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Finances in crisis due to paying maintenance, childcare costs and half mortgage since separating

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Finances in crisis due to paying maintenance, childcare costs and half mortgage since separating

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Child Support
10 replies 3.2K views
RipcurlRipcurl Forumite
3 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Child Support
Hello everyone,

New to the forum and this matter could come under many categories but could do with some advice. I’m a father of 4 - all ages under 9. I’ve been separated now for 22 months. I live in rented accommodation, whilst my ex wife continues to live in the family home.

I pay half the mortgage - £590 and £400 in maintenance. Yes it’s less than the CSA recommendation but that’s all I can afford. I also have been half the childcare costs, which on a typical month is £390 but usually more. That totals £1380 per month.

I have the children overnight every other weekend. I also take the children to school at normal school hours and collect them from school every Monday and Tuesday and give them their tea before going back to mum. I do the same Thursday evening when I collect them from care club. If I need to put the children into care club Monday or Tuesday because of work then I have to pay for it. The ex will not contribute. She works Monday- Thursday as a teacher. I’m a Sales Manager who has a home office. I don’t have any family support.

I’m desperate to get divorced and already petitioned on grounds of adultery - as a technicality as she now has a partner. They met after we separated but don’t live together. She is not responding to any solicitors letters and clearly is happy to keep the status quo. I have a partner for just over 12 months and she wants me to move in with her but I can’t until I am divorced. I’m now petitioning on grounds of unreasonable behaviour.

My current financial situation is dire. Whilst I earn £48K per year my take home pay is £2364 (after pension, company car tax, student loan and child care voucher contributions). My base outgoings are now £2870 - £506 more than my monthly income. Within the next 3 months I will begin defaulting on payments. I have a loan and my credit debt is increasing rapidly.

I’ve repeatedly mentioned my financial situation to my ex since June but does not acknowledge it. The only thing she did say back in July was she was looking to take on the mortgage herself but refused to offer me any equity in the home - around £20K to me which I would have used to pay debts. But since then there has been no sign of her taking on the mortgage.

My ex claims tax credits, inc the child care element. I’m not entitled to claim as the children live with you full time. After doing some research I understand I am not entitled to pay half the childcare costs. Is this correct?

Clearly I need to stop the financial rot and need some advice to get my ex to engage in the legal process. Ultimately, I just wants what’s fair as I know I’m being taken advantage of.

Thank you.....

Replies

  • CakeCrusaderCakeCrusader Forumite
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    Sorry, but haven't you spoken to your Solicitor regarding your finances? They should have done a financial assessment as part of your divorce petition, and they would have calculated the correct amount of spousal maintenance and child maintenance then.



    You can use this to calculate the correct amount of child maintenance, you also need to factor in the childcare costs that you're paying; https://www.gov.uk/calculate-child-maintenance The childcare element of Child Tax Credits did used to cover 70% of the childcare costs up to a certain amount (£300 a week for 1+ children) so it's highly unlikely that you should have to pay 50% of them (you do need to look at how much she's actually paying and how much she's receiving though).



    Spousal maintenance is a different kettle of fish and you do need to speak to your solicitor about this as it can be tricky to work out. As a general starting point though, the courts often prefer a 50/50 split but will take other things into account, length of marriage, disabilities, how much equity is in the house, debts, income, any stocks and shares, age of the couple etc, so they can deviate from this. The courts also like a clean break, but do speak to your solicitor.



    Adultery can be tricky as a grounds for a divorce, I don't think it's used too often. Unreasonable behaviour is a little bit easier.
  • Appreciate your feedback. ��

    I have been in contact with my solicitor but no financial assessment completed so far. My solicitor has written to my ex wife twice requesting her to respond to the petition and to provide financial disclosure but no response of yet. But I will contact my solicitor tomorrow about my financial assessment.

    You are right in that I don’t know exactly how much tax credits she is claiming for? Could be the full amount of the child care or simply her half. Daft question but how I take into account my childcare contributions when calculating child maintenance using that calculator - simply deduct my half off the total?

    A clean break is the ideally outcome but first I’ve got to get her to engage in the legal process. I have just this week sent a petition on grounds of unreasonable behaviour - hopefully she will start playing ball.
  • CakeCrusaderCakeCrusader Forumite
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    Ripcurl wrote: »
    Appreciate your feedback. ��

    I have been in contact with my solicitor but no financial assessment completed so far. My solicitor has written to my ex wife twice requesting her to respond to the petition and to provide financial disclosure but no response of yet. But I will contact my solicitor tomorrow about my financial assessment.

    You are right in that I don’t know exactly how much tax credits she is claiming for? Could be the full amount of the child care or simply her half. Daft question but how I take into account my childcare contributions when calculating child maintenance using that calculator - simply deduct my half off the total?

    A clean break is the ideally outcome but first I’ve got to get her to engage in the legal process. I have just this week sent a petition on grounds of unreasonable behaviour - hopefully she will start playing ball.


