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Aibu or does anyone else think the system is set up to fail single mothers ?

269 replies

Ems8818 · 09/10/2018 20:50

So I’m a single mum to 4 . Three eldest from one dad who does see them at all and occasionally pays £18 a month Maintance, he has £13000 dept with csa which is never enforced as when ever they catch up with him he’s unemployed.
My youngest is only 5months and receives £160 a month maintenance. This is equivalent to 8% of his dads income .
Am I the only one who thinks the way child maintenance is calculated is wrong ? I’ve received a really good job offer which will provide long term security to me and my kids however im going have to turn it down as to be able to take the job my childcare costs will be £450 a week , tax credits will only pay £220 so the extra will need to come from my wages .
The baby’s dad will not have him at all to try and reduce the cost . Surly it would be more fair if cms considered things like this when working out they’re maintenance

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Ems8818 · 09/10/2018 20:53

I’m all for working and as each taking responsibility for our family’s , the two child limit is a good idea in some respects but surly the government should of looked at ways to make both parents responsible for they’re choices not just the parent left hold the baby .
I know title says mums but I’m sure there are men out there in the same situation as me

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ManyCrisps · 09/10/2018 20:57

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GreenLantern53 · 09/10/2018 20:57

I get £5 a week for 4 kids. yours doesnt seem too bad tbh.

Ems8818 · 09/10/2018 21:06

I don’t expect the system to help me what would be good is if the system was more equal and made both parents take responsibility.
I do not need to put a sob story out there as we all have our life challenges , and yes domestic violence is horrendous trust me I know , but I have worked really fucking hard and got a degree as well as a level 5 registered managers qualification whilst caring for 3 children and working so yes I know work hard to gain .

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serbska · 09/10/2018 21:08

Four children is obviously a more expensive proposition than none, or one, or two...

Ems8818 · 09/10/2018 21:08

And sorry I have to say it’s not just income which makes you a brilliant mother , in that respect I know I’m doing an amazing job as childminders teachers anyone who has contact with my kids regularly tell me how amazing they are

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MrsReacher1 · 09/10/2018 21:08

Your baby is only five months old so knowing that you were in this situation with three kids you decided to have another with someone who was not a DH, a life partner, who was clearly not able to support his child and neither were you.

Actually the system supports single mothers more than working couples. Single parents are more likely to get state help with everything including housing costs.

But no - it is not easy. I have been a single parent for a while and it is very hard indeed - not something I would have chosen.

Fuzzywig · 09/10/2018 21:10

I agree with you. I too had a single Mum after my father pissed off with her best mate leaving her with 4 kids to bring up on her own. No CSA in those days, yes she managed by scrimping and saving but she shouldn’t have had to. My Father should have taken some responsibility and paid something towards our upkeep but he didn’t. Not a penny... not even for Christmas or birthdays.

I thought these new fangled benefit, universal credit, would have paid more to be honest.

Will you be any better off taking into account your new salary? Have you tried the benefits calculator?

I hope it works out for you x

Starlight345 · 09/10/2018 21:10

It’s race to the bottom thread op.

I think childcare for 4 children is always going to be tricky op.

Ems8818 · 09/10/2018 21:13

I understand your point about having a child when not able to provide and wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all see into the future and know how things would end up sadly we can’t .
Had all been as it should then yes with the support of the baby’s father financially things would be fine however the point I’m making is basically surly not only the children and mother should suffer for an adults In ability to take responsibility

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TulipsInBloom1 · 09/10/2018 21:13

How old are your other dc?

caroloro · 09/10/2018 21:14

It's hard isn't it. In the short term it'll be a struggle (presumably you'll earn more then 230 a week?) but when the free 30 hours Childcare kicks in next year, you'll be in a better position? Can you make it work for a short time as an investment for your little family's future?

MrsReacher1 · 09/10/2018 21:14

I agree - the state should be tougher with the men - no question.

IStandWithPosie · 09/10/2018 21:16

Oh fucking hell. Ignore the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps, I raised 17 on my own and ate grass for every meal and paid their dad for the pleasure” Hmm

You’re absolutely right OP. The child support system is not fit for purpose. It’s far too easy to avoid paying and nothing is done to force them and even when they do pay, childcare costs are not accounted for. The whole thing needs a massive overhaul but no government will ever do that because it’s easier to keep on blaming the single mothers for being feckless, workshy sluts the pop out babies for benefits than it is to hold the fathers accountable.

