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Help with SC Mum

(20 Posts)
icantstandhorridhenry Tue 23-Jun-20 18:48:23

This might be a long one so I apologise! Long time lurker, posted a few times but never about this so any advice would be appreciated even if people feel I'm/we're in the wrong.

A little background:
I've been with my partner a while (length of time doesn't matter) and he has 2 DC 6 & 7. They are angels... I love then like they're my own although sometimes their behaviour drives me mad but they're kids at the end of the day!
He hasn't been with their mum for 5 years and are on and off amicable.

Current situation that I need advice one:
We have the SC 50/50, not dead on but over a month period it is 50/50. He pays his ex £200 pm to have the children 50/50 and we pay for everything to do with the kids when they're here and he also gives her extra money for uniform and school bits if needed.
He's fed up of paying £200 pm for the privilege of having his own children considering they're with us 50% of the time. He had a look and according to CMS he has them 175+ days a year so sent his ex the calculation gave her warning it will change and that the money aspect was the only thing to change.
Naturally she hit the roof.
I've then looked into it and into the legislation and he technically does not need to pay her a penny although we both agreed that we would go by the CMS calculator and he would pay her that.
Bear in mind I do not get involved and only support him if required.
So we've drawn up a letter and a calendar to give to her (calendar because she thought 3+5 is 7 days a week... and she thinks he only has them 3 nights a week although it's 4 and last week it was 5) but before we could give it her to be amicable she's now text him mocking him saying if he wants it 50:50 he can have it like that (even though it already is) and left us in the lurch with the kids tonight knowing we've both got work tomorrow, her excuse was that she was busy.

From the constant arguments (which I've told him to stop) all she cares about is the money and not the fact that she's got a man who is happy to have his children and provide and care for them.

I don't know where to go with this to support him, when he's mentioned it previously to her about dropping the payments she's gone mental and used the kids as a weapon and then he's given up but this time he's sticking by his guns because we believe he is in the right and she's taking him for a right mug!

Oh and to top it all off I'm pregnant and we were gonna tell her tonight! Not anymore!

I just need some advice on what to do to help him, I wouldn't directly intervene even if she tried to bring me into it because at the end of the day it's about the care of kids not money, not me, not anything else in the world she's just being plain old difficult because she wants money for nothing.

If I'm wrong, tell me I'm wrong but please give constructive criticism because I think I need it!

If you got this far thank you, and if you reply double thank you!

OP’s posts: |
SandyY2K Tue 23-Jun-20 19:31:28

You'll get called out on this

all she cares about is the money and not the fact that she's got a man who is happy to have his children and provide and care for them.

He's doing what he should do.

I kind of think he knew that she would likely kick off and it's best to prempt what she could do to make life difficult for you both.

How much notice did he give her?

In terms of who really spends more on the kids, who is it honestly? Who buys presents for friends parties, who does after school activities? Who does most of their clothes shopping? Buys them toys/games?

They may be with him 50% of the time, but would you honestly say he spends the same on them as she does?

I don't know either way...but sometimes it's not worth the hassle of going strictly by the CMS calculator. It might be what he should legally pay....but is it fair. The law isn't always fair.

Has he got anyone else to look after the kids? Family perhaps. If I was him, I'd text and tell her as you're both workings tomorrow, he's taking the kids to mum/dad/sister/ friend and she should let him know what day she'll be home to bring them back.