    I'd look up who the childcare provider is, they usually have a web site, and see if I can find the costs online. It'll give you an indication of just how much she's paying. You should still have parental responsibility so you can contact the childcare providers directly and ask them to send you details, it's probably more accurate to do it this way. You're not obliged to pay 50% of the childcare costs by the way, you just can just pay the minimum CMS calculation (or more if you can afford it), it's down to your ex where it's spent. She will likely be receiving £300 a week for childcare via tax credits.



    The courts won't look kindly on her if she won't play ball so the only person this will affect is her.
  • GDB2222GDB2222 Forumite
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    What happens if you are late with the payments? Surely, that's one way of getting your wife to discuss matters?

    I fear that this is a case of trying to get a quart out of a pint pot, ie your combined income was sufficient to afford the family home and look after the children whilst you were together. It isn't enough to afford two homes. Something is going to have to give, but your bankrupting yourself is not going to help. Certainly, you cannot go on spiralling up debt in order to pay maintenance that you simply cannot afford.
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
  • RubyroobsRubyroobs Forumite
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    Seventh Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
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    Does your ex claim any benefits ( UC or tax credits). can she claim help with the childcare costs through this?
  • CakeCrusaderCakeCrusader Forumite
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    Rubyroobs wrote: »
    Does your ex claim any benefits ( UC or tax credits). can she claim help with the childcare costs through this?




    "My ex claims tax credits, inc the child care element." It's in the very first post.
  • tacpot12tacpot12 Forumite
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    How much equity is there in the house?
    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.
  • rikbarrikbar Forumite
    90 posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Having read the above it would seem you are paying well above what you should.

    Based upon the CSA calculator you should be paying around £740 in a worst case situation, currently you pay £1,380 in total across 3 different parts.

    If you want to get your Ex's attention you need to be very clear that you are going to pay the CSA calculated sum. She then has to fund her accommodation and nursery costs from that and her own income as once you have contributed the required level, according to the CSA, you have paid your dues. (I fully understand that you may wish to pay more to give your children a better life but this has to be balanced around your own financial needs).

    This may then sharpen her mind to the fact that financially you need to get things sorted, the risk is a black mark on your credit rating but it would appear that this is potentially on its way already. Her risk is the loss of the house and all the upheaval that comes with it.

    The longer you go on supporting a lifestyle for her that is not sustainable the longer you build her expectation it will continue or that you should. Unfortunately sometimes you need to be a little hard nosed to get someone to start talking realistically about what is possible going forwards.
  • Sincerely- thanks for everyone’s feedback here. It has helped give clarity to my situation and the options I have going forward.

    There is about £40-50K equity in the house. My wife stated a few months back she will ensure I don’t receive any equity until the youngest finishes school. I understand she can seek a court order to ensure this happens?

    It is quite baffling why she won’t engage in the legal process because ultimately if I do go bankrupt it will have serious consequences for her too. I think she wants to hold onto the house no matter what but is not in a position to buy me out on her own. There is still £200K on the mortgage. Whilst she is in a relationship there is no plans of them moving together - I suppose because it will impact on the tax credits she receives.

    Now it’s been confirmed to me today I do not have to contribute towards child care I have since sent an email giving 4 weeks notice that will no longer contribute towards childcare fees. This just about keep my head above water for now.
  • edited 21 October 2019 at 12:33AM
    CakeCrusaderCakeCrusader Forumite
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    edited 21 October 2019 at 12:33AM
    Ripcurl wrote: »
    Sincerely- thanks for everyone’s feedback here. It has helped give clarity to my situation and the options I have going forward.

    There is about £40-50K equity in the house. My wife stated a few months back she will ensure I don’t receive any equity until the youngest finishes school. I understand she can seek a court order to ensure this happens? The court's prefer a clean break, so it's unlikely that they will allow her to do this. They may order that the family home is sold as part of the divorce settlement.

    It is quite baffling why she won’t engage in the legal process because ultimately if I do go bankrupt it will have serious consequences for her too. I think she wants to hold onto the house no matter what but is not in a position to buy me out on her own. Your solicitor can advise you on this, but if she can't afford to keep it then there's little she can do. There is still £200K on the mortgage. This will be taken into account. They will look at anything that's left over once all of the liabililities have been paid. Whilst she is in a relationship there is no plans of them moving together - I suppose because it will impact on the tax credits she receives. She'll still receive tax credits after the divorce but her partner's income will be taken into account if they live together. If they marry, you'll no longer be eligible for spousal payments (assuming no clean break).

    Now it’s been confirmed to me today I do not have to contribute towards child care I have since sent an email giving 4 weeks notice that will no longer contribute towards childcare fees. This just about keep my head above water for now.



    Take it from there and see what happens. If she's more forthcoming about her finances then that's a good thing, sometimes people need a carrot on a stick. It's worth looking into setting up your own childcare arrangement for the after school pick ups that you do if you need them. Working at home is great, but not all employers are flexible. 2/3 afternoons a week may still cost you less than you're paying now though.
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