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Why does she think I should pay CM? (sorry long)

(121 Posts)
VBisme Mon 05-Nov-12 22:55:11

Dh and I have been married for less than 2 months, they've been split over 5 years, and I was nothing to do with the split.

I am fortunate that I have a reasonably good job, DH has his own business which is struggling.

Dh has 2 girls from a previous marriage and an ex wife who isn't particularly nice to either of us, or supportive of the kids seeing DH (although we do travel to see them every weekend, sometimes this is blocked).

DH has finally run out of money and is at his overdraft limit, given that we've both been married before and had difficult divorces, we keep our money completely separate.

I have paid all our bills for the last 4 months to help DH pay CM to his ex at a significantly higher rate than the CSA would expect. But his funds are now maxed out, so he's sent her his last £300 and said that he'll pay her the rest when the business starts making money (which should be in the next couple of months).

I can understand why she'd be annoyed at her income being reduced, but her first e-mail back was demanding that I paid her the money instead "if I cared about the girls at all", and that DH "should get a proper job" or "he won't see his girls again".

DH responded suggesting that she could increase her hours if she was struggling too (she works part time 3 days a week), to which he got the answer "that would reduce my benefits".

In addition to the money DH has been paying in CM I cover all the music lessons, sports club fees, buy the coats and shoes for school and anything they need (clothes toiletries trainers etc when they are with us).

Is it wrong of me to want to save for the future for DH, me and the kids? (I have opened saving accounts for each of the girls for university), or should I just give in and pay her the money so DH gets access to his kids? (which would mean me using my overdraft as well).

lisad123 Mon 05-Nov-12 22:59:08

Tell her to go to CSA. They are his children, not yours. You did agree to take them on as yours if you married him but it seems you are helping with their stuff. Personally I wouldn't give ex any money, but would make sure the kids are ok.

stinkinseamonkey Mon 05-Nov-12 23:00:55

does she have the kind of job where she can do 2 of her 3 days at weekends when your OH can do the childcare, so there's only one day of CM to pay, these days a lot of couples who are still together have to tag team with work to cut childcare costs so it'd be a sensible thing to do even when separated?

EMS23 Mon 05-Nov-12 23:07:24

By CM, do you mean maintenance or childminder?

I think your DH needs to find a job ASAP to allow him to continue paying maintenance. It's all very well him giving her 'his last £300' but the DC's don't stop costing money just because he can't afford it. Did he give his ex much notice that the money would be stopped?

FWIW, my DH and I have completely joint finances so while he wasn't working for 2 years I was, in effect, paying his child maintenance for my DSS so my feeling is that actually, yes, you should cover it till your DH can earn enough himself again.

VBisme Mon 05-Nov-12 23:07:30

She works in a school, (but not a teacher), so she finishes at 2.30 every day and the girls are 11 & 13, so okay for a while in the house by themselves if it's necessary, and my parents help out as well (only family close) so they don't have any childcare costs.

lisad123 Mon 05-Nov-12 23:09:56

I agree though he does need to find a job ASAP, it wouldn't wash if he lived with them, why should it just because they are apart.

ScariestFairyByFar Mon 05-Nov-12 23:10:33

Stink - think cm is child maintenance not child minder.

stinkinseamonkey Mon 05-Nov-12 23:11:32

sorry I thought you meant child minder costs, yeah in that case I agree with lisa and would also be interested in how much notice he gave his ex so that she could budget for less

"building a buisness" is sort of a luxury, DH would love to go out on his own, but while we have DS to support and Im on SMP he accepts that its not the right time as like lisa said, kids don't stop needing money while you "build a buisness" and until I can make up his shortfall he doesn't have the luxury of starting up on his own I'm afraid!

VBisme Mon 05-Nov-12 23:12:20

By CM I mean maintenance, not child minder, sorry for the confusion.

Yes, he's been warning her for a few months that he can't continue to pay over the CSA amount, but I don't think she took it seriously.

DuelingFanjo Mon 05-Nov-12 23:13:13

Why do your parents help out with her children? Are they particularly close to them? Seems odd to me.

It's your dh's responsibility to provide for his own children, what did he do in the previous five years?

stinkinseamonkey Mon 05-Nov-12 23:13:33

so is he still paying the CSA amt and just not the extras?

EMS23 Mon 05-Nov-12 23:16:41

Well it sounds like at the moment you've got an informal arrangement and perhaps it would be best for her and you/ DH if it was formalised via CSA.
That way she'd know where she stood and you wouldn't feel you we're paying too much.

FWIW, while I think your DH has been unreasonable here in just stopping paying maintenance, I also strongly disagree with his ex threatening to cut contact for that reason. Children are not and should not be pay per view.

