Advice needed

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    concerned parent

    My ex p and I have had a 50/50 shared care agreement in place since we separated 3 years ago. Our daughter turned 16 this month.

    While the ongoing co-parenting relationship between my ex p and I has had its minor moments, there has always been sound communication. That is until they met their there new partner 6 or 7 months ago. Since then they have changed attitude, e.g., reluctant to talk, created problems and manipulated situations, and generally is difficult. Since beginning of Jan 2021, my daughter has lived with me full time and has only stayed with my ex one night all year so far. My ex barely calls and messages her, and has completely stopped asking our daughter to stay. I have supported her physically, emotionally and financially, and in any other way. I’m absolutely fine with my daughter staying. In fact, I cherish this time we have together even though things are challenging with her completing GCSE’s this year.

    Moving forward and the horrible subject of money. Even though we have a 50/50 share care agreement in place, I have always contributed much more than my ex. To state, no, I’m not wealthy nor have a high paying job. I buy pretty much all clothes, double the contribution of pocket money and extra for chores, I pay for her iphone and contract, have bought her a tablet computer, and so on. Essentially everything. Since my daughter has lived with me, I haven’t asked my ex for any additional contribution, even though she claims child benefits. My ex also hasn’t offered anything. This change was not a formal agreement, and has just evolved this way over weeks and months from disputes my ex had with our daughter. I tried to help mediate but my ex turned this against me. My ex has let her down so many weeks now that my daughter has given up. Now beginning of April, should I put in a CMS claim or contact the benefits office?

    Here’s the tricky bit… once my daughter finishes school this coming July, I will be moving to London from Yorkshire where we currently live. My job is there and there is only so much commuting and staying in cheap shared hostels one can do. On and off, I’ve done this for 5 years. I’m 42 and now quite exhausted. The move isn’t a big surprise for my daughter, it’s something that she has known would always happen. I have discussed with my daughter the option for moving with me. She is excited and recognises the opportunity. However, she is also nervous and scared to leave because of friends. I have tried to console her with talking about this but unlike my ex who has tried all sorts of emotional blackmail, I haven’t put any pressure on her and only want her to make the decision she is happiest with. I have helped her apply for two colleges up here and two more in London. At the moment she wants to stay rather than move but only because of her boyfriend and sees her way of navigating this by staying with him and not my ex, albeit she’ll be officially with my ex in terms of address, etc.

    Knowing how things are going, I highly suspect as soon as I move my ex will contact CMS and go for the maximum. This is who my ex is; they only care about money and see our daughter as a way to get more. Worse I know this won’t go to my daughter but supplement my ex’s income. Because I’ll be so far away and my daughters age, I’m very worried that after everything I’ve done as a parent and the very little my ex has, that they will actually get away with financially ruining me. In fact, the idea of living in London will likely be impossible beyond a shared room. It’s such a stressful and horrible situation. I’m going to be constantly worried now for the next 4/5 months. Any advice would be so greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

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