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Money troubles - please help.

(71 Posts)
Lala1980 Mon 21-Apr-14 17:58:15

Hi - I was wondering if anyone has been in a similar situation before, and could give me/us some advice. DP has 4 children that stay with us EOW and some school holidays. DP pays his maintenance as per the CSA, but on our shoestring budget, cannot afford anymore, although he would love to be able to. I can only go by what the children say, and what we can see, but their mother does not seem to steward this money well in terms of things she has for herself (which I can go into further if you wish), but key things the kids are lacking. For example, DSD told me she was worried about the weather being wet this week, as she has to go to school in her daps. I said, what about your school shoes? She says they broke, and mummy can't afford to buy her any more. It breaks my heart, as we can't afford to buy her any, as DP has no money spare after he pays his maintenance, and puts by the money we need to feed them when they stay with us. What can we do? I suggested he buys some and docks it from his maintenance payment, but he says that is illegal. I know how to live on an extremely tight budget, and know that their mother does have enough money to look after the children sufficiently if she budgeted properly, and prioritized. I can't tell her how to spend her money, and that it not my place, but when I see the children suffering as a result, and we are unable to help, I don't know what to do. Can anyone offer us any advice? I know when they divorced DP proposed paying his maintenance by paying for clothes, shoes, school trips, food vouchers etc and putting any leftover in a savings account for the kids, but this was declined in desire for cash. Is there anything we can do?

NigellasDealer Thu 24-Apr-14 10:20:27

and yes I am sure that with 4 kids she spends the day 'sitting on her arse'.
where is the vomiting with disgust emoticon?

alita7 Thu 24-Apr-14 14:20:18

Nigella, someone else's ex on the thread pays £5 a week, we don't know how much the ops partner pays but it is probably proportionate to his wages.

I still don't see why the op isn't allowed to be concerned and annoyed that the money appears to be being spent on things that aren't necessities rather than things like school shoes. If they are only paying a tiny amount then I would assume they wouldn't complain...

NigellasDealer Thu 24-Apr-14 14:21:47

assume nothing alita -

prawnypoos Thu 24-Apr-14 14:38:18

Nigella, your attitude is 'minging.' There are many reasons DP may not want to disclose how much maintainence her DP is paying. At least he is paying some, there are many fathers (mine included) who have never paid a penny and 20 years of Christmases and birthdays never even acknowledged. By the way, the shoes I bought from the charity shop were brand new, with tags and stickers still on. The woman who ran the shop told me that she had bought them for her daughter but they didn't fit. She didn't send them back because she lives a distance away from the town in which she bought them on a day off work and didn't see the point.

NigellasDealer Thu 24-Apr-14 14:46:08

yes I have bought shoes like that as an exception, you do what you have to.
but it does grate a bit to hear about this mother of 4 'sitting on her arse'.
I would bet my bottom dollar that the reason she wont disclose how much her partner is paying to the ex is because the amount is pitifully small.

Impatientismymiddlename Thu 24-Apr-14 14:56:49

If he is working, even on minimum wage then he will be paying 25% of his income (I think that is the amount for 4 children) which is enough to buy shoes. Plenty of single parents, even those on unemployment benefits, don't get any maintenance because the NRP is totally feckless but the majority still manage to buy shoes.

alita7 Thu 24-Apr-14 15:49:24

Well whether or not she is sitting on her arse depends on a lot of different factors which we have no information on, but that the op is more likely to know about, the only way we can comment on a thread is to assume that what the op says is based on things she knows about her. (things like kids ages, if they have disabilities, availability of childcare, if she does volunteer work) don't forget plenty of mums of 4 worked, personally I wouldn't judge her for not working but the opknows the woman, she may have an attitude towards working that makes people think she is sat on her arse.

alita7 Thu 24-Apr-14 15:51:05

Exactly inpatient, even if the ops dp isn't paying much due to a low income (which is fair enough, he needs to live too!) then the money she is given in benefits should cover school shoes or a pair of cheap wellies to wear on the way there.

NigellasDealer Thu 24-Apr-14 15:53:39

why would a pair of cheap wellies be better than the sports shoes the mother has already provided (is that not what OP means by "daps")?

alita7 Thu 24-Apr-14 17:07:21

They're those canvas shoes I think, I've had various pairs by different brands, from cheap Primark ones to converse and they are certainly not water proof... her socks and feet would get soaked in the rain (which was the initial worry!) wellies are waterproof, even cheap ones.

LouiseAderyn Thu 24-Apr-14 17:57:00

alita I think it's safe to assume that if the OPs dh was tricked into one pregnancy, then he should definitely not put hinself in a position where he could be tricked into having 4! I'd say he most definitely is as responsible as his ex for the fact that he is a father of four dc.

