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Advice on how to deal with financial issue please...

(61 Posts)
user1482413972 Thu 22-Dec-16 14:01:44

Hello MN, I am in need of some advice regarding my kid's SM...I won't waffle on about our circumstances but to say that I have 3 children with my ex and we divorced 6 years ago & have both remarried. My son was staying at his Dads a few weeks ago and whilst on a day out with his SM dropped his phone & broke it, it was an accident and he was very upset (he is 12). His SM called me to say what had happened and I said not to worry just send it back & I'll get it fixed when I can, tbh I'm not in the financial position to afford it at the moment, anyway his SM decided to get it repaired anyway which she sent me a message to inform of this. A few days later my ex called to say that he felt it was unreasonable to expect her to pay for this and could we go halves on the repair to pay her back. I did't really agree either way I just sent back a message saying that she did it without my agreement and that we'll discuss another time. He felt that was unreasonable and said that she is absolutely not responsible for that cost (£120) and that could we please come to an arrangement to reimburse her....my issue is that I did not make an agreement to pay her back or for the repair to be carried out, my ex says that she was worried that my son wouldn't have a usable phone so that's why she did it but I then feel that as she made that decision she took responsibility for the cost... I'm not sure whether to be firm about that or whether I am being unreasonable about it???

Lunar1 Thu 22-Dec-16 15:01:56

She broke it, she arranged to get it fixed and she paid for it. That all sounds fair enough and case closed to me, I wouldn't have offered to take it back to get fixed either. Your ex is being unreasonable.

user1482413972 Thu 22-Dec-16 15:23:44

Well technically she didn't break it my son did & he could have done the same when he was with me

user1482413972 Thu 22-Dec-16 15:25:00

Sorry I realise how this sounds now....my son dropped his phone not his SM...he was with her on a day out when he dropped it...apologies!!

Evergreen777 Thu 22-Dec-16 15:25:59

If your ex feels that his DW shouldn't have had to pay for it, then he should be the one to pay her straight back. That's what I'd expect my DH to do if I'd had to shell out for something for the DSC which wasn't really my job. (Unless he wants to tell her that she shouldn't spend money on the kids without checking with him first, if she's expecting to be reimbursed)

But that said, it's not then unreasonable of your ex to ask whether you'd split the cost with him. The phone was going to have to be fixed at some point, and I'm assuming that you're the resident parent who funds the phone normally? I'd tell your ex that as you didn't ask the DSM to get the phone fixed it's for him to pay her back for now, bit agree that you'll then pay him back for half the cost next month when you've got the cash.

AmberEars Thu 22-Dec-16 15:26:05

So who dropped it? It's not clear from your post.

AmberEars Thu 22-Dec-16 15:26:22

Sorry cross post.

AmberEars Thu 22-Dec-16 15:28:41

Who would have paid if it had happened at your house?

SofiaAmes Thu 22-Dec-16 15:29:42

Why doesn't your son have a case on his phone so that it doesn't break when it gets dropped?

Floralnomad Thu 22-Dec-16 15:33:31

You told her you would get it fixed so IMO it's her problem , you could have bought him a cheap phone for less than the cost of the repair and if you can't afford it that's the bottom line really .

user1482413972 Thu 22-Dec-16 15:36:11

I would have I guess but I bought the phone & pay for it

user1482413972 Thu 22-Dec-16 15:39:49

Also tbf she hasn't asked for anything, my ex contacted me & said morally we should pay for it not her as an we are his parents but I'm still not sure

Hidingtonothing Thu 22-Dec-16 15:43:35

I would be the hypothetical SM in this scenario and, if I wasn't willing to foot the bill, I would not have taken it upon myself to get the phone repaired. It wasn't an essential cost for the DC's welfare so it's unreasonable to expect the RP to pay for it without prior agreement. I might, in your shoes OP, offer to pay half as and when I could afford it as a goodwill gesture but that's all. You need to labour the point with your ex that SM made the decision to repair the phone unilaterally and it's unfair to expect you to find money you weren't expecting to have to find without prior agreement, especially this close on Christmas.

notangelinajolie Thu 22-Dec-16 15:44:19

Your ex needs to reinburse SM. And then you and your ex can come to some agreement about the cost of the repair. £120 is a lot of money to repair a phone - is it an iphone?

user1482413972 Thu 22-Dec-16 15:46:07

Yes it's an iPhone, I think she did it because I made a point last year of how much he needs a phone as he walks home alone etc & I honestly believe she did it in the best interest of my son but still...

user1482413972 Thu 22-Dec-16 15:47:33

He has reimbursed half which was his offer to me..50/50

KellyBoo800 Thu 22-Dec-16 15:48:15

I do think the SM should have discussed this with you before taking it to be repaired. It's certainly not down to her to foot the bill, but it should be your husbands responsibility (unless you are very sure that if it had happened at your house, you wouldn't be asking him to contribute). But even if that was the case, you should then agree together when it would be done and how much you were willing to spend!

Your ex cannot demand you pay for something when the decision to spend that money was not one that you made (although I don't think the SM is entirely at fault since you did say that you would get it repaired - she was probably just trying to get it sorted quicker so your DS didn't have to go without).

Hidingtonothing Thu 22-Dec-16 15:49:20

Even using your ex's logic that still only leaves you liable for half OP, he is DS's parent too! And you said you would get it fixed 'when you could afford it' so it's entirely reasonable that you wouldn't have the money immediately for your half.

Hidingtonothing Thu 22-Dec-16 15:50:35

X post blush

Hidingtonothing Thu 22-Dec-16 15:52:51

Kelly makes a good point, would you be asking your ex to contribute if it had been broken when DS was with you?

user1482413972 Thu 22-Dec-16 15:54:46

The thing is that I am extremely grateful as my son does need his phone and I'm glad it's fixed as I don't know when I would be able to do it but I just feel that she made that decision after letting me know so I'm in 2 minds about whether to go halves with my ex but I also appreciate it's not her responsibility??? hard one!!

user1482413972 Thu 22-Dec-16 15:57:52

I don't know what I'd do if the shoe was on the other foot, he isn't demanding it he just said as a moral duty we should pay her back, thanks

Whosthemummynow Thu 22-Dec-16 16:01:37

Yes you should pay her back? Maybe text her your thanks and advise her when you can pay.

You should be thanking her. Not trying to wiggle out of paying for something you were going to pay for anyway!

Hidingtonothing Thu 22-Dec-16 16:02:43

I would just tell him you will pay your half when you can afford it, in the same way that you would have got the phone repaired when you could afford it.

Evergreen777 Thu 22-Dec-16 16:06:39

Morally I think it's quite reasonable to say you'll pay her back when you can afford it.

But yes if you've made a point about the phone being essential for DS to walk home safely and you'd also said that you would get it fixed, and she was with an upset child with a broken phone she was probably just trying to be helpful by getting it fixed.

You may be unwittingly getting caught up in tensions between your ex and his DW about who pays for DS. Possibly his DSM is happy to do so sometimes but your ex feels she shouldn't have to, but that's really for them to resolve between them not drag you into.

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