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Maintenance Question

(12 Posts)
AbiBanbury Fri 16-Jan-15 18:22:19

DH's ex has recently informed him that as she no longer needs his maintenance money, she is putting it in a savings account that can then be used for buying a car, a gap year, university etc. I am pretty sure they gain access at 18.

Has anyone had a situation where the ex no longer 'needs' the maintenance money. How does that work legally? Could he, in theory, take control of that money (ie. it's still set aside for the kids but he has total say over how it's saved and used because at the moment, he has none)? It's absolutely right that he contributes financially but it would be great to have control over that because he's worried that if ex has control and gives them a few thousand at 18, that a). that's not to spend on a car and b). it could all just be pissed up the wall at uni.

We've all been 18 and being handed a huge amount of money at that age hasn't necessarily gone on the best things! I know my student loan didn't but at least I knew that I had to pay it back so it was my responsibility.He's also a firm believer in learning the value of money and saving for things like a gap-year or a car as opposed to being handed the money to do it. Surely, this type of money should go towards tuition fees but does he have any say?

LadySybilLikesSloeGin Fri 16-Jan-15 18:32:19

I don't think he can dictate what she does with it to be honest, he has to pay regardless.

Here it goes into the pot. I spend cash though the month on ds anyway, so the maintenance goes to pay the phone bill etc as I've already covered all he needs. If I choose to save it for him that's my choice, it's money I've already spend on ds though. I'd like to think he's been educated by me so that he doesn't piss it up the wall though wink Does this made sense? blush

CalicoBlue Fri 16-Jan-15 18:42:12

I would have thought as it is part of their divorce agreement he could dispute paying the maintenance if she does not need it. Though he can not dictate what it is spent on or how it is managed. She did not need to tell him what she is doing with it, and it is good she is saving it for the children.

I would not worry too much about what they will do with it when they have it. There are conversations that can be had with them when that time arrives. Just be glad that there is some provision that will take the pressure off him when they go to university, it can be expensive.

MissMalonex2 Fri 16-Jan-15 18:46:49

Calico - if the ex wife has enough to cover everything, why does that mean the ex husband and father should pay nothing unless that was what was agreed in the first place? Surely he should still be contributing for his children?.......

ThePriceOfMagic Fri 16-Jan-15 18:47:19

Whether she has an annnual income of a million pounds or 10 thousand pounds is totally irrelevant. Maintenance is calculated as a percentage of the NRPs income. He does not get to decide whether she 'needs' it or not. And it is totally up to her how she spends it.

CalicoBlue Fri 16-Jan-15 19:31:27

MissMalonex2 I did not mean he should dispute, I meant that disputing paying was the only control he could have over the maintenance. He could not control what she does with it.

I assume that we are talking about child maintenance, not spouse maintenance.

balia Fri 16-Jan-15 19:49:27

I think I would look at it from the perspective that she is putting away some money for the DC's and maintenance pays for their day-to-day expenses so she can afford to do so.

AbiBanbury Fri 16-Jan-15 20:10:19

LadySybilLikesSloeGin - I do agree with you. If you've given the right message, they shouldn't abuse it. I just know that I'm massively sensible with money now but at 18, I wouldn't necessarily have had enough life experience to know how to spend a few thousand.

CalicoBlue - I like your idea of having conversations. That's def an avenue he was thinking about taking. You're right - it certainly does take the pressure off but neither of us were given money to do anything we liked with, it went on rent, food etc and the rest was earned. I think his worry is that it won't go on those things and then those bills will still need paying...

ThePriceOfMagic - I didn't mean to create the impression that he didn't feel he needed to pay. I sense from your response that you're offended in some way and I'm sorry for that. I want to stress that I know there are so many single parents out there (mostly mums) who struggle raising kids on their own and have to fight for maintenance from their fathers. I abhor that and would never be able to be with a man that behaved like this - even though it would mean we were better off. I could only respect a man who honoured his role as father both emotionally and financially - which is what DH does. He actually refused the financial rights that his lawyer advised him he could have in his divorce settlement because his first priority was ensuring his children were financially provided for.

It is too easy to join one camp or the other in this situation - it is hard for either side if they are genuinely trying to make it work and have genuine intentions to do what's best for their children. In this situation, this is a father who would contribute whether it was legally required or not. Have no doubt about that. However, he is a parent who's relationship failed, he didn't want to leave his kids but they have to live somewhere. He shouldn't be reprimanded for that just because he is the male in this equation. He is an active father who just wants to have a say in how his children are provided for. Not only that, he wants to be able to wake up every morning and see his kids but he can't. Every day his heart breaks with missing them but his wife was abusive and the situation unworkable. I know the father having a say financially is not supported legally and in the majority of situations, that protects mothers who need protecting. But that's not to say there are situations where the fathers may have justified reasons for wanting to have a say in certain financial situations. That's why I asked the question: because in this situation, the mother is saying she, personally doesn't need his money to maintain the boys so why can't he maintain them financially but independently of her? I agree that there's tons of dads out there that don't deserve a say but that's not all of them.

Whatever21 Sat 17-Jan-15 12:54:35

Am I struggling to see the issue here:

He pays her maintenance and this goes into the general pot of monies her household runs on. How she divides this up, saves it and spends it - is no on elses business except her own.

With her sum total, she pays for the kids and then puts monies away for them. What is the problem with that.

Why can it not be, that their clothes activites etc are aid for by the global sum and both his and her contribution pay to support them and some put into a savings account?

I personally do not actually need the maintenance my EX pays - but the monies he does, go into the global household pot - and everything is paid for and monies placed in a savings account as able. To think that the EX could then dictate what went on with that monies - ie, put it in his ownchoice of savings account would effectively mean he did not contribute to their upbringing.

I think the wording is bad - but no he does not get to dictate what his maintenance is used for - that is controlling behaviour and abusive.

yellowdaisies Sat 17-Jan-15 17:17:44

I don't strictly need the money my ex pays for my DC, in that I'm able to put some money aside to save for them. But that's my money, whether or not I consider it to have come from my ex originally. I decide where to save it and I will decide when to let my DC have it.

If your DP wants to save for his DC he can do that separately from his own money, not the maintenance he pays.

If he gets on really well with his ex they might be able to discuss together how to save for their DC's future, but otherwise he couldn't get involved in how his ex saves for them.

Always a good idea to teach your DSC about money management so they hopefully do do sensible things with it off they're lucky enough to get a lump sum at some point.

AbiBanbury Mon 19-Jan-15 16:16:45

Thanks guys. I do see what everyone's saying about it's her decision to make. What I find hard to accept is that what I am suggesting is abusive or dictating. At no point does he ever dictate. In fact, it is usually the other way round. I appreciate though that individual experiences of bad ex-husbands can cloud judgement. I would just hope that wouldn't leave to blanket judgement of every ex-husband. My sister is a single mother so I do have the other perspective but at no point did she feel that her ex-husband had no rights and if he questioned something, was he being abusive. Very strong word to use.

LineRunner Tue 20-Jan-15 12:28:45

Yes, it is her decision to make.

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