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What is fair ?

(35 Posts)
kittensinmydinner1 Thu 06-Apr-17 15:25:05

NC for this as the set up could be quite identifying but been here long enough to quote the penis beaker, Pom bears and naice ham..

We are a couple, married for 7 years. Between us we have 7 children but 2 are flown the coop. So left with my two, 19 (at Uni 2 days a week living at home - student loan) and 15 in yr 10.
19 yr old diagnosed with ADD at 8yrs old. Emotionally less mature than most his age. Has taken a while to find his way. His Mother mollycoddles him, his stepfather thinks he needs to get a grip, grow up and start contributing to the household...

Step-father has 3 children still at school. Early - mid teens. Sees them every fortnight without fail, never missed in ten years. Half of all school holidays.

The 'what is fair ?' Issue is about money. The wife in this marriage works full time. Always has. Has a very secure job in the public sector, pension been there 25 yrs. Takes home 2100 a month. Husband works in private sector. Contract work. Very insecure. Contracts can end at a weeks notice. No sickpay, No benefits as S/e . High risk but high reward. Average take home £5000 a month . Expenses are £500 child maintenance (v low , I know but private arrangement and agreed as part of whole package signing over house to ex - who is happy with the arrangement) Rent (too old to buy again after divorces) £1350. Household expenses after rent £1300
Wife's expenses £196 for her car . Husband owns his outright.

What is a fair division . How much should each pay towards household costs. There is no joint account.

Don't want to say which one (husband or wife) I am, as want unbiased honest answers. This argument has troubled our marriage for years an we both would like to know what others think is fair .

75yasmin Thu 06-Apr-17 15:36:56

You can't give 50% each because one is earning £2100 and the other £5000. The higher earner should give more. I think monthly household costs and not personal costs should be 75-25% split based on the big difference between income. Obviously if income goes down for higher earner adjust accordingly.
Hope this helps

Bailey101 Thu 06-Apr-17 17:05:20

How often is the husband earning £5k a month? Assuming he has unpaid holidays and breaks between contracts, that would lower his average monthly take home and he'd need money set aside for non working months.

kittensinmydinner1 Thu 06-Apr-17 18:13:00

Higher earner is earning £5k on average after breaks etc. 75% /25% ? Is that fair when the children belong to the lower earner ?

Mum4Fergus Thu 06-Apr-17 18:48:51

Is there a reason why everything isn't in one 'family' pot?

75yasmin Thu 06-Apr-17 19:00:45

I'm assuming the lower earner is paying for the things the children need e.g. clothes, uniforms, school trips etc. Household costs to me are bills, groceries and if something needs replacing in the home e.g. microwave. If that is the case I don't see why both should be paying equal amounts to household costs when there is such a difference in income.

HeddaGarbled Thu 06-Apr-17 21:33:09

I do think that the 19 year old should be making a contribution to his own expenses, although it will be a drop in the ocean of the overall household expenses. What does he do on the 5 days a week he isn't at uni? A part time job would seem sensible. I know a lot of young people with ADD and their educational experiences can be difficult but if they can find their niche at work, it can do wonders for their self esteem.

Nevertheless, the higher earning partner chose to marry into this family and seems mean to refuse to pay anything for the children of his spouse.

This is what I think you should do. Calculate household expenses. Include rent, wife's car, maintenance for husband's children, all other essential outgoings. Calculate total household income - probably use average of the last three years to cater for the fact that husband has occasional periods of no income. Deduct essential outgoings from total income. Divide remainder in half. Each spouse keeps half of remainder in their personal bank accounts, rest goes into joint account.

TokenGinger Thu 06-Apr-17 22:34:38

I have no practical advice but I think you gave away which one you are in the second paragraphs when you said my two 🙈

In terms of splitting costs, surely the household expenses should be split 30% / 70% based on the fact that Woman earns 30% of the household income and Man earns 70%. If it is felt that Woman should contribute more to cover the cost of her children, then maybe 35/65 or 40/60. But likely more the former, as Man met Woman knowing she had kids and therefore supporting them is part of that package.

