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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).

EMS23 Wed 07-Nov-12 19:59:02

catsmother - I sympathise, DH's ex moved 200 miles away and never once brought DSS to DH. We've since moved to be closer (10 miles away now!) and she's still never picked up or dropped off!

Bagofspiders Wed 07-Nov-12 20:01:30

Yeah, same daft situation here. We have 1 DSC 90% of the time & 2DSC's 50% of the time. DP's ex is still the 'parent with care' and gets all the benefits for all of them plus DP has to pay her maintenance. It's depressing.

HKnight Fri 09-Nov-12 05:44:33

We are in similar situation, hubbie and I have a baby and I earn more than hubbie. For us its cheaper for me to go back to work and hubbie look after little one. Our baby has health issues and we don't want to put her in childcare as she is so little and we still trying to work out what's wrong with her. Together we want to support DSS but can't afford quite the same as before (not csa rates either), this has also timed with ex's new hubbie losing his job. Its making an already very acrimonious relationship even worse. But what to do? No one thinks their baby will be poorly and no one expects to be out of work. Life is sometimes unfair, wish all sides could see that and work together on a solution. What does fighting solve, nothing, just causes upset especially for the kids.

ChocHobNob Fri 09-Nov-12 11:42:20

Bagofspiders, if your partner has one DSC 90% of the time, he needs to apply for the child benefit for that child and then he will be officially declared the "parent with care" for CSA purposes. Then he can claim child support from the Mother.

Bagofspiders Fri 09-Nov-12 13:01:10

We've tried that choc. It will only work if his ex will agree that she lives with us. Apparently we can get proof from the school but although DH filled out all the paperwork in his name his ex managed to change it all to hers (without his consent) and now they won't change it back without her consent, which she won't give. The only way of getting anyone official to accept the situation would be to take it to court and we don't have the money for that on top of all the maintenance etc. angry

ChocHobNob Fri 09-Nov-12 13:14:55

If there are two parents claiming to have the child live with them the majority of the time, they should do an investigation into the case and ask both parties for their arguments and a decision maker would decide. It doesn't need to go to court.

It is judged on the amount of time the child spends with each parent, how much the parents financially provide for day to day costs ie. clothes, uniforms, school dinners. You partner should be able to get the child benefit paid to him based on the fact that the child stays with him 90% of the time. It shouldn't have to go to court. And it shouldn't be down to the Mother having to agree the child lives with him. That would just speed up the process.

He should try and provide evidence of how often the child is with him. A diary. Photographs.

izzywizzyisbizzy Fri 09-Nov-12 13:46:37

Apparently photos of children in their jamas with a paper in front of the evening news have been used in situations like that.

Petal02 Fri 09-Nov-12 14:42:26

It just seems really incredible that a father can have his children for 40%/50%/60%+ of the time, but the mother is still the one who gets the benefits and the maintenance. When my DH first split from his ex, he asked his solicitor about 50/50 care, and his solicitor pointed out that even in this case he’d still need to pay maintenance. Did I see a comment further up the thread that such circumstances are now under review?

Sadly, too many women want it all their own way – ie, that their exes do the lion’s share of the child-care (probably putting in more hours/travelling than some resident fathers) and still paying hefty chunks of maintenance. My DH’s ex is still very ‘keen’ about maintenance – if DH ever has DSS for a few hours less per week than scheduled, the ex starts wittering about ringing the CSA and complaining that DH isn’t “doing his bit”, but the reverse never applies - it’s not like we demand a maintenance rebate if we take DSS away on holiday for a week!

Cloverhoney Fri 09-Nov-12 14:58:05

Apparently they are under review but only if you can prove an absolute 50 / 50 split which I don't really get given the odd number of days in year confused

And it sucks for those that have say a 45 / 55 split.

At the moment the person without the child benefit pays maintenance. And if both parents apply for the child benefit - it's the one that applied first that gets it regardless of whether or not they're doing the lion's share of the care!!! Nuts.

ChocHobNob Fri 09-Nov-12 18:23:25

It isn't Clover. If both apply for the child benefit, the child benefit claim should be frozen and an investigation done by the child benefit people into who is the main carer. They have guidelines to go by and the person who has the majority of day to day care, majority of financial day to day costs, the person whose name is on education and medical records etc and the person who the child spends most overnights with is considered the main carer. They should not go on someone's say so that they are the carer and it certainly shouldn't be a case of "she claimed it in her name first so the father can't have it". What if the Mother abandoned the child? Would she continue receiving the money even if Dad could prove he has 100% care of his child? People need to fight more if they are coming up against unfair hurdles. Contact your local MP and get them to write to them on your behalf.

