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    • robeano
    • By robeano 19th Jun 17, 10:31 PM
    • 4Posts
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    robeano
    Maintenance Changes - Opinions Please!
    • #1
    • 19th Jun 17, 10:31 PM
    Maintenance Changes - Opinions Please! 19th Jun 17 at 10:31 PM
    Hi Everyone
    I'm hoping some of you would be willing to help me out with some opinions on maintenance arrangements with my ex wife. I think what I am proposing is fair but she doesn't and I'm really keen to see what others feel about it. The scenario is:


    We split around two and a half years ago as she decided she didn't want to be married anymore. We agreed that I would have the two kids for two nights a week and pay £800 a month maintenance , even though the Child Maintenance Service calculator suggested that going rate was around £530. I have paid this without fail every month. We are not using the CSA for collection or payment of the maintenance.


    Last month my ex asked me to have the kids an extra night a week - which I was delighted to do. I said that, as the girls were staying with me for an extra night, there should be a reduction in maintenance. The CMS calculator shows they would expect a reduction of 33% if we change from 2-3 nights a week to 3 nights a week. Therefore I'm proposing to reduce the current £800 down by 33% to £535.


    I thought this was a reasonable approach as I am still paying a lot more than the minimum suggested by the CMS (which is £377 for 3 nights) and am using the CMS's own figures to calculate the reduction rather than just plucking a number out of the air.


    It's safe to say that my ex violently disagrees with that assessment and thinks the reduction is far too big.
    So my question is:


    Do you think a reduction for the extra night is fair and, if so, is 33% a reasonable reduction?


    Any views would be most welcome - if I am being unfair I want to know so I can do something about it. I'm not trying to stitch anyone up or pay less than I should be.


    Thanks
    Rob
Page 1
    • kingfisherblue
    • By kingfisherblue 19th Jun 17, 10:57 PM
    • 7,337 Posts
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    kingfisherblue
    • #2
    • 19th Jun 17, 10:57 PM
    • #2
    • 19th Jun 17, 10:57 PM
    As someone who considers herself lucky to get £20 a month for two children, I would say that your payments are very generous. Your ex should expect a reduction as she is now going to have the children one night a week less (at her own request). I really don't think she has anything to argue about.
    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 19th Jun 17, 11:40 PM
    • 4,919 Posts
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    theoretica
    • #3
    • 19th Jun 17, 11:40 PM
    • #3
    • 19th Jun 17, 11:40 PM
    She suggested you have them more - is there a risk that she will back out of this if she feels it will cost her too much financially?

    Ignoring the CSA (and I am not an expert, but also can't see where you got 33%), she has reduced from having them 5 days, to 4 days so why not a reduction to 4/5ths?
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
    • theguru
    • By theguru 20th Jun 17, 6:11 AM
    • 604 Posts
    • 328 Thanks
    theguru
    • #4
    • 20th Jun 17, 6:11 AM
    • #4
    • 20th Jun 17, 6:11 AM
    I'm on your side, I have had issues with my maintenance even though I pay the same as you for my one child and my calculator says pay about £560 a month. Think some partners expect us to pay for their lifestyles even though it's supposed to be for the children...
    • Happier Me
    • By Happier Me 20th Jun 17, 8:07 AM
    • 375 Posts
    • 815 Thanks
    Happier Me
    • #5
    • 20th Jun 17, 8:07 AM
    • #5
    • 20th Jun 17, 8:07 AM
    Personally I think your offer is more than fair.

    From your wife's POV she is seeing a fairly big drop income. If you really want the extra night why not up your offer a bit so you pay more than she would get for two nights as per the CSA calculator. Or suggest a staged reduction so she has time to adjust her finances.

    She may change her mind abut the extra night if she thinks this will maintain her £800 a month. You may want to have a think about what you will do regarding maintenance paymemts if she does!
    • anna_1977
    • By anna_1977 20th Jun 17, 8:45 AM
    • 597 Posts
    • 837 Thanks
    anna_1977
    • #6
    • 20th Jun 17, 8:45 AM
    • #6
    • 20th Jun 17, 8:45 AM
    I think you are being totally reasonable - you are paying her more than the recommended amount anyway (good for you).

    I suppose the only thing she can do is change her mind and not want you to have them a 3rd night a week but I'd hazard a guess you're doing her a favour as she asked you in the first place
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 20th Jun 17, 9:04 AM
    • 36,042 Posts
    • 152,232 Thanks
    silvercar
    • #7
    • 20th Jun 17, 9:04 AM
    • #7
    • 20th Jun 17, 9:04 AM
    If £800 represented her having them for 5/7ths of the week. That means £640 is equivalent to having them 4/7ths of the week.

    That is just on a pro-rata basis. In practical terms she still provides a home for them, can't rent out their rooms when they are not there, won't really buy them less clothes, may have a marginal drop in electricity and water and has to buy slightly less food. So I'm not convinced pro-rata is fair.
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 20th Jun 17, 10:01 AM
    • 15,128 Posts
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    Guest101
    • #8
    • 20th Jun 17, 10:01 AM
    • #8
    • 20th Jun 17, 10:01 AM
    She's not seeing it for what it is.


