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money issues - getting petty

(25 Posts)
MsColour Sun 26-Jan-14 13:10:13

My dp has dss 50% of the time. When he worked 9-5 he paid for most of dss' childcare - his ex had the rest paid from tax credits and then she paid for most clothes etc. as she got the tax credits and child benefit. When her partner moved in and she lost the tax credits then she started trying to get more money out of him (which he didn't have).

Recently, he has gone self-employed and after negotiating with her they decided to share the child benefit and then split costs 50:50 on the proviso that they would discuss any purchases that needed to be made first.

Predictably, it is getting a bit petty. One issue is that dp collects dss from school every day which is in a neighbouring town. So if he is going back to his mum's dp will be driving backwards and forwards from neighboring town 3 times in a day so is constantly filling his car with petrol. It also means he is taking time out of the business which he has to make up at other times. He is happy to do this but we felt it was a bit of a drain on our already tight finances. So they agreed she would pay a small amount of petrol money each week but she is now looking for any reason not to pay it. She has asked dp to pay half the cost of a passport because she is taking dss abroad (no chance of us going anywhere abroad anytime soon) and half the cost the cost of a bike despite him having a bike in our shed. She said he needed new vests and dp pointed out we have loads here and we'd send them over but she bought some anyway and is now saying dp needs to send her the £3 or she won't be sending half the child benefit. Our finances are joint so it affects all of us.

I am starting to resent it tbh. My dcs' dad pays nothing for them so I have to be frugal. Nearly all ds's clothes are second hand (which is fine, he has some nice stuff) but I only ever buy stuff for did if she really needs it. DSS has mountains on clothes and mine just have what they need.

I think my situation probably clouds my judgment. I've had to manage without any financial support from my ex so I don't have much sympathy for her.

littleblackno Sun 26-Jan-14 13:18:06

I think they need to come up with a differejt agreement as this clearly isn't working.
Can you look on csa websitevand calculate what he should be paying and take it from there? He could agree to pay this and then she keeps cb but is responsible for all clothes etc if thrre is a bigger expense ie swimming lesson, bike etc then maybe they can split it if they both agree.
Or you get the cb and are reponsible for all the clothing etc, but doubt she eill agree to that.

MsColour Sun 26-Jan-14 13:22:06

Well according to CSA calculations he probably wouldn't have to pay anything as the business is barely turning a profit yet. But he doesn't want to be that dad who uses the fact he's self-employed to avoid paying towards his son.

purpleroses Sun 26-Jan-14 13:36:05

IF your finances are very tight, you might all be better off if your DP claimed child benefit and also tax credits. He could then use these to pay for quite a bit of DS's costs. But his ex may be willing to give up the child benefit, even if she'd be better off as she may see it as symbolic.

The simpler alternative is for one parent to pay the other a fixed amount (either the CSA amount, or a different amount that you both agree) and then that parent meets all the costs for things like clothes that move between houses, school trips, clubs, etc. And you each pay for things that live only at your house (eg bike), your own petrol money etc. Splitting everything 50-50 is going to be trouble if you start trying to claim petrol money, £3 for vests, etc off each other.

NatashaBee Sun 26-Jan-14 13:40:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MsColour Sun 26-Jan-14 13:59:41

I agree a different system is needed. I'm am resisting the urge to say 'I told you so' as I knew this would get petty. We can't claim tax credits as it's based on last year's income which is over the threshold unfortunately.

purpleroses Sun 26-Jan-14 14:12:29

You can claim tax credits based on this year's income if it's significantly lower - they may not pay you much to start with but will pay you back after the end of the year. Or put get the CB switched over now and put in a claim at the start of April.

FrogStarandRoses Sun 26-Jan-14 14:14:10

This happened between my ex and I - which is why we now use the CSA, despite 50:50, and because I get that paid to me (plus CB/tax credits) I am responsible for all DDs expenses.

Saying that, I wouldn't pay the petrol for exH running around, or passport costs for a holiday DD has with him.

You can claim tax credits/CB based on this years income if it is significantly different to last year - but personally, I'd leave her financially responsible for the DC and your DH go to the CSA and pay your DSC mum what they calculate (even if that's just a token amount at the moment because he's establishing a business) - your DH can spend extra on his DCs directly when he can afford it.

MsColour Sun 26-Jan-14 14:24:08

Think I may give tax credits a call as I lost all my tax credits when dp moved in based on last year's income. Don't think she'd want to transfer the cb though.

