Half Time Dad

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  • #33652 Report



    I separated with my partner at the start of the year and we came to the arrangement that each have our daughter 50% of the time (3 nights one week and 4 the next). Even though both me and my ex have our daughter the same amount I have to pay maintenance each month and get no benefits towards her, where as the mother claims benefits and gets the maintenance I pay her. Because of this I am currently stuck lodging with my parents again as it looks in unaffordable to move out to somewhere suitable for both me and my daughter.

    Is there any help or advice out there for dads on this? Everything I’ve come across so far just seems to be set up for the mum.

    #33676 Report


    Im guessing there is no court order in place?

    So why are you paying child maintenance when you have child 50%? if its through CSA then you need to appeal.

    Unfortunately its very unlikely you’ll get the benefits. But you shouldn’t be giving your ex money.

    Ive been in your position buddy, it is all in the woman’s favour and unfortunately because there is a capable Mum on the scene, you are completely obsolete in everyone’s eyes.

    There is no support.

    You have to make it on your own, by any means necessary because there is one person in this world that doesn’t think you’re obsolete, your child.


    My advice is this, while you are with your parents you have some child care, this gives you some room to invest in your career to earn more money. Trust me, its 1000 times harder when you dont have family support and your ex is waiting for you to fail and take child away.

    #33681 Report


    Yes I don’t think that’s fair. If you have 50/50 custody you shouldn’t pay maintenance and share the necessary benefits. 😀

    #33688 Report


    You probably won’t like reading this, but I offer an opinion from the other side of the coin.

    My husband and I separated and went for 50/50 custody, there or there abouts anyway. He has her for three evenings and I have her for four, although he is trying to fight me against that in court so that it’s exactly 50/50. My daughters father is a great dad. She loves him and him and I separating has absolutely solidified their relationship together. I would never want to deny him time with her, but I am asking him for maintenance. The reason being that he earns 3X my salary. I went partime once my daughter was born so that I could be there for her and so she didn’t have to go to nursery every day. It was an arrangement that worked well for us a family and my husband never objected it to it at the time, until we separated. I put my career on the back burner happily, to raise my girl. During that time he was able to have several pay rises. His overall pay now hugely exceeds my own. I don’t want his money for me. I want it for my daughter. On the days when I have her, I don’t want to have to avoid taking her to friends parties because I can’t afford to by a gift. I don’t want to avoid taking her to events because they cost too much money. I don’t want her to be the only one who isn’t allowed a bag of chips at the seaside. Literally, I am scraping the barrel to make ends meat and have had to deplete the savings we got from selling the family home just to get by.

    If your ex is asking you for money, could it be for the same reasons as I am asking my ex? I just don’t want my daughter to suffer or be left out.

    I have no idea of your personal situation and whether or not it mirrors mine and my ex husbands. I really do apologise if you’re not in the same boat as my ex and I, and this seems totally unreasonable. For all I know, you may be on the same wage as your wife, in which case things would be very different to my own circumstances. Either way, I hope not to have caused offence.

    #33690 Report


    Thanks for the replies,


    ChasingHappiness, no offence caused, it’s always good to see the whole picture, but my situation is different as we both work full time, have similar earnings and our daughter is in nursery for the 30 hours free from the government. So I can understand your situation, but every situation is different and I understand that it’s difficult for the right decisions to always be made.


    Solomum, I didn’t know I could make a counter claim so will give that a go, thanks.


    RobBob, it definitely is all set up that everything automatically goes to the mother, but like you said I am using the time at my parents to try and get myself in the best financial position I can.

    #33692 Report


    With the utmost respect I dont agree with ChasingHappiness

    When a couple separate, they should do just that. I believe both parents should take responsibility for their child on their own. When you attach monetary value to time with a child youre asking for trouble. There is very rarely a fair situation, most of the time the father is forced to work harder to pay maintenance but cant afford his own place to have child more. Then the mother moves in the new boyfriend/dad with two incomes and the father is trapped in poverty without his child. This is why suicide in men our age is so horrendous, its hopeless against a system stacked against fathers.

    My ex brother in-law is trapped paying £1800 a month but doesn’t earn anything he used to and cant afford to go back to court. With benefits etc his ex wife gets far more than he does and doesnt even work.

    I know a few single mothers who neither need nor ask for maintenance and they have zero arguments about contact. In fact they seem to have the best co-parenting relationships because the child isn’t turned into a cash cow for either parent.

    When a father wants 50/50 [because thats the best they can ever hope for] people bleat on about “whats best for the child” its used against fathers every day. But if you really want whats best for the child then scrap CSA all together and let the parents stand on their own two feet. How many children will then grow up with both parents who have a vested interest in working together on schedules, school runs and work shifts.

    It might seem harsh but its better than the epidemic of parental alienation, family court lies and suicide.


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