As for the payment in vouchers bollocks, I think it would be great idea if your employer or your dh's employer paid you in vouchers, just in case you buy something which some total stranger, (who has no business being involved in your life), doesn't approve of!

swissfamily Thu 24-Apr-14 18:38:02

The NRP isn't a total stranger though.

Voucher idea not workable but God, it's not unreasonable for the NRP to want to know that their hard-earned maintenance payments were actually being spent on their child's well-being.

LouiseAderyn Thu 24-Apr-14 19:07:08

The wives of nrps are though, as far as the ex is concerned. If a person wouldn't like theirbown money being paud in vouchers snd subject ti someone else's approval then they shouldn't advocate it for another person. I doubt very much if anyone here would like their wages to not be paid in actual money.

If a nrp feels their dc are being neglected by the rp then they ought to address that with social services or by challenging the residency agreement via the court.

LouiseAderyn Thu 24-Apr-14 19:07:49

Sorry for all the typos - have fat fingers!

Lala1980 Sun 27-Apr-14 18:19:49

Thank you for the constructive advice and information from some of you. It was really helpful and gave me other options and perspectives.
For those of you in disbelief that I might have a man who actually cares and does pay his dues, and live in a household where we are wise with our money and make ends meet, please feel free to PM me your email address, and I will email you our household accounts.
Any information I have stated regarding the ex-wife's use of finances and lifestyle is based on fact, not presumption (unless otherwise stated), and where we have welfare issues, we have reported those, and social services are currently involved.
I won a little money on our staff lottery this week, so I had DSD's feet measured properly and brought her a decent pair of Clark's school shoes.
I came on here to vent, and share other people's experiences. It is hard when people shoot you down based on their own experiences, and presume all men are likes their ex-DPs.
For whatever reason, everyone has a past. MY DP had four children out of choice with this woman - I never once accused her of sperm stealing. Their marital demise was based on her infidelity, and I was not the Other Woman. The residency (I believe) was at the time based on the fact that my DP was working nights, and his ex was better placed to have the children. She has subsequently gone off the rails, denied offers of help, and we have social services involved, and will be challenging residency, now that DP is in a different situation. I personally (knowing all the figures involved) know that we could organize a budget that would put the children and their needs first. It just involves prioritising and making sacrifices.
I know you cannot come on this website without being shot down by someone, but please do try and be sensitive to genuine people - not all of us are bad, and not all men are like some of your exes. Some people just want some help and advice. Thank you to those that gave it.

fedupbutfine Sun 27-Apr-14 20:36:11

it's not unreasonable for the NRP to want to know that their hard-earned maintenance payments were actually being spent on their child's well-being.

only amongst new partners is this level of control acceptable. If I were in relationships and expressing concern that my partner wanted to know what every penny was spent on, was demanding a detailed budget, and wanted to know why I had been unable to buy school shoes that week from the money he gave me, I would be told quite clearly that I was being abused and that I should consider getting some outside support and/or leave him as soon as possible. Instead, it's OK to expect a PWC to provide detailed budgets and receipts to 'prove' that they are capable of looking after their children.

For what it's worth, I have just gone through my monthly budget and cutting essential expenditure like activities, childcare, and then splitting gas, food, insurances, electric, water etc. into equal portions, I spend around 80% of my income (after tax and forced pension contributions but including child benefit and tax credits) on my children each month. I'm not sure any NRP who pays the CSA minimum has much of a leg to stand on, do you?

Lala1980 Sun 27-Apr-14 23:10:15

fed up not sure at what point you are going to realize our situations are NOT the same, and that I am not likening DPs ex to you, so no need to take it personally.
Gutted tonight as sent DSD home with the new shoes, no thanks just why didn't I get them all new shoes while I was at it...

Lala1980 Sun 27-Apr-14 23:10:39

fed up not sure at what point you are going to realize our situations are NOT the same, and that I am not likening DPs ex to you, so no need to take it personally.
Gutted tonight as sent DSD home with the new shoes, no thanks just why didn't I get them all new shoes while I was at it...

alita7 Sun 27-Apr-14 23:59:08

Considering our csa minimum was deemed £80 out of £200 and we have his other daughter living with us I think they do have a leg to stand on.

swissfamily Mon 28-Apr-14 08:52:58

fed up

There's difference between wanting assurances that maintenance payments are directly benefitting the said child and demanding a detailed budget!!!

swissfamily Mon 28-Apr-14 08:54:53

Lala - if I were you I bloody well tell the ex that I'd just spent my own money buying her child new shoes and a "thank you" wouldn't go amiss wine

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