Currently separated (2 years on Wed) & starting divorce proceedings. Have some financial agreements re in place that my solicitor will be converting into a Consent Order. This mainly covers the split of proceeds from the sale of the FMH which should take place shortly.
My ex has also finally agreed that I can be called the Resident Parent and that our son will live with me but spend roughly 3 nights (one at weekend) per week with him. This was following consultation with our son (14) who said that he couldn''t have two homes and that he was happy with the arrangement that had developed over the last 2 years since his Dad moved out.
But he hasn''t yet agreed to the payment of any CM - or rather hasn''t agreed to pay it to me. He seems to want to pay it into a joint account so he can still have some control over how it is spent. I am arguing that whilst our son is with each of us we can decide how much money to spend on him but that the CM is to fund basic costs of providing a roof over his head, fuel costs and basic clothing and food needs. If we go with the CSA calculation (15 % of net income less 3/7 for 3 nights) I should get £43 per week and this would really help with my finances. In some respects I don''t agree with the loss of 3/7 as unless or untill ex changes his living/working arrangements our son will come back from school to mine and be there for 3-4 hours putting my central heating on, raiding my fridge for not just him but his mates as well etc etc before going round to his Dad''s later in the evening when he''s back from work. Next morning he comes via mine on his way to school and I''m the one that gets asked for dinner money etc.
How can I explain my need (& right?) to CM without impinging on my ex''s emotional need to want to still be seen to be involved in the care of our son and feeling that controlling this pot of money is the way to do it?
I don''t think ex is trying to get away without paying and I accept that he has always been involved with the care of our children but ultimately it probably has been and will be me that buys new socks and pants, school uniform, shampoo etc etc
I''m not averse to having a joint account to fund additional bigger things like birthday & christmas presents or school trips but feel that is a separate issue.
Well CM is usually seen as money which the RP can spend as they wish, either on the children or on vodka and fags.
I am not sure why he wants to pay money into a joint account, that implies that he is going to both put money in and take out.
If you go via the CSA ultimatly they will collect the money. There then comes potential arguments about what it covers like school trips etc.
do you want a joint account with him? it links you to him financially which can be problematic (or not) from a credit point of view, despite the divorce. It looks like some of your finances are mixed which is potentially also problematic from a benefit/tax credit point of view.
If you go to the CSA, he''ll have to pay (assuming he''s not self employed) which is the bottom line.
Thanks for response. I think the joint a/c idea is because we have had one since we separated. We have both been paying into it in proportions related to our earnings and the money has then been used to pay for bills on the FMH in addition to expenditure on the kids - and car which we still share.
Neither of us want to use the CSA but we have both looked at the calculator.
He says its about still having control of the money and not relinquishing his parental responsibilites. My argument is that CM should contribute towards general living costs of the child and therefore he should pay something to me on a regular basis to do that. If our son spends 3 nights with him then he has a reduction of 3/7 and he would have total control of that sum - why should he have control of the 4/7?
We had another unresolved discussion last night but he has agreed to take my proposals to his solicitor and get back to me by the end of the week. This is in the absence of any definite proposals from him.
I''ll just have to wait and see what he comes back with....
I don''t mind having some sort of jointly funded a/c for our son although I do take on board your comments re credit scores etc and the potential for problems. But my real issue is having some sort of financial contribution from my ex as the NRP to me to cover some of the costs associated with looking after our son eg heat, light, broadband, food, bus fares etc and this is what I assume CM is for?
It sounds to me as if things are fairly amicable at the moment, so I think the important thing is to ensure it stays that way. My ex and I have always been amicable with our boys in every aspect - contact and financial. He never objected to help with paying for things, and still doesn''t and the boys are 23 and 19 now.
Perhaps you can find a way of resolving this without using the csa, which would be better for keeping things on the amicable track. Perhaps you could propose that your ex covers things like dinner money (that can add up over a week!), not just on the days your son stays with him. It does sound as if your ex contributes to a fair amount already, as do you, so maybe adjusting things slightly so you feel the day to day expenses are being met by him will help.