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Help! Childless step mum

(26 Posts)
Sisba Wed 15-Jul-15 01:57:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fedupbutfine Wed 15-Jul-15 08:26:26

You have no financial responsibility towards your step children. Your partner, however, does. Child maintenance at legal levels on minimum wage will not equate to very much at all so good on your partner for paying additional amounts. This would seem to demonstrate he is a responsible parent and the kind of guy worth having children with, perhaps?

It is normal for the non-resident parent to take the children out on trips, holidays etc. in addition to maintenance. Yes, it adds up. So does bringing up two children generally.

'whining'? You don't have children yourself yet are accusing someone else, who does have 2 children and is in a position where she has by far the majority financial responsibility of bringing them up of 'whining'? Maybe re-think that one.

Child maintenance can be reduced legally when you have your own children. The morality of that is very much up for debate - your ex's children don't cost less to his ex just because he goes on to have additional children. You will find there are those step parents who think it acceptable and those who don't.

Assuming your partner will always earn less than you, it will always be you that is footing the majority of the bill for everything regardless of whether or not he has other children to support. If he is unable to contribute at all then you perhaps need to be discussing things with him. However, his responsibility towards his children can only ever legally reduce to what the CMS will happily 'force' him to pay. Have a look on the yougov website and put his wages through the calculator to see what that is. Be warned, however, that his ex will more than likely not take kindly to interference in financial matters and the knock-on effect of that could potentially have far-reaching ramifications for your relationship. Read some of the posts on this forum where step mums are dealing with hostility towards contact from the ex.

MythicalKings Wed 15-Jul-15 08:34:01

The 17 year old will be 18 soon and an adult, so by the time you have a child of your own his financial obligation to her will have ceased.

Have a look at the website suggested by fedup and do some maths about the younger child. smile

HoneyLemon Wed 15-Jul-15 10:05:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JakieOH Wed 15-Jul-15 10:17:14

Your partner can only pay what he can afford? If he has no money left over to live with and you are funding everything that suggests to me that he can't afford the amount he is paying? There seems to be a notion at times that NRP should be able to pay the same as they would if they were still a 'together' family? In reality that's not possible as the NRP now has to fund sonewherd to stay, eat, pay bills and perhaps have a bit of a life himself heaven forbid He shouldn't feel he has to pay more than he can incase the mother stops him seeing the children?

Sounds to me like you are, in reality, paying for his kids because without you he would be unable to pay that amount? If your happy doing that then power to you. I did it for a short while for my SC to keep the peace with their mother. It was a different situation as he didnt have any money left over after paying her debts. Like a PP suggested check it out on the CMC and take it from there.

LittleLionMansMummy Wed 15-Jul-15 12:50:18

Sorry but although your income isn't taken into account re. maintenance it is inevitable that if you're the higher earner you'll shoulder more financially. Dh pays maintenance and on top of his outgoings (petrol is a killer as he commutes quite a distance) is left with very little. So as we're a partnership and i earn a lot more than him i pay for dsd's birthday and xmas presents, as well as for our ds, all holidays, extras when needed (e.g. clothes), family days out, and I'll pay half for dsd's driving lessons when she turns 17. Her mum will pay the other half.

Don't assume your dh's responsibility ends when his dc turn 18 - if they go onto higher education they may continue to need financial support although it can't be mandated at that stage. All the same, he'll want to support them presumably.

That said, £500 seems a lot on minimum wage - dh earns £27k and pays £300 (slightly above csa recommendation) and we have a 4yo together. He has two teenage daughters. Your dp's ex cannot stop him seeing them but she could potentially make things awkward. But if she does that you could consider going through official routes to set access and maintenance in stone.

I've been in the same situation as you and this is the reality. If you want a child you'll need to be aware of all this and make your money stretch accordingly. At the start of our relationship it was hard but i was earning a lot more by the time ds came along. I feel that his birth made me appreciate parenthood and see things through dh's eyes (and even his ex's) more. He has three dc and they should all be treated the same, as i would wish for my own son if the boot was on the other foot. So i don't resent the extra money i put into our relationship, or ny dsd, she's part of our family. Ds's birth has actually made me love dsd all the more and brought us closer. Just to add a different perspective! smile

AlpacaMyBags Wed 15-Jul-15 12:52:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JakieOH Wed 15-Jul-15 13:40:38

Would it be your DP letting the mother know he is earning minimum wage? I pressume she doesnt realise given that she is asking for more money?

charlyn Wed 15-Jul-15 14:28:43

If he is on minimum wage I cant imagine how he can afford £500 a month! No wonder he has no money left over and you end up paying. I think he needs to reduce this to a more realistic amount or you will probably end up resenting the situation.

K888 Wed 15-Jul-15 16:23:43

I agree, whilst I've love it if my Ex paid me this amount - £500 sounds pretty high if he isn't earning enough to cover it. As much as my Ex gets on my nerves I wouldn't want him to be unable to start a life with his new partner and for her to shoulder most of the costs. It sounds like a good time to talk about money in general.