    You now have the kids for 3/7 days - almost half the time. Remind her of that and that Child maintenance is to pay for the kids needs. Which you are now paying on those days.
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 20th Jun 17, 10:02 AM
    • 15,128 Posts
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    Guest101
    • #9
    • 20th Jun 17, 10:02 AM
    • #9
    • 20th Jun 17, 10:02 AM
    If £800 represented her having them for 5/7ths of the week. That means £640 is equivalent to having them 4/7ths of the week.

    That is just on a pro-rata basis. In practical terms she still provides a home for them - so does he , can't rent out their rooms when they are not there - he cant either, won't really buy them less clothes - ditto , may have a marginal drop in electricity and water and has to buy slightly less food. So I'm not convinced pro-rata is fair.
    Originally posted by silvercar


    It's 4/7 vs 3/7, so really the amount to be paid should be 1/7, but I appreciate it doesn't work like that, bizarrely
    • davidwood123
    • By davidwood123 20th Jun 17, 10:16 AM
    • 450 Posts
    • 1,128 Thanks
    davidwood123
    Reduce the payments.

    You obviously love your children but after them, you are the most important person in this family now.....not you ex.

    Look after yourself and your children.

    Your wife's lifestyle isn't important
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 20th Jun 17, 10:54 AM
    • 6,026 Posts
    • 7,776 Thanks
    TBagpuss
    It';s not unreasonable, particularly as you are still paying well above CMS rates.

    But it is a big change. Could you offer to make the change gradually over 2-3 months so that she has time to adjust to the change?

    How much do you know about her financial position - is the change likely to be causing her financial difficulty? That doesn't change your legal position but may affect how she reacts, and how reasonable it is for you to seek to compromise.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 20th Jun 17, 11:43 AM
    • 11,536 Posts
    • 8,667 Thanks
    unholyangel
    Does your ex actually realise she's being paid far more than you're required to?

    If she doesn't perhaps ask her to check for herself. You may find she's more amenable when she realises that she's entitled to less for 5 days than you're offering for the 4 days.

    I'd never recommend someone only pay the minimum - especially if they can afford more - as child maintenance works based on what you earn rather than the actual costs of raising the child. However it may also be worthwhile to point out to your ex that although you're willing to pay more than required, that payment doesn't have to be made via her - you could choose to set up an account for each of the children for when they're older or even just spend extra on them when they are at yours.

    ETA: I mean the above as a way of showing that you're being more than fair with her rather than as a way to blackmail her!
    Last edited by unholyangel; 20-06-2017 at 11:48 AM.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 20th Jun 17, 12:17 PM
    • 16,055 Posts
    • 39,928 Thanks
    FBaby
    Assuming the maintenance you pay doesn't include an element towards the mortgage that remains joint then of course you are reasonable. What would be easier to comment on is her rationale why she thinks it isn't. Does she pay for childcare and would continue to do so even on the days they are with you, holidays? Does she pays all their activities school uniforms school trips etc...?
    • robeano
    • By robeano 20th Jun 17, 7:41 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    robeano
    Hi Everyone

    Thank you so much for your opinions. On the whole it feels like I'm not being completely unreasonable so I think I'll carry on with the proposed reduction. However, I really like the idea of phasing it over a couple of months to make sure my ex can adjust more easily.

    Thanks again Moneysavers - you're all wonderful!

    Rob
    • kingfisherblue
    • By kingfisherblue 20th Jun 17, 7:55 PM
    • 7,337 Posts
    • 15,738 Thanks
    kingfisherblue
    Hi Everyone

    Thank you so much for your opinions. On the whole it feels like I'm not being completely unreasonable so I think I'll carry on with the proposed reduction. However, I really like the idea of phasing it over a couple of months to make sure my ex can adjust more easily.

    Thanks again Moneysavers - you're all wonderful!

    Rob
    Originally posted by robeano
    You sound like a very reasonable man, and thoughtful too.
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 20th Jun 17, 8:05 PM
    • 2,786 Posts
    • 2,791 Thanks
    cjdavies
    If £800 represented her having them for 5/7ths of the week. That means £640 is equivalent to having them 4/7ths of the week.

    That is just on a pro-rata basis. In practical terms she still provides a home for them, can't rent out their rooms when they are not there, won't really buy them less clothes, may have a marginal drop in electricity and water and has to buy slightly less food. So I'm not convinced pro-rata is fair.
    Originally posted by silvercar
    So basically the same as OP then.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 20th Jun 17, 10:44 PM
    • 36,042 Posts
    • 152,232 Thanks
    silvercar
    It's 4/7 vs 3/7, so really the amount to be paid should be 1/7, but I appreciate it doesn't work like that, bizarrely
    Originally posted by Guest101
    4/7 of one person's income won't be be 3/7 of the other, unless they earn identical amounts.
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 21st Jun 17, 10:01 AM
    • 15,128 Posts
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    Guest101
    4/7 of one person's income won't be be 3/7 of the other, unless they earn identical amounts.
    Originally posted by silvercar


    Indeed, but that isn't what I meant.


    The cost of looking after children doesn't depend on income, it's more or less the same no matter which parent is doing it.
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