How to discuss maintenance
Tagged: Maintenance controlling ex
16 January 2021 at 9:51 am #48213
Hello, looking for some advice on how best to approach my ex. Our child lives with me full time. We have had little/no financial assistance from my ex since we moved out 18months ago (tbh precious little when we did live together in his house!).
Very occasionally her Dad will get something for her, a CD or a takeaway, but doesn’t contribute to the essentials for her in any way. This year is the first time he put in any money towards her school uniform…
With homeschooling and all the disruption on Covid or has not been a good year financially for me…I have 3 jobs, 1 self employed & 2 employed. Usually we get by OK, bit it has been a real struggle this year…
The ex has been complaining bitterly lately about how much tax he is due to pay and said he has £2500 tax bill. This has made me realise he must earn vastly more than me (he is self employed.)
He is very very tight with money- it’s a running joke amongst his friends and family. Any discussionsof money in the past ended very, very badly for me…
How can I approach him to explain that he could afford to help support our child regularly to improve her quality of life?
Is it better to get a 3rd party to speak to him about the subject in general? I have no doubt his friends & family think he is contributing. (We still have contact with his family- aunt, cousins etc..)
Know it sounds daft, but I hate having to ask him, he will make me feel so awful and useless and say it’s my problem because I left, tho in reality had little choice as living together was hell…
Any ideas???16 January 2021 at 11:22 am #48216
he has a responsibility to maintain your child. You could go through his family members first. a starting point would be the child maintenance calculator: https://www.gov.uk/calculate-child-maintenance
If he is not interested, then you could always open a case with the Child maintenance service. they will take over and you don’t need to have any discussions about money with him.16 January 2021 at 11:45 am #48218
I was in a very situation to yourself and in the end I went through the child maitenance service as it became increasingly stressful asking my daughters dad to contribute to her upbringing! As he is self employed he doesn’t put much through his books which means I don’t get much at all HOWEVER for me it was the principle of him knowing it is not acceptable not to contribute for his child and to be honest it has removed any conflict as he is also very tight and hates parting with his earnings.16 January 2021 at 12:12 pm #48220
Thank you both, yes now I have more of an idea of his earnings I will have a go at using the calculator. Might try his sister…his mum was always very supportive of me and knew what he was like, but sadly she passed away a couple of years ago…She would’ve read him the riot act about it…16 January 2021 at 12:22 pm #48222
Ok, it says he should contribute somewhere between £150 & £250 a month depending on exactly what his earnings are…I can work out roughly from what he said re tax but guessing allowances etc vary…This would be a significant amount for me…For 1st time in my life have been getting some UC this year due to Covid etc etc- would his maintenance reduce this? (As he is likely to be unreliable paying it’s a question of balancing possible benefit with risk of being even worse off if he stops paying suddenly…16 January 2021 at 12:27 pm #48225
no your benefits are not affected at all by the child maintenance he would be paying to you.
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/family/children-and-young-people/child-maintenance1/choosing-how-to-arrange-child-maintenance/check-what-child-maintenance-arrangement-is-right-for-you/#:~:text=Child%20maintenance%20won’t%20affect,check%20with%20your%20local%20council.16 January 2021 at 12:28 pm #48226
Ok, thank you, also very worth knowing… I will try and be brave and speak to him/the family about it….16 January 2021 at 8:32 pm #48240
Well, that was not exactly a triumph…family say maintenance linked to access- so in effect he will seek to have 50 50 residence to avoid paying…For reasons I wont bore you with that would be awful for our daughter. Would rather do without and know she’s safe and properly looked after. Oh well, it was a thought…but I have neither the finances or the mental strength right now to go through the courts. No doubt that’s what he’s relying on.16 January 2021 at 8:55 pm #48241
if he wants to go to court about it, let him. I don’t think you have much choice now, other than to contact Child maintenance service and open a case. then your discussions with their family about money are over. you will have to pay about £20 to open a case with them.17 January 2021 at 2:46 am #48251
Best thing to do is ask your ex for a certain amount which u think is reasonable . if he dont agree then open a claim with CMS . they will then make sure u get child maintenace. Its always best to agree it between yourselves but if u cant then that is the only way.17 January 2021 at 9:43 am #48255
Thank you both, will have a final attempt to discuss with him when I have the mental strength…then will think about CMS…tho might put that off until this lockdown is over…its pretty heavy going generally at the moment18 January 2021 at 3:06 pm #48313
I’m Michelle one of the moderators here in the forum. Glad to see you posting and receiving support. There’s some information here in the site that might be helpful, which you can find via the following link:
You could also give the single parents helpline a call. They’ll be able to help you look at your options.
Single Parent Help
• Gingerbread Single Parent Helpline – Freephone 0808 802 0925
Opening hours: Mon 10 – 6, Tues 10- 4, Wed 10 – 1 & 5 – 7, Thurs 10 – 4, Fri 10 – 4 They can be busy so callers can expect to wait up to 20 minutes before the call is answered
Hope this helps
Michelle23 January 2021 at 6:38 pm #48587
Hello all, just thought I’d say thanks to you all. In the end I did get the courage up to have ‘the conversation’ with the ex about maintenance…Against all expectations he has agreed to contribute an amount regularly. While it is absolutely not the full amount the govt. calculator says, it is enough to make a difference to us. There was an amount of comment about access, but on some level he did seem to realise he was not behaving reasonably by not contributing anything to our daughter’s upbringing. I’m counting it as a win 🙂23 January 2021 at 6:44 pm #48588
it’s great you were able to reach your own arrangement. hope it sticks and goes smoothly.23 January 2021 at 9:01 pm #48593
I am glad you got it resolved and your ex has decided to pay you something. It works much better if you dont have to involve CMS in the long run.
At least you had the decency to have that dreaded discussion about it before contacting them.