50/50 Shared Care and Work Travel Commitments
Tagged: work travel
28 October 2019 at 11:58 pm #32146
I am new to this forum so go easy on me 🙂
I am a divorced father of 2 fantastic kids, 6 and 9 yrs old. We’ve been split with my ex (she) for around 4.5 years now and divorced for 3 of them. The problem I am having is knowing the best course of action in relation to childcare and work commitments. We currently have a 50/50 shared care family based arrangement, so there is no maintenance payment. I pay for childcare (mainly so my ex can work) and bits and bobs for the kids as and when, so really its not truly 50/50 in that sense. She works but is on a much lower income than me, although I am not earning that much to be splashing cash as it were.
I can work away from time to time with my job and she is demanding that I pay her for the time I am away, her loss of earnings. I’ve come up with compromises (re childcare plus loss of earnings for a few of those hours), even suggested a week on week off scenario, which would give us both space to work. She will not budge though and is very difficult about the whole situation. She wants the whole money. She has recently started working strange shift patterns in her job and, from what I know, doesn’t really work much in the day. Without going into too much detail, this has been my job for the last 14 yrs and I love what I do.
We’ve tried mediation a couple of times and I am trying so hard to not take it down a legal route if I can.
Anyone been in a similar situation and can give me some words of advice.29 October 2019 at 2:52 am #32149
Apologies in advance if this is a slightly harsh response, but:
As a single mum with shared care of my kids, I don’t expect their dad to look after the kids at times they’re set to be with me. If I can’t care for them myself I do what most single mums have always done: call in help from friends, neighbours and family when possible, and pay for childcare when not.
You mention your ex is on a lower income than you: I have no idea but I wonder, if she’d spent the past 14 years building her dream career full-time would that still be the case? The comparisons you draw should not even be relevant to the question of how you take responsibility for your childcare.29 October 2019 at 7:45 am #32153
You pay for childcare mainly so that mum can go out to work, have I got that right? And aswell as paying for childcare mum now wants you to pay her for loss of earnings should she be looking after her own children to help you do your job like you help her do her job? Sorry but she cannot have it all ways. She needs to show some flexibility and if you did go down the legal route that’s what the courts would expect from both of you. If she is not going to be flexible and work with you on these issues in your situation I would be taking the stance of only paying for the childcare that I need for my children and not covering the cost of childcare for my ex to go out to work. That would be something she would need to work out for herself. If she is on a low enough income she will be able to claim help towards the costs of childcare.
As far as you needing childcare for when you work away, like Red23 has said, call on family and friends to help out if you can.29 October 2019 at 8:34 am #32155
Do you have any other family or friends that would be able to provide care for the children if you work away?
For me there are a few different issues.
- Her childcare costs are not your responsibility. And as such I personally think that her ultimatums knowing you’re paying out so she can work illustrate that she is not appreciative of this. And as such if this were me I’d give her notice that you will no longer be paying for her childcare needs.
- if she is genuinely on a low income she would be entitled to reduced childcare costs via tax credits or universal credits. Even if she doesn’t receive financially from these benefits she may still be entitled to childcare support element.
- As long as her shift pattern doesn’t infringe on your shared care pattern then how she opts work is her business.
- You are responsible for the children on your time. Though I get that it seems absurd for her to wish to be paid for looking after your children, if she is going to financially lose out or have to take annual leave, it is not unreasonable to expect financial remuneration if she is losing out so that you gain. Equally if that’s HER child free time she may feel she is losing this, potentially losing out on activities she would participate in or even overtime, so again why should she simply be the one to make the sacrifices for your gain?
- would alternate weeks be in the best interests of the children or would it be in your best interests? Would it be in your ex wife’s best interests also? Ultimately this is bigger than solely your best interests and the people that should be the central focus – the children – are barely mentioned!
fwiw from what you have said here, you have very little grounds to be going to court and I would think that you risk the court viewing such a case poorly. Potentially even reducing your contact if it’s such an issue for you.
my advice make provision for your planned absences that doesn’t impact on your ex wife. Review the childcare payments.