Cloverhoney Sat 10-Nov-12 06:40:55

That's interesting and totally at odds with what the CSA told my DH. We do know of a Dad doing 100% care, not getting the CB and still paying maintenance. And we know of two more doing 50 / 50 care in the same situation.

I shall tell my DH to investigate further! Thank you.

izzywizzyisbizzy Sat 10-Nov-12 09:02:45

This happened to us, and we simply filled in their form with dates when SC lived with us, mother ended up - I believe - paying back a fortune, apparently that was our fault and not her for fraudulently claiming tax credits and CB for a child who didnt live with her.

ChocHobNob Sat 10-Nov-12 11:09:58

The CSA have absolutely nothing to do with Child Benefit and shouldn't be giving out information or advice about claims. They don't even know their own systems or rules properly so I certainly wouldn't be taking anything they say about outside organisations as the truth!

They just (inaccurately) use child benefit as the deciding factor over who is the "parent with care". There are no guidelines or legislation saying they should use child benefit that way, it's just what they have always done because it makes their life easier. They know Mum "usually" claims the child benefit because she is "usually" the stay at home parent or the lower earner, even when it doesn't always reflect the true dynamics of who is the parent with most care in the family.

They are going to have to rethink using child benefit in this way when the child benefit changes come into play next year. There may be no child benefit paid for a child if both parents don't qualify for whatever reason. It should be interesting.

When it comes to exact 50/50 care is when it gets very tricky and fathers may struggle to be awarded the child benefit because they can only pay it to one person and if it is completely 50/50 they'll leave it with the existing claimant.

ladydeedy Mon 03-Dec-12 20:37:04

It's not down to you. It is unfortunate that your DH is struggling a bit at the moment (and therefore implications for you too, as a couple). Imagine if it were the mother struggling. It wouldnt mean she could expect more from your DH, would it? This is just how things are at the moment, uncertain work situations etc. As you were already paying for extras, I think ex can count herself pretty lucky for the extra help she has had to date. I would suggest going through CSA. FWIW, my DH had a court ordered maintenance order and could often not afford it. I used to pay it as our finances are pretty much joint and I am the main breadwinner. Even when one of the two DSCs came to live with us, DH's exw wrote to say she still expected to be paid the money!!! One cuts one's cloth according to the money coming in. If your DH is not earning v much right now, she has to adjust accordingly (as you are having to also....).

Athendof Mon 03-Dec-12 20:48:14

Just for the record... Yes if she increases her hours her benefits will go down. I went from 3 days a week to 5 recently. The tax crdits have gone down while my child care expenses have gone up. By working almost twice the amount of hours I am only about £100 better off and note that I earn a modest but not a basic salary. But I need the money so there are no choices to be made

I'm sure my ex and his new partner think I'm spending the meagre child maintenance in having a good life (probably that's why he has not paid more than half of what he should for several years), not aware about how badly we are struggling. Someway I think that your partner's ex has learned not to trust his words and doesn't believe he is experiencing difficulties. In the same way that you don't think she really needs the money. :-(

Athendof Mon 03-Dec-12 20:48:51

Ps £100 better of a month

PoppyPrincess Tue 04-Dec-12 12:22:41

If he had been made redundant then he wouldn't be expected to pay out money he hasn't got would he? And CSA wouldn't expect his wife to pay maintenance either.
Yes it is your DH's responsibility to pay her money when he has it but I'm sure he is doing his best to make the business earn some money, I doubt that he's enjoying having no money for himself and he's being 'kept' by his wife.
Yes I'm sure his ex probably won't be well off but I managed to survive as a lone parent working part time and getting tax credits with no maintenance from ex, I know lots of others who do. She will survive.
I really do think you'd all benefit from going through the CSA, my DP's ex was very demanding and we got loads of hassle from her over it so we have now applied to CSA so if she know doesn't get what she wants when she wants it she can ring them to complain instead of us.
However, I think if someone is self employed they will prob make a decision based on his annual profits and prob still have to pay her money, even if he hasn't got it. But if they decide that the payments should be less than what he's paying now then hopefully he wouldn't end up in a situation where he has no money to give her.
It sounds to me like you are doing more than enough. No way would I give DP's X a penny of my money. I'd buy the kids stuff they need like clothes and shoes etc but not give her money

NotaDisneyMum Tue 04-Dec-12 12:51:55

Poppy That's what I've been doing.

