Real life MMD: Should I ask ex for money?

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Should I ask ex for money?

I'm a single mum of two, I moved over 200 miles from my children's Dad after the relationship broke down. I drive monthly with the children (at my expense) to ensure regular contact. My ex and I made a private arrangement with regards to maintenance, which is half the amount he'd be asked to pay through CSA.

I'm now struggling to pay off debts for our old home and can't really afford those trips. Is it unreasonable for me to ask for the cost of fuel? I don't ever ask for extra money and he earns a decent wage.
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  • pension-newbie
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    I would ask him to drive to see you now and again.

    Also I would pay for the fuel when you drove, but make him pay his full CSA, or at least more than half. I can't understand why you have settled for less
    All CC & Other Debts - Paid Off :beer:
    Fifty something family man looking to retire comfortably before he's dead or effectively so :A
  • leeroyb
    leeroyb Posts: 26 Forumite
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    If you've made a deal where you're getting something else (house, car, savings accounts etc) as well as the 'half of CSA payment' then that should be disclosed, otherwise people will just come to the conclusion of evil dad who doesn't want to pay, which may be misleading.

    If it's just half the CSA payment with no other deal, then yes you have the right to ask for additional money, maybe not for driving up each time, that was your choice, but school uniforms, food, rent etc. You should ask him to travel too, it's not fair on the kids if they have 3/4 hours travel each way each month just to see a parent.
  • curriej99
    curriej99 Posts: 107 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker Home Insurance Hacker!
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    Did I read that correctly? So he's working and still living in the old home and you're living 200 miles away and PAYING for the OLD home, even although you're not working or living there? You didn't strike a very good deal there. A bit of petrol once a month is the least of your worries..
  • robynprincess
    robynprincess Posts: 46 Forumite
    edited 2 March 2011 at 2:49AM
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    Is there a reason the dad cant drive to pick up kids? if not, why not ask him to do the trip at least half of the time? If there is a reason, ie he doesnt drive, i think maybe you should bring it up with him if you have a reasonable relationship, even if you started off by asking for half and over time asked him if he would up it to all of the cost. The thing is, you dont want to cause friction as it will be only your children who will suffer. I would try explaining to him as you have to us, that you are really feeling the strain financially and if he could, you would really appreciate some help towards petrol money, I dont feel that you can push it too much though as it was you who moved away, and pushing it might only make things awkward for your children and they might miss out on seeing their dad as much if things become strained.

    Good luck
    xxxx
  • pinkclouds
    pinkclouds Posts: 1,069 Forumite
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    If you can't afford the petrol money, then you can't afford it. End of. It's not reasonable to add to your existing debts and you can't magic money out of thin air. Explain the situation to the dad. If he can't afford it (or is unwilling to pay for it) tell him that you'll have to (at least temporarily) switch to less frequent trips e.g. every second month instead of every month. Presumably the kids can still talk to him on the phone or on Skype?

    After all, some dads are away for longer, depending on their jobs. If he was in the Forces, he might be seeing them every 6 months! Temporary two-monthly visits are surely vastly better than that.
  • scottmcgarvey
    scottmcgarvey Posts: 57 Forumite
    edited 2 March 2011 at 4:44AM
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    Yes, I think the minimum should be the cost of your fuel if they live with you. When I split up with my partner, and she had my little girl, I paid more than the CSA would've recommended - (we ditched them when we could, as it was not worth the paperwork, and came to our own agreement). I stuck by this even when I was diagnosed with Cancer, and increased at least in line with inflation.

    I drove to GET my girl, she never brought her to me. I got her, and brought her back, even though she remarried fairly quickly. I was more than happy with this arrangement, as it meant I saw her every weekend! (She is at University now)

    I realise how lucky I was - perhaps he doesn't?

    EDIT: 200 miles is a long way. Fair (regardless of cash), would be perhaps for him to do one half - or perhaps alternate with you? My ex only moved 15 miles away!
  • goodguyglenn
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    I think you should alternate the driving. To be fair, it was the woman who upped sticks and moved a massive 200 miles away. The guy would have been entitled to go to court to stop you moving so far away if he knew more about the system. So take it in turns and I can't see anything wrong with that.

    Mind you what did the woman expect moving so far away, that everything would be easier????

    Split it 50-50 and save the arguments...
  • jayne_just_learning
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    It sounds like you are struggling financially and the petrol is just another thing on top. Things could quickly get emotive here as I'm sure he's likely to blame you for moving so far away etc so let's try and stick to the facts. Also there are usually two sides to a Story so I'm trying not to judge too much into this.
    1. It is hard for you to manage financially on your current levels of income. You can set out for him what you receive in income, benefits and him against your outgoings and what this means for the quality of life for your children.
    2. His response is either to contribute the shortfall, contribute some or do nothing.
    3. Based on that, you recalculate your budget, any other ways you can save or generate money and prioritise how you will spend your money.
    4. You pay maintenance to provide for your kids not to see them. If he doesn't give you more money it is wrong just to say I'm not driving them anymore in retaliation it only hurts the kids and your ongoing relationship with him. As their mum you decide what are the priorities for your children right now (home, food, clothing, but you may think ongoing contact with their dad is more important than nice Xmas presents for example and you continue to fund petrol when you can) presumably these visits also give you a chance to see your family And friends. No it's not right if he can afford more that he's not paying it but life isn't fair. But in years to come if your children ask why they don't see their dad you will have an honest explanation of the situation rather than memories of blazing rows over petrol money.

    So approach it as "I'm sorry I thought I could manage to live, pay off our debts and still travel to see you on the budget we agreed but I can't. How can you help?" rather than "if you don't pay my petrol money £x I'll stop bringing the kids."

    If you are not happy with the outcome and your money situation simply doesn't work no matter how you cut it, you can always revert to CSA having tried the friendly resolution first.
  • jamespir
    jamespir Posts: 21,456 Forumite
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    you move 200 miles away thats your choice so you cant expect dad to pay the price although you could come to an amicable solution and he comes up month and you go up the next month

    thats what i would do anyway

    i would walk the 200 miles to see my kids
    Replies to posts are always welcome, If I have made a mistake in the post, I am human, tell me nicely and it will be corrected. If your reply cannot be nice, has an underlying issue, or you believe that you are God, please post in another forum. Thank you
  • jamespir
    jamespir Posts: 21,456 Forumite
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    curriej99 wrote: »
    Did I read that correctly? So he's working and still living in the old home and you're living 200 miles away and PAYING for the OLD home, even although you're not working or living there? You didn't strike a very good deal there. A bit of petrol once a month is the least of your worries..

    the dilema is miss leading and does not give us the full situation it does not say if dads paying off the debt to it just says mum

    it also seems pretty biased to make us feel sorry for mum


    Come on mse you do this every week and only give us half the information
    Replies to posts are always welcome, If I have made a mistake in the post, I am human, tell me nicely and it will be corrected. If your reply cannot be nice, has an underlying issue, or you believe that you are God, please post in another forum. Thank you
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