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    • MSE Sarah
    • By MSE Sarah 10th Jul 18, 4:50 PM
    • 144Posts
    • 71Thanks
    MSE Sarah
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I claim my unpaid child support?
    • #1
    • 10th Jul 18, 4:50 PM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I claim my unpaid child support? 10th Jul 18 at 4:50 PM
    This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

    I've been told I'm owed over £10,000 in child support arrears, although my son is now in his late 20s. I thought he could use this money, as he's saving to buy a house - but my second husband says we should keep it, as we raised him without it. I now think there's too much scope for conflict, so I'm inclined just to let it go. Is that right?

    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 enjoyed as a point of debate and discussed at face value.

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Page 1
    • onlyroz
    • By onlyroz 10th Jul 18, 8:41 PM
    • 14,495 Posts
    • 27,516 Thanks
    onlyroz
    • #2
    • 10th Jul 18, 8:41 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Jul 18, 8:41 PM
    Go halves?
    • kallybear
    • By kallybear 10th Jul 18, 8:49 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    kallybear
    • #3
    • 10th Jul 18, 8:49 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Jul 18, 8:49 PM
    just because you are owed it doesnt mean that it will all be paid in one big lump sum it could be £20 a month for the next how ever many years for all you know

    i wouldnt decide what to do with the money until you know how and even if you will be getting it
    • earthmother
    • By earthmother 11th Jul 18, 6:40 AM
    • 2,524 Posts
    • 5,432 Thanks
    earthmother
    • #4
    • 11th Jul 18, 6:40 AM
    • #4
    • 11th Jul 18, 6:40 AM
    Nice as it would be for your son to get the money owed, as said, it's extremely doubtful you'd get it in a lump sum anyway. And, as you say, it also means starting up conflict in a family dynamic I assume by now is relatively settled at present (not just with your current husband, but also the previous).

    Personally, and this is a single parent who has never received a penny of child support from my ex husband, sometimes it's better to just draw a line under it, forget the money existed. The damage caused by chasing it isn't always worth it, and if the father didn't pay back then, he won't pay now, so the question of who actually gets it is pretty much moot.

    If by some fluke the money is paid, then 50/50 seems fairest.
    DFW Nerd no. 884 - Proud to be dealing with have dealt with my debts
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 11th Jul 18, 8:46 AM
    • 8,302 Posts
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    Primrose
    • #5
    • 11th Jul 18, 8:46 AM
    • #5
    • 11th Jul 18, 8:46 AM
    Frankly not sure why second husband should have a say in this unless he was actually on the scene and providing financial support to the household while the son was growing up.
    I think the mother should make up her own mind and perhaps apply and see what happens. If the money c9mes through and she wants to give some or all of it to the son towards a house deposit, thats her business but Inwouldn,t allow him to fritter any windfall away. I he,s not good at managing his money I,d hold it on his behalf until a suitable property buying opportunity appears. Knowing there's some money coming to increase his deposit pot might incentivise his saving.
    • Bmwj
    • By Bmwj 11th Jul 18, 8:51 AM
    • 1 Posts
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    Bmwj
    • #6
    • 11th Jul 18, 8:51 AM
    • #6
    • 11th Jul 18, 8:51 AM
    I would claim it and give your son the money, as it would be a fantastic way to help him onto the housing ladder. After all the child support was for him originally! However, it could be doubtful if you would get it all in one go, so donít raise his hopes until you find out. Your ex might be more inclined to pay up if he knew the money was going to his son in this way!
    • piglit21
    • By piglit21 11th Jul 18, 9:31 AM
    • 1 Posts
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    piglit21
    • #7
    • 11th Jul 18, 9:31 AM
    • #7
    • 11th Jul 18, 9:31 AM
    Definitely don't give up the opportunity to have the money back. Once you get it, you could always then decide what to do with it - or split between the two?? I agree with others though that the child support is there for your son so maybe I'd lean to giving it to him as would help him out loads.
    • Cimscate
    • By Cimscate 11th Jul 18, 9:33 AM
    • 127 Posts
    • 137 Thanks
    Cimscate
    • #8
    • 11th Jul 18, 9:33 AM
    Where is the money coming from
    • #8
    • 11th Jul 18, 9:33 AM
    Does this mean your first husband has to pay it? If so it should go to your son in my opinion
    • Methusela
    • By Methusela 11th Jul 18, 9:36 AM
    • 55 Posts
    • 66 Thanks
    Methusela
    • #9
    • 11th Jul 18, 9:36 AM
    Whatever happened to family values?
    • #9
    • 11th Jul 18, 9:36 AM
    You might want to think carefully about your second husband's approach, that if he can't keep the windfall himself then he would prefer you to give it up rather than let your son benefit from it. In my view no decent father/grandfather/great-grandfather (I am all three) or step-father who is worthy of his position as head of the family should take such a self-centred attitude.
    In your shoes I might worry about what would happen if your 2nd hubby ever won a million on the lottery; you might find him saying "I paid the £2 for the ticket so I'm keeping all the money for myself, bye-bye".
    • fibonarchie
    • By fibonarchie 11th Jul 18, 9:48 AM
    • 905 Posts
    • 1,538 Thanks
    fibonarchie
    There must be a number of "daddies" out there who owe thousands in child support money. My begetter never paid a penny, and was always conveniently 'out of work' whenever it came to court. It would be quite a spectacle if they were all chased up and billed accordingly

