Help needed

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  • #61348 Report


    Hey guys, I have recently moved out from an abusive ex, as it was not safe to live in that house anymore, and been a single mum since March 2021. I still have my name on the mortgage of the house that we have bought, but the house has not yet been sold (in process).

    I have been struggling with rent, with bills and I had months where I was not able to afford sanitary products. I kept having to borrow money from other people to at least cover my rent. I am now in a lot of debt because of it, my credit card is maxed out and blocked, I have a car loan and childcare bills, as well as a full time job which is not a well paid job.

    Can someone please explain to me why I do not deserve support from the government? I will soon be homeless with a young child on my hands, but to the government it seems like I have a bucket load of money as I partially own a house that I do not live in?

    Is there anyone else going through the same? How do you survive?

    #61692 Report


    Hi Fusion, I hope you’ll connect with other people on the forum soon. Meanwhile, our helpline can help you look at your financial situation to see if you are entitled to any support. Helpline – Gingerbread

    We also have a live webchat Monday, Tuesdays and Wednesdays 10am to 1pm Webchat – Gingerbread

    #61693 Report


    Hi Fusion, I really feel for you, what an awful situation to be in.  Definitely contact Gingerbread’s helpline, and you could also contact your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau, that might be helpful.  As a single parent on a low income, you may be entitled to Universal Credit to top up your income.  You should also be entitled to council tax relief (I think it’s 25% discount for a single adult household) and you may even be entitled to housing benefit to help with the cost of rent and help towards childcare costs, depending on how much you earn.  I’m assuming you’re already claiming child benefit? Your ex, if he works, should be paying child maintenance if he isn’t already.  If he’s not, then you need to get that sorted ASAP.  There is help out there, it’s just a case of knowing who to talk to and where to turn.  I wish you the very best of luck, feel free to message me if you like and please let us know how you get on :).

    #61698 Report


    Hi KiwiMom24,

    Thank you for your reply!

    See, I have already called the citizens advice bureau, and rest of the instances that deal with it, however, every time I speak to someone, I hit the brick wall: “well, you do have a house in your name, so why are you calling for help?”. They do not understand that I do not live in that house, I am renting a room so I would at least have a roof over my head, and I am paying a full price for it as again, without selling the house I cannot pay for divorce, also, according to the council, I am still married and they calculate both of our salaries. It feels like I am in between a brick and… well… another brick!

    With the child maintenance is also tricky, as he does give me some money some months, but it is very random, and really not enough… so for childcare provider and school I spend about 400-500 pounds a month (just so I could work), and he would sometimes send me 100-200 pounds (apart from summer when my invoice was 800 pounds, and he sent me 300 pounds). This, however, does not include clothing, food, toys, and any other child maintenance costs.

    Is childminder cost/school costs usually included in child maintenance money? Or is this supposed to be my own issue to deal with and cover the cost?

    #61701 Report


    Hi Fusion, that’s ok, but the CAB have most definitely got it wrong.  You live alone with your child and you are on a low income, so you should be entitled to claim Universal Credit.  Perhaps you should just apply for it directly online, you can get an estimate using the online calculator (on the website) that should tell you how much you will be entitled to.  My ex husband, when he moved out of our home, was entitled to claim UC when he lost his job, and he still owned half of our property, it made no difference to his claim.  He was living with his Dad to start with, until his Dad passed away a few months ago, and he now lives in a flat on his own and claims UC and housing benefit for that.  He still owns half of my property even now, as unfortunately with me being a student and not working at the moment, I can’t afford a divorce until I get a job.  But we are, and have been legally separated for over 3 years.  So just because you are still ‘married’ (on paper) shouldn’t make any difference either.  As far as I’m aware, child maintenance from your ex should help to cover the basic costs of providing for a child (food, toys, clothing, etc) but I don’t think it covers childcare costs, no.  You can apply for help with childcare costs when you apply for UC.  As far as the maintenance is concerned, you need to set an agreement with your ex over how much he should be paying you.  Again, the CSA website have an online calculator which you can use to work out how much he should be paying towards his child (depending on how much he is earning).  It might be worth reminding him that payment of maintenance is a legal requirement as he has parental responsibility for his child until the child reaches 18 years of age (or finishes full time education if they turn 18 before that).   It might be worth talking to a solicitor – an initial consultation should be free of charge.

    #61718 Report



    think you should focus on getting the house sold ASAP. I remember when my parents bought and sold their home, council took away council tax support. depending on amount you get from house sale, may be difficult for you to receive state benefits. try contact charities like Turn 2 us.

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