Magda72 Tue 23-Jun-20 19:41:11

I'm in Ireland so things a bit different. Here there's not a lot of 50/50 but when there is maintenance from either side is zero. The payment of essentials like school related stuff & childcare, & non essentials like afterschool activities are decided on & written into divorce agreements. sometimes one parents buys everything and other parent then gives half or sometimes each parent takes responsibility for paying for different things.
So - imo you are dead right - however, if the sdc mum is not prepared to give up the money & treat 50/50 as it should be treated I think you will have a fight on your hands.
My exdp had a different but similar issue. Exw was rp & sahm to 3 teens. He was paying massive maintenance which was supposed to cover everything. He also paid all medical, dental, school trips & funds for uni in full. But regularly she would ring him saying it wasn't enough & that she needed money for heat, electric etc. He eventually got sick of this & started saying no & she literally stopped buying for the kids - refused to buy them shoes, new school pants & would not restock the cupboards for 2 days before maintenance due - kids would then ring him saying there was nothing to eat bar sandwiches (kids got pocket money from exdp every week so they could have used that & she did have the money - she was just being vindictive). Solicitor told him to buy whatever the kids needed that she wouldn't get & to deduct it from the maintenance which he did. She would then ring any time there was a drop in maintenance yelling & screaming so he blocked her. Then she started taking the kids phones & ringing him on those with the same carry on.
My point: you can't rationalise with someone who 'sees' money more than their kids. Exdp got so exhausted by her that he eventually (against legal advice) just paid full maintenance without the deductions & by the time we split he was forking out every week for haircuts, runners, socks, underpants etc. - all essentials the payment of which was already built into his maintenance. Basically she had 'won'.
Sorry my post is so negative but I honestly think that to some people money is worse than any drug & reasoning just doesn't work.

user1278 Tue 23-Jun-20 19:50:42

What are childcare arrangements like? Did DH get to choose days that fit in with work? Likewise for mum?

Frankola Tue 23-Jun-20 22:24:59

She's being grabby. If you have the kids 50 50 and you can prove it stop paying her maintenance.

Pay for what they have when they are at yours and any treats or school uniform etc they need when they stay with you.

icantstandhorridhenry Tue 23-Jun-20 23:28:42

Thank you all for your honest replies.

He pays 50% of everything, the kids will regularly say they live off freezer food at mummy's house, she used to ring him up for £20 here and there because she couldn't afford to pay her internet bill for the week so he'd pay it.

She's supposed to tell him about school trips and extra activities so he pays half but she doesn't and then she will complain about it. He's only recently been on the school contact list because of me, he never knew what was going on because she had pushed him out but then expected him to have the kids 50:50

He buys their clothes when they're here, pays for everything they need.

The 50:50 arrangement was mutually agreed between them at some point to suit both of them but all of a sudden it doesn't suit her even though she's on furlough and isn't doing anything.

She's just extremely manipulative and I'm fed up of watching a good man and a good father he made out to be a complete idiot when he's not.

Maybe we'll stick to CMS calculator and if she wants to go further with it then she can and we'll just have to see!

OP’s posts: |
Smallsteps88 Tue 23-Jun-20 23:47:05

all she cares about is the money and not the fact that she's got a man who is happy to have his children and provide and care for them.

Is he grateful to have a woman who is happy to have her children and provide and care for them?

There’s always a motivator for cutting the child support. It’s normally a new baby arriving and new partner wants all the money to remain in her household. lo and behold....

Oh and to top it all off I'm pregnant and we were gonna tell her tonight! Not anymore

If he’s genuinely going to continue paying half for everything, uniforms, trips, clubs, childcare then fair enough that no child support is due.

Beware though, you say you aren’t interfering but it comes across in your posts that you’re doing a lot of the pushing and leg work for these changes.

Eg:

I've then looked into it and into the legislation

Why you? Why wasn’t he looking into it himself?

He's only recently been on the school contact list because of me

He should have had himself on the list. Why didn’t he? This stuff is up to him as a parent to do.

Don’t fall into the trap of becoming his “parenting Manager”

dontdisturbmenow Wed 24-Jun-20 07:27:42

The 50:50 arrangement was mutually agreed between them at some point to suit both of them but all of a sudden it doesn't suit her even though she's on furlough and isn't doing anything
Was it an established 50/50 ie. 1 week with you, one week with her or 3 days one week, 4 days the next or was it an amicable arrangement when your OH asked if he could have the kids on extra days 2hen it suited him? Because it sounds a bit like it might be the latter. In this case, I can see why she's annoyed because even though it might be 50/50 or close in terms of nights, it might not be in terms of set pattern.

He needs to either agree a set pattern with her, or if that can't be done, do so via the courts. Bringing this up when you are pregnant will however inevitable raise the question whether it was all planned to coincide with dropping the maintenance because of needing the money for the new baby.

icantstandhorridhenry Wed 24-Jun-20 09:50:09

@Smallsteps88 He is and appreciates that she could be way more difficult that she has been previously, I do speak to him from a neutral ground because although I am there to support him I feel I am also there to give him non-bias advice (which is why I'm on here).
I genuinely don't think she appreciates that he's ready and willing to be as much in the DC lives as he possibly can be, all he gets is messages about her mates get this much money but we've realised it's because her mates exp have all buggered off!

