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child maintenance and school trips

(30 Posts)
billabong81 Tue 03-Feb-15 13:17:38

Just wondering how everyone else handles the situation after ww3 started this morning with OHs ex wife.

OH got made redundant and has just landed a temporary job after 2 years trying. Instead of signing on the dole he started an odd jobs business and worked his butt off. He doesn't fiddle his books, I know cos I do his accounts lol. We've seriously struggled financially and moved in with my parents at one point to avoid being homeless! CSA had him on a nil rate for a while and now fiver a week but he always does a standing order for more. At the worst times it was low but he has increased it. He also does haircuts/school shoes/ out of school hobbies on top. Goes halves on school uniforms and school trips.

This has been a constant argument because she believes we are living a life of luxury for some reason and has decided that he must have lied to csa.

She has told him that he is to stop sending money to her account for music lessons and school trips under the reference "child maintenance" as this is not maintenance in her opinion and he should pay the school direct.

Just to be clear this money is in addition to the regular monthly standing order not deducting from it in any way.

She has accused him of playing the system and dodging his responsibility because he refused to stop sending money through her account.

CSA advised him that anything he spends on them is considered a gift unless it goes through her account which he explained to her.

What do you think is right thing to do? Should this be considered child maintenance or not?

DixieNormas Tue 03-Feb-15 13:21:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

billabong81 Tue 03-Feb-15 13:38:33

Well he's consistently paid more than csa ordered anyway. Its not that he needs to prove anything to them its just more about being able to prove, to her, himself or anyone else who might care to know that he does contribute to their upbringing aa best he can. She said this morning that she is going to make sure the kids know that he won't provide for themconfused all this over ADDITIONAL money going into her account.

yellowdaisies Tue 03-Feb-15 14:48:48

I can't see why it matters to her or to him whether he channels it via her account or not. As long as he's paying the correct maintenance via CSA into her account, then he can use whatever else he wants to contribute as he pleases - either give it to his ex or do as she suggests and pay the music lessons direct.

The kids are more likely to be aware of what he's providing for them if he does pay for things direct I'd have thought?

Sounds like she just wants to be able to tell everyone how little he pays her, but she'll probably do that anyway, whatever you do, so he might as well make sure the extra money's going on things he wants it spent on really.

NiceANdAccurate Tue 03-Feb-15 15:50:59

Your partner sounds like he'd just trying to be fair and provide for his kids. That's exactly as it should be.

As the RP, I really do wish that my ex would sometime take responsibility for paying stuff directly. School meals/trips/shoes/whatever. I don't always need to be involved. Maybe that's what annoying her? Probably not, she sounds like she likes a good moan, but I just thought I'd throw that in the ring.

lunar1 Tue 03-Feb-15 16:13:31

Could there be a chance that she is having money trouble? If her account is overdrawn money put in could end up disappearing for bank charges. Or if she is over her limit in the month she might not be ably to use the money as its intended.

She may want him to pay for these things direct to make sure the children get the activities its intended for.

Quesera21 Tue 03-Feb-15 18:52:30

There is an awful lot going on here.

From her point of view:

He was made redundant and was on zero rate - someone, somehow had to pay for the DCs and in this case it was her. Regardless of circumstance, he was able to abrogate his responsibility for his children to her to feed, clothe etc - whilst he still managed in some way to feed and clothe himself etc.

Now he is earning some more and paying extra which is good, but is also paying for the nice stuff - but does his current contribution cover his share of what the daily running of the DCs costs?

Do you know how she survived the years of no monies? I think it is a valid point, she might be overdrawn and the monies are actually going nowhere, to help her situation.

Perhaps it is time for your DP to sit with his EX and work out what the issues are. Something is annoying her.

billabong81 Wed 04-Feb-15 07:00:54

Well firstly when he was on a nil rate he continued to send £100 as a standing order because he put a chunk of his redundancy money aside. For the first 4 months he continued to pay what she was having when he was employed. She involved csa because she wanted a lump sum of half the redundancy packages, which under csa rules she was not entitled to a penny of it, which I don't think is right anyway but that is another debate. So although he was on zero rate she did continue to receive money towards the kids, even though he was under no legal obligation to. Its also worth noting that when they split they sold the property and she had 100% of the equity in order to house the kids.

