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Ex husband withdraws arranged care cover for children whilst I go abroad

(24 Posts)
Misajode Fri 14-Aug-09 14:49:50

I have recently initiated a claim to the CSA after being divorced for 5 years. My ex has cooperated with them fully and has not been "naughty" about it with me. However, this has lead to an agreement we had with the children being cancelled by him.

I am going abroad for a weeks holiday with my best friend. She has paid for the holiday on her credit card. We are both single with two children and sought out both our ex's assistance if we were to go away to have the children for a week. They both agreed and the holiday was booked. My ex has now revoked his agreement. He has said that the CSA have told him that he shouldn't have the children for any more days than agreed so unfortunately I will have to find someone else to have my children. He also said that the CSA are surprised I can afford a holiday (given that I am in receipt of benefits).

I rang the CSA to seek clarification. Basically its all a load of BS because the CSA disputed his claims totally. I know he is being a rat now and that the gloves have potentially come off.

If anyone has gone through anything similar and can give me any advice about this whole thing I would be very grateful to hear your responses.

We have shared care through the court with no maintenance agreement in place since we separated and subsequently divorced in 2003/4. (2 days on, 2 days off and every other weekend). He has a substantially paid job but claims that by having to now pay the CSA he will be skint (yeah, welcome to my world - I wish I was as skint as him). He has had a new partner for the last 2 years who has a daughter of similar age to our eldest. He takes them (all) on holiday as "a family" and has maintained a good amicable relationship with myself to the present date.

I'm not in fighting mode and will do everything I can to avoid that situation. What I do want to do is make sure that I try to stay one step ahead and am ready for whatever he decides to throw my way. Exactly what can he "get away with" and what should he, by rights, paying/contributing towards.

2rebecca Fri 14-Aug-09 15:01:02

I'd try talking to him calmly and discussing the fact that you would do the same for him if he wanted a week away. Don't fight, that will just make him dig his heels in. If he's adamant then you'll have to ask family members or close friends. It sounds really mean of him.

motherlovebone Fri 14-Aug-09 15:04:56

Could you ring him and say that you have sought advice, that he has been misinformed and it would be fine for him to have the children, which is great because they would rather they stay with him than X or Y. could it be that he is misinformed?

Misajode Fri 14-Aug-09 15:16:52

I have just tried to ring him but the children have informed me he is out with his GF so i've text him just politely saying he entered into a verbal gentlemans agreement by saying he'd have the children and that we only booked the holiday once he had agreed to care for them. I am waiting any response, although I suspect he will now bury his head and not make any contact at all. He appears now to be doing this as a result of my CSA actions. He isn't normally petty and we both help each other out when possible.

motherlovebone Fri 14-Aug-09 15:24:24

If he isnt normally petty, there is hope here i think, keep cool, keep talking to his higher nature, and he may come through.
while you are waiting for that, who else could possibly have the children?

DollyPS Fri 14-Aug-09 15:24:35

why have you involved the CSA in the first place or is it the benefits office have told you to which they do any ways.

Also the arrangement before suited him cos he didnt have to give you a bean of money and now this has changed and he doesnt like it.

this is not being misinformed this is him bitching because he has to pay up and doesnt want too as the other arrangement he didnt have too

An absent parent would step up to the plate and help out not moan about what he has to bloody pay.

Oh also you wont see a bean of the money the treasury will as you are on benefits.

If you have an arrangement throught the courts he has to do that as you do too.

Looks like you will have to arrange care for the kids hen sorry but I cant see him wanting to keep the kids for a week whilst you go off on your jollys whilst he see you taking him to the cleaners to boot as he will see it that way with the involvement of the CSA.

Keep in contact with the CSA. Thats all you can do.

https://secureonline.dwp.gov.uk/csa/v2/en/calculate-maintenance.asp this might help as well to know what you are actually entitled to and maybe it would be better to come of benefits as long as he pays it of course as some dont.

2rebecca Sat 15-Aug-09 00:23:17

If you do share the children equally then it does seem unfair that he has to pay you money just because you earn less than him. Different if you are the main carer.

AnitaBlake Tue 18-Aug-09 13:34:48

Misajode, you had more than a gentlemans agreement, documented through court. From what you've said, your ex is more than stepping up to the plate, he cares and provides for the children 50% of the time, which is the same as you do. Why are you expecting him to pay for the 50% of the time you look after the kids as well?

He is not 'absent' and you are no more the Parent with Care than he is. If I were him I would be asking the Child Benefit office to assess if he should be getting that rather than you, since he cares for them the same amount of time (possibly more if you are leaving them with him to go on a jolly).

This is one of the things that really makes my blood boil, where parents each have 50% care, no maintenance should be paid by either party.

princessdaisyboo Tue 18-Aug-09 13:46:06

i dont really have any advice but i feel for u as my ex husband is always like this with me over pretty much everything and it is boring and petty and wears me down!

when i had to claim benefits for a short time when i had first split the job centre say you have to go through CSA even if you have a 50/50 arrangment or they wont pay benefits out.

good luck and have a good holiday im sure you will get it sorted x

abouteve Tue 18-Aug-09 13:56:02

If the OP is on income support then it's the government wanting money off him to fund the parent to stay at home. If OP is working then the maintenance would go to the household. Not sure which is the case here.