The motivator is because he seriously cannot afford to fork out £200pm AND care for the children 50% of the time AND fork out more money for school activities ect... he sees it as if he could keep the £200pm then he would be able to provide more for his DC when they're with him.

I see what you mean about parenting manager, I was just shocked that he hadn't done it before - most of the things he hadn't done was because he didn't want to upset his exp and get into an argument. He's kind of a shut up and put up guy sometimes, especially when it comes to his kids which isn't right especially if he is providing just as much care as mum.

@dontdisturbmenow
care is 3 days one week 4 days another and it works around his shifts which I have made him aware that looks more in his favour, she had a go at him for it last week when she was going on about money saying it didn't suit her and he said he was open to discuss it because he didn't realise it didn't suit her until she said. She still hasn't come to him to discuss it like an adult, constantly firing petty texts at him.

I think he's open to discuss anything with her if she actually wanted to, from what I've seen her responses are one liners not actually interested in resolving anything or being fair - like last night she dumped the kids on us for another night to be spiteful and even though he said there was no one to look after the kids (luckily his mum did it even though she's supposed to be shielding which his exp knows) she literally didn't give a crap just said it was his problem even though it wasn't his agreed night to have them.

I just think as a mother your main priority is the DC and if exp can't help for valid reasons (such as work which was prearranged) then you help too.
It's about working together and yes although he wants to drop the money aspect to what is due according to CMS he doesn't want to drop his responsibility towards the DC.
She will always receive physical support from him, always but right now she's being a complete ass over money.

Question:
Would you all suggest to continue paying CMS at the calculated amount advised of £55pm in addition to 50% of school, uniform, activies ect and attempt to prove to her that he has them 50% of the time?

OP’s posts: |
dontdisturbmenow Wed 24-Jun-20 10:46:40

The problem really is the timing. If there's been an established arrangement in place with 50/50 care and every costs shared half, why did he ever pay her £200 in the first place? What was the rationale then that doesn't apply any longer?

Smallsteps88 Wed 24-Jun-20 11:29:35

I do speak to him from a neutral ground because although I am there to support him I feel I am also there to give him non-bias advice (which is why I'm on here).

You absolutely are not and never can be neutral or non biased in this situation. You’re his partner. You will always favour him. You can’t really believe otherwise?

I genuinely don't think she appreciates that he's ready and willing to be as much in the DC lives as he possibly can be

She doesn’t need to appreciate it!! It’s his job as parent- not a favour to her!

most of the things he hadn't done was because he didn't want to upset his exp and get into an argument.

So why didn’t you respect his decision? Sounds like you decided how things should be and took over.

care is 3 days one week 4 days another and it works around his shifts which I have made him aware that looks more in his favour

So contact is all to suit him regardless of whether it works for the DC of their other parent? No that doesn’t look more in his favour at all.

Would you all suggest to continue paying CMS at the calculated amount advised of £55pm in addition to 50% of school, uniform, activies ect and attempt to prove to her that he has them 50% of the time?

Sounds like the contact schedule doesn’t work for her either. I suggest they (him and her- not you) sit down together with pen and paper and firstly work out a schedule that works for both of them. He may find out that due to his shifts 50/50 isn’t best for the DC or their mother so he needs to prepare to compromise. Either by reducing contact or changing his shifts to more family friendly ones. Then they need to work out all the DCs expenses that they’re going to split and how they’re going to do that. Childcare included.

icantstandhorridhenry Wed 24-Jun-20 12:46:39

@smallsteps88

Just to clarify a few things, if I think he is in the wrong I would tell him, there has been a number of things he's said to her in the past that I've told him he shouldn't be saying, things he's said infront of the kids without thinking that he shouldn't be saying. Just because I'm his partner doesn't mean that I'm all singing and dancing banners waving for him, he's only human and if he is in the wrong he is in the wrong and the same goes for me.

