Some questions about maintenance and what you pay for

(90 Posts)
Smo2 Sun 30-Dec-12 22:18:01

When my ex left, he would only allow CSA to assess what he lays...and he lays the bare minimum that they have told him. He works full time, and has alot of lucrative self employed work on top...which he doesn't declare to CSA...until they re assess him at end of tax year....so lots of extra income.

As well as that his partner ( who he left me for after lengthy affair) also works full time and has additional self employed work.they live ins small house, tiny mortgage..having left me with both kids and only a part time job, in a large house, big mortgage and bills.

Is it unreasonable that he should be paying towards childcare?

Or do I...as he tells me regularly the money he pays me is all I'm getting, and I should use that to cover childcare costs...( it only just covers it, leaving me next to nothing towards any other costs for the kids, ie: , clothes etc)

He doesn't buy clothes for them or shoes.

Do you or do your exs or your partners who have ex's contribute towards childcare ON TOP of maintenance?

Thanks xx

Smo2 Sun 30-Dec-12 22:18:59

Sorry...lays should read earns!

Rache1S Sun 30-Dec-12 22:28:49

My hubby pays maintenance of 15% of his earnings and nothing more after his ex dumped him for another man. His ex gets 70% of childcare costs paid for on top of 6.5k per year in tax credits as she has a low income, so unless your part time job is particularly well paid you should be able to claim the similar?

Smo2 Sun 30-Dec-12 22:37:24

No, I'm a teacher so part time job is paid well. I'm not complaining I don't have enough,just rather the injustice of it all and how it is that I have to meet all of these childcare costs...when he is in fact also working, earning substantially more,yet has a fraction of the costs I do. Xxx

bearymerrychristmas Sun 30-Dec-12 22:41:09

I understand what you are saying, but yes, you are supposed to pay for everything including childcare from the minimum payments.

If his lifestyle doesn't match what he says he earns then you can ask the CSA to investigate it - like if he has two houses, expensive cars, lots of holidays and tells them he is on minimum wage then they can look into it.

There is nothing stopping you from asking him to pay more, or help with childcare. Could he have them an extra day a week to cut down your childcare costs?

Have you applied to tax credits - you can get up to 70% of your childcare costs paid for you, dependent on your wage.

Smo2 Sun 30-Dec-12 22:51:38

I have, and they do....it sucks that he'd rather let the state do it...I think what is hard is that he did at one point have them one of the days to support me, but then changed his mind and now refuses, saying he is working...which if he is, it is extra self employed work....so it sucks a bit that a) he is increasing his income b ) he's forcing me to pay an extra days childcare c) he isn't declaring it to CSA and they aren't interested until he does his tax return...likely to be fictitious...and then,,,this is the crazy bit...if he earns more, they will only deduct it out of his wages...which are capped at a certain % and therefore I can't get the extra money, despite him having two extra jobs!!

Rache1S Sun 30-Dec-12 22:52:06

I think ideally the best solution is that both parties sit down and work out an arrangement which is suitable for the circumstances of all parties involved, which has nothing to do with percentages of earnings, just what is best for DC's. Unfortunately though, this rarely happens and it just boils down to money and access after a split.
Unfortunately for you it sounds like he is already paying what he is legally obliged to so you are going to have to prey on his conscience and hope he offers a bit more.
I am obviously on the other side of the fence to you, but my DH finds it so difficult that he only sees his DD on weekends and he feels like he misses out on so much if her day-to-day life, so your ExP may have a fraction of the costs you do but he may also now feel he is a fraction of the parent you are to your DC's.

Smo2 Sun 30-Dec-12 23:10:34

Thanks...actually I'm desperate for him to see them more....and so are kids..but it's all on his terms it's Sunday....if he's not working..he won't meet me without partner....and she seriously can't butt out..

Was really just interested in what other people's arrangements are..thanks x

Rache1S Sun 30-Dec-12 23:18:52

I hope it all works out for you x

NotaDisneyMum Sun 30-Dec-12 23:19:38

Why do you need to meet him? Unless your DCs are infants, all communication can be done via text/email and handovers at a distance, surely?

If you have contentious issues you want to discuss face to face with him, then perhaps mediation is the way to go if he refuses to exclude his DP?

