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  • FIRST POST
    • Chris P
    • By Chris P 29th Aug 16, 6:33 PM
    • 161Posts
    • 38Thanks
    Chris P
    Advice on child maintenance payment to ex-wife
    • #1
    • 29th Aug 16, 6:33 PM
    Advice on child maintenance payment to ex-wife 29th Aug 16 at 6:33 PM
    Hi all. We're trying to agree on a court order for the finances. I earn twice what she earns. Initially we agreed that I would pay £650pm, but i now think thats far too much.

    Daughter 1 is starting school in a week. Daughter 2 goes to nursery, and after our child care vouchers I pay circa £350pm to Nursery.

    We are going to have the kids 50/50. According to the child support calculators all i would have to pay is £66pw.

    If i did pay her £650pm then I would have (after paying maintenance and nursery) £2,000. She would have £2,300.

    Just looking for peoples thoughts please
    Thanks
Page 2
    • Jamiehelsinki
    • By Jamiehelsinki 30th Aug 16, 8:09 PM
    • 67 Posts
    • 93 Thanks
    Jamiehelsinki
    OP I would address the issue, when I split with my wife I said I would pay 20% as it's what one of her friends was getting for her 2 children it wasn't a lifetime agreement it was a temporary arrangement.


    Our old house looks like it might be moving towards a quick exchange of contracts so im waiting until it's sorted before I adjust my maintenance payments.

    If you were anything like me you would have agreed to anything in the weeks that followed our split.
    Last edited by Jamiehelsinki; 08-02-2017 at 2:19 AM.
    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 30th Aug 16, 9:26 PM
    • 4,750 Posts
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    theoretica
    Thanks Guy. Yes i will be having them overnight 7 days for every other week. And the £650 is in addition to the £450 (i forgot about child 1's wrap around school care). All food clothes trips etc will be split 50/50.

    The family home is a big detached 4/5 house. She can only just afford to keep the mortgage based on me paying £650pm.
    Originally posted by Chris P
    If you are considering paying so much over the legal minimum to allow her to remain in the house, would it be possible to negotiate that directly - perhaps so you pay the mortgage but own an increasing proportion of the house? You would also need to account for household maintenance.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
    • Chris P
    • By Chris P 7th Feb 17, 8:00 PM
    • 161 Posts
    • 38 Thanks
    Chris P
    Update guys. She gets £300 pm in benefits plus £1500 net pm from work. My net income is £3100pm. We agreed I would pay £350pm and also pay nursery fees and school wrap around (as well as have them 7 nights a week). She now wants an extra £50 on top. It my not seem much but i just dont feel comfortable with it. I did agree to it but that was whe she was stressing me on the phone. I then said I would pay an extra £30pm until our youngest finishes nursery.

    My concern is that although capital value wise we are 50/50, her asset (the matrimonial house) is a lot nicer and in will increase in value a lot more than our rental which I am keeping. We are due to complete on removing each other of the respective mortgages this week.

    Because its a commitment for upto 18yrs, i dont like the idea of it. Plus she spends £40pm for a cleaner (she lives a lone with 2 kids every other week). So in my mind this extra £50pm is just paying for her cleaner.
    • ladymarmalade
    • By ladymarmalade 7th Feb 17, 9:54 PM
    • 658 Posts
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    ladymarmalade
    I don't have children yet but I do have quite strong opinions on this (depending on the circumstances).

    From your original post, my immediate thought was that you were paying way too much. Now from you recent post I can see that you are losing the matrimonial home and she also has a cleaner! I am sorry but if she can afford a cleaner, she needs no extra cash from you - I woul refuse this personally. As you say she will have a week without children every fortnight so she should not need a cleaner!!!
    "More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them." - Harold J. Smith
    • mgdavid
    • By mgdavid 7th Feb 17, 9:59 PM
    • 5,159 Posts
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    mgdavid
    She is taking the mick, and you are close to falling for it.
    The CSA calculator is there for a reason - use it. Remember you are responsible only to pay for the children, not to support her in the lifestyle she would like to continue (house, cleaner, car, etc etc)
    A salary slave no more.....
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 7th Feb 17, 10:02 PM
    • 27,633 Posts
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    Mojisola
    As you have 50/50 care, you should each claim child benefit for one child.

