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Just looking for opinions on what's reasonable in this situation..
DSD is off on a residential trip to France in a few weeks. She obviously has a list of items required for the trip. It was mentioned a while back that she would need some new things to take, walking boots, waterproofs etc.
Anyway her mum has gone out and got her the things she needs for the trip, spent almost £250 and is asking us to contribute.
I'm a little annoyed for the following Reasons.
we pay 100 a week maintenance for 2 Children. We have them every weekend. We have to provide everything for our house, they often come in dirty, inappropriate clothing.. eg a skirt and T-shirt last weekend, no coat, in winter?! I've asked so many times for them to bring coats etc but never do. So we have to buy them for use at ours only, which also bugs me because it's such a waste of money as they grow so fast! they always want to take their new things home and it's horrible saying no because it seems petty but if we did we'd be buying new things every weekend. I'd happily help buy coats and clothes etc and let them home but we'd never see them again.
Also, we have some of the stuff on the list, we got them both walking boots the other week, they could of been
taken and never seen again borrowed for the trip as it's not really something they use a lot. They have their own sleeping bags which we could of provided rather than buying new.
So I guess I'm annoyed she didn't consult us before hand, rather than posting a receipt through the door asking for half the money. My husband says he isn't paying, but I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for help towards things that's aren't everyday things, I just don't agree with how she's gone about it and we could if saved us all some money.
So what would you all do?
How does it work with things things for you?
It seems obvious that kids going on school trips need some specific clothes/ equipment. How were you assuming the costs would be split, or did you assume that maintenance would cover it?
I assumed she would show us the list so we could help with providing things and then if things still needed to be purchased then we'd split the cost of that.
Your way seems fair. Explain she can take the boots and sleeping bags back and borrow the ones you have but they must be returned. If she says no, deduct them from the receipt she's left and give her the remaining half.
Legally I don't think you have to provide on top of maintenance but morally is a different story.
Remove the items you already had and could have provided, then half the remaining bill and pay that.
Tell her you are happy to split the cost of unexpected or one-off things, but you won't be buying duplicates of things the girls already have.
£100 per week for 2 kids
£5200 per annum
£2600 per child
the lack of communiation between your DP and his EX is his problem and he needs to sort it. She needed stuff for the trip and if he knew that he should have had the conversation before. Am sure if he was on the school mailing list for the child, he would have had the list as did the mother and he could ahve told her before hand he had some stuff and she did not need it
Your DP is the issue -not her buying what their child needs
Actually he'd asked for the list three times and she said each time she'd post it. He is on the school mailing list, but they were given the letters at a meeting about the trip in school, he works away so isn't able to attend things like that.
I think you've made a lot of assumptions on little information.. I've already said I think it's fair we contribute to extra costs such as this, we are happy to do so. But she's jumped ahead and done things without speaking to us and we could of provided some of the things on the list, saving us and her money.
I will suggest she return the items we have and pay half the rest of the bill.
I used to get child maintenance, I thought it was to buy things the children needed..
Your way seems fair OP.
Tell her what you already have. She returns those items. Rest split into half. Works well
is she asking the father to contribute, or you? If he earns enough to pay, then why not pay? Also he could chase with school - asking them three times for the list and not getting it isn't great comms. My kids school puts copies of all letters online. Maybe they could start doing that?
@TearingUpMyHeart it's his ex he asked the list for. When he collects them but she'd always say she's rushing out or hasn't got time and will post it, never did and then just buys all the stuff.
He can afford it, but why pay for boots we've just brought? We'd of given them to her to use for the trip rather than buying more.
I just don't think it's ok to run out and spend money and expect it back, we're not unwilling to help, but we'd said we'd see what stuff we have and help buy the rest yet she's just ignored our attempts and brought new. If she wants them for her house; fair enough but then we shouldn't have to pay for that on top of maintenance and providing these things at our house. Does that make sense?
It sounds reasonable, but their father sounds less involved than you! That list could have been obtained weeks if not months ago from the school. Did he ask them? He was maybe too busy, but then maybe she was as well.
Like pp, I would say that you have the sleeping bags and boots so she can return those, then split the rest.
Going forward I would phone the school and ask them for copies of everything. Surely they have something in place so both parents can get the right information. Then you don’t need to rely on her and can even tell her you will buy the things in the future (then split the bill).
I don’t know if she was being difficult or not, but personally I hate have to ask for money for things because it’s like I’m asking for a favour, when it’s not - it’s for the kids. Again from a personal point of view I also hate that all the admin and sorting out of things for the children falls on me. Each thing might seem like a small thing, but all together it adds up in time and mental energy and also keeps all the responsibility on me. And as for maintenance, it covers the basics. You (or rather, their father) should be splitting the costs of extras. It may seem like a lot of child support is being paid, but she will be spending a lot more than that.
Oh I know the maintenance doesn't stretch far! She makes life difficult a lot, I've tried to offer help more but she won't accept it from me.
For example the girls wanted to do ballet, and she kept saying she's sort them classes but it never happened, so I offered, well, that didn't go down well at all, apparently I was just trying to score points. So I do appreciate what your saying about having all the responsibility @TwiceAsNice22 But sometimes you just can't help people!
My husband does what he can but he works away so only has weekends at home.
I try and think what I'd expect if I was her, I encourage my husband to be respectful to her but she knows how to push his buttons and he can't help but retaliate! Sometimes I think they're the children!
I receive maintenance from my ex. When things like this arise I pay for it as that seems fair. He already contributes X amount to the kids, the only thing I ask for is the actual cost of a residential trip. I pay for smaller trips but with secondary school trips costing £££ I can't afford to pay that so we have agreed to split those costs. In terms of kit though, I feel that what he gives me should cover that. If she felt like she needed extra help with those costs she should have discussed it upfront.
I think she’s wrong for refusing to give your DH the details in advance.
I wouldn’t pay for the boots/sleeping bags as it’s silly to pay for lots of the same items.
Whether I paid for the rest would depend on the split in caring for the children. I.e. you had the kids Friday night to Monday morning every week, then she’d only have 4 more days a month and £430 a month is more than enough to cover 4 extra meals/baths etc, with left over for costs like this.
If she had loads of costs like childcare or you have less days than that though, then I’d think splitting is fair.
She can’t unilaterally decide to spend your money which is what she’s effectively doing. If there are extras she wants help with its needs to be discussed and agreed in advance. DHs x used to do things like this. We pushed back a couple of times and she stopped.
I would say ‘sorry you’ve jumped the gun a bit, we have x, x & x already we could have provided, which is why we asked for the list. Borrow ours, Get your money back on those things and we don’t mind contributing to the rest. ‘ I’d also want to add - we must communicate better, I’m sure it would save us both money.
What a joke, I wouldn't be pushed over and give in on this. Who does she think she is, yes she has children to him but that gives her no entitlement to do what she is. You give her maintenance
If she wants to waste her money because of a lack of organisation on her part then that's her stupid tax.
As PP said get XH to tell her to take those items back and they will discuss the remaining balance.