Smo2 Mon 31-Dec-12 00:14:59

My daughter is disabled, my son is 4... There is alot of medical info to exchange. Also contact needs to be arranged month by month so it is flexible for him

I'm not allowed to email or text him, though I do...but he refuses to reply

I've offered mediation, he refuses..

Phone calls are ignored.

rahrahthelion Fri 04-Jan-13 18:41:11

Thus us a HUGE bugbear of mine. I simply can't understand why childcare isn't the responsibility of the other parent too!!!! I mean... Either you claim tax credits (at the expense of the state) and Dad gets off scot free. or you earn 30k upwards (which, if you have childcare costs of 1k a month, is NOTHING) and you have to pay the whole thing by yourself!!! An average UK income for a man means around £200 a month child maintenance to be paid to the ex. Who also has to fund a house, food, bills, entertainment for two on an even lower average income than her ex hmmconfusedhmmconfusedhmmconfused

rahrahthelion Fri 04-Jan-13 18:43:01

In the end, I insisted that my ex pay for child care on his days and that helped somewhat. He was fairly blushblushblush at the costs!!

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 04-Jan-13 22:08:42

Does he end up with a higher bill when he produces his actual earnings or do the csa not ask?

Have you applied for. Variation under undeclared income?

Newmama99 Tue 08-Jan-13 00:59:23

I agree with other posts recommending to approach the CSA and see whether there would be a way for a much fairer assessment.

Finances are often tricky after divorce, especially when the children are young. The financial situation of his new partner should be irrelevant to you. Forget about her, she is not financially responsible for the children you decided to have with your ex.

I'm sorry to hear things are difficult for you. Are you making sure you are receiving all the benefits that you are entitled to? Also, if the house is too big for you (and therefore the bills etc), have you got an option to downsize to help you out? And as others suggested, could it be arranged that the father spends a bit more time with them to allow you to work extra hours if you are able to? could there be any other solutions for childcare? For children clothes and shoes, I found out that it helps me to financially to buy basic stuff from Tesco's/Sainsbury's basic range for socks, pyjamas, underwear, and I always target the sales. Primark is good too to cut the cost down. Actually revising your finances and budget and see where you could get things cheaper could help. That's the things you can control, unlike the actions of your ex.

I personally don't agree that the divorced man who is an nrp should pay for bills/mortages/childcare for his ex, on top of CSA rates. Otherwise, how is he ever going to be able to move forward and start another life/family? He might as well be the parent with residency of the children.

It would be great for you if you could find the solutions that suit you, because you would end up keeping a good asset for your future, and for your children. Childcare will only be an issue until your children are old enough not to cost that much in child care. Wishing you good luck.

thelionessrichie Thu 17-Jan-13 17:29:03

Im a bit late to respond but I completely disagree with "how is he supposed to move on with a new family" There is no "moving on" - your children are your responsibility for life. That includes paying for them to be cared for while you work. Not handing over 15% of your net and expecting your ex to front up often 1K plus a month. Shocking.

NotaDisneyMum Thu 17-Jan-13 18:11:13

'Scuse me?

If a resident parent chooses to spend £1k a month on their DCs then that is their choice - but it is certainly not a necessity!

'Together' families spend the amount they can afford on their DCs - and just because parents are separated doesn't suddenly mean that one parent should bankrupt themselves to maintain their DCs standard of living at the level the RP decides.

Yes, there are lots of RP in poverty whose DCs are going without, but there are lots of 'together' families and NRP households in the same position too.

MisForMumNotMaid Thu 17-Jan-13 18:20:46

My understanding when exH left was that their are two settlements. One covers ongoing child support 20% of all earned income the other is spousal separation and if your children are under 6 this can be up to 50% of salary if you were the principal caregiver so fulfilled this role before separation.

I didn't fight it through the courts with DH he left the house which he signed over (he'd never paid towards it anyway) and paid to the pound the CSA amount for the DC. Needless to say he also doesn't declare his extra earnings that i know he has and girlfriend/ wife. He had the affair with is also working. DS1 has ASD so my working opportunities are also very restricted.
Just love the way proper long term support for your DC is kind of optional in this country.

I don't know how people dumped in it with young children will cope when CTC stop next year.

