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Maintenance not being spent on dsd's

(151 Posts)
Snowflake19 Tue 20-Jan-15 18:27:58

My dp's ex has 7 children by 4 different men, 2 are my dp's, the other fathers do not see or contribute to the other children she has. He pays £300 a month to his ex for his daughters age 6 and 5, we have them EOW and 2 nights in the week for tea, the problem that we have is they always come in the same filthy clothes, they only seem to have at most 2 outfits each and they're a size 3-4 so don't fit them, they never come in socks and have had the same shoes for months. They are also always filthy dirty, black nails and soles of feet and they regularly come crawling with headlice. His ex is on full benefits so doesn't have to pay rent or council tax, 2 of her older children have ADHD so she claims a hell of a lot of money off the government in carers allowance and disability, we just can't understand with all her combined income from benefits and maintenance why the girls are walking around in rags, are we right to question her on exactly what she spends the maintenance on as it clearly isn't being spent on the girls. Me and my dp get really upset by this.

Snowflake19 Tue 20-Jan-15 18:41:41

I forgot to add dp's ex recently text dp asking him to book 10 days off work in may to have the girls so she can go on holiday to egypt.. Yet the girls have no clothes or shoes at her house angry

Funkytown Tue 20-Jan-15 18:46:10

if you do not have an arrangement set up by csa then i would refuse to give any more money over and say you will provide for clothes and shoes when needed, hair cuts school trips ect ect
i know that i will get shot down for saying this but this is what i would do in your situation
if the money is not being spent on the children then don't pay 'her' and just provide. i know many parents who do this for their children.
as she is claiming benefits and is exempt from rent ect the money she recives from the government will be enough to pay for their food and you and your dp should provide everything else

Helpfulghoul Tue 20-Jan-15 18:51:58

I wouldn't be so worried about the maintenance side of things, I'd be more concerned with the neglect your DSDs seem to be suffering.

Maintenance is there to be spent on all aspects of raising a child, so it could be that the £300 goes to the food shopping and utility bills.

If what you're saying is true about DSDs not having clean clothing that fits, poor hygiene etc. then I'd be tempted to make enquiries with the GP, school and with anyone else involved to see if they have any concerns and seek advice from Children's services.

Maybe you and DP could speak to DSDs' mum to try to resolve the issues, obviously it depends on how amicable things are. Or maybe DSDs' mum would be open to them moving to 50/50 shared care? As I understand maintenance isn't paid when it's an even 50/50 split and at least that way you can provide for the children directly?

Hope things get better for you all soon.

forwarding Tue 20-Jan-15 18:53:47

No, you are utterly wrong and focussing on completely the wrong thing here.

She can spend the maintenance on gel nails and new boobs if she wants, it's got nothing whatsoever to do with you.

However if the children are not being cared for adequately you need to start stepping up. Go for more contact, or full custody, or get ss involved. Start caring about these kids and making sure they are well looked after.

Cutting maintenance in this situation would be both morally wrong and ludicrous. Why ensure that there's even less money for the essentials they need.

I'd suggest you start having the children more often and paying ad hoc if you see there's something they need. Plus ss if it doesn't improve quickly.

Snowflake19 Tue 20-Jan-15 19:00:19

Thanks for your reply, dp absolutely hates paying her every month and maybe wrongly has threatened his ex that he will stop paying if he doesn't see that the girls have new clothes, shoes etc but she just says if he does that she will make him pay through CSA, he pays her through a private arrangement at the moment. We're just at the end of our tether with this, the girls have their own wardrobes here and we have sent the girls home with clothes and shoes before and we never see them again and the girls have told us that their mum has put the clothes on her other daughters, he buys all their school uniform and school shoes and if there are any extra school expenses he has an agreement with the school that they contact him and he pays the school direct.

Snowflake19 Tue 20-Jan-15 19:05:41

Yes I understand maintenance is also used for utility bills and food but she doesn't feed them properly either, they tell us all they have at their mums is toast or chips and beans, SS are involved already and they are monitoring her closely. We will have the girls in a heartbeat if they were going to be taken away from her. We are very concerned they are being neglected and have had many sleepless nights over it.

yellowdaisies Tue 20-Jan-15 19:09:54

What works their DM say if you offered to have them both with you full time? Sounds like she's got her hands more than full and isn't really coping well.

Is your DP paying roughly what the CSA would assess him to pay? If he's paying more he could reduce it down to what it should be and spend the rest on things they need. And maybe sew name tags into anything you buy for them

Helpfulghoul Tue 20-Jan-15 19:13:29

If SS are already involved then had your DP considered applying for a child arrangements order through the courts in order to change the main residency for the girls?

In my experience if SS have concerns and they assess your DP as being able to provide a stable home environment and parent appropriately, they will fully support the court application. Does your DP have PR? Does he attend meetings with SS?

Chillyegg Tue 20-Jan-15 19:19:00

I'm another person interjecting with can you have the girls full time? It sounds like their basic needs aren't being met! Also if you've had such concerns previously has your partner effectively been involved ?

