Im fairly new to this forum but read this and many to help guide me in my past situations with my ex. I am a father of two beautiful kids (sons 6 & daughters 2). I have been split from their mum definitively since my son was around 4. I see my kids once a week and every other weekend pus we share holidays. I have been paying CM towards my kids with no issues since my son was 2/3 & go halves on big purchases like parties, presents etc with no issues. I decided to quit my job as they were changing my hours and it didn’t fit with a schedule that I had for my children. While struggling to find a job that will pay well I decided to go to university to get a degree so I could start a career and hopefully in the future afford a better lifestyle for me and children plus I would like to live closer so I could see them more (currently live about 20miles/40min away).
This was a big issue as at the time my ex wasn’t working and relied on my CM payments and due to me being a full-time student & not working, I was on ‘nil rate. we argued and I consistently received abusive and hateful messages because of this. I caved and took a student maintenance loan out so I could contribute (£35/week) because I wanted to still help out with kids needs, which at the time she was still unhappy about and continued to claim that how can I be paying so little still. Over time she got a job and the situation settled, although she still doesn’t agree with my choices and claims I wasn’t thinking about the kids when I made this choice.
I am now struggling due to budgeting my lifestyle on a Maintenance loan and overdraft (not smart I know) plus paying petrol to see the kids (pick up and drop off) costs me around £200+ in petrol and my previous car broke down and I had to get one on finance which over £200 a month. I am lucky that I get some help from my Mum and family but it’s not enough plus I don’t like to burden them. I have been looking for a part-time job that fits around my studies and my children which is hard but I think I may have found one. It pays £210 a week before tax, which isn’t much but I would help. I worked out using the CM calculator that if I wasn’t a student I would be paying £29/week which is less than I am already paying.
I want to continue to pay the £35/week which I think is fair but I know she will say that I should pay £69/week as that is closer to what I was giving her when I was working full time. I know im not obliged to tell her im working but I don’t want to keep it a secret plus my children will ask me where Im going and I don’t want to lie to them anyone over something so petty. I don’t know how to handle this situation in a fair way, any advice is welcomed.