VBisme Mon 05-Nov-12 23:19:55

Yes he's still paying the CSA amount, but not the additional. As soon as the business picks up she will be getting the additional again, plus more.
He really does want to support his kids, I just object to me being expected to do so.
My parents help out because the girls see them most weekends and if she isn't home at the agreed contact time sometimes the girls have to stay with them until she can collect them. (This is always weekends, so not job related).Both the girls and my parents enjoy spending time together, so it isn't an issue.

VBisme Mon 05-Nov-12 23:24:45

Sorry trying to respond to everyone.

DF in the previous period he had a job, he was made redundant and his redundancy pay has finally run out.

EMS23 yes I agree getting the payment formalised would be good, and so would contact. I think to get contact sorted we'll end up in court. Which won't be great for anyone, particularly the kids.

DuelingFanjo Mon 05-Nov-12 23:24:47

If he really wants to support them then he needs to get a job which will. Sounds like what he is doing now just doesn't earn enough. You should not be expected to pay and legally no one would be able to make you.

DuelingFanjo Mon 05-Nov-12 23:25:54

What's your husband's (df?) opinion on this?
Does he think you should pay?

Missmuffet28 Mon 05-Nov-12 23:29:10

I think people are being harsh op I think you should tell her to go to Csa if she is going to be awkward if you guys are giving the ex more than she is entitled to then I don't get why she is being silly about it especially if your paying for other stuff too, your dh has his own business and so what it's struggling at the moment.... Name a business that isn't! At least he is off his backside trying to make his way in life and not sat living off the social there are not many jobs out there why should he give up a business he put together with his own merits to get a job that he might get?
It doesn't sound to me like the dc's are going without and why should you guys have a hard time and get into debt if they are getting what they need, and if she refuses access take her to court and get an order, I don't get why people are always so quick to think that the ex should bleed the poor nrp and their family dry she chose to have kids too she should damn well make more of an effort to supprt them also if she is struggling that much.
All just my opinion of course smile

VBisme Mon 05-Nov-12 23:31:35

DF No he doesn't think I should pay, but obviously he told me he wasn't going to be able to pay what he had been, and then his ex suggested I should.

I don't want to, and the only way I could contribute to her household would be to take money out of the saving accounts I've set up for the kids university (ironically).

I was just interested to know other peoples opinion, because I'd love to be able to afford it, and like I say I could by taking money out of their savings, but I don't think it's the right thing to do.

What would happen if he hadn't married me? Getting a job isn't that easy at the moment.

VBisme Mon 05-Nov-12 23:38:38

Sorry, I meant to say I don't want to, I can't afford to, but I still feel guilty and I'm wonering whether she's right in expecting me to pay.

KatharineClifton Mon 05-Nov-12 23:45:45

No, she isn't right in expecting you to pay. It used to be this way but was changed.

VBisme Mon 05-Nov-12 23:50:21

Thank you everyone for your responses. I'm off to bed now, and if there's anyway DH can pay her more money this month he will. (tbh I think if there's anyway I can afford it we'll pay it, it just doesn't look like I can).

izzywizzyisbizzy Mon 05-Nov-12 23:57:41

He is paying more than he should, I cant believe how many extras you are paying for!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thats what benefits are for at the end of the day.

Also if they are 11 and 13 forget about court, they will say do what the girls want.

allnewtaketwo Tue 06-Nov-12 06:10:11

She needs to increase her hours and earn more herself. That is what she would have to do if they were still together and he wasn't earning. Also, her benefits disregard all this money he has been paying her, so the children won't go without.

Cloverhoney Tue 06-Nov-12 06:35:29

I don't think it's your duty to pay at all. I've never paid my DH's child support for him but I have paid for extras when he's been short - school dinners, extra-curricular activities etc. I didn't do it because I felt it was my duty though, I did it to avoid the resulting hassle of him telling his ex that he couldn't pay. Agreed, tell her to go to the CSA.

Kaluki Tue 06-Nov-12 11:21:25

I can see this from both sides.
Just because your DH's business is struggling doesn't negate his responsibility to his dc. They continue to need feeding and clothing regardless.
When I was single and working part time I was on Working Tax Credits and it made no difference if I worked extra hours as the extra was just taken off the tax credits. Not right I know but that is the way the system works, so I also see her point on that.
Sending her his 'last' £300 and telling her she'll get more when he has got it isn't helpful when she has to budget too and is no doubt counting on this income.
BUT on the other hand, why should it be your problem? They are his dc and ultimately paying for them is his responsibility. If he has run out of money then it shouldn't fall to you to pay for them.
If he is paying more than the CSA amount then would it be worth him telling his ex wife he will pay her the CSA amount for a while and go back to paying more as and when he can. My DP had to do this when he was made redundant - his ex didn't like it but it was better than nothing.

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