If he's having them every weekend and yet paying for a lot - then that could quickly build up resentment if in X years time you are with small children - the tension will ratchet up. You are not whining at all.

mrstweefromtweesville Wed 15-Jul-15 16:33:18

I strongly recommend you disentangle yourself from this man and find someone who can afford to have children with you. This situation won't get better, unless you see your partner earning significantly more in the future.

MythicalKings Wed 15-Jul-15 16:54:32

He will be able to afford to have DCs.

He'll not be paying anything for the older girl and can cut back on what he pays for the younger DC to something more in line with guidelines.

JakieOH Wed 15-Jul-15 17:28:10

disentagle yourself from this man?

That makes no sense. Even if OP did 'disentangle' from him, ruin her life and that of a man she clearly loves, the maintenence amount would still need drastically reduced. He would then have to pay accommodation, bills, food etc on his own. He can pay more while he is sharing the cost of these things. I don't see the problem with paying a sensible amount if maintenence based on what he can afford and what the kids need? Clearly his exw doesn't care about his situation before she is asking for more than £500 from a man on min wage confused it's unrealistic!

JakieOH Wed 15-Jul-15 17:42:34

Sorry £500+ so chances are it is the majority of his wage really would that be right OP?

ProbablyMe Wed 15-Jul-15 17:57:26

£500 on minimum wage? My partner pays only a little more than that for his DDs and he's on 43k? Is that amount calculated by the Child Maintenance people? In fact, my ExH pays just under that for our 4 sons and he earned 49k last year. It's highly commendable that he is looking our for his children so well but something doesn't sound right about the amount.

HoneyLemon Wed 15-Jul-15 17:58:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sisba Wed 15-Jul-15 19:34:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HerRoyalNotness Wed 15-Jul-15 19:39:23

If he has nothing left after maintenance and trips/extra etc, he is paying too much. He should have to enough to cover providing for himself as well. How would he do that without you? You are subsidizing him, and unless you are happy to continue to do that, he needs to keep some money back to pay for himself.

PeruvianFoodLover Wed 15-Jul-15 19:42:51

It's an informal agreement as he doesn't want her to be awkward and stop him seeing them

This is very significant, OP. Your DH is being held to ransom by his ex.

While his older DC will be able to make up their own mind, your DPs DS is still very young - and if your DPs ex is willing to withhold contact and your DP is not willing to do anything to result in that, then she will be able to demand whatever she wants from him for the next 8-10 years.

If your DPs ex is willing to withhold contact over money, it's quite possible that she will use this threat to make other demands - there are stories on this board of ex's demanding the DCs do not see their stepmum or half siblings during contact time, for instance. Sometimes, a marriage or pregnancy triggers more demands and threats of withholding contact.

I think you need to consider carefully the implications of having a DC with your DP - his ex has made it clear that she is willing to use the DCs as a weapon to manipulate him with, and that will inevitably affect you and any DC you have with him - both emotionally and financially.

LemonYellowSun Wed 15-Jul-15 19:49:04

£500 per month on minimum wage is a huge amount

Wdigin2this Wed 15-Jul-15 23:52:46

Sisba, he will always feel guilt over leaving his children and not being part of their day to day lives...after decades of my DH still feeling that guilt, I can tell you it won't go away! In fact if you have a child together it may ratchet up the guilt factor, because he will feel more guilt that your child is part of a united family and his with his ex are not! But, it would appear he is paying more than is reasonable to his ex, and probably he will continue to do so as he will not want to rock any boats. So, you will continue to be the biggest financial contributer to your household, whether you have a child together or not....and that is what you need to consider for your future!

alwaystryingtobeafriend Thu 16-Jul-15 07:07:40

If dp had a 3rd child with ex then (unless sustainable) any money spent on dc would be spilt 3 ways rather than 2. I don't see why you having a kid means he can't reduce his payments to his ex.

However if he is happy to do this then leave him be and you focus on you and your baby when he/she comes along.

If dp isn't happy with his arrangement I suggest checking the CSA calculator see how much he should be paying and take it from there. You can also put in another child and it will calculate. I done this for me and my dp would pay their mum less if we have a kid.

Sisba Fri 17-Jul-15 02:41:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JakieOH Fri 17-Jul-15 06:31:12

But why would you be sole funding your child? Sounds like your pretty much sole funding everyone! It's absurd! He needs to wise up. he isn't oaying for the children you are, I hope you can see that. Not only financially either by the sound of if. I'm speechless at the the way you expect to be treated and the fact you and DP are being held to ransom shock

PeruvianFoodLover Fri 17-Jul-15 07:11:54

sisba how did your DP afford to live before you becne a couple?
If he was funding his ex and DCs to the extent you describe, how was he affording his own living costs?

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