    But to answer the question, no, if the child's grown up the money is no longer needed.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 11th Jul 18, 9:50 AM
    • 10,883 Posts
    • 14,331 Thanks
    hazyjo
    Would you be giving it to your son with conditions then? Only if he uses it towards a house? What if he chooses to go travelling for a year with it, or a month on a cruise ship, or gives it all away to the local cats' charity?


    I'd take it, and, if I could afford to and nothing needed doing at home, give it to him for a deposit - but without telling him about it and not until he's actually in a position to be house-hunting. It's a nice gesture to be able to do that, but I certainly wouldn't feel guilty about keeping. I mean how many people do you know who saved all their child support to give to their child in later life? I don't know any. Maybe the 'rent' that child has paid them since when they began working, but not the child support.
    2018 wins: Single Malt Whisky; theatre tickets; festival tickets; year of gin(!); shoes
    • newwiseman
    • By newwiseman 11th Jul 18, 10:43 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    newwiseman
    If it is owed claim it, they are all too ready to take money away in various taxes. It is your money, and as with any money a parent has it is up to them how much they wish to help their offsprings. Many parents provide money to help their children. In this instance it is not a moral issue at all, treat this money as any other of your assets.
    • crmism
    • By crmism 11th Jul 18, 10:49 AM
    • 121 Posts
    • 66 Thanks
    crmism
    Child support
    If you are able to recover it, well enough, but it will be yours rather than anyone else's and I can't think why your second husband reckons he should share in the entitlement as, by the sound of things, your son was the product of your first marriage.

    It seems that the money is an unexpected bonus, and it would be a nice gesture to help your son get on the property ladder.

    Actually getting the money might be the problem, though. Best of luck.
    • Sls
    • By Sls 11th Jul 18, 11:22 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Sls
    As mother of the child I wouldnít even ask stepfather as it is your childís money. If he contributed in bringing him up then he knew for what he is signing when decided to marry you. I would take the money and give it to your son, that would be a great help knowing how it is hard to step on property ladder.
    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 11th Jul 18, 11:22 AM
    • 24,646 Posts
    • 64,417 Thanks
    pollypenny
    I can understand the second husband- it seems as if he is the one who fed, clothed and looked after the boy.

    Maybe 50/50.
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
    • magicgranny
    • By magicgranny 11th Jul 18, 1:56 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    magicgranny
    Can you really expect to get It?
    I'm wondering why you haven't pursued it in the past? Or maybe you did? And who says you can get it now when your son is well past childhood? Ive never heard of this. If the father wanted to give money to his grown up son, i doubt there's anything stopping him. If it's justice you want then it's a bit late!


    For me, I don't think I'd bother, I wouldn't want the hassle of courts, contact, negotiating with the father, etc. It's long in the past. Leave it there.
    • Baileys Babe
    • By Baileys Babe 11th Jul 18, 4:55 PM
    • 2,293 Posts
    • 11,257 Thanks
    Baileys Babe
    Are there any other children in the family? With this money not being paid whilst the child was growing up the whole household needed to make financial adjustments. I personally feel it should be split equally between all parties who were in the household whilst the child was growing up. The mother & step dad should count as I party.
    • tgroom57
    • By tgroom57 11th Jul 18, 5:39 PM
    • 1,311 Posts
    • 12,676 Thanks
    tgroom57
    You might want to think carefully about your second husband's approach, that if he can't keep the windfall himself then he would prefer you to give it up rather than let your son benefit from it. In my view no decent father/grandfather/great-grandfather (I am all three) or step-father who is worthy of his position as head of the family should take such a self-centred attitude.
    In your shoes I might worry about what would happen if your 2nd hubby ever won a million on the lottery; you might find him saying "I paid the £2 for the ticket so I'm keeping all the money for myself, bye-bye".
    Originally posted by Methusela
    When OP second husband said "we should keep it...." I wonder if this was the royal "we".
    OP should at least recover enough of the arrears to book an Assertiveness course.

    • TheFaqqer
    • By TheFaqqer 11th Jul 18, 5:51 PM
    • 92 Posts
    • 47 Thanks
    TheFaqqer
    Claim the money, don't tell your husband, give the money to your son.

    Simple.
    • bevweekes
    • By bevweekes 11th Jul 18, 5:56 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    bevweekes
    Yes yes
    Yes and give it to your son. Your husband is being tight wanting you & him to keep it....... & He shouldn't even have suggested it.
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