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Money Moral Dilemma: Should I pay extra child maintenance during lockdown?

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Money Moral Dilemma: Should I pay extra child maintenance during lockdown?

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MSE_KelvinMSE_Kelvin MSE Staff
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This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

I'm separated and my children live with my ex-partner. They usually stay with me at weekends and while children have been allowed to move between households during lockdown, we decided against it. As they haven't been to stay in three months, I've been wondering if I should pay extra child maintenance. On the one hand my ex is having to pay more than usual for food, utilities and so on while I'm paying less, but on the other I haven't been able to see my children properly for weeks.

Unfortunately the MSE team can't always answer money moral dilemma questions as contributions are often emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be a point of debate and discussed at face value. 

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Replies

  • KxMxKxMx Forumite
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    Money and access are separate issues so shouldn't be linked. 
    Sounds like it was a mutual decision so it again would be unfair to withold child support. 
  • edited 7 July at 6:43PM
    onwards&upwardsonwards&upwards Forumite
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    edited 7 July at 6:43PM
    I'd need more info to comment.  Has either parent had their income affected by lockdown?  Lost a job, been furloughed etc. 

    I do think the moneysaver needs to start seeing their children again though.  They will be missing their absent parent terribly after being used to seeing them every weekend, and the absent parents really needs to start pulling their weight a bit more on the childcare/parenting front! 
  • FireflyawayFireflyaway Forumite
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    I really don't understand the comment about not seeing them whilst inferring that should mean you shouldn't have to pay more?! That sounds as though you are buying time with your kids and feel put out that you didn't get your monies worth! 
    Kids obviously cost money. The state of the relationship someone has with their ex shouldn't impact what they pay towards their kids upkeep. Having said all this, you obviously do care or you wouldn't be asking the question! I'd say it would be really thoughtful to pay a bit more. If you are worried the money won't get spent on the kids, maybe offer something extra. Offer to buy their school shoes or uniform or give the kids some spending money so they can pick some treats (depending on their age). 

  • andreafundraiserandreafundraiser Forumite
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    I can’t see how seeing your children less has any bearing on this matter. Child maintenance is money for maintaining children, not a payment for time spent with them. 
    You know how much it costs to care for children..do the right thing. I know you know what that is.
  • topher67topher67 Forumite
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    KxMx said:
    Money and access are separate issues so shouldn't be linked. 
    Sounds like it was a mutual decision so it again would be unfair to withold child support. 
    Read the post, it wasn't about withholding payment.
    For your information, the amount of maintenance paid is calculated on and  directly related to the amount of time the absent parent spends with the child/children. So its a valid question because the op is spending less time with the child/children during lockdown.
    Fair play for asking this question, it's one I've thought about over the last few months when the parent of my child denied me access for 3 months without any discussion with me, no negotiation.
    Yes, I've kept in touch via vid calls, letters, random gifts in the post etc but it's been incredibly difficult.
    I would say that no,
  • topher67topher67 Forumite
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    MoneySaving Newbie
    topher67 said:
    KxMx said:
    Money and access are separate issues so shouldn't be linked. 
    Sounds like it was a mutual decision so it again would be unfair to withold child support. 
    Read the post, it wasn't about withholding payment.
    For your information, the amount of maintenance paid is calculated on and  directly related to the amount of time the absent parent spends with the child/children. So its a valid question because the op is spending less time with the child/children during lockdown.
    Fair play for asking this question, it's one I've thought about over the last few months when the parent of my child denied me access for 3 months without any discussion with me, no negotiation.
    Yes, I've kept in touch via vid calls, letters, random gifts in the post etc but it's been incredibly difficult.
    I would say that no,
    Sorry, hit the send button by mistake!
    Anyway, I wouldwould say continue with your regular payments, and hope you get to see your kid/s soon! You're obviously a committed "absent" parent, well done to you.
  • MiddlestitchMiddlestitch Forumite
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    Paying more would benefit your children, so why wouldn't you do so? Another non-dilemma.
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