KissMyFatArse Tue 20-Jan-15 19:25:17

'If they were going to be taken off her' well why don't you do that now? Instead if waiting till your hand is forced?

If they are being neglected/Ill treated why the delay?
I'd take the kids,and stop paying anything to her. But otherwise you can't tell her what to spend the maintenance on in afraid.

Snowflake19 Tue 20-Jan-15 19:30:02

Dp did discuss with his ex a few months ago having the girls full time and her having contact every Saturday but she would only agree if it wasn't done legally so she could still keep the child benefit and tax credits she gets for them, when my dp refused and said he wanted it all to be done legally with a court order so she couldn't just take them back if and when she wanted she wouldn't agree and said no.

forwarding Tue 20-Jan-15 19:35:15

Ok so that sounds to me like if you pressurise through ss you've got at least half a chance of getting custody.

wannabestressfree Tue 20-Jan-15 19:38:49

See I would agree in the interim and then apply to court not wait until crisis point.

BitOutOfPractice Tue 20-Jan-15 19:43:19

YY I'd do that. Take them "unoffcially" then start the legal process. Those poor girls

Forget the money!

JoanHickson Tue 20-Jan-15 19:44:54

If it was me I wouldn't let my dc walk around in rags. I would get them clothes, wash them and get rid of the lice.

Why is he not going for mediation or the dc GP to try and see if the GP can speak to the Mum and support her and all the dc.

YvesJutteau Tue 20-Jan-15 19:45:41

So how concerned is he about the state they are in, really?

He had the opportunity to have the girls with him full time, to be clean and properly fed and have clothes that fit, but he'd rather leave them where they are, in the conditions they are living in, if he can't get an immediate court order?

Why on EARTH wouldn't he go for the voluntary arrangement, get clear documentation of how much things have improved, and then apply for a court order to regularise the situation six months or a year down the line?

But it's OK that he left them there to be neglected when he could have had them with him full time, because he's had sleepless nights over it. That'll be doing them a lot of good.

HerRoyalNotness Tue 20-Jan-15 19:50:11

Yes, let her keep the CB and TC for now, you'll still have the 300quid you don't pay her each month towards the girls' needs. It sounds like the DM isn't coping at all, and I'm pretty sure I would be a mess with 7 DC, some with additional needs.

Then work it out after. Even if you agree to say, get it all done legally, then transfer the CB and TC back to her, if this is the only sticking point, to hell with the money. The sooner you have his DDs with you, the better off they will be.

fedupbutfine Tue 20-Jan-15 19:55:11

Dp did discuss with his ex a few months ago having the girls full time and her having contact every Saturday

why would your partner have the children every other weekend and twice in the week but if in his care, she would only be allowed to have them every Saturday?

Are your partner's children her oldest children? If not (it's not clear - although if the oldest is 6 and there are 7 children, logically there must be at least one older?), surely he knew what her parenting was like prior to having children with her because he would have seen it first hand? Or has something happened - PND is the obvious thing that springs to mind, depression generally or some other mental health problem?

Rather than criticise and threaten her, what strategies has he tried to try and support her care of the children?

JoanHickson Tue 20-Jan-15 19:57:35

It's a known fact carers health often suffers. That's why I think going to the GP is going to help all the dc, get support for the family.

Hissy Tue 20-Jan-15 20:04:59

two children are being neglected and probably abused and your dp is faffing about!

That's a shit dad.

Talk to ss get their help, get the girls at yours by telling the woman whatever she wants to hear and then get it done legally with ss support.

By allowing them to live like this, he's failing them.

confused79 Tue 20-Jan-15 20:07:35

We had the same issue with partners ex and his children. In the end he would just say to her when the kids needed new clothes, and she would get them. Not saying it's going to be that easy, but it might be as simple as just saying. I think because partner was paying more than expected through CSA and she didn't want him reducing it because he thought the money wasn't being spent on the kids. They also came to an arrangement where his girls would have £40 a month each (from partners maintenence) to buy their own clothes. Of course they were young teenagers so you probably couldn't do that now with step daughters. And this was, as I stated before, because partner was paying more than required, he wouldn't have done this if he was paying what was expected.

JoanHickson Tue 20-Jan-15 20:09:28

They seem more upset about the money than the neglect and no concern for the other five children two of which have SN. My guess is the Mum is depressed no wonder, none of the Dad's help except one who resents paying minimum cs.

BitOutOfPractice Tue 20-Jan-15 20:09:52

SS are already involved - which I assume means that they are already getting support

OllyBJolly Tue 20-Jan-15 20:16:33

Anyone sense some over egging of a pudding?

Two children so badly neglected but their parent (OP's DP) won't do anything about it - and the OP's first thought is to challenge the £300 maintenance payment? Surely the last thing you would think about would be the cash- it would be how can you take your children out of the situation, or make that situation better?

Perhaps if OP and her DP do have the children living with them they'll see how far £300 pcm actually goes with two growing children.

I read this as a new partner resentful of a man paying for his children..

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