I think appreciation goes 2 ways, he could be a deadbeat dad that buggered off and left her to it. If she had it her way she wouldn't have him involved at all and just take his money - which she has outright admitted to.

I didn't push him to do anything, I just asked him why he hadn't done it before and he decided on his own accord to do it himself. Why now? I can't answer that.

What I mean by the care is that it looks like it goes in his favour and not hers, he has them on his days off. I don't think the DC have been taken into account into anything they've decided between them by the looks of it anyway!

and finally, I do not get directly involved. I would never sit down with her even if he was there and discuss what to do with their DC as it is not my place. She's already said the 50/50 isn't working for her but only when she's arguing about money. She won't speak to him about it any other time and never normally brings it up.
We've tried suggesting different days that may assist her but she just ignores it and doesn't come back with an alternative.
His contracted hours are 48 hours a week 12 hour shifts 4 days on 4 days off, his working hours don't suit to having the kids on his days of work and he's trying to find a suitable job that pays the same to rectify that.

Can I ask, are you a step-parent or do you share your DC with an ex partner?

@dontdisturbmenow
He paid her £200 because originally she wanted £400pm off him right at the beginning which would've been 1/3 of his wages.
Just because he has them same amount of time as her, she gets the child benefit, he pays for everything else half of and everything when they're with us.

He just didn't seem it as fair, everything is split equally so why should he have to pay her money?
I think on top of that we've found out through the DC that she spends most of her money on takeaways and never has money for her bills and used to constantly ask him for more money.

For example 2 weeks ago DC was at ours, she text asking for the £200 which wasn't due yet claiming she had no money, the DC was at ours so she was in no need to buy them anything as we were looking after them plus an extra day to help her with something. She was vile and in the end he paid her to keep her quiet and then found out all she was doing was spending it on takeaways and not food for the house.

I know you can't dictate what she spends the money on but when the DC are on the phone to him saying they've not had breakfast because theirs no milk and mummys still in bed at 10am it's a little frustrating.

OP’s posts: |
PinkCrayon Wed 24-Jun-20 13:22:17

If him having the kids 50/50 is base purely on his shifts how is that fair on her?
He is able to work because SHE has the kids, this isnt a 50/50 arrangement that allows her to work easily so he can have the kids when she is working so she can earn money, its all geared around him.
Therefore I do think he should pay maintenance.

icantstandhorridhenry Wed 24-Jun-20 13:34:39

That's what I'm saying it isn't fair on her because it's based around him, maybe I'm just not coming out with it right!

He's asked her to come up with a suggestion that they can BOTH work to, the current arrangements means they can BOTH work - she does her shifts around the kids and she has never complained otherwise.

He would be able to work regardless, he would just need a little help - which some parents who are together are fortunate to have.

This is my argument - he recognises that his shifts work well and maybe hers don't (from what she has suggested) BUT she hasn't come up with an arrangement that may assist her too so wtf is he meant to do?! He's not going to change it hoping it suits her, she is going to have to actually suggest something rather than complaining and then not actually doing anything about it.

Can you see where I am coming from with that?

OP’s posts: |
icantstandhorridhenry Wed 24-Jun-20 13:45:12

I know i'm probably coming off as on his side but honestly, if the shoe was on the other foot so the DC were in his care and she 'had to' pay him and everything was exactly how it is now I'd tell him he was being a pillock and she shouldn't have to pay because everything is 50/50, the care, the money, the trips, the activities.

I'm not 'on his side' because I'm his partner I just see it as if anyone shares everything 50/50 with their ex then no money should be paid.
Or if there is I believe it should be what the CMS suggest.

Can someone explain to me that on that basis WHY should one parent (regardless of being mother or father) should they pay the other?

OP’s posts: |
PinkCrayon Wed 24-Jun-20 13:52:57

'then found out all she was doing was spending it on takeaways and not food for the house.'
How did u find this out?
And is she not allowed to buy take aways?
I didnt see the point you were trying to make, I guess it got lost in the constant criticism of her, you put her down alot and you sound really judgy.
I think from my point of view if my dhs ex was struggling with money a month I would want to help her. See what we could do about it, not take money away from her so it would effect the kids if she is struggling already.

icantstandhorridhenry Wed 24-Jun-20 14:05:21

The DC mention a couple of things now and again, obviously we can't take it as gospel I know but it is frustrating to hear sometimes.