Woman's car payment should be paid by Woman separately.

Therefore, on household expenses, a 30/70 arrangement would be Woman 495 / Man 1155.

Or 35/65 - Woman £580 / Man £1070.

Trustyourself2 Thu 06-Apr-17 22:47:43

I'm inclined to think that bills should be split equally. If the lower earner isn't happy with this arrangement, then maybe the higher earner could save some of his/her monthly income in a joint savings account? The lower earner doesn't have much left each month. I've never been great with money, so, actually, I'm not the best person to comment!

Moanyoldcow Thu 06-Apr-17 23:07:24

There should be a joint account for all bills and family expenses and you could open another for children's costs if necessary so you can split by some kind of ratio if necessary (although if I were to marry someone with children I would expect to support them equally as they are now my family).

I would split money to ensure that both have the same amount of 'spare' money each month after savings, pensions, all bills etc.

This is what my husband and I do and we are generally left with around £400 ish each month to do with as we please. My husband earns around double what I do as I'm part time since starting a family. He's of the opinion that we should have the same disposable income as each other regardless of salary.

Moanyoldcow Thu 06-Apr-17 23:08:54

Agree car could be separate.

kittensinmydinner1 Thu 06-Apr-17 23:09:12

Thank you everyone. That's so helpful and gives us some scenarios to discuss.

LadyLapsang Thu 06-Apr-17 23:20:37

Sounds about right at the moment. After expenses, they have almost the same amount of money left. Does the wife only pay towards her car? What about work lunches, clothes etc.etc.

LadyLapsang Thu 06-Apr-17 23:21:52

Also, do they have the same amount of money put away for pensions and savings?

PickAChew Thu 06-Apr-17 23:25:55

if the 5K is sporadic, over the year, then work it out on the average, then correct the year after, if necessary.

If the sporadic 5K works out at 3K pa, then they need to contribute twice as much as the steady 1.5K.

katronfon Thu 06-Apr-17 23:55:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Joysmum Fri 07-Apr-17 08:36:19

Equal disposable income all the way in my book. To me, marriage is an equal partnership with the valuation of each partner placed on them by an employer not being based on the value they have within the relationship...which is equal!

The sporadic higher earner is no different to the millions of people who are self employed. My advice for self employed is to have income go into a holding account and 'pay yourself' a regular lower amount.

Then when you are out of work that regular lower amount can continue to be paid until you find work again. If you get to a buffet of more than say 6 months, the additional can be withdrawn to pay for Christmas or holidays or divided between you for personal use.

hellsbellsmelons Fri 07-Apr-17 08:54:32

I would suggest it all goes into one pot.
Household stuff come out of it.
Some gets put into a joint savings account.
The balance is then split.
The split is up to you.
Maybe 40/60

Trustyourself2 Fri 07-Apr-17 10:25:47

Good post Joysmum

kittensinmydinner1 Fri 07-Apr-17 14:48:36

Again thank you everyone. katfron can I just ask you , if you just put it all in one family pot and spend what's needed - are you a family of kids who live with biological or adopted parents or are stepchildren/step parents contributing to house hold income.

Thinking I need to post this in step family's to get more specific advice as the 'difference' here is the issue of dcs that don't 'belong' to one parent .

katronfon Fri 07-Apr-17 15:29:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mummytime Fri 07-Apr-17 15:49:30

I think you need to pool money (either actually or as a mental exercise) then put aside some each month DH is earning to be used when he isn't. Then take out the expenses, which should include pension contributions for DH. Then of what is left agree an amount for "spending" and an amount for holiday days etc.

roarityroar Fri 07-Apr-17 16:33:05

Well you're obviously the husband

roarityroar Fri 07-Apr-17 16:33:58

Maybe not. Just pool all money.

Naicehamshop Fri 07-Apr-17 18:45:58

Obviously the wife, you mean roar? confused

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