Lifeisabeach09 · 09/10/2018 21:17

I agree with you, OP.
Non-resident parents should be forced to pay (a fair amount of) child support or go to jail. This is how it is in parts of the US. It shouldn't be so easy for them to wiggle out of paying and ridiculous amounts too!
And, as for tax credits, low income families wouldn't need them if the government forced companies to pay an actual liveable wage and reduced childcare costs.

Ems8818 · 09/10/2018 21:17

Tbh I’ve had to take a pay cut however the benifits in job security are worth it in the long run .
Yes I’ve tried benefits calculator ect and there is some help available I just genuinely believe that more responsibility should be placed on absent parents . When it comes to benifits I agree that these should be used for those who have no other option and how great the financial savings for the country would be if the government but a bit more effort into ensuring both parents take responsibility for they’re children

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IStandWithPosie · 09/10/2018 21:18

Actually the system supports single mothers more than working couples. Single parents are more likely to get state help with everything including housing costs.

Err it’s based on income! Single mothers are only more likely to receive benefits than working couples because (surprise surprise!) they can’t earn as much as two people can. Hmm

IStandWithPosie · 09/10/2018 21:20

I thought these new fangled benefit, universal credit, would have paid more to be honest.

😂😂😂 from a Tory government??

Wagonwheelsandstrawberryjam · 09/10/2018 21:21

I don't think it's a case of work hard and you'll be a fantastic mother, as a single parent it's hard work just to work.
The more hours you put in the less time you get with your dcs and the less they get, I'm very lucky that I don't have to pay for childcare as I only work pt, however I'm now looking for ft as I simply cannot afford to live.
I scrape by on what little I earn after I've paid my bills, I agree that the system is totally unfair towards single parents and believe that both parents should always help towards the upbringing of their child.
It's disgraceful that one parent gets to live a life without having to worry if their dc are going to have a proper meal or have a roof over their heads.

Ems8818 · 09/10/2018 21:21

I’m glad it’s not just me thought I was off my head for a minute lol .
I will find a way to take this job as I’m not having my children do with out or suffer because they’re dads are irresponsible.
My other children are 12 (with additional needs) 9 and 8 and also for my self respect I am in no way idol and don’t want my children growing and thinking that when life screws you over you just sink into self pity

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ImNotonLinkedInNo · 09/10/2018 21:22

It's tough alright. Women pay a very HIGH price for parenthood and men pay a much lower price for parenthood.

Obviously there will be people who will stand in line to judge you but they are missing that one basic fundamental unfair truth. The Motherhood Penalty.

I was cornered out of the work place when I had two children. One needs a good salary to fund childcare for ONE child, never mind four.

All I can suggest is that you plan, research the work place 'market' keep your skills up to date on line, badger agencies. Don't give up hope. Your children will grow up (eventually) and then it will be possible to work. You'll never be rich most likely. I am just grateful for the freedom to work for a low wage now. I didn't even have that freedom as a single parent to two young children. Working is a luxury sometimes.

Pickleypickles · 09/10/2018 21:23

Are you sure you only get 220 towards child care? I'm a single mum and get 80% paid for but that's on UC and I get no maintenance so it might be different.


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dinosaurkisses · 09/10/2018 21:23

Well, childcare for 4 kids will always be expensive whether you’re a lone parent or in a couple. In that respect, four kids is a luxury especially if you’re going to be relying on benefits or tax credits.

I completely agree with your point about CMS needing to be more aggressively chased from the NRP, and I think the country is sleepwalking into increased levels of poverty due to the cock up that is Universal Credit.

rotavixsucks · 09/10/2018 21:25

YABU to think it applies only to single mothers.

Both DH and I work full time, the cost of childcare, commuting etc actually means I work for virtually nothing (about £30) a week. We are are not entitled to any support and financially I would be better off not working, however I know that I am setting an example and keeping security for our future when DC go to school.

Ems8818 · 09/10/2018 21:25

The other thing I find is that it’s almost impossible to find anything other than entry level jobs that will offer part time work .
So again as a single parent your options become do I cripple myself with full time childcare and work at a suitable level or do I work at a lower level but with part time hours

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