Single mum with minimal help from daughter's dad. What can I do?

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  • #35030 Report


    Hi, I separated from my daughter’s dad a year ago, we were together for 12 years and she is now 7. She lives with me and is with her dad every other weekend (2 overnights) only, and spends a few hours with her Tue and Wed but no overnights during the week. I’m a single mum, study and work full time and get some help to pay my rent with universal credit. It’s a 2 bedroom flat and I chose to do it like this as I didn’t want my daughter to loose her house when he separated, think it would have been too much for her. He is still very hurt because I left him and treats me really bad, we also work in the same place so the emotional abuse is pretty constant. He basically keeps on reminding me that I’m a single mother and he helps. He puts me down a lot, I keep on trying to be civil but I’m at the end of my tether. Because I get help to pay my rent, he says that I should have her 7 days a week and he is just doing me a favor staying with her every other weekend. I don’t think this is fair at all. I was thinking about asking him if he can stay with her 2 nights a week. He doesn’t pay child maintenance as he says he can’t afford it but he does pay half of her childcare and clothes etc. If I get him to agree to have her for 2 nights a week, will this decrease my universal credit entitlement? If he does not help me with having her for 2 nights a week and I ask for child maintenance, if awarded, is this going to decrease my universal credit entitlement? He also says that if I do he’s going to be homeless and that he won’t be able to be a good dad, that I will destroy his life.. I don’t know what to do. I feel bullied and am exhausted. I suffer severely from anxiety and am getting help with it. I also spent 2 weeks off sick because I wasn’t well at all.. my mum came to help, but unfortunately she does not live in the country so I feel pretty isolated..


    #35031 Report


    Hi, I think the best thing would be to check your universal credit query with the Gingerbread helpline

    On care, he isn’t “doing you a favour”, he’s caring for HIS child and being a dad.

    Once you have the answer on universal credit, you could go onto the CMS calculator page and check how much he should be contributing. Then compare against how much he pays now for childcare to decide how you will be better off.

    You both have a child, you both have responsibilities to support your child & there are govt guidelines on how the costs should be split. He needs to stop the emotional blackmail. It isn’t about him, or you.

    You definitely aren’t alone on this one, I had similar for the first year after separating 💐


    #35071 Report


    Thanks Kathy 🙂

    #35102 Report


    If you have the main responsibility for your child and receive child benefit, the child element should still be included in your UC calculation. I believe any child maintenance paid is disregarded. Google ‘entitledto’ which is an online calculator for working out UC entitlement.

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