If the parents have a 50/50 arrangement then its debatable whether maintenance should be due at all. Perhaps its because he is earning a substantial amount.

Once the CSA is involved it often turns into a fight. They have an awful reputation although rules have changed to make it fairer and clear cut.

It must feel like he's deliberatley trying to sabotage your one week away. How would he feel if you had the power to jeopardise his holidays. Try to keep things as amicable as possible then hopefully once the CSA have made the assessment he won't feel so threatened.

AnitaBlake Tue 18-Aug-09 15:14:38

New C-MEC rules say that you do not have to use the CSA btw, if an agreement can be reached without them, it would prefer you to do that, even in benefits cases. There is now no complusion to do this at all.

abouteve Tue 18-Aug-09 15:30:35

AnitaBlake, I didn't know that, wonder how that would work in benefit cases.

ChocHobNob Thu 20-Aug-09 09:49:34

If you claim benefits and receive maintenance, you can now have a private agreement with the NRP. You receive the child support and then have to notify the benefits offices of the amount and they adjust your benefits accordingly as you are only entitled to receive the first £20 a week of the child support.

If your ex has 50/50 care how many days a year did you claim to the CSA he has the children overnight? If it is totally split down the middle between the two of you then it should have been 176 days. This means that his maintenance is reduced the reflect this ... BUT ...

I can see where he is coming from and he may have a CSA advisor on the phone who made him realise that why should he have the children for an extra week in the year, which would actually mean that he is caring for the children over 50% of the year and still having to pay YOU child support!

Why did you go to the CSA? Was he not paying child support beforehand? If he has 50/50 care he can actually ask for half of the child benefit.

abouteve Thu 20-Aug-09 10:10:06

Yes I can see that it's all changing and about time too. It seems that maintenance would be payable with a 50/50 care but not much. Just wondering if the government would be happy with a private arrangement. e.g £25, therefore £20 to parent on benefits £5 to government, or would they want it worked to a formula. hmm

Non of this affects me. Just like to keep up to date with policy etc. I have worked out that I should be getting approx £40 per week on the new rules but only get £13. We only have 3 yrs to go and I don't him anywhere near my life, so wouldn't get it reassessed.

ChocHobNob Thu 20-Aug-09 10:21:14

The government are happy with it, they don't want it worked to a formula. Basically if you are on benefits you tell them and keep £20 a week. This will be going up to £40 a week in the coming years (which in my opinion is a lot!) If you don't tell them, then you are committing benefit fraud.

Snorbs Thu 20-Aug-09 10:34:59

ChocHobNob, the last I heard Child Benefit is paid to either the parent with majority care of the child or, where there is a straight 50:50 split of care, CB will go to the mother. See here. HMR&C refuses to split Child Benefit between two recipients (even though there have been legal reviews that say they should in cases of shared care). There is nothing to stop the parents having a mutual agreement to share it, but HMR&C won't help.

AboutEve, I used to be in a position where I was doing 50:50 care but my ex was receiving the Child Benefit (as she's the mother). Whichever parent isn't receiving Child Benefit is obliged by the CSA to pay maintenance to the one who does. It's not a matter of who earns what, it comes down to who gets the CB. As ChocHobNob says, where there is 50:50 care then the person paying maintenance will get it reduced by 50%. Nevertheless at the time when I was in this position I was paying my ex about £300 a month even though DCs were with me as often as they were with her.

ChocHobNob Thu 20-Aug-09 10:53:13

I must have read about the reviews then regarding child benefit being split. It does seem a little unfair that a NRP with 50% care has to pay child support when the PWC receives Child Benefit and Tax Credits.

Snorbs Thu 20-Aug-09 11:04:34

Indeed, it's the thing about Child Benefit being a "gateway benefit" that's in many ways more important than the CB itself. If you get CB then you're entitled to all sorts of other benefits etc based on the assumption you're the Parent With Care. So while you could have a mutual agreement to split the CB, there'd still only be one parent officially getting it and so only that parent would be eligible for the other CB-related benefits.

ChocHobNob Thu 20-Aug-09 11:16:54

Then I suppose, when you have two parents sharing care 50/50, there should technically be no PWC and NRP, just two "parents".

pleasechange Thu 20-Aug-09 11:21:14

I agree - it leads to that "main parent" syndrome that isn't helpful for anyone

abouteve Thu 20-Aug-09 11:54:15

Also agree that £40 is a lot of maintenance before benefits are affected. This won't encourage lone parents to do part time work. Anyway this thread isn't one of those threads. smile

BitOfFun Thu 20-Aug-09 12:08:10

It is now hmm

MissSunny Thu 20-Aug-09 12:17:26

Message withdrawn

Snorbs Thu 20-Aug-09 12:19:13

Meh, as if I'd ever be in the position of getting £40pw maintenance from my ex. She seems quite happy staying on benefits and leaching off her latest boyf... hmm

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