    Why is she getting all the benefits relating to the children plus maintenance from you?
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 7th Feb 17, 10:03 PM
    • 4,625 Posts
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    iammumtoone
    Even with 50/50 care you do need to pay her something as you earn much more.

    Work out by the calculator what she should be paying you (on her wage not including benefits)and what you should be paying her. Then pay her the difference in the two. You should also be splitting childcare 50/50 not 100% from your wage, she will get top up benefits to help with her share.

    Why does she have the better house if you have 50/50 care (I could understand it if the children were with her more of the time but they aren't). I am sorry but if she can't afford the house on what she is entitled to then that's not your problem she should have opted to live in your cheaper one.

    I say all this as a PWC so I am not biased I would never expect as much as the OPs ex is getting, some of us are fair and reasonable. Its story's like this that give us a bad name.
    Sealed pot challenge ~ 10 #017
    Declutter 2017 items in 2017 - 78/2017

    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 7th Feb 17, 10:40 PM
    • 5,550 Posts
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    TBagpuss
    So - you have £3,100 - £350 - £450 = £2,300
    She has £1,500 + £300 + £350 = £2,150

    It's difficult to comment about whether that is reasonable over all given that we don't know the figures for the capital split. However, it doesn't seem unreasonable.

    It may be worth looking into whether there are ways to be more efficient - for instance, if she is eligible to claim help with the nursery costs then it might be possible for you to give her a bit more in maintenance instead of paying nursery fees, so she would be better off and you would be no worse off
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 7th Feb 17, 10:55 PM
    • 4,625 Posts
    • 9,780 Thanks
    iammumtoone
    So - you have £3,100 - £350 - £450 = £2,300
    She has £1,500 + £300 + £350 = £2,150

    It's difficult to comment about whether that is reasonable over all given that we don't know the figures for the capital split. However, it doesn't seem unreasonable.

    It may be worth looking into whether there are ways to be more efficient - for instance, if she is eligible to claim help with the nursery costs then it might be possible for you to give her a bit more in maintenance instead of paying nursery fees, so she would be better off and you would be no worse off
    Originally posted by TBagpuss
    Regardless of the current/potential equity in the houses (which the ex has more) why should they both have roughly the same amount?

    The OP earns 2 times more than the ex. this means a job that is broadly speaking 2 times more demanding/2 times mores stressful and I guess a lot longer hours. I would say that makes them much worse off than the ex if they are expected to end up with the same monetary amount each month. If the ex wants more money she should get a better paid job with the extra stress/hours that comes with it like the OP. Then the wages would be the same and no need for anyone to pay CM just the 50/50 shared childcare. Fair all-round.
    Sealed pot challenge ~ 10 #017
    Declutter 2017 items in 2017 - 78/2017

    • Sambella
    • By Sambella 8th Feb 17, 12:46 AM
    • 281 Posts
    • 279 Thanks
    Sambella
    £300 in CTC. £350 from OP, £149 in child benefit for two kids. £799 per month. (+Childcare paid by OP)

    It's unlikely she needs to touch ANY of her own earnings for child expenses.

    Let's hope she doesn't now want half of any costs for clothes, school trips etc cos her half ain't coming from 'her' money.
    • EmeraldEye
    • By EmeraldEye 8th Feb 17, 4:01 AM
    • 26 Posts
    • 38 Thanks
    EmeraldEye
    I hate situations like this! As a woman I often feel that the man really ends up with a very raw financial deal.

    So your ex is living in the marital home, she works with a take home pay of £1500 a month and she is receiving benefits in the form of child benefit/child tax credit to the tune of roughly £450 per month; You give her £350 each month by way of maintenance and on top of this you pay the nursery/childcare fees.

    To add to all of that you share custody of the children with them spending 50% of their time with you and 50% with their mum - She gets to live in what sounds like a spacious house and has a cleaner at her disposal and now she's asking that you give her an additional £50 a month on top of what she already receives, hmmm!

    Yeah she's absolutely and completely taking you for a ride and you would be a fool if you agreed to increase your payments.