Which is why I get really sick and tired of the woe is me. I get absolutely furious when she says he doesn't contribute to his kids because never has a month gone by when a standing order hasn't gone from his bank to hers. She says he doesn't contribute because she doesn't think that it is enough. Yet when anything cones up as an additional expense he has never said no to either paying it outright or going halves.

The reason it has become so important to us to put it through her bank is because if I hear her say "you only pay x per month for 2,growing boys" I'm going to scream! Csa have. Him on a £5 a week rate. Which is pitiful and he would never send that amount. With all the hassle sometimes I think it would serve her right if she did get the csa rates, we'd certainly be in a lot less debt!! But then the kids would miss out and he or I couldn't see them going without because of his employment situation.

Besides that it all seems to be kicking off because he told her that he has been given a fulltime job and will be able to increase her payments but he hasn't had paperwork yet so he doesn't know the exact salary scale he'll be on etc... He has also phoned csa to tell them. I can't understand why that would be anything other than good news!

billabong81 Wed 04-Feb-15 07:03:38

Just one more point( I have a fair few bottled up) when he was made redundant he organised a mediation session to discuss finances and she refused to go.

PopularNamesInclude Wed 04-Feb-15 07:14:06

How old are the dc? He could start paying the 'extra' money in a way that is visible to them. So he takes them to buy school shoes. They go shopping for clothes together. He takes them for haircuts and pays. Then if she is telling them he never pays for anything, he can say, hey but we bought those shoes together.

billabong81 Wed 04-Feb-15 07:22:05

That is what we do already. If they need new shoes she texts and we get them when they are here. We do hair cuts as well. Which we are not proposing to stop. Its just the school trips and music lessons he wants to start putting through her account as csa told him that all this stuff counts as a "gift" not child support and that really hurts when he's bust a gut to provide through really hard times, and constantly being told that he is a waste of space and a useless father. We have 2 other kids and I am pretty sure that they receive a lot less of our finances, although they are younger so don't understand it. I stopped my sons swimming lessons because we can't afford it. Hopefully when OH starts getting paid things like that will start up again. But we can't just stop the music lessons and ski trips for his older kids.

sandgrown Wed 04-Feb-15 07:24:11

For years when DPs ex was on benefit DP paid the CSA just under 500 pounds a month. At that times the rules meant she only kept 15 pounds. To this day she would say that DP never paid a penny for his children. As they are now adult we have shown them all the statements but it really hurt DP that his children thought he did not care and he could not afford to buy extras.

MythicalKings Wed 04-Feb-15 07:27:10

Good idea, popular, then she can whine all she likes but the DCs will know the truth.

billabong81 Wed 04-Feb-15 07:47:52

I can't really understand a mother who wants her children to suffer the pain of believing one of their parents doesn't care about them. Especially when she knows it is a lie!

PopularNamesInclude Wed 04-Feb-15 09:09:24

But the dc also know it is a lie. They see him buying them essentials and extras. I agree it is a shame if she is painting him as financially negligent when he is not. It is always awful to be unfairly accused. But the dc know the truth.

Storm15 Wed 04-Feb-15 12:08:57

My DH transfers regular maintenance payments using the reference 'maintenance for X'. Anything he transfers to Mum over and above that he'll use a difference reference for e.g. 'school comic relief donation for X'. He's always specific that the money is for X.

Anything he pays directly he files receipts for. So school fees, school trips, uniform etc....he has a file especially for costs relating to X. Actually I think he has 6 files now!

As long as your OH is transferring what the CSA expect him to be using the reference 'maintenance', I can't see that it really matters what he calls the rest of the money?

If you're worried about Mum telling the kids he's not contributing, do what my DH does and either pay directly and keep the receipts or use their names in the reference of any additional payment you make. He can prove that way, if he has to (hopefully he never does) that he did contribute. Maintenance is not the only way to contribute financially towards raising your child.

I sympathise OP. My DH is in a similar situation.

