed about that but just glad to get rid of the mortgage.
So we have £25k equity in the property but a £28k joint debt. She wants to split equity and pay £6k onto the joint debt and I pay the rest - I say that will force me bankrupt.
Today she tells me I am not supporting her and I do the minimum possible to help out!
I pay her £255 per month maintenance (CSA is £199) and on top of that I get childcare vouchers through work which costs me £179 but gives us £243 in childcare. She is saying I am not really helping out and she has twice that to pay out for them. She works full time on £34k a year as do I.
But my view is I also have to provide a home for my two boys too and I have to pay my bills and she needs to budget the money she has to cover her costs, she says she doesn't count the childcare vouchers I provide as she has to pay that too but she also has to pay for school trips, clothes, after school fees and top up nursery fees as well as pay the mortgage on our house. I think that's her problem as she has positioned herself as primary carer and she was the one who wanted to split and made it so I had no choice but to leave. I was perhaps naïve in thinking we could remain amicable but I wanted us too, she sees herself as a victim to the highest level which I find very frustrating given her actions and seems to be painting me as some kind of useless monster to her friends and family.
I want her totally out my life now but I don't want to let my emotions make me be a bad dad. So am I being unreasonable here, she is getting £434 a month from me against a CSA of £199 and I have the boys 3-4nights a week. Should I be doing more to help her out do you think or am I letting my emotions over the situation make me act selfishly?
It sounds fair but obviously its one side of the story and things are rarely black and white. Its also very hard work with two young children so asking for help is quite natural and doesn't mean you aren't doing enough, just that its tough.
I think you are being fair. All the debts should be cleared down if possible not dumped on one person (unless you ran up the debts since leaving).
You are also paying over the guidelines, plus childcare vouchers whilst having the DC almost 50/50 with your own living and supporting them costs.
If you are having the children 3 or 4 nights I don't think you should be supporting her or paying for child care when they are not with you. I'd go to mediation and push for 50/50. Buy your own set of uniform and PE kit and after school clothes and keep your money to yourself/separate. You can communicate to split the cost of school trips, etc.
Regarding the house you can freeze your equity at your last payment and split on sale fairly.
Thanks, I know you only have my version of events but I have tried to be as fair as I can in my post - she would disagree and say I made her feel unloved and unsupported and that's why we split but I see those as symptoms of the problem caused by her adultery - that was tough for me to deal with and it broke us - I couldn't love her and that wasn't her first rodeo. I really wanted us to remain friends, I don't hate her but i realise that was silly of me now, I don't recognise the person she has become.
The debt is a joint unsecured debt we took out to act as the deposit for the house and debt consolidation. She says everything above the deposit is mine but I'm fairly sure she consolidated £7k too - she says she can prove it and wont show me any paperwork.
I just don't want to get screwed over by her, she wants to walk away with a deposit for a house but want to be able to live not just exist so I can also look after them - id rather they stood to inherit 2 houses from their parents.
If they are with you equally then why are you paying child support?
Unless she pays for everything for them and when they are with you then you do not provide nothing?
If the care is split then I think your financial contribution is a very kind one.
No I would not pay off anyone's debt unless A) I could afford it and b) I really wanted to.
Any equity should go directly to pay of the debt.
So neither of you will get anything out of the equity.
As PPs have said, if it's a 50:50 split of custody then I can't see why you are paying maintenance. You both earn the same.
But.... if you don't pay maintenance then you need to split all costs 50:50
All childcare, after school clubs, trips, uniforms, clothing, friends birthday presents etc...
That would be fair.
You need to go to mediation I think. It sounds like everything including childcare is currently 50/50, which could mean no one pays anyone anything. I'm afraid divorce means everyone had to downsize. Her too. If you are having your kids 3-4 nights a week how is she the main carer except in her head?
All the whys don't really matter here.
If the fact and figure are right, you are paying far more than you should be. I believe the NRP should pay above the minimum payments where possible. But if you are having the kids 50% of the time and earn the same. Childcare and general child costs should be split 50:50.
She can't walk away with most of the money. Unless you want her too.
Mediation is going to be the way forward.
But do go into mediation prepared. Calendar showing when you have kids, list of payments, your costs etc. She is not your friend any more, so don't expect her to play clean. You don't need to play dirty but you do need to be able to respond. Expect her to say she'll stop/limit access in order to be entitled to more.
Thanks, this is all really helpful. That is my concern that she will try to reduce access. I think the suggestion of mediation is a good one - I find her impossible to communicate with and she clearly thinks she is entitled to a lot more than she really is. I'd be more than happy not paying anything and splitting childcare costs 50/50 - I don't think she can grumble abut that as she would still be better off than if she just went with the csa rate.
I share my kids 50:50 with my ex; so therefore i do not expect any maintenance from him. He has his own home to maintain and bills to pay, i work so why should he have to fork out twice? I don't get the talk of the CSA figures, when there is no need for you to pay any sort of maintenance at all?
If you have kids 50% of the time then no maintenance is due.
It's also not up to her to reduce access. You are their parent too so she doesn't get to decide these things - it's a common perception that the mum is in control by default though. Take her to court for formal custody arrangements - the court will order mediation and you can defend your 50%.
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