    In actual fact I don't understand why she's getting £350 a month from you when she actually only has the children for two weeks out of every four. It may be the legal requirerment (excuse my ignorance on the matter) but I think it's far too much especially when you are also paying the nursery/childcare bill.

    It's difficult I'm sure but whilst you are of course responsible for paying towards the children's needs, you most certainly are not responsible to pay for her lifestyle.

    As for the house, hmmm so she will have the "nice" house and your name will be removed from the mortgage and you will have the "lesser" house and her name will be removed from the mortgage; Is it not possible for both to be sold and profits divided as you are both 50/50 taking a hands on role raising the children?

    You said earlier that she can't afford the mortgage without your contrtibution so why is she hanging onto it? I'd be getting it sold!

    Anyway, good luck but a word of friendly advice, don't let her guilt trip/manipulate/stress you into paying for things that you really shouldn't be paying for!
    • Chris P
    • By Chris P 8th Feb 17, 7:25 AM
    • 161 Posts
    • 38 Thanks
    Chris P
    Thanks guys. Am definitelty not going to give her any m ore
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 8th Feb 17, 7:31 AM
    • 2,312 Posts
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    cjdavies
    You are paying too much, she is living in 4 bedroom house that she does not need!
    • Sambella
    • By Sambella 8th Feb 17, 9:10 AM
    • 281 Posts
    • 279 Thanks
    Sambella
    I absolutely agree with Emeraldeye.

    Divirce /maintenance hits low income NRP's especially hard. A high income NRP probably actually ends up paying an amount in child maintenance that actually pays ALL the child's costs and more but as they have a high income they can take the hit and have suffiecient money to comfortably rehouse themselves.

    For the RP, when the kids leave education BAM benefits stop, BAM maintenance stops. Unless they are married again or have increased their earnings they're going over the cliff..... because of course the RP uses some of the CTC,CB and maintenance on her own costs.
    • groovy_chick
    • By groovy_chick 8th Feb 17, 9:55 AM
    • 62 Posts
    • 255 Thanks
    groovy_chick
    I would like to suggest you look at this from another perspective....

    While I was married, both of our salaries went into the family pot. We both benefited from the bills being paid and access to whatever was left.

    After my husband left me, he moved out and now pays me £400 per month. So now, ALL of my salary, every penny of it, goes on my rent and supporting our children and only £400 of his (and he earns considerably more than me).

    With regard to the OP's case, I think it looks quite fair that, if they are sharing childcare 50/50, their respective costs and income be balanced so they also have relatively equal amounts of money to provide for their children.

    I don't suggest that she should have enough left to pay for a cleaner, and I would be looking at them benefiting equally from the property they own (I would suggest that the equity be split when the children reach 18 if you think one is going to increase more than the other), but I also don't agree with the calculations that he should pay £66 when she is expected to throw ALL of her income into the pot.

    Discuss !!!!
    Save £12k in 2017 #84 - £6,300/£12,000
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    HMRC outstanding £1,400

    • Sambella
    • By Sambella 8th Feb 17, 10:55 AM
    • 281 Posts
    • 279 Thanks
    Sambella
    The divorce divides the assets. In a case with children the RP tends to get more than the NRP. This loss to the NRP is not taken into account.

    If he earns more than her AFTER divorce it is not for him to balance your income so that it is similar to his. That's not how it works.

    Iwhen married did you both between you set aside £800 for the children each and every month?( £400 each) Somehow I think not because bills get prioritised before anything. Somebody families are lucky to have £800 left after bills for the entire family..

    So in effect what some NRP's are paying when you look at it that way is a lot.

    I never spent £400 per month on my 2 kids each and every month never mind £800.

    Surely some of your money goes on your house, new curtains, carpets , clothes for yourself, travel costs etc. So to say all of your money goes on rent and the kids is misleading . After divorce it is not for the NRP to contribute to your costs just the children's. (Unless they have spousal maintenance too)

    NRP's have to house themselves too, buy clothes feed and entertain the children when they have them.
    • Redacted
    • By Redacted 8th Feb 17, 7:04 PM
    • 79 Posts
    • 179 Thanks
    Redacted
    Not directed at the op-
    I've gotta say, I've found some posters to be quite hypocritical on this thread compared to the views posted on this one:
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5592473

    There was a general feeling on that thread that if paying maintenance left the payer with less disposable income than the receiver, maintenance should be lowered to even up the disposable incomes. Yet on this thread, the position is that if maintenance isn't enough to even up the receiver's disposable income to that of the payer's, well that's all fine and dandy and fair.

