Should I ask for maintenance payments?

in Child Support
27 replies 1.4K views
EmluloEmlulo Forumite
9 Posts
First Post
Forumite
Hi, I have just separated from my partner. We have two children (4 and 7). The children are staying with me, and will stay overnight with him some weekends, and during some school holidays too.

I own the house that my children and I live in. I pay all bills. Before we moved into the house we lived in a flat. When we bought the flat I was a stay at home mum, looking after our then 2 year old and newborn. I went back to work when my now four year old was one, and paid all nursery fees for both children and food costs, while he paid the mortgage on the flat. As I wasn’t working when we bought it, it was solely in his name, and continues to be. When we moved into the house, I did not ask him to pay a penny for anything as he’s in a fair bit of debt. He continued to pay for the flat mortgage while we had it on the market for sale.

He now lives in the flat on his own.

My question is, given that he’s paying the mortgage on the flat (which we both hope to profit from when sold), should I ask for child maintenance? He is in a lot of debt, and I know he would struggle to pay. If I did ask for an amount, it would be lower than what would be taken if I went through official channels.

I can afford to pay for the children on my own, but with very little left at the end of the month, and he would have to pay for somewhere to live, irrespective. 

I’d be interested to hear people’s thoughts on this. I hope I have been sufficiently clear! 
«13

Replies

  • ZaSa1418ZaSa1418 Forumite
    590 Posts
    500 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    Forumite
    It is up to you if you want to claim maintenance from him, might be easier to ask him to share the costs of things like uniforms rather than ask for the maintenance
    LBM Debt Total : £48,326.50

    Pay All Your Debt Off By Xmas 2022 - #9  £8,884.36 / £15,000.00
    Saving For Christmas 2022 - £1 a day challenge - #6 £636/£1095.00
  • theoreticatheoretica Forumite
    10.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    It might be clearer - and set future precedence  - if you ask for maintenance.  He has an obligation to support his children.  But then you also pay towards the mortgage - which clarifies it is not just his property and your right to share the profit.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
  • BAFEBAFE Forumite
    255 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts
    Yes, absolutely ask for child maintenance.  Supporting your kids comes before paying off debts.

    He can then go back to the people he owes money too and renegotiate the payment terms.  It's not your fault he's in debt - what did he even spend all that money on?  Could he sell some of the stuff he purchased to help pay off the debt?
  • EmluloEmlulo Forumite
    9 Posts
    First Post
    Forumite
    It might be clearer - and set future precedence  - if you ask for maintenance.  He has an obligation to support his children.  But then you also pay towards the mortgage - which clarifies it is not just his property and your right to share the profit.
    That’s a good idea re: paying towards mortgage on the flat. Agree about precedence, and do feel like he should contribute financially to his children. I also like the other suggestion about maybe asking for payment for specific things instead - that might be clearer for him exactly where his money is going - thank you both. I just feel a bit mean asking for money when I know that he is in debt and doesn‘T earn loads, but then again, they are his children and it shouldn’t just fall to me to pay.. 
  • EmluloEmlulo Forumite
    9 Posts
    First Post
    Forumite
    BAFE said:
    Yes, absolutely ask for child maintenance.  Supporting your kids comes before paying off debts.

    He can then go back to the people he owes money too and renegotiate the payment terms.  It's not your fault he's in debt - what did he even spend all that money on?  Could he sell some of the stuff he purchased to help pay off the debt?
    That’s a really valid point - thank you
  • MalMonroeMalMonroe Forumite
    4.2K Posts
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    Well you can ask but if he doesn't have it, he won't be able to pay it. If his job is not well paid and he has debts and he is also paying a mortgage on a property from which you will both eventually profit it doesn't sound as if there's going to be much left over.

    If you can be reasonable and agree an amount between you that might be the best thing for now until the flat is sold. Hopefully, he will pull himself together and then he will be able to pay more. He could do with coming on this forum and asking for some help with his debts.
    Please note that comments are strictly my own opinion, intended to help - never hinder. If they do not help then please ignore as the intention of the forum is to help everyone, if possible. MSE forum rules clearly state "no two people have the same circumstances or experiences and it is up to you to investigate, check and check again before you make any decisions or take any action based on information you glean from our community. Remember, don't rely on what you are reading. Verify it and protect yourself. You are responsible for any action you consequently make." It's always best to verify everything. Inappropriate comments will be reported, as per the Forum rules.
  • EmluloEmlulo Forumite
    9 Posts
    First Post
    Forumite
    MalMonroe said:
    Well you can ask but if he doesn't have it, he won't be able to pay it. If his job is not well paid and he has debts and he is also paying a mortgage on a property from which you will both eventually profit it doesn't sound as if there's going to be much left over.

