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Urgent Advice: Ex keeps demanding more child money

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Urgent Advice: Ex keeps demanding more child money

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in MoneySaving Dads
20 replies 5.2K views
lixhullixhul Forumite
20 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in MoneySaving Dads
I have been split with my ex for 4 months now and our daughter is 18 months old. I pay her £300 a month and we don't go through CSA. My job is £22K.

It started at £200, but 2 months in she asked for £300 because she said she's struggling and I accepted. 2 months later, she is now demanding £450 a month or she'll block access and take me to CSA.

I have ignored this request and said that if I she decides to take me through CSA I'm confident she'll receive less. I've said that £300 is all I'm willing to give. Her lifestyle is not in reach of her earnings and basically she wants me to make up the difference.

My question is, am I in the right here? This is a matter of principle for me. I can afford the £450 but I don't want to give it to her. I'm also confident that months down the line it'll be £500. I said (when I agreed to pay £300 a month) that I wouldn't be paying anymore and she should not ask. But, of course, she has.

Is she in the right, or am I? Is £300 more than enough to support my daughter?
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Replies

  • DUTRDUTR Forumite
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    You can open a CMS case yourself, at least you can use the calculator to calculate the suggested amount.
    If you want to offer more that is entirely up you.
    From the figures you say, £45 pw.
  • lixhullixhul Forumite
    20 posts
    I don't want to, because I'm pretty sure the money is to fund her lifestyle, although I'm not 100%.

    My question is £300 enough? She's very manipulative calling me a terrible father because I'm not giving what she wants, but it's gotten to me and I'm not sure.
  • DUTRDUTR Forumite
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    I don't want to, because I'm pretty sure the money is to fund her lifestyle, although I'm not 100%.

    My question is £300 enough? She's very manipulative calling me a terrible father because I'm not giving what she wants, but it's gotten to me and I'm not sure.

    You could well be right, however don't be scared of the cms, you are not a criminal because of being an NRP, in my episode yeah the PWC splashed out on tattoos n stuff, but as long as I paid my 15% my responsibility was done, there would be no room for bullying me.
    Once the case ended it was like getting a pay rise (not that I've found anything to do with the money bar save it for a rainy day, mmm maybe a Golf MK8 GTI when it arrives just for the heck of it.
  • unholyangelunholyangel Forumite
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    I don't want to, because I'm pretty sure the money is to fund her lifestyle, although I'm not 100%.

    My question is £300 enough? She's very manipulative calling me a terrible father because I'm not giving what she wants, but it's gotten to me and I'm not sure.

    There are always issues with CM payments being based on income - because its not strictly relative to the cost of raising a child. Loosely relative though, in the sense that if you were still together then the child would likely be benefiting from the standard of living your wage allows.

    Have you asked friends with children how much they think they spend on their kids? Clothes, food, school related expenses etc. And then add in an amount to account for providing a roof/utilities that your child benefits from.

    You could always send her a screenshot of how much the CM calculator says you'd have to pay. That might motivate her to be a little more amenable in any future discussions. Possibly not but you never know, people tend to be more appreciative when they know its something they're not entitled to versus when they think its something they're entitled to. Perhaps she thinks you earn more than you do?
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
  • tacpot12tacpot12 Forumite
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    I don't want to, because I'm pretty sure the money is to fund her lifestyle, although I'm not 100%.

    My question is £300 enough? She's very manipulative calling me a terrible father because I'm not giving what she wants, but it's gotten to me and I'm not sure.

    £300 per month should be enough, but it is not super-generous. Only being 4 months into the separation, it is reasonable that she has come back to you for more money when she has found that she cannot cope.

    You could ask her to sit down and explain her budget so that you can see that she cannot cope on £300 pcm, and you should be able to see whether the shortfall is reasonable, or due to her lifestyle.

    You say you could afford to pay her more, but are you contributing enough to your pension and do you have permanent health insurance(PHI)? PHI might be a good way to ensure that you can continue to support your daughter even if something happened that meant you couldn't work.

    As far as I can see the CMS would require that you pay your ex less than you are currently paying so I would suggest you give her the weblink to check this out for herself. I think I would tell her that if she goes the CMS and they award her less money, then you will only pay her the lower amount. This will force her to check into whether the CMS would pay her more, and she will then realise that she is currently getting a good deal.

    I don't expect that this will make her less manipulative, so I would insist that you will only pay her £300 pcm unless she shares her budget with you. I would want to see some evidence that she has not spent the money on herself, but on your daughter, before increasing the amount paid. £300 to £450 is a big jump and it would not be unreasonable to suggest you pay say £350 pcm and suggest that she learns to manage on that amount.
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • elsienelsien Forumite
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    Have you got a way of proving that the money you send is specifically to pay child maintenance?
    Because otherwise if she goes to CMS and tells them you've not been paying, you could be hit with arrears as well.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • SeanymphSeanymph Forumite
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    Keep a record of everything you currently pay - do it by bank transfer.

    My ex paid his ex wife maintenance, which she drank. The kids were kept in appalling conditions, and we had them pretty much half the time anyway.

    With this experience the amount payable to her was minimised - and in line with CSA (as it was then I think)...... but extra and additional money was made available direct to the children - for anything that was for them and couldn't be appropriated by her to be honest.

    You may, if you need to restrict what she has in payments directly, have more to direct to things that benefit the children.

    Having been a single mum I understand that you need money for bills etc, and with my ex he handed it over and I kept the show on the road - I would only suggest this if you have a similar situation to ours, where the resident adult is so irresponsible that, for example, the kids were in debt for school dinners so heavily that they weren't fed, and she provided stuff all for them to eat so the school was concerned and in touch with us. We paid the school directly. Bought clothing, footwear, school trips, hair dressers, toiletries to take home........ anything from bikes to school uniform.

    It meant that he was providing for them, and he knew that they benefited, he just couldn't trust her to meet their needs over hers.
  • lixhullixhul Forumite
    20 posts
    Thank you for help everyone. We have agreed on £350 and I have mentioned to her that the case on it is closed. I won't be giving anymore and it'll be dealt through CMS if she demands more in future.
  • DUTRDUTR Forumite
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    elsien wrote: »
    Have you got a way of proving that the money you send is specifically to pay child maintenance?
    Because otherwise if she goes to CMS and tells them you've not been paying, you could be hit with arrears as well.

    Erm that is not correct, arrears are only due from when a case is open, but yes the OP should label his standing order contribution as child support.
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    One thing you could make clear, to her and the children, is that if there are ever any activities the children would like to take part in that you are willing to consider funding them, for example, school trips, uniformed activities, sports etc.

    but you may want to ensure that you pay for these direct, rather than via mum.

    You could also offer an (at least) annual trip for school uniform, school shoes etc.
    Still knitting!
    Completed: TWO adult cardigans, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees, 2 sets of handwarmers, 1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 3 balaclavas, multiple hats and poppies, 3 peony flowers, 4 butterflies ...
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