    Surely what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Either you maintain the position that maintenance is the amount needed to even the respective household' disposable income, in either direction, or you accept that's not what maintenance is about. Sometimes the payer will have more disposable income and sometimes the receiver will.

    Back to the op - as you're paying more than what you would through CMS, it seems to me it's your choice if you want to accommodate her request. In your shoes, I would be tempted to ask how she arrived at the £50 figure, but then, as evidenced by this post, I'm inclined to poke the Hornet's nest, which is not always the best instinct.
    • Jamiehelsinki
    • By Jamiehelsinki 8th Feb 17, 11:38 PM
    • 67 Posts
    • 93 Thanks
    Jamiehelsinki
    I would like to suggest you look at this from another perspective....

    While I was married, both of our salaries went into the family pot. We both benefited from the bills being paid and access to whatever was left.

    After my husband left me, he moved out and now pays me £400 per month. So now, ALL of my salary, every penny of it, goes on my rent and supporting our children and only £400 of his (and he earns considerably more than me).

    With regard to the OP's case, I think it looks quite fair that, if they are sharing childcare 50/50, their respective costs and income be balanced so they also have relatively equal amounts of money to provide for their children.

    I don't suggest that she should have enough left to pay for a cleaner, and I would be looking at them benefiting equally from the property they own (I would suggest that the equity be split when the children reach 18 if you think one is going to increase more than the other), but I also don't agree with the calculations that he should pay £66 when she is expected to throw ALL of her income into the pot.

    Discuss !!!!
    Originally posted by groovy_chick
    It's not for the nrp to subsidise the rp and give them equal spending power. It's for the rp to stand on their own 2 feet and pay their own way in life from the point of divorce with the help of some child maintenance.

    There's nothing to stop the resident parent from going out and getting a more responsible job with higher earning power. You often hear the excuse that they have stayed at home and their careers have suffered but more often than not they never had much of a career to begin with.

    Women who have worked hard to do well in their careers rarely throw it away the minute they have children or get married. ( not in the last 20/30 years anyway.)
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 9th Feb 17, 7:07 AM
    • 15,509 Posts
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    FBaby
    Either you maintain the position that maintenance is the amount needed to even the respective household' disposable income, in either direction, or you accept that's not what maintenance is about.
    Of course there is going to be a difference depending on the actual amount handed over. It's one thing to expect similar disposal income when that's only a couple of £100s, that will most likely go to pay treats for the kids. It's quite different when you start talking about £500 and more, when it becomes unclear how much of it goes to benefit the children and how much of it goes to benefit the parent.

    OP, I'm really curious? What did you ex say she needed that £50 for? I think she should feel incredibly fortunate with what you give her already. It's amazing how it often is those who get above anyone else who still think they should get more!
    • Sambella
    • By Sambella 9th Feb 17, 9:27 AM
    • 281 Posts
    • 279 Thanks
    Sambella
    @redacted. Are you sure that thread was about equalising incomes

    Or was it about the large amount of £ that was coming in for the child. An amount that is more than what both parents had left if the earned £18k and the same incomes and bills for one child? In the example I gave on that thread the RP has £809 for the child.

    Why don't you do the sums based on what the NRP would be left with and how much more the RP would get it there were two children not one? As the NRP gets hit harder then.

    If the NRP didn't pay maintenance on the example I gave or paid half (he was paying £157pm) the RP would still have several hundred more than the NRP. That's hardly equalising.

    The NRP has costs too when the child comes to stay and gets no assistance from anyone. The benefits system treats the NRP as a single person without kids. So instead of giving the NRP benefits would it be fairer to reduce maintenance or not pay it unless he earned a certain amount of income.

    Once they earn over x amount they can pay regardless of whether or not the RP gets benefits.

    The amounts for the child can be very large when you add benefits and maintenance together. No way does the child cost that much.

    I know this as I had benefits for a number of years and no maintenance. I managed just fine.
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