Damnautocorrect Sun 26-Jan-14 14:31:18

Don't forget with tax credit they work a year behind.
So this year his income is zero
Next year he makes 24k
Year 3 26k
They base next years on year 1 so gets a heafty payment.
Year three they say they overpaid year 2 and want it back. So you lose your monthly payment and have to find 3000 to pay them back

Just something to be aware of

FrogStarandRoses Sun 26-Jan-14 15:00:27

Dont Most self employed households work on current year figures with the tax credit system?
We do!

Damnautocorrect Sun 26-Jan-14 17:55:05

Not real time for this household.
Stuffed us up beyond believe

mumtobealloveragain Sun 26-Jan-14 23:09:05

I agree with the others. Why doesn't she use the CB for all expenses and if any left splits it with your DP to go towards general costs for the house given your DSS has two homes.

My DP's ex has just put in a claim for maintenance via the CSA. She has the Child Benefit for DSS so is legally entitled to. However , we have 50:50 residency and pay for all costs for when he is with us: uniform, shoes, clothes, trips etc. Larger expenses such as clubs and activities are supposed to be half each but we get end up paying them in full ourselves. It's absolute ridiculous as she won't agree to be financially responsible for everything and so he may end up paying her via CSA and paying for extras as otherwise the DSC miss out.

MsColour Mon 03-Feb-14 21:46:43

So we decided that dp would say to her to keep the child benefit and pay for everything herself. We won't ask for petrol money any more so dp will be covering childcare so is contributing in that way. She will still push it, I know, even though she will be better off this way.

MaryPoppinsCarpetBag Tue 04-Feb-14 09:17:36

Under the new CMS (previously CSA) system, if the "NRP" has them 50% of the time, no maintenance is due at all.

purpleroses Tue 04-Feb-14 13:33:42

I think that sounds a simpler system you've suggested.

NatashaBee Tue 04-Feb-14 16:53:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

purpleroses Tue 04-Feb-14 17:00:28

Natasha - it does make things a lot fairer, especially in cases where there was previously quite a lot of money changing hands between families who were already paying for 50-50 each for everything.

But examples like the OP's here do kind of illustrate the difficulties you can get into when you do try to split everything 50-50. It can kind of be easier to have one person pay the other, and then that one is responsible for everything - school meals, clothes, trips, etc. That seems to work really well for my ex and me - he pays me money (thought he has them somewhat less than 50-50) but he knows I then pay for everything and never ask him for anything more. It means he knows exactly what money will be required, and I can make my own decisions on what can be afforded. No room for arguing.

Frogbyanothername Tue 04-Feb-14 17:04:13

Not sure its always best, though.

The only way my DDs dad could ring fence money for DDs expenses from his creditors when he was agreeing a debt management plan was to pay CM though the CSA - because he is the "NRP" (for CB/tax credit purposes), he wasn't considered eligible for a reduction in debt repayments even though DD is 50:50. They do disregard CM payments though. So he pays the CSA, but we don't split costs 50:50, I pay for what DD needs (other than day to day costs in her Dads home).

I appreciate it's not the majority of cases, but there will be DCs who miss out. If DDs CSA case is closed and reassessed under the new rules, DDs dad (and consequently DD) will lose most of the money he currently pays the CSA in increased debt repayments.

needaholidaynow Tue 04-Feb-14 19:23:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MsColour Tue 04-Feb-14 20:40:35

It was my understanding that it's always been the case that if you have 50:50 then you dont pay maintenance - my ex was very keen on telling me this when he tried to get 50:50. Even now, I dont get anything from my ex as he's on benefits and he has them one night a week.

NatashaBee Tue 04-Feb-14 20:56:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Frogbyanothername Tue 04-Feb-14 21:32:26

The new rules are being rolled out gradually - currently, new cases that meet certain criteria (in terms of number of DCs and number of NRP's) are being assessed under the new rules, but not all new cases and no existing cases are being reassessed, yet.

Initially, there was the intention to transfer current cases, but it seems increasingly likely that these will be phased out as the DC meets adulthood in the majority of cases.

Frogbyanothername Tue 04-Feb-14 21:32:48

*reaches adulthood, not meets!

quest12 Tue 04-Feb-14 23:31:03

Can I just say she might have been keeping some money she wasn't entitled to if your dh was paying for most of child care and she was claiming tax credits, tax credits pay 80% of child care costs to the claimant so in effect if it cost £100 pw tax credits would pay £80 she would pay £20 ask her where that money went - if you gave it to her not straight to childminder that is xxxx

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