Quesera21 Wed 04-Feb-15 19:27:15

The redundancy part aside - ergo redundancy pay is essentially being to cover salary for x months till new employment found - so why should she not be entitled to some maintenance? I do understand the CSA rules on this but it sucks.

When ever someone says their legal obligation in regard to monies for their offspring - I am afraid it gets my back up.

Legal and moral - every parent has a moral obligation to provide adequately for their offspring.

billabong81 Wed 04-Feb-15 22:38:05

I said myself that I don't agree with the csa rules on redundancy monies. And he put a chunk of it aside to continue to make payments to her.

billabong81 Wed 04-Feb-15 22:42:18

Did you actually read the whole thread? I'm sorry but your post has really gotten my back up because it feels like you have jumped to the wrong conclusion, even though I feel like I have explained it really clearly, and you are now calling my OH immoral?

Starlightbright1 Wed 04-Feb-15 22:59:50

Can I first say it sounds like you are trying to support child..I get £10 a fortnight from Ex but should I ever receive any extra for music lessons etc... I would be annoyed that is said maintenance..My reason was Ex wanted to pay money into an acct for when he grew up... I pointed out that maintenance is for me to raise son and I decide how best to spend that money ... Can he not simply pay it into the account ref music lessons?

I do think some of this is semantics though

fedupbutfine Thu 05-Feb-15 08:28:54

So although he was on zero rate she did continue to receive money towards the kids, even though he was under no legal obligation to

I have to say this got my back up as well. There may be no legal obligation to support children but from a PWC perspective, if we didn't support our children, they would be removed from us and put into care. NRPs, however, can legally opt out and there is no comeback,llegally speaking. Your suggestion seems to be that your partner deserves some kind of special recognition for doing what any decent parent would do - support their child with the money that they have.

If mum doesn't want the money in her bank account, don't put it in her bank account. Paying directly for activities is something many NRPs would prefer to do so just get on with it and leave it at that. It's turned into a big drama when it didn't need to.

HesBeenAVeryNaughtyBoy Thu 05-Feb-15 09:00:29

It's quite clear from some of the threads that a lot of NRP do only pay the bare minimum or nothing at all so I think your DP should be commended for trying to do his best for his children. Maybe the rules should be different (redundancy) but there not so its no good beating the OP up about this. To be honest annoying as it is just pay however the RP wants as long as your DP can look himself and his children in the face and say he did the best he could it all comes out in the end. I also don't understand why you would want to upset your children by making them think their father didn't care about them. I make excuses to my children to protect their father, or his relationship with them, even when I want to tell them "no daddy says he won't be taking you out today's he's got better things to do"��

HesBeenAVeryNaughtyBoy Thu 05-Feb-15 09:02:05

Damn iPad that should be hmm at the end

billabong81 Thu 05-Feb-15 09:08:11

I didn't ask for special recognition. I was clarifying because someone misunderstood when I said he was on nil rate with csa they thought I meant he was actually paying nothing. Yes this is what any decent parent would do. And I do think he is a pretty decent parent. He doesn't deserve to be lied about and sworn at and told that he is a waste of space and useless. His children don't deserve to have to question whether their father does or doesn't give a s**t about them. After years of paying directly for activities and it being denied and lied about, we're pretty darn sick of her unnecessary dramas.

I said myself that I didn't agree with the CSA rules and therefore the legal obligations... So stop selectively quoting me and projecting your own issues. I asked how other people handle the situation. Whether they pay direct or give money to the other parent.

daftgeranium Thu 05-Feb-15 09:34:14

billabong81 I don't think it matters how payment happen as long as they happen. Anything else is semantics. To be honest I would go for the option that is least hassle - and if a record is needed of what's paid then yes, pay it through the account so that CSA can see it.

To be honest, I think that the childrens' mother is behaving in a very petty way here and her attitude is poor. If your OH is trying his best in difficult circumstances, it would be helpful if she had some empathy towards that.

It's her kind of behaviour that get BMs the reputation of being money grabbing and not taking any responsibility for their own financial contributions towards their child's upbringing - which is a shame.

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