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Arrangements with Ex-husband upsetting new partner...

(39 Posts)
almostabutterfly Thu 24-Sep-09 13:34:43

Hi - First time on here so please excuse me if I don't abbreviate correctly! Have read a few other threads and think I could use some impartial advice from the wise (that's you btw).

Ok, I have two daughters (7 and 4) and separated from my husband 2.5 years ago. He was a rubbish husband (struggled with the monogamy element of marriage)but is a good dad. Since we split up he has always seen the girls every other weekend and for tea on a Wednesday (he lives very nearby). The arrangement suits us all: most importantly, the girls are happy and doing well at school, have lots of friends etc.

My partner of two years is wonderful and loves the girls and me very much. The four of us (me, him and the girls) have lived happily together for around nine months now. We go halves on everything to do with the house, bills, food etc. He is very generous with the girls in terms of time and money. All has been great until last Friday he told me that I need to make a decision about the future in terms of the girls seeing their dad and the amount of money he pays in maintenance, albeit in the heat of a minor argument about something else.

I am lucky enough to work from home so I can be around for the girls and earn fairly decent money, while my ex pays £200.00 a month (he earns £40K +). My partner said that if my ex paid the CSA's rate I would be able to work less and be around more : I work anti-social hours (8.30-midnight) to get my contracted hours done six nights a week, but with my youngest on full school days from Monday next week I will be able to work through the day and take evenings off so spend even more time with my partner. So really, we are on the cusp of being able to spend time together every night of the week once we put the girls to bed.

He said that the current arrangement with my ex is unfair to him, but since this has been the arrangement that has been in place since I met him and that he's never complained about before (and it works for all other parties) is it fair that he expects me to cut the girls' dad out?

I know what I think, but it's hard to see the wood for the trees sometimes.

Please be honest with me...would appreciate your opinions. Thanks!

GypsyMoth Thu 24-Sep-09 13:37:54

so what does your partner propose?

the girls contact time with dad seems very normal,its what other dads get. plus half of holidays too?

GypsyMoth Thu 24-Sep-09 13:38:20

oh,hello and welcome by the way!!

CarGirl Thu 24-Sep-09 13:40:02

errr I cannot see his point about access, it sounds fine and he should be enjoying the weekend off from them to have one to one with you.

About the money perhaps you could ask your ex for a raise inline with inflation, older girls do cost more than young one tbh.

OrmIrian Thu 24-Sep-09 13:40:08

"is it fair that he expects me to cut the girls' dad out? "

How does he want to do this? I can see his point about the money - it doesn't sound much if he earns 40k. But it's up to you when and how you work surely? The access arrangments seem to be OK for everyone else - bit unfair to change them because his nose is out of joint.

tinkerbellesmuse Thu 24-Sep-09 13:41:34

Not sure I really understand this but here goes:

If he wants you to try and get your ex to contribute more money that seems reasonable £200 per month if he's on £40k doesn't seem nearly enough to me.

If he wants your ex to spend less time with the girls (is that what you meant by cut their dad out??) that is entirely unreasonable.

Blu Thu 24-Sep-09 13:42:55

I think if you have been happy with the arrangement with ex, then it is absolutely nothing to do with your new partner, and he needs to understand that.

Also - why would a change in money mean a change on how ,much your ex sees his children?

I don't understand why the current arrangement with your EX is unfair to your new dp.

I have no experience of CSA rates of maintenance at all, but your new DP's attitude perhaps has a whiff of controlling behaviour about it.

MadreInglese Thu 24-Sep-09 13:43:01

"The arrangement suits us all: most importantly, the girls are happy"

there is your answer I think

Bramshott Thu 24-Sep-09 13:46:10

Maybe he is saying in a roundabout way that he wishes you didn't have to work so hard, and feels that if your ex-H contributed more, you wouldn't have to.

MadameDefarge Thu 24-Sep-09 13:46:33

I'm confused. He wants your dcs to spend less time with their dad? Why?

And he wants edh to pay more maintenance? This is a separate issue surely? In this respect, yes your finances should be joint now, but exdh contribution is surely nothing to do with how much you earn or work?

I can see from your dps point of view, that if the standard amount via CSA would be more, that he would see that as reasonable and should be pursued. You say your current P is generous, but I should imagine that even the most generous person in the world might get narked at having to top up exdh's contributions. But every situation is different, and I assume you have your reasons for not renegotiating the amount. If not, not harm in looking at them again. Children get more expensive as they get older!

If you are about the change your working patterns then maybe that will solve a lot of the tension.

diddl Thu 24-Sep-09 13:47:14

What does he want-for your ex to see them more or less?

When you say he sees them every other weekend & weds for tea-is that all at your place & with your partner there, or your ex has them to stay?

Does he want to alter it so that is seems as if he has some control and is as/more important than your ex and daughters.

mumblechum Thu 24-Sep-09 13:47:45

Your husband should be paying about £400 pcm, with maybe a small reduction for the two weekends per month he has the girls staying with him.