Petal02 Fri 18-Jan-13 13:25:44

How is he supposed to move on with a new family? There is no “moving on” – your children are your responsibility for life. That includes paying for them to be cared for while you work. Not just handing over 15% of your net income

Children are indeed a responsibility for life, but their upkeep is not the sole responsibility of the nrp, both parents have financial responsibility. This often seems to get forgotten. If a marriage breaks down, why shouldn’t the man go on to have more children with another partner? Providing he still pays maintenance at the correct rate to his ex, then surely it’s OK for him to move on?

”Together” families spend the amount they can afford on the children – and just because parents are separated doesn’t suddenly mean that one parent should bankrupt themselves to maintain their children’s stand of living at the level the RP decides.

Absolutely. If parents are together, they cut their cloth accordingly, not sure why it should be any different for separated parents. I’ve never understood the women who think that their ex can finance two separate households? To quote my DH: “she chose to leave me, not sure why she still thinks I should be her meal ticket ……..”

thelionessrichie Mon 21-Jan-13 13:35:14

notadisneymum you missunderstand me - I was referring to childcare costs of £1000 which are certainly not a choice.
As a stepmother whose husband has an extremely grabby ex, I am certainly on the same page as most of you. But childcare costs are quite apart and if both parents choose to work I don't see why the costs of care should fall on just one.

thelionessrichie Mon 21-Jan-13 13:41:34

My example being such: my ex pays me £180 a month towards our DD. Fine - I can raise her on £360 per month (i.e. his 180 and my 180) I wouldn't expect any more than that.

But we always both worked full time when we were together, he was never under any illussion that I would be a stay at home mum so childcare costs were always a given. They were always around £1000 per month and something we factored in when we discussed if we coyuld afford children or not.

We paid half each of childcare when we were together, along with half the rent, half the food costs etc etc...

When we split up, I was suddenly responsible for the full £1000. Now, I know it was hard for him, as it was for me. Both of our costs doubled over night - full rent, full bills etc etc. Fine. But he had no childcare costs... yet mine were a grand a month... for the child we made together... fair???

I suppose I should have left my career and stayed at home with our daughter while his career continued... confused

NotaDisneyMum Mon 21-Jan-13 14:05:21

Why doesn't he have any childcare costs? Is his contact with your DD limited to when he isn't working?

My ex and I were both working full time when we split - I insisted that he took his share of her care and he paid for childcare when DD was 'with him'.

If your ex is refusing contact then that's a different matter - but you still have a choice to reduce hours if you resent paying so much in childcare.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 21-Jan-13 14:08:04

And the idea that both parents should financially contribute an 'equal amount' is bonkers - that rarely happens in together families. Just because my ex can afford to contribute several hundred £ a month doesn't mean I can - because that's what he gives me, then DD gets a better standard if living than she would on my income alone, but I certainly can't afford what ex can each month!

thelionessrichie Mon 21-Jan-13 18:43:58

That's exactly what I was saying confused that in the end I insisted that he pay for childcare on the days he had his maintenance pro-rated for. He soon found alternatives to a childminder when he had to front up the money and his mum and girlfriend rallied round to take care of DD while he was at work. But technically, as per CSA rules a NRP doesn't have to pay anything towards childcare.
His court ordered time with DD is one evening a week and every other weekend (Fri-Sun). He doesn't work in the evening and he doesnt work weekends, so no childcare costs for him. But she needs cared for during the day time of that evening day, and on the Friday daytime of the night he has her because we are both at work - surely that's his responsibility... I can't see how it's mine.

I don't resent paying childcare for my DD while I'm at work on "my" days. What I resent is paying for childcare for five days a week at £1000 a month while he doesn't have any childcare costs. When we both work. Why would I pay for the priviledge of building our careers that WE BOTH enjoy.

I like the idea that I have the option to decrese my hours grin so does he if that's the theory, if he doesn't want to pay for childcare wink

thelionessrichie Mon 21-Jan-13 18:44:59

"And the idea that both parents should financially contribute an 'equal amount' is bonkers - that rarely happens in together families. Just because my ex can afford to contribute several hundred £ a month doesn't mean I can - because that's what he gives me, then DD gets a better standard if living than she would on my income alone, but I certainly can't afford what ex can each month!"

- It did happen in our family. We both earned the same salary.

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