DP was made redundant a year ago, and as his ex had applied to the CSA years ago without even trying to agree a private arrangement, they dropped the CM payments to the minimum and she was furious!

He tried hard to find another job, and tried to set up as freelance as well - and I bought DSS the things he needed when he was here, covered the cost of clubs etc.

His ex didn't change her standard of living at all; despite losing not only several £hundred in CM every month but also she was affected by the change in threshold for tax credits and lost those a few months later. She has moaned endlessly to the DCs' and anyone else who will listen about how she hadn't got any money and is struggling to make ends meet - usually to people at the gym she pays a monthly membership to!

I've had a lot of vitriol directed at me for "robbing" my DSC of the money they deserve from their Dad - I'm not quite sure why really - but I've learnt to let it wash over me and not get het up when I'm told that DP should move away from his family in order to get another job and financially support his DC's. I think it's a shame that some people equate the roll of a parent with money - any scmuck can hand over cash, but it takes a special kind of man to be a Dad smile

PoppyPrincess Tue 04-Dec-12 13:21:20

notadisneymum how on earth are you ''robbing'' DSC? Surely anybody with half a brain cell can work out that if ur DH has been made redundant then that means it is also putting a huge financial strain on you?! I'm guessing you'll be the one paying all the bills, feeding him etc and no matter how well off a person or a couple is you live to your means so to lose a whole income is hard.
DP's ex is obsessed with money, it's all she bloody goes on about. There's times when I want to just show her our bank statements to say ''look we don't have any F***ing money, you earn more than the 2 of us put together, now do one you greedy, selfish bitch!'' Lol but no I just smile and think of fluffy puppies haha

NotaDisneyMum Tue 04-Dec-12 13:28:59

Poppy The argument put to me was that because my DP was choosing to stat and live with me and DD, rather than move to another part of the UK where he was more likely to secure employment, I was depriving his DCs of the financial support they would otherwise have received. It is, apparently, better for him to give financially than have regular, meaningful contact with his DCs.

It's quite a widely shared view on the LP board of MN!

Petal02 Tue 04-Dec-12 15:13:15

If a man and woman are together, and the man’s income drops, then the woman will have less money to spend. Why should his theory be any different if a man and woman are no longer to together? For example, £15k per year pays for a lot less than £75k per annum, regardless of whether a couple are together or not. So many women have the (weird) idea that their maintenance payments should be ring-fenced regardless of the circumstances and it’s totally unrealistic. If you’re together, you take the rough with the smooth (financially speaking) and it’s no different if you’re apart.

prettyfly1 Wed 05-Dec-12 12:56:47

I will get entirely flamed but I tell you what hell would freeze over before I handed dps ex my income. I am told regularly, in letters, over the phone, in person and by my dss that I am not his mother, have no influence on his life am not important, am just his dads bit of stuff and dont count in any way shape or form so as far as I am concerned my income is my business and I wouldnt hand over a single solitary penny of it. Their child = their business is the line most of us get fed when we complain about behaviour issues, discipline guidelines or access concerns so guess what - their child, their business when it comes to finance.

PoppyPrincess Wed 05-Dec-12 13:34:33

prettyfly I wish there was a ' like' button on here like there is on Facebook.
You're right, we're not relevant one minute but as soon as it involves money we are.
At the mo the ex doesn't want the kids to see me, come to my/our house, even speak to me in the school playground but I would bet your bottom dollar if DP lost his job she'd expect me to pay the maintenance and I'd have 2 words for her... Starts with F and ends in off!

Petal02 Wed 05-Dec-12 13:38:30

Hell would freeze over before I handed DPs ex my income

Ditto. My situation is different to yours Prettyfly, so I have no issue with paying for extras etc for DSS when he’s with us, but there is no way on earth I would ever give money to DH’s ex. I work full time, she stays at home drinking cappuccino and watching Jeremy Kyle. If she wants more money, she can get off her rapidly-increasing backside and get a job.

HKnight Wed 05-Dec-12 13:48:36

Can I just say that if there was a like button I would be hitting it too! I buy my DSS new things when he needs it, but I will never be sending my money to his ex.

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