money stuff - is this ok?(6 Posts)
Hi, I'm new here, at first I just wanted to read and get ideas, "indirect" advices but I realised how experienced and wise everyone is around here, not to mention tolerant and helpful, and I felt like sharing and giving it a try.
I won't explain the whole story to save you some time.
Thing is, DP and his ex have a personal agreement, they didn't involve the CSA because she would be getting too less money and she claimed that if she wouldn't get the amount she wanted, she'd move far away, she said it was because she couldn't afford the place she lives in but nobody's buying that excuse. She also told DP custody should be 60/40, when he realised he was actually getting the kid 50% of the time, he asked her if they could change that since the kid was here very often and DP enjoyed it but couldn't always afford it. She of course would decline and go crazy, she used to have horrible and scary depression problems, hope for the sake of the kid she's better now.
So they kept that agreement, she didn't like it that we were dating and at some point we moved in together, I don't earn much but all my money goes to this household because DP is paying too much. The problem came when we realised she wasn't feeding the child properly, sometimes not at all, I got really angry because we're practically broke and still have to feed the kid and pay her. I still think DSS's health is more important so we agreed to have him after school every day, including the days she's supposed to have him, so I would give him proper food and get him to do his homework (that's something else she can't manage to do). DP told her she can pick him up after work. If it were my child I would prepare his meals a day before and tell him to use the microwave, he's 13 so he knows how all of that works, She just can't go througt the trouble.
Now, I know she doesn't work everyday and she's done by 17 but the kid is still being picked up after 19, sometimes 20 and I'm starting to feel like a full time mum since he's out of school by 14 sometimes 12. We also don't want him to be out the whole day so we welcome him here for as long as his mum is out but it's simply not fair, DP tried to talk to her but she's back to not caring for his homework and feeding him on pizza and hot dogs.
My question is, is it possible to do something about the money and the agreement they have? The thing is, it's on paper and DP says that complicates everything and makes it impossible to change without her consent. I don't want DSS to stop coming after school, he knows this is his home whether it's our day to have him or not, but as many of you know, kids need to eat proper food and have all their meals and that is not free, paying her every month already leaves us having trouble of our own, now having to spend extra money to do something she's receiving money for is starting to make things look pretty tight, I'm really worried and I don't know for how long we can keep this, my savings are almost gone and I know that if we could tell her there is a way we can get more custody and or give her less money and show her with an official back up, she would take more responsibility because by now she's used to all the extra money getting from DP (us) and the government.
Any ideas? Thanks for your time
After a year of a court based agreement, you may revert to the CSA in order to pay your CM. There is a calculator online to show you how much this should be.
If the agreement isn't a legal one then you don't have to wait the year and can revert to CSA at any time.
You do run the risk though of, in order for her to maximise CM, her saying that she won't let DSS stay with you ever. Then you'd have to go through the courts to get custody orders and things which is why if you can manage to carry on paying, a lot of NRPs keep the status quo. This is probably your partner's fear.
If however, you can't afford it, and it seems that you can't. You need to do something.
As for the pizza and hotdogs, I'd let that one go. Some perfectly good parents feed their kids on crap behind closed doors. Unless it is actual neglect, you can't really claim your a better parent for him because you cook. (well, you can - I do! but not offically )
Thank you, scotchmeg. I think I don't mind the junk food as much as her not giving him food at all. There's been a lot going on that show's she's been neglecting the kid and child protection has also been involved because there were too many concerns coming from the teachers at school and they don't know the half of what's been going on, things got better but I've adviced DP to maybe get family counseling, or some kind of help before something ugly happens. I talked to a youth counselor to get advice and he said the kid shouldn't live under those conditions and it would be good to either find family therapy or get child protection involved, as long as the father gets in touch with them and shows he's concerned and responsible, they wouldn't take the kid away from him, which yes, right now is what he fears the most. I don't know if getting them involved and telling him about the things she's been doing would help settle a better share of the custody, my fear is that they would take the kid away from her, I don't think any child should go through that, mums are an essential and extremely important part of children's lives
Has your DP considered applying to court to have residence? This doesn't need to involve any social workers taking DSS off his mum - just a recognition that his needs are best met by living with his dad, and he could see his mum a couple of days a week, or whatever arrangements you made - but there is no way your DP would be obliged to pay any money to his ex if his DS was officially living with him - he'd get the child benefit, tax credits, etc too. But would seek advice from a solicitor first if I were you as to which way it would likely go in court. If you do think of going down that route, I think it helps if you keep a track of all the days you've had him (either for dinner or overnight) - but it's risky - a friend of mine did that, and lost the court case and his ex was afterwards much less inclined to let him have his DS, even when she clearly wasn't in a state to look after him, because he'd used the fact that he had him 60%+ of the time against her in court.
Thank you so much, I guess I'll mention it to DP, I think we're both scared of what she might do next and how it will affect the kid. Thank you for your ideas, I really appreciate it.
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