    If you can be reasonable and agree an amount between you that might be the best thing for now until the flat is sold. Hopefully, he will pull himself together and then he will be able to pay more. He could do with coming on this forum and asking for some help with his debts.
    I have honestly tried to direct him to some debt advice agencies, suggested ways of cutting back and had taken on all financial responsibility to allow him to try to tackle his debts, but he is just beyond irresponsible.

    He has just bought a £6.5k car, had a night out last weekend with a steak dinner and hotel with a friend. Then claims to have no money, because it’s all on credit cards or borrowed from his mother. He already owes her around £30k, which he stopped paying back long ago. I loaned him £6k a while ago, which I will never see back, and have written off. He demanded £2K from me towards the car so that he could see the kids (which I gave him).

    I’ve tried to help and support him in finding another job. Again, nothing ever happens. He is so apathetic. Everything is everyone else’s fault, not his. 

    I think I am going to take the advice given and ask him to pay for the kids’ swimming lessons and other things they need as and when. That way he is contributing to them, but without having to pay the much larger sum that would be taken from his salary if we went down the route of formal CMS payments.

  • tightauldgittightauldgit Forumite
    183 Posts
    100 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    Of course you should be asking for maintenance. He has a responsibility to pay what he is obligated to pay. My advice would be to ask CMS to sort it out for you that way he can make his case about what he earns, what he can and can't afford to them rather than you guys having to argue over it. 

    And, no I wouldn't suggest you start contributing to his mortgage. That would be rather a silly move in my opinion if you are saying that you need some money to help support your child. If he can't afford his accommodation  after he has supported his kid then he needs to sell up and downsize to what he can afford. 
  • EmluloEmlulo Forumite
    9 Posts
    First Post
    Forumite
    Of course you should be asking for maintenance. He has a responsibility to pay what he is obligated to pay. My advice would be to ask CMS to sort it out for you that way he can make his case about what he earns, what he can and can't afford to them rather than you guys having to argue over it. 

    And, no I wouldn't suggest you start contributing to his mortgage. That would be rather a silly move in my opinion if you are saying that you need some money to help support your child. If he can't afford his accommodation  after he has supported his kid then he needs to sell up and downsize to what he can afford. 
    Do CMS take into account a person’s financial circumstances outside of income? That would be the cleanest way to ask him to contribute, but I suspect they would not consider his debts, whereas if we could make a private arrangement I would. I broached the subject with him yesterday and the response was, ‘you know my financial situation’. Ultimately, any money from him is for his children and a better life for them, so he should make adjustments like living somewhere cheaper. I suspect  the just won’t.. 
  • DeenportDeenport Forumite
    40 Posts
    Second Anniversary 10 Posts
    Forumite
    Emlulo said:
    Of course you should be asking for maintenance. He has a responsibility to pay what he is obligated to pay. My advice would be to ask CMS to sort it out for you that way he can make his case about what he earns, what he can and can't afford to them rather than you guys having to argue over it. 

    And, no I wouldn't suggest you start contributing to his mortgage. That would be rather a silly move in my opinion if you are saying that you need some money to help support your child. If he can't afford his accommodation  after he has supported his kid then he needs to sell up and downsize to what he can afford. 
    Do CMS take into account a person’s financial circumstances outside of income? That would be the cleanest way to ask him to contribute, but I suspect they would not consider his debts, whereas if we could make a private arrangement I would. I broached the subject with him yesterday and the response was, ‘you know my financial situation’. Ultimately, any money from him is for his children and a better life for them, so he should make adjustments like living somewhere cheaper. I suspect  the just won’t.. 
    I think there are a few things to consider here: 
    1. If his mum loans him money then that’s between them and should not be considered in the mix, nor should he be expected to never go out. 

    2. If he downsizes, would there be room for him to have the children overnight? Would he even get a new mortgage or accepted for a rented home with his credit record? 

    3. Absolutely he should contribute towards his children, however forcing him into potentially losing his home, which may result in losing his job is going to help no one. 

    4.  CMS won’t consider his outgoings or debt, they simply look at salary and deduct the amount, which could push him further into debt, with no way out. 

    In short, I think you have to weigh everything up and decide to either push him farther into debt, or cut your losses and accept that (hopefully) he is a kind and loving father which the children will appreciate far more than swimming lessons. 

    P.s. I expect most will disagree with me, this is simply my opinion. 
Sign In or Register to comment.
Latest News and Guides