No and I did mention that we can't dictate what she does.

Not really I'm just saying it how it is at the minute and its frustrating.
I've said a couple of times to my partner I think she's a lovely woman and I do get on with her besides this whole pallava she just does says some childish things and does childish things when it comes to the DC and my partner. Like last night, no one to look after the kids today she was claiming she was 'busy' all of a sudden knowing they were due back to her but she didn't give a crap what was going on with her DC.

I agree with you there, but theoretically she shouldn't be struggling I think from his experience and things she's said she's just generally crap with money - not saying everyone is perfect either!

She comes out with slightly more money than he does each month, part time job, on UC and gets money from him, her mum helps with a couple of things, her partner lives with her and pays his way, so she has got enough money from what we can see (obviously we don't know the full ins and outs)

I don't see it as 'taking money away from her', if she was on her knees and couldn't afford 2 pence to rub together to support the DC and it was affecting them obviously it would be a completely different story! But she's not and actually by taking £200pm from him, she's putting him in a predicament.
She's crippled him on a number of occasions but he's stuck by the agreement regardless.

Anyway that's by the by, it's not about her or what I think of her or what he thinks of her, it's about him not giving her more than she's legally due so that he can provide more for the DC when he has them overall.
Thats what I actually came on for advice for so that I can support him in the right way.

OP’s posts: |
PlayDoe Wed 24-Jun-20 17:23:51

Reading through all the comments I can see that’s most of the people have just completely mistaken everything that’s was said. She is trying to help her partner, he needs to get a back bone, stick up for himself against his ex and take the argument on the chin! Everything I have read doesn’t make out that you have made or changed his decision. People need to stop thinking the worst in everyone.

She was after constructive criticism, not to be completely attacked for trying to help out her partner because of a “mother carried, mother gets” scenario.

I’m more shocked about the fact that the baby had to come about, there is nothing wrong with having a child with someone else if you happy in a relationship. Nothing changes baby or no baby and the government drop the payments when You do have another child. As long as he is still having the DC 50/50 which ever way they do it, nothing’s a problem.

At the end of the day if they have been doing it 50/50 and it’s been working, Regardless if it helps “him” with his Working hours and they both agreed is shouldn’t be a problem. If they agree on something else because it’s not working for her then she needs to bring up the issue in hand instead of leaving it, be an adult about things, people can’t read minds. but still should appreciate the fact he is working to provide for the DC just like he should for her - it’s a give and take.

It’s all about the DC and if there getting the everything they need all this “mother deserves” nonsense is invalid. End of.

With the money issue, he should only be paying what he has too, if he pays more then good on him but he shouldn’t be paying it if he pays for food, clothes, trips, activity etc. When he has them then he shouldn’t be paying for her privileged lifestyle, fair enough she has takeaways but when it’s coming out then money that is designated for the DC that’s just disgusting.


I’m fed up of all this kinda backlash against fathers that are trying to do the right thing for there children.

Not all fathers are deadbeats. Remember that.

Rant over.

HeckyPeck Wed 24-Jun-20 18:32:59

Honestly, if I had kids and a 50:50 arrangement I wouldn’t pay/expect maintenance. As long as both parents go 50:50 on shared expenses then that should work out fine.

She was vile and in the end he paid her to keep her quiet and then found out all she was doing was spending it on takeaways and not food for the house.

I think he needs to stop giving in to her demands. It might have kept her quiet that time but it’ll just mean more vileness next time. With some people if you give an inch they’ll take a mile!

icantstandhorridhenry Wed 24-Jun-20 18:54:48

@PlayDoe @Heckypeck

Thank you, I just need someone to see it for what it is.

I'm not bitching, I'm just saying it how it is at the minute and that he's trying to be fair with everything and she's throwing it back in his face because she thinks she can without looking at the facts.

He's going to try and talk to her tonight face to face and get it sorted, like I've been trying to say I'm only here to support him and advise him.

It's hard to advise someone who's talking to a brick wall half the time. She really doesn't want to know.

Thank you for all your comments, even the ones who didn't agree. Gave me a real insight into how fathers are viewed smile

OP’s posts: |

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