Advice Required

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  • #12365 Report

    Solo Father


    My child was living with me 50% of the time but now has requested to living with my ex partner an extra night.  This is now not 50% and therefore, I shall have to look to pay maintenance, which is not a problem.  I feel like my ex partner is using my child against me and telling my child various things which are not true.  I have spoken with my child about this and said that my ex partner should not be saying these things.  I have also spoken with my ex partner, who hasn’t taken in the comments and always seems to be using our child against me.  My child has chopped and changed with regards to staying arrangements and don’t believe that it will be set in stone either.

    Am I right to suggest a specific period for this new arrangement to take time say month or two and if this is the case, then maintenance can start being paid????

    Previous staying arrangements was:-

    WK1 – Sunday, Monday, Thursday & Saturday

    Wk2 – Sunday, Monday, Thursday

    New staying arrangement is:

    Wk1 – Sunday, Monday and tea on Thursday

    Wk2 – Sunday, Monday, tea on Thursday and Saturday

    In addition to me paying maintenance, my ex partner has requested that I contribute 50% towards all school costs which I have been paying for the last year.  Should I still have to pay 50% of school costs,  if I am going to be paying maintenance on a monthly basis????  I have paid for the haircut each month, which is £10 and all of the sports fees for the whole season.  My ex partner also gets all of the child  benefit (monthly basis) and I have not seen any of this for the last year.  Am I entitled for some of this money?

    Look forward to hearing from you before I head to solicitors.

    Many thanks in advanced


    #12378 Report


    For a start I wouldn’t recommend going to a solicitor for two reasons: 1) it costs a LOT of money and doesn’t really affect the outcome you’d get from talking 2) it suddenly ups the gear and the only response to that will be confrontational. Everyone loses (everything).

    Secondly, DO NOT have adult conversations in front of your child or with them. This will go against you (and her) very badly if it gets dirty later. It’s one of the worst things you can do, and if nothing else, imagine how your child must feel. As bad as it seems, it’s better to soak up your irritation and anger and make your child think everything is normal – it pays off in the long run. Children very quickly make up their own minds and over time they will know you for how you are with them, not how they are told you are which they never see. Don’t ask what Mummy has been saying, don’t get involved in anything like that, keep your suspicions to yourself – for now.

    I would suggest you try to talk to your ex first about your unhappiness with the setup. If she won’t speak, offer mediation. If she refuses, make it clear (in as friendly a way as possible) that if she won’t engage, you will have to go to court (which you also don’t need a solicitor for!)

    You need to make a parenting plan (I can email you a template) that you can stick to. Sure, it’s not legally binding, but if it does have to go to court later down the line, you can show what you both agreed to and she will have to answer why she deviated. You have to be the good guy in this – always trying to seek a resolution amicably. She is a wonderful mother, and you are a great father, don’t forget that must be your attitude.

    Dropping the extra contact time doesn’t seem right – and the costs don’t seem to be being shared. All of this needs discussion in a rational environment. A mediator can be a good person in the middle saying all the reasonable things if one or other sounds unreasonable (i.e. doesn’t have a good reason for something).

    PM me if I can help further.


    #12398 Report

    Solo Father

    Thank you both for your advice.  I would rather not get solicitors involved by ex is a nightmare and most likely wont agree to mediation etc etc.  I have suggested mediation and this was shot down.  My ex is always trying to use our child against me and it would appear everything has to be done on her terms.  I don’t believe they have the child best interests at heart and more focused on hurting me.  I  have tried to be as amicable as I can and also taken into account my child’s comments and thoughts.

    I haven’t mentioned maintenance.  It’s something that my ex has contacted me about.  I am trying to make sure that I protect my rights and I know that if the custody of my child is not 50/50 I have an obligation to pay maintenance.  My child is 14 years old and they have requested to stay with ex on the Thursday night because of schooling the next day.  I personally don’t seem that as a reason but my child has requested to go home to ex on that night, very disappointed.  I don’t wish to upset my child.


    The reason for everyone Saturday is to give each other time on the weekend.  I wanted to know about child benefit as ex has been claiming all of this for the last year or so and I have not seen any monies when I have been looking after our child on a 50/50 basis.  Am I able to suggest a reduction on the maintenance because I am not getting any of the child benefit? I know there are things that ex has paid for without coming to me for contribution and likewise the same as me purchasing things (swings in roundabouts).


    Thanks again 🙂

    #12402 Report

    Solo Father

    Anonymous – great username, force must be strong with you, lol.


    I kind of knew that I wouldn’t be able to claim child benefit retrospectively but if I am going to pay maintenance going forward, could I negotiate a reduction based on the full amount of £82.80 month for child benefit.  I also don’t believe that I would have to contribute 50% towards school costs, am I right?


    I agree with you about Thursday after tea as no nonsensical and its no different to the other school days.  I suspect the same about ex but I don’t have any proof.


    Regarding your last paragraph, please could you explain again as I don’t believe I am reading it correctly.


    Many thanks.

    #12427 Report


    Hi Solo, the way I understand the benefits side of things is that the £82 can be in either parent’s name and can be changed (that was one of my conditions as my ex wife earns 3 times more than me).

    It does not matter who’s getting it if there’s a 50/50 in place (you are both equally responsible).

    if it goes to court, the decision will be in your daughter’s best interest and whoever was the main provider usually pays the maintenance.

    My advice is to keep things as amicable as possible. Nothing is as frustrating as having to back down and my ex wife got off very lightly, but think of your daughter.

    Now we get on well enough and can swap days and do favours and help out, and my daughter sees this and it makes her very happy to see that Mum&Dad are friends.

    Hope things work out you star wars fan you.


    #12471 Report


    I feel your pain solofather.  In sum, I have an equal shared care order that is a ‘live with’ order.  However, the CMS continue in their relentless pursuit of child maintenance despite me giving them the court order and all the evidence to show that i also provide ‘day to day care’ – the latest letter saying i need to pay £300 a month!  I pay for the kids’ school, hair cuts, clothes, anything they need basically and I am more than happy to do that forever…I feel constantly harassed and not a month goes by before another threatening letter drops through the post.  I suspect that my ex is lying to them about her buying the kids things but I have given them all the evidence that this is not true.  I just don’t know what to do any more and i’m afraid that they will do things like start taking money automatically out of my salary.  I have filed an application for a tribunal and they know this, yet continue to harass.  Should I pay the child maintenance despite having an equal shared care order??  It doesn’t seem fair.  There is clear legislation that child benefit is not a sole indictor for entitlement.  Any advice please guys??

    #12481 Report


    It’s a nightmare and feels so unfair – we both work fulltime and each pay/arrange for care when the kids are in either’s care.  I know fathers haven’t always stepped up but i’m not one of those – my life revolves around my kids.  Just feels like complete gender discrimination, which the system seems to encourage!! Completely at a loss here 🙁

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