I'm another one whocan't see the link between your husband paying the correct amount of child maintenance and being cut out of your daughters' lives.

moondog Thu 24-Sep-09 13:49:45

I'm interested in why the children's father sees the kids so rarely.
How come??

GypsyMoth Thu 24-Sep-09 13:55:07

every other weekend and a mid week is the 'norm' kids haven't seen there dad for 3 years almost!

with work and school and 2 families,i think this is a fair arrangement. but what about holidays?

moondog Thu 24-Sep-09 13:56:02

Wouldn't be the norm in my book.
Yourv poor kids TIFFANY. sad
Does it upset them?

MadameDefarge Thu 24-Sep-09 14:02:17

every separated family has to make whatever arrangements work for them (even if it means huge compromise!).

My ds (after years of shillyshallying around on exps part) finally got into a routine of weekends with dad.

but I got no child support. My decision not to pursue it, as exp just ran away each time is was brought up and ds suffered. So I took the decision that I would support ds myself and never expect anything. It has worked.

Now ds is living with exp during the week and finally getting to experience what I had for seven years. (Having said that, it kills me not to be with my boy, but it is best for him at the moment, and he loves being with dad. Cos dad is so cool. Grrh!)

So I suppose I am saying nothing is set in stone.

But still really confused about the bit about current DP trying to cut xDH out of lives... I cant see the logic, can OP clarify this? because that is a lot more worrying than squabbles about cash.

GypsyMoth Thu 24-Sep-09 14:03:29

the younger 2 it does,yes. a bit. the older 2 no.

they saw alot of his violence,and when he did have access to them he did some terrible things. which you wouldn't believe! however,he has problems,and being in prison,etc is not nice for the kids to know about,so i downplay as much as i can.

MadameDefarge Thu 24-Sep-09 14:05:52

IloveT, god, poor babies. Poor you. But all respect for moving on. One of the hardest parts is accepting you can't make it perfect, or anyway near perfect for them. Not that I have had violence with exp, but was brought up with it, so know it from child's point of view.

pithyslicker Thu 24-Sep-09 14:08:40

Every other weekend and one night a week is the minimum time the courts normally set.

If I was awarded this little contact I would be devastated.

BonsoirAnna Thu 24-Sep-09 14:17:00

First of all, "arrangements" over access and money change over time. We have a yearly renegotiation built into the agreement between DP and exW, and additional changes are made on a needs basis. It is absolutely OK for your partner to have been OK with an arrangement up until now and to feel that it is time to move on - this will, and should, happen time and again in your relationship, and you need to be prepared for this.

Your DDs don't see much of their father. I understand that your DD2 was very tiny when you separated from their father, but really, now that they are both bigger, they ought to be spending much more time at their father's house, or else their relationship with him will be quite fragile.

If your ex is only contributing £200 x 12 = £2,400 a year to your children's upbringing while earning in excess of £40,000, it is quite fair for your DP to think that your exH should be contributing more.

sincitylover Thu 24-Sep-09 14:27:02

This minimum is the arrangement exh and I came to and I would say he sees them less than that - ie 24 hours every other weekend and four hours during the week if he's not on an overseas trip.

As far as I'm aware you can't force exps/hs to see their dcs more often even if you would like it. I have regularly asked mine to see them more or even for the minimum but he doesn't

As regards maintenance he should be paying 20% of his net (unless it's changed) income so as someone said should be around 400 - 480 per month. Again this is the minimum.

I personally would not like any new p to pay too much towards my dcs. It might feel awkward.

overmydeadbody Thu 24-Sep-09 14:35:38

Your new partner has absolutely no right to try to dictate how muich the dds see their fsther, absolutely none whatsoever.

As for the maintainance, again it is not his place to try to dictate but it could be worth seeing if he will pay more, not so you can cut down your hours but so you can save it for the girls for things they need or for when they are older etc.

IloveTiffany my DS hasn't seen his dad for four years sad

almostabutterfly Thu 24-Sep-09 15:03:11

Thank you SO much for taking the time. Think I need to clarify a couple of things... I get paid hourly, so my partner's point is that if my ex paid more maintenance then I wouldn't have to do quite so many hours in the evening BUT as I said originally, life changes next week when my youngest is on full days and I no longer have to work at night so this argument becomes invalid.

The girls see their dad every other weekend from Friday teatime until Sunday evening, and when they see him for tea on a Wednesday it is at HIS house on his own with them. They also go to my ex in-laws in Spain for a week or 10 days in the summer. Ex husband works away a lot during the week and this is the best arrangement we could manage.

Reading your responses, is it my partner that needs to decide if he wants to be part of our lives as they are, rather than me making changes to the arrangements to make him feel happier?

overmydeadbody Thu 24-Sep-09 15:07:59

yes that's it exactly almostbutterfly, it is him who needs to accept these arrangelents or move on, not you who needs to adapt them to suit him.

MadameDefarge Thu 24-Sep-09 15:14:17

Thing is OP, we can't